The first two days after an employee gets injured on the job are crucial to the outcome of a workers’ compensation claim. This in turn can affect the overall cost of the claim to your company.
When an employee reports an illness or injury, take action immediately. This is not only for legal reasons, studies show that the faster you initiate the workers’ compensation process after an injury, the ultimate cost of the claim will be proportionally lower. Also, if you wait more than 48 hours, the injured employee and witnesses could forget critical details about what happened. Employees’ stories also may become influenced by friends, attorneys, or other employees. You want the true story to come out for as little potential damage to your company as possible.
You can help protect your company and save money by taking the following steps in the 48 hours after an employee reports an injury:
1. Get medical attention for the employee
Seek immediate medical care for the employee if the injury is serious. All state workers’ compensation laws allow the employee to see any doctor in an urgent situation. If it is not urgent, refer the employee to a medical provider within your company’s network (MPN).
Never prevent an employee from getting medical attention, even if you feel the injury is not serious.
2. Start an accident investigation
Visit the place where the injury occurred and makes notes of the surrounding environment. Talk to any witnesses and ask employees located close to the area for any feedback.
Make sure to get thorough and consistent information. Begin the investigation within the first 48 hours so that details of the accident or injury are fresh in the mind of employees.
3. Take preventive measures to ensure the injury or accident will not happen again
After making your investigation, do whatever it takes to make certain nothing like this will happen again. For example, if there is a slippery floor that caused a fall, block off the floor. If a safety guard is broken, make sure it is fixed before anyone uses that equipment again.
4. Report the illness or injury
The department of labor requires that several reports generated for workplace injuries and illnesses. Complete a Workers Compensation Claim Form, an Employers Report of Injury or other forms as required by your state workers’ compensation law. People who should know about the injury are the HR department, the employee’s direct supervisor, and the medical provider who saw or treated the employee.
Report the incident accurately and objectively — Just the facts and nothing but the facts. Even if you think the claim is false, do not skew any of the information.
5. Inform the injured employee about company policies on returning to work
Review work restrictions, leave procedures, and the possibility of transitional-duty jobs that would suit their needs during the injury recovery period. Make sure they receive all paperwork and get all the information about your company policies.
6. Submit the workers’ compensation claim as soon as possible
Do this as quickly as possible because your WC insurance provider could give you valuable information about medical care, make payments on time, and begin their own investigation into the incident. It will ensure a god relationship with the company and can help you get lower rates from them in the future.
In addition to these points, make sure you become familiar with the workers’ compensation laws for any states you operate in. Your state’s workers’ compensation board will help you stay in compliance with the legal timelines in effect in your state, which will ultimately help save your company money.
If you have any questions, call (949) 222-0444. The experts at ERM Insurance Brokers can help you.