EMPLOYEES REPORTING WORKPLACE INJURIES OR ILLNESSES
Employers can support their workforce and control Workers’ Compensation costs by ensuring that on-the-job injuries are addressed quickly and reported promptly. Insurance claims with reporting delays tend to be more complex, take more time to resolve, and often involve longer absences before affected worker can return to work. We recommend reviewing your procedures to ensure that employees feel comfortable reporting injuries quickly and managers know how to respond appropriately. The below steps outline best practices for internal reporting procedures for workplace injuries and illnesses.
Workplace Accident & Illness Reporting Best Practices
- Educate Employees: Educate all employees on your injury and illness policies, procedures, and reporting guidelines. Train supervisors to report at the first sign of an injury or illness or a potential injury or illness.
- Employee Reports An Injury: When you become aware of a work-related injury, gather information from the employee about the circumstances and keep detailed injury records. If an employee was just injured, ensure that they receive immediate medical treatment, if needed.
- Provide Paperwork To Employee: Be prepared to provide the injured employee with all necessary paperwork from your Workers’ Compensation insurance provider and your state Workers’ Compensation board. Let your employee know about their rights and benefits, and inform them of your return to work policy. Failure to provide this information could lead to legal issues.
- File Claim: Employers are responsible for notifying their Workers’ Compensation carriers of claims and submitting required paperwork. Employers may also need to provide documentation to their state Workers’ Compensation board. After reviewing and investigating the claim, the insurance carrier will determine coverage benefits for your employee. If you need guidance on how to file a claim, your agent can help. Your agent can also act as an advocate to the carrier on your behalf throughout the claims process.
- Stay in Contact with Employee: As soon as you learn of an injury or illness, have an assigned member of your team follow up with the injured employee. If the employee is out of work, arrange with the employee to maintain contact regularly. Be prepared to review your company’s policies regarding Workers’ Compensation and disability benefits and answer any questions. Injured workers might be worried about their job security, so it’s imperative to reassure injured workers that you’re looking forward to their return.
- Establish a Timeline for Return to Work: A quick return to work is best for your business and your employee. The longer your employee is out, the greater the impact on long-term productivity and Workers’ Compensation claim costs. Additionally, prolonged absence can have negative impacts on their long-term health. Communicate closely with your employee about their recovery process and expected timeline. If your employee has medical restrictions, make an effort to create light-duty options to get them back on the job.
- Back at Work: Staying in contact with an injured employee is important after they are back at work. Ensure they do not feel pressure to perform tasks that may result in re-injury. Further, take extra steps to welcome them back to work and foster inclusion, lest they feel that they are experiencing discrimination or retaliation. To the extent that the circumstances of their injury were within your control or theirs, ensure they receive appropriate training on new procedures to reduce the likelihood of future injury.
UTILIZING YOUR INSURANCE AGENT
Reporting all claims promptly is a critical process for controlling your Workers’ Compensation costs. Failure to report a claim immediately can have financial implications for your business and can damage employee morale. Your insurance agent is a resource for your business to provide guidance on ways to