Most human resource managers understand the benefits of worker’s compensation insurance. These managers know that they do not have to fear losing anything after reporting an injury. HR managers also do not have to fear negligence lawsuits for simple work injuries. If their employees are injured on the job, workers’ compensation insurance come in to settle the medical bill and at least a substantial slice of the lost wages while the injured worker recovers. Nevertheless, workers compensation claim can be very costly to your business, especially if you use wrong strategies to manage these claims. Here are easy tips that you can rely on to ensure you reap the full benefits of your worker’s compensation insurance.
1. Report All Claims To The Insurer
If your injured employees fail to submit injury report to their insurer, that diminishes their prospects of being compensated. Also, the faster your employees report these claims, the more they increase their chances of the insurer accepting to pay their medical bills and lost wages. You can avoid delays in obtaining medical records and the compensability decision by having the claimant sign a medical release at the time of injury.
2. Train Your Supervisors
By equipping your supervisors with the requisite skills for managing your workers’ compensation process, you help them to know the benefits of preventing workers compensation abuse and how to prevent these cases. Trained supervisors know what to do whenever an injury occurs, can establish whether the claim is valid or not, can direct the injured employees to the appropriate individuals, manage work restrictions, and know when and how to get the employee back to work at the right time. Also, train your supervisors on cost and impact of worker’s compensation and how to avoid accidents in the workplace.
3. Investigate Injuries At The Right Time And Keep Records
All injuries qualify for investigations. Thus, you must investigate all of them as soon as they occur and keep complete notes. Your investigations should focus on obtaining the facts about the accidents and identifying and talking with credible witnesses. It should also focus on interviewing your supervisors. Most supervisors always have the most knowledge of the job and are close to workers, so it is necessary to put down their perspectives and expectations clearly. Moreover, secure the scene of the accident and take pictures and make diagrams. Without a convincing evidence, your insurer may not give any attention to the claimants’ case.
While some employees can file a fraudulent claim, never confront or decline a questionable claim before investigations are complete and all the facts have put on the table. If you have any questions regarding the legality of the claims, get legal advice from a qualified personal injury lawyer before you make a decision or comment. Remember if you confront the employee and the evidence later indicates that their claim is valid, you could face a lawsuit.
4. Keep All Parties Informed
Ensure that all parties involved in an injury case in one way or another are fully informed about the workers’ compensation process, when the employee should expect benefits, significant issues relating to how to return to work, and the person to contact with questions. When you stay in touch and communicate with the employees while they are on workers’ compensation regarding their medical status, you create a positive culture in your company and make them feel valued.
Additionally, communicate frequently with the claim representative. This will allow you to form a partnership and work together with the representative to manage the claim well and resolve all pending issues amicably. With proper communication, you can gather a lot of information from these parties that can help you determine the best time for the employee to return to work, the types of duties that they will do, and when they will completely recover.
5. Formulate A Return-To-Work Plan
Your company can minimize or do away with lost-time claims if you come up with a comprehensive return to work plan. With this program, you can bring the injured workers back to work much sooner than expected. This can help the workers to feel that the company values them. When working closely with the injured workers and their doctors, identify activities that they can do in your company to be able to bring them back as they recuperate and help them identify additional skills they possess that can help them help the company to realize your corporate goals.
6. Avoid Accidents In The Workplace
The main way to avoid accidents in the workplace is to devise an all-inclusive safety program, and regularly train all your employees and managers on it. At the same time, it is necessary to implement a safety-oriented culture and create a team that is in charge of safety programs.
Furthermore, you should track and review the claims history of your company regularly and take action to reduce the possibility of accidents that incurred in the past reoccurring. Use data on claims to detect injury partners that can help you identify deficiencies in your company’s approach to risk assessment. If you identify any deficiencies, consider offering comprehensive training and changing the work environment to prevent further injuries.
To better handle your workers compensation claim, it is critical to be familiar with the relevant process and regulations. These six tips have been designed to help you not only to sympathize with your injured workers but also equip to know how to avoid accidents in the workplace and help your employees access the services of their insurers promptly.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not of The HR Gazette or its team members.