For most employers, injuries are rare. Over the course of a year there may be none, or perhaps just one or two injuries. But how employers manage these goes a long way in determining the impact on future workers’ compensation premiums.
The following are five key steps to controling the cost of workplace injuries:
1. Ensure that all employees report injuries immediately.
2. Be certain that supervisors know how to respond: first, take care of the injured employee; then, secure medical treatment, if necessary; and finally report the injury to the company’s workers’ comp coordinator, preferably the same day.
3. The first step for the comp coordinator is to call your insurance broker for guidance. After reviewing the basics of the incident, the coordinator will report the incident to the workers’ comp carrier. The sooner this report is submitted, the better the chances are for containing the cost of the claim.
4. If the injured employee is seen by a medical provider, the comp coordinator should contact this provider to inquire about medically-necessary restrictions, if any. (You may need a release from the employee to make this call.) If possible, the injured employee should be offered temporary modified duty aligned with the medical restrictions.
5. Whether the injured employee is recovering at work (the preferred option) or at home, the supervisor or the comp coordinator should stay in frequent contact, so that the employee feels valued and the return-to-work path is clear.
While managing workplace injuries, employers should communicate frequently with the key players: injured employees, claims adjusters, nurse case managers (if any), medical providers, and your insurance broker. When this team effort is well coordinated, claims are usually resolved with minimal time away from work. Injured workers recover quickly and return to their full-duty jobs. It’s a win-win situation.
If you have any questions or concerns about workplace injuries, call Patrick Darcey, CIC at Provider Group. He is available to help you review the options and take the necessary steps to care for your people—and keep your insurance costs as low as possible. Patrick can be reached at 401-671-6355 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Patrick is a Principal and the Director of Business Development for the Commercial Lines group. He is a Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC) and works with clients to design and implement risk management strategies.