On-the-job injuries are unanticipated, urgent, and unfortunate for everyone involved, but there are best practices you can follow to make a bad situation better for you and your injured employee.
One key step is to report any work injury as soon as possible. Reporting immediately helps workers’ compensation claims go more smoothly for several reasons, including:
- Employees need care right away
- The carrier has time to review and submit the injury to the state
- Workers’ compensation benefits are paid promptly
Proper training for your employees and supervisors, as well as having an employee injury response procedure in place will help to ensure your injured worker gets prompt care and that the injury is properly reported.
It is recommended to report all work injuries, even if they are minor and do not require medical attention. This way if the injury worsens over time and leads to a doctor visit or time off, you will have captured information needed to manage the claim. Reporting incident-only work injuries (injuries which do not lead to medical or lost-time expenses) does not impact your experience modification factor or an adjustment of your premium for workers’ compensation coverage.
After a work injury occurs, it’s important to figure out what happened and what you can do to prevent similar injuries in the future.
You can analyze a work injury in three steps:
- Talk to witnesses, take pictures, and review maintenance and training records.
- Determine whether equipment, risky behavior, inadequate training, lack of personal protective equipment, the work environment, or other factors were to blame in causing the injury.
- Identify the steps to prevent similar injuries in the future and make sure these findings are communicated to all employees not just those in the department impacted by the loss.
This also helps keep wage-loss benefits down, which helps limit the impact of the injury on your future workers’ compensation premiums. These are just a few examples on how you can provide a safe and productive work environment while helping to control workers’ compensation costs. The bottom line is yours!