The Best Employers Consider The Whole Person In A Workers’ Compensation Claim Incident
People are the backbone of any business. And when injuries and accidents occur in the workplace, it’s a real loss on many levels. What if you must file a workers’ compensation claim? And more importantly, how can you prevent them in the first place?
WHAT IF YOUR ORGANIZATION COULD BE SAFER?
Implementing safety protocols can prevent claims. Even before we explore the what-ifs of managing claims and helping healing employees return to work, you should introduce systems, training, and documentation processes to reduce the likelihood of workplace accidents and injuries. Some important tools include an employee handbook that outlines safety measures, regular wellness and safety talks, and a thorough documentation process in case an accident occurs.
Check into industry trade association safety programs. By integrating proven best practices, we have seen businesses significantly increase safety and improve workplace wellness, along with saving up to 10% on workers compensation insurance premiums.
As you build a solid safety culture:
- Develop safety training programs required by OSHA standards.
- Integrate programs into daily operations.
- Investigate all injuries and illnesses.
- Provide training to develop safety awareness in all employees.
- Audit programs and your work site regularly, seeking areas for improvement.
WHAT IF AN EMPLOYEE SUFFERS AN INJURY ON THE JOB?
When an employee is injured at work, the claim is not filed through their personal medical insurance. It must be reported to the workers’ compensation insurer. Coverage provides medical/physical care and helps recoup lost wages. Ultimately, workers’ compensation and your safety programs are all about protecting and supporting your people.
Timely reporting is critical after an accident or injury. Depending on the situation, you might need to immediately transport the worker to a hospital or urgent care. At the same time, another point person in the business should contact the workers’ compensation carrier or your insurance advisor. Even if you believe the circumstance will not evolve into a claim, it’s better to be proactive and safe.
Ask the employee and any others who were present to document what occurred in writing. This is provided to the insurer, and it helps when revisiting the situation for accident reconstruction to avoid it happening again. A written account is sufficient or ask your insurance advisor for witness statement forms.
From there, the workers’ compensation carrier and/or your insurance advisor will guide you through the claims process and assure that the employee receives proper medical care and compensation as allowed by your coverage.
HOW DO I BRING AN INJURED TEAM MEMBER BACK TO WORK?
The longer an employee is off work, the more difficult it is to transition them back into their job. With today’s labor shortages across industries, you don’t want to lose good people.
Check in with the employee often and offer support. Suggest returning on a lighter duty, reduced work schedule, or performing different tasks. Once the worker returns, continue following up. Keep checking in about doctor’s appointments and how the injury is healing. Those continuous checkpoints show you care about the whole person. It also holds the employee accountable to continue on a healthy pathway.
WHAT IF MY BUSINESS IMPLEMENTED MORE EMPLOYEE WELLNESS INITIATIVES?
Happier, healthier employees are more productive and satisfied in their jobs. They’re more likely to stay on board, contribute to a company’s success, and share it with others (a recruiting tool!) As you develop your safety program, consider the back-end workplace disruptions and stress that claims can cause and how a wellness mindset can lead to profitability, long-term employees, and a team who look after one another.
Ask the Questions
- How do safety, substance abuse, and employee wellness programs affect my workers’ compensation rates?
- What programs and protocols can we put in place to reduce claims, deductibles, and turnover?
Give the insurance experts at Deeley a call! We’ll help you build your smartest, safest insurance program ever!
Jill Gormley is our Human Resources Director with over 20 years of HR experience. Jill enjoys watching her two children play sports and going to the beach with her family.
During Brooke Sharbaugh’s decade in the hospitality industry, she learned the ins and outs that she now applies to the commercial insurance world. She lives in West Ocean City and enjoys spending time on the beach.
Check out our new issue of DIG Magazine to explore more “What Ifs” from insurance and business.