CoatingsPro Magazine

MAR 2018

CoatingsPro offers an in-depth look at coatings based on case studies, successful business operation, new products, industry news, and the safe and profitable use of coatings and equipment.

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COATINGSPRO MARCH 2018 33 w ith the deceased, anger, or other sy mptoms of complicated grief. Further, the plan should encourage junior-level managers to communi- cate w ith senior managers regarding emotions stemming from the incident, and they should encourage person- nel at the top of the organization to seek out other social support groups when necessar y. Additional sug ges- tions for responding to a workplace fatality can be found in both Coping With Workplace Death and The Militar y Leadership Handbook. Before Tragedy Occurs Grief is one of the most intense and lasting emotions that an individual may experience. A workplace fatality is not uncommon in the construction industry, and despite the best laid plans for safety and health training, accidents will continue to be a part of our industry. Further, coatings installa- tion and application crews are routinely exposed to many of the most significant hazards in the workplace. In view of the psychological ramifications and detri- mental effects that may result from a workplace fatality, employers should prepare and train on a Crisis Response Plan before a tragedy occurs. CP Author's Note: e information contained in this article is for general educational information only. is information does not constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation. Travis S. McConnell is a const r uct ion law attor ney w it h Cot ney Const r uct ion L aw, LLP. McConnel l 's lega l pract ice focuses on a l l aspects of const r uct ion law. He pr imar i ly work s on matters relat ing to OSH A defense, which inc ludes t he management and development of safet y and hea lt h st rateg ies for const r uct ion cont ractors across t he United States. McConnel l 's OSH A pract ice concen- t rates on l it igat ion and t he appea ls of citat ions involv ing catast rophic const r uct ion related accidents. For more infor mat ion, contact: Trav is McConnel l , t mcconnel l@Cot neyCL .com it may be advisable to have a manager accompany the injured employee to the facility and await arrival of the family. In the event of a fatality, medical personnel or local police officers are typically assigned the uncomfortable and complex task of delivering the "death notification" to the decedent's next of kin. is notification should always be made in person, and manag- ers should not attempt to undertake the task of initial notification without diligent preparation. However, a Response Plan should still address certain actions that managers should take in the aftermath of this death notification. e Response Plan should address how and when managers will contact the decedent's family to express condolences. Correspondence to the decedent's family should be carefully crafted and brief, and, unfortunately, it may require review by legal counsel to ensure admissions of liability are not made that could be introduced in subsequent litigation. W hen respond- ing to family members, managers should attempt to obtain information regarding the funeral and an address where flowers can be delivered. Managers should attempt to attend the funeral service and return any of the decedent's personal belongings to family members. Finally, the Response Plan should contain information pertaining to management, who must remain self-aware of the psychological impacts they may face individually in the event of a tragedy. Leaders must appreciate that they may also experience grief and be cautious not to underesti- mate the effect this can have on their ow n abilities. Feelings of perceived responsibility may ser ve to exacerbate these emotions in certain leaders. For example, grief may be stronger in individuals who were directly respon- sible for giving the orders that resulted in a death. T he Response Plan should direct managers to be on the lookout for intrusive thoughts, preoccupation Re ad e r In qui r y at co ati n g sp ro m a g.co m /i n q0318

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