4 ways to keep employees calm after a workplace accident

Even if an employer provides workers with safety training and complies with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) standards, an accident may still occur. During any sort of emergency situation, it is important for supervisors to keep injured workers and the rest of the staff as calm as possible to prevent the chance of employees panicking, which may lead to additional injuries. However, maintaining calm after an accident has happened can be difficult, so employers may want to provide managers with a few tips on how to do so.

1. Designate one person to be in charge
When an emergency occurs, it is important that one person takes control of the situation. When more than one person tries to be in charge, chaos can ensue. According to Inc. magazine, every minute during an emergency is important, so employers may want to designate a single person with a history of staying efficient under pressure, such as an experienced supervisor, to take the lead during difficult situations. By taking charge, the person may create a plan of action, such as contacting emergency services. It may be a good idea for employers to train this person about how to retain control in a high-stress situation.

2. Use a calm, rational voice
During any type of emergency, screaming or yelling can cause people to panic. The designated person in charge may want to refrain from showing panic and ask everyone in the vicinity to do the same using a calm voice.

3. Ensure everyone moves to a secure location
If a worker fell from a ladder or a piece of equipment malfunctioned to cause the accident, other employees may be in danger as well. The person in charge may recommend staff members go to a safe location to not only reduce the likelihood of another accident but also to remove the workforce from the stressful situation.

4. Advise workers to take deep breaths
One of the best ways to keep another person calm is to ask them to take deep breaths. Employees may go into shock or experience a panic attack during an emergency, which may lead to additional issues. The supervisor may want to remind the employee who experienced the accident to breathe in and out slowly to prevent him or her from hyperventilating. Many times, people are unaware they are breathing quickly, so it may help to have a reminder.

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