Spokane County Accident Prevention Program

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1 Spokane County Accident Prevention Program 1.7 ACCIDENT REPORTING POLICY I. SCOPE Policy No. 1.7 Revised: August 2007 Reporting accidents/incidents that result in an injury to a Spokane County employee, injury or property damage that result from County operations and County property damage is mandatory! II. POLICY A. The Risk Management Office is responsible for ensuring full employee Workers Compensation benefits for employees and reasonable liability adjustments made, at the lowest cost, against the County. This, however, is totally dependent upon the proper and timely reporting of accidents. B. It is required by law (RCW ) to report all occupational injuries and illnesses, regardless of the degree of the incident. Employees must report any injury, no matter what severity to their supervisor immediately! C. Spokane County also requires that the Risk Management Department be notified for the following accidents/incidents: 1. All accidents involving a county vehicle. 2. All accidents involving a county employee operating a vehicle for county business. 3. All on-the-job county employee accidents resulting in injuries or property damage. 4. All incidents occurring on county property resulting in injury or property damage. 5. All accidents occurring on county roadways that result in serious injury or death. NOTE: Risk Management must be notified of these listed incidents twenty-four (24) hours a day, seven (7) days a week. III. INJURIES and/or ILLNESSES REQUIRING PHYSICIAN S TREATMENT A. If medical attention, other than basic first aid, is required as a result of an occupational injury, the employee s supervisor or a Risk Management Loss Control Specialist will immediately arrange transportation via ambulance or county vehicle to the nearest emergency treatment facility for care. SCARP 9/15/2009 Page 1 of 6

2 NOTE: Spokane County employees that suffer an occupational injury requiring treatment at an emergent care treatment facility must not be allowed to drive themselves to the medical facility. B. The supervisor or Loss Control Specialist shall inform the medical facility that the employee has suffered an occupational injury and inform them of Spokane County s self-insurance status. C. After diagnosis and care has been administered, and upon release from the medical facility, a written medical release describing return-to-work limitations must be obtained from the emergency facility or physician. D. Following an occupational injury in which the employee receives medical treatment by a physician, the employee must report to the Risk Management Office the next working day for completion of the required paperwork. This report of the injury/illness initiates the opening of a workman s compensation claim. Worker s and Employer s report of Occupational Injury or Disease (SIF2) is the mandatory form used for reporting injuries and filing compensation claims for injuries and diseases. NOTE: In the case of employees who are not released for duty, a Job Analysis (JA) and Physical Capacities Evaluation (PCE) will be provided to the employee by the Risk Management office. The employee shall give this to the attending physician to determine if light duty or further time loss is warranted. A status report will be required from the physician detailing what is to transpire. This medical information is then submitted to the Risk Management Office. In most cases a Loss Control Specialist will be available at the scene to assist in obtaining the required documentation, but in cases when he/she is not available, the Supervisor is responsible for compliance with this policy. All medical releases, for job and non-job related injuries or illnesses, must be approved by the Risk Management office prior to allowing the employee to return to work. IV. SUPERVISOR S ACCIDENT REPORT OF INJURY When an employee injury is reported, the supervisor must complete and submit a Supervisor s Accident Report of Injury Form to the Risk Management Office within twenty-four (24) hours of the incident; in cases of a holiday or weekend, the next working day will suffice. These written reports are mandatory and assist the Claims Adjudicator and Claims Technicians with critical information needed to initiate and process worker s compensation injury claims. A. PROCEDURES: 1. A supply of these reports must be readily available by each supervisor at all times. The Risk Management Office has a supply of these forms for replenishment. SCARP 9/15/2009 Page 2 of 6

3 2. The Supervisor must conduct an investigation of the accident scene to include: a. Inspection of any equipment or machinery in use. b. Inspection of use of safety equipment and/or personal protective equipment (PPE) c. Review of task training. d. Review of sufficient direction and/or supervision. e. Review of work process and procedures. 3. Supervisors will attach to the accident report, any handwritten statements, from either the employee or any employees that might have witnessed the accident. Request these statements as soon as possible after the incident. 4. Supervisors will attach any other pertinent information such as pictures, drawings, and data to the accident report as well. 5. The Supervisor and Department Head must sign the completed accident report. 6. Each Supervisor s Accident Report of Injury is composed of two (2) copies and once completed are routed as follows: White copy Risk Management s copy Yellow copy Supervisor s copy NOTE: Supervisor s can not allow an employee to return to work following a work related injury/illness unless they receive a signed authorization from the attending physician and approval from the Risk Management Office, who will make every effort to return recovering, injured employees to work as soon as possible. V. SUPERVISOR S PROPERTY DAMAGE REPORT A. When employees are involved in an accident that causes damage to either Spokane County property and/or private property, they must inform their supervisor immediately and a written report, following an investigation, must be submitted to the Risk Management office. B. These written reports are mandatory and assist the claims adjudicators and techs with critical information needed to initiate and process liability compensation claims. They are also instrumental in documenting accident and damage conditions. Accurate reporting records facts and circumstances related to incidents and assists Spokane County in placing themselves in a defensible position for litigation filed against the County. VI. VEHICLE ACCIDENT PROCEDURES A. If a county owned vehicle or an employee operating their privately owned vehicle (POV) for county business is involved in a traffic accident, the following procedures must be followed: SCARP 9/15/2009 Page 3 of 6

