Fatality: How much info do you give the family?

by on December 6, 2012 · 0 Comment POSTED IN: Workplace Safety Network

If you didn’t have enough reasons to prevent fatalities in the workplace, remember that a fatality may leave your company in a bind as far as releasing info about the death.

While calling a family with just the barebones info can be good company policy for legal or investigative reasons (e.g., you don’t know what happened), everyone can sympathize with a family who wants to know as much info as possible.

Case in point: A 62-year-old man was killed in a tuna-processing plant. Somehow he ended up in a steam oven and died. That was the only info the family received – or will until an investigation is complete. That makes sense from a company standpoint, but press reports indicate that not knowing is increasing the family’s suffering.

Take home: You may want to prep supervisors for just such an eventuality. Include company policy on releasing info. And consider a role play about getting a call from a family member craving more info. That will bring home the stakes of your safety program.

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