Going to work should never turn into a tragic incident for employees. It can, though, if a coworker winds up getting injured. Witnessing a tragic accident on the job can be overwhelming. It can cause many people to experience symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). So, how do workers cope after witnessing a tragic accident on the job?
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the majority of stress stemming from a critical incident lasts anywhere from two to four days following the accident. If the worker winds up suffering from PTSD, the symptoms can last for more than four weeks after the accident. Both of these are reasons for employers to provide employees with ways to reduce the stress after witnessing a tragic accident at work.
Depending on the severity of the incident, it is best to have a critical incident response team visit your workplace. This team will be able to pinpoint stresses in the office that can cause employees to struggle even more with what they witnessed. The team will also be able to weed out problems at the office that can trigger emotional incidents following the accident.
Encourage all of your employees who witnessed the accident, or who knew the victim of the accident, to talk about their feelings and what they saw. This can be done as a group with a team leader or individually with a therapist.
Have you or someone you know been injured in a workplace accident in Milwaukee? It’s best to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney about the situation and how you can protect your rights.
Source: Occupational Safety and Health Administration, “Critical Incident Stress Guide,” accessed Dec. 08, 2017