Employees are responsible for reporting any injury. Every company should have a formal written policy, signed and dated by every employee, stating that all injuries, no matter how slight, must be reported immediately to a supervisor no later than the end of a shift. Employees may or may not need medical treatment immediately, however, this reporting requirement should be completed the same day as the injury. If medical treatment is obtained on the same day, the employer will be able to substantiate both the facts of the accident and that the injury occurred on the job.
When a supervisor is notified that an accident has occurred, they become responsible for making a record of this accident, no matter how slight. Many companies investigate all minor incidents for the purpose of preventing serious injuries in the future. The WCF Insurance Safety department has the following forms available upon request:
- Employee’s Report of Accident
- Supervisor’s Report of Accident
Trained employees can provide aggressive on-site first aid treatment. However, if the injured employee visits any off-site medical facility, the employer is not allowed to pay for these visits. A First Report of Injury form must be completed and submitted to your workers’ compensation carrier. By doing so, the benefits of “Exclusive Remedy” are protected.
When employees need medical treatment, the best way to manage this visit is for a supervisor to accompany the employee to the clinic that has been designated by the company. While waiting to meet with the doctor, the supervisor can begin the accident investigation process. If the doctor orders work restrictions, the supervisor can immediately discuss what light-duty options are available. The employee and supervisor can then return to the jobsite without delay and continue their duties.
If it is not possible for a supervisor to accompany the injured employee to the clinic, the supervisor should phone the clinic and notify them that an employee will be arriving there soon and request a call back after the visit is completed and before the employee is discharged. During this follow-up call, work restrictions, if any, can be reviewed and light-duty options discussed. Employees should be instructed to immediately return to work and deliver the clinic-generated paperwork to their supervisor. Employees should not be given the opportunity to conduct personal business either to or from the clinic. Injured employees do not have the privilege of having the rest of the day off unless it is granted by the employer or ordered by the doctor.
When medical treatment is necessary, the Employer’s First Report of Injury form must be completed by a designated employee such as the safety director or a designated employee in the office. A copy of this report is to be provided within seven days to:
- Your insurance carrier
- The employee
- Labor Commission
Your claim representative should be notified as soon as possible, preferably the same day, so they can begin processing the claim and determining what benefits are available. If there has been a serious injury, please call them immediately so they can manage the medical treatment and control cost.
Return To Work Program benefits for employees include:
- Expedited recovery process
- Easily-retained company benefits
- Normal activities resumed sooner with less uncertainty
- Maintained job skills
- Maintained self-worth and reduced stress associated with injury
- Accelerated healing process
- Improved morale
Return-to-work benefits for the employer include:
- Savings on costs related to recruiting, hiring, and training replacement workers
- Reduced administrative tasks related to prolonged claims
- Reduced, often eliminated, chance of fraudulent claims
- Reduced turnover as experienced employees continue
- Reduced chance of litigation
- Improved employee relations
- Promoted good will and a positive company image
- Lower total incurred claim cost
- Discounted medical only claims (by 70 percent) when experience modification factor is calculated
- Cost of workers’ compensation insurance kept as low as possible by minimizing accident cost
If an employee has a very serious injury and cannot do restricted work, communicate frequently with them through calls or personal visits. Communicate with your WCF Insurance claim representative and get your employee back to work as soon as possible. Immediately report any claim you think might be fraudulent to your claim representative. The Fraud Unit is available to investigate these situations and prepare a case for prosecution.
WCF Insurance Safety Department
NOTICE: This guide may make reference to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations; however the guide is not legal advice as to compliance with OSHA or other safety laws, codes, or regulations. Compliance with OSHA and other safety laws codes or regulations, and maintaining a safe work environment for your employees remains your responsibility. WCF Insurance does not undertake to perform the duty of any person to provide for the health or safety of your employees. WCF Insurance does not warrant that your workplace is safe or healthful, or that it complies with any laws, regulations, codes, or standards.