Occupational Injuries and Illnesses

Type: 
Procedure
Category: 
Health and Safety
Department: 
Human Resources
Phone: 
(541) 463-5583
Primary Contact: 
Dennis Carr
Contact Email: 
Responsible Executive Authority: 
Chief Human Resources Officer
Purpose: 

This procedure will explain employee and supervisor responsibilities when an occupational injury or illness occurs. Under the Oregon Safe Employment Act (Oregon Revised Statutes 654.001-295, 654.412-423, 654.750-780 and 654.991) the department administrator is responsible for maintaining a safe workplace for all employees and communicating the reporting requirements outlined below to all employees and supervisors within the department.

Narrative: 

Under the Oregon Safe Employment Act (Oregon Revised Statutes 654.001-295, 654.412-423, 654.750-780 and 654.991) the department administrator is responsible for maintaining a safe workplace for all employees and communicating the reporting requirements outlined below to all employees and supervisors within the department.

Reporting Requirements

Employees are expected to report all occupational injuries, illnesses and near-miss incidents to the supervisor immediately.

When an occupational injury, illness or near-miss incident is reported to the supervisor, the supervisor is responsible for filling out a Employee Accident/Incident Analysis Form (see also Conducting the Investigation, below).   This form is required even if no medical treatment is necessary. The completed form should be returned to Human Resources by the next workday.

Occupational injuries or illnesses that require medical treatment and/or time lost from work must be reported on the Supervisor's Accident Report form and on a Workers' Compensation Claim Form 801.  The worker completes the upper half of the 801 form; the supervisor completes the bottom half (see Conducting the Investigation, below).  If the worker is unavailable, unable to provide information or unable to sign the form, the supervisor is still responsible for completing the 'employer' portion of the form and submitting it to Human Resources.  Forms should be returned to Human Resources by the next workday.

Blank Supervisor's Accident Report forms and 801 forms are available in Human Resources.

For reporting accidents that do not involve an employee, see Accident Reporting.

Return to Work /Reinstatement

A medical release from the treating physician is required for any employee who suffers an occupational injury or illness and wishes to return to full duty.

An employee who suffers an occupational injury or illness and cannot be released to perform the full duties of his/her regular position may be offered temporary work during the period of disability within physician-defined physical limitations.  Offers will be identified and coordinated by Human Resources staff. 

Any employee who suffers an occupational injury or illness will have reinstatement rights as identified in ORS 659A.045-052.  Human Resources will be responsible for providing appropriate notice of these rights to the employee (ORS 656.262) and for coordinating efforts to reinstate the employee if the employee cannot return to his/her regular job.

Conducting the Investigation

The supervisor is responsible for investigating the reported incident in order to:

  1. Identify and eliminate causes;
  2. Prevent similar accidents, illnesses, injuries or near miss incidents; and
  3. Document the circumstances surrounding the accident, illness, injury, or near miss incident.

The following investigation guidelines are provided.

  1. Conduct the investigation immediately.
  2. Put the worker at ease by not placing blame.  Be a fact-finder not a faultfinder.
  3. Take detailed notes.  Ask open-ended questions to establish: who, when, where, what, why, how.
  4. Ask additional questions for clarification.  Look for the root cause.  The obvious reason for the accident may not be the underlying cause.  (Example:  An employee who has worked overtime for an extended period of time trips over a box and injures her knee.  The box is the obvious reason for the accident; the employee's fatigue due to excessive overtime is the underlying cause.)
  5. Take the worker to the scene of the event to reconstruct what happened.
  6. Talk with witnesses to get more information about the event.
  7. If there is reason to believe that the accident, injury or illness may not have occurred as reported, talk to co-workers (in private) about pre-existing conditions and off-the-job activities that the worker may have reported to others and that may have contributed to the worker's condition.
  8. If the worker doesn't report the injury or illness immediately, the following questions should be asked of the worker (if appropriate in the situation):
    1. Why was there a delay in reporting?
    2. Did the worker know the procedures for reporting occupational injuries, illnesses and near-miss incidents?
    3. Why does the worker feel that his/her present physical condition is the result of the event now being reported?
  9. Report findings on the Employee Accident/Incident Analysis report (and the form 801, if medical treatment is sought).

Prevention and Follow-up

  1. Perform a thorough investigation and complete all required paperwork.
  2. Identify any changes that need to take place in the way that work is done, in equipment or in the layout of the workplace.  If assistance is needed in identifying workplace modifications, contact Human Resources or a member of the Safety Committee. (See the Lane Community College Safety Committee web page for a listing of Safety Committee members.)
  3. If changes are needed, set a target date for modifications.
  4. Make changes.

For more information about worker safety, accident reporting, workplace modifications, and return-to-work procedures for injured workers, contact Human Resources.

Date Adopted: 
Saturday, May 1, 1999
Date Last Reviewed: 
Sunday, September 1, 2002