4 1. Call 911 if involved in an injury accident or other emergency situation, or 2. If a situation does not require a response from Law Enforcement (i.e., vandalism, suspicious incidents, etc ) cal the Spokane Crime Reporting to place a Crime Report and you will be given a case number. 3. Notify your Supervisor immediately. Your Supervisor will report the accident to the Risk Management Department. If your supervisor is not reachable, immediately notify Risk Management so that a Loss Control Specialist can respond to render assistance and compile information for their investigation. 4. Complete the Vehicle Accident Check List located in the glove compartment of the vehicle. In county vehicles, this package is located in a yellow envelope. Employees that use their POV in conjunction with Spokane County are encouraged to obtain a Vehicle Accident Check List from the Risk Management Department and store it with their registration and proof of insurance in their glove compartment. 5. Do not leave the scene unless instructed to do so by Law Enforcement and/or a Risk Management Loss Control Specialist. Note: Accidents involving vehicles requiring to be operated by employees with a Commercial Driver s License (CDL) must be handled in accordance with Department of Transportation policies to include possible post accident drug/alcohol testing. VII. VEHICLE ACCIDENT REPORTS A. Any county vehicle or an employee using their personal vehicle for county business involved in an accident and accrues damages equal to or above seven hundred dollars are required to complete and submit a Collision Report to the State of Washington within four (4) days of the accident. B. RCW (1) Unless a report is to be made out by a law enforcement officer under subsection (3) of this section, the driver of any vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury to or death of any person or damage to the property of any one person to an apparent extent equal to or greater than the minimum amount established by rule adopted by the Washington State Patrol ($700.00) in accordance with subsection (5) of this section, shall, within four days after such, accident make a written report of such accident to the Chief of Police of the city or town if such accident occurred within the incorporated city or town or the County Sheriff or State Patrol if such accident occurred outside incorporated cities and towns. C. Nothing in this subsection prohibits accident reports from being filed by drivers where damage to property is less than the minimum amount or where a law enforcement officer has submitted a report. D. In summary, when law enforcement reports to the scene, they will complete the vehicle collision report if they make the judgment that damages exceed the minimum dollar amount as set by the state. For accidents/incidents that law SCARP 9/15/2009 Page 4 of 6

5 enforcement does not report to render assistance at the scene, each driver involved must complete and mail in a collision report if damages are estimated to be over the state minimum ($700.00). NOTE: When called to the scene of an accident in which law enforcement has not responded, the Loss Control Specialist will make a best guess estimate on associated repair costs for determination on weather a collision report is required to be submitted. If repair costs are not originally identified as being equal to or above seven hundred dollars but later, such as at the repair shop, determined to be, a collision report must be submitted at that time. E. Damage to property includes: repair costs, replacement costs, shop rates, inspection costs or the cost of any work determined to be necessary to bring the property back to the original condition prior to the incident. Persons responsible for the repairs of the property will make the determination of cost. F. Vehicle towing costs are not included in the damage cost. However, damage during extraction of a vehicle that came to rest off the roadway could be included because it would be reasonable to expect that some vehicles simply can t be extracted without causing some damage. Excessive damage caused by the tow company as a result of incompetence or equipment failure shall be the responsibility of the towing company. VIII. PROPERTY DAMAGE (Facilities and Private Property) A. Notify your Supervisor immediately. If your supervisor is not reachable, immediately contact the Risk Management Department for reporting and assistance. B. Do not leave the scene unless instructed to do so by Law Enforcement and/or Risk Management representatives. NOTE: Supervisors must immediately notify a Loss Control Specialist and/or the Risk Management Supervisor twenty-four (24) hours a day, seven (7) days a week. (See contact numbers listed at end of this policy). IX. INCIDENT/NEAR MISS REPORT A. Close calls or near miss accident reports are exceptionally valuable as a training tool as well as a warning of impending problems. Supervisors must promote reporting these occurrences with their employees in written format so that the issue can be handled effectively. After evaluation, these reports shall be forwarded to the Risk Management Office for further evaluation and recommendation for corrective actions. NOTE: The accident scene shall be preserved until released by the Risk Management Office. In cases involving law enforcement, the law enforcement investigating officer is in charge. SCARP 9/15/2009 Page 5 of 6

6 X. RISK MANAGEMENT SUPPORT A. Risk Management Office hours are Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 5 pm. B. Loss Control Specialists from the Risk Management Department support a seven (7) day a week, twenty-four (24) hour a day after hours and weekend On-Call schedule. C. If circumstances present an inability to contact a Loss Control Specialist, contact the Risk Management Supervisor. Notify the Risk Management Office or the On-Call Loss Control Specialist as soon as possible, regardless of when the accident occurred and is required 24 hours a day / seven days a week: STEVE BARTEL Risk Management Supervisor (office) (cell phone) (home) CINDY CLOSE Loss Control Specialist (office) (cell phone) (home) CLIFF BERG Loss Control Specialist (office) (cell phone) (home) JOHN FOSTER Loss Control Specialist (office) (cell phone) (home) SCARP 9/15/2009 Page 6 of 6

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