As an employer, your employees’ safety is one of your top concerns, and creating a safe workplace is certainly a major component of your investment. It is necessary because you have a business to protect and basically because it is required by law. As a company, you are obliged to comply with government safety standards.
But no matter how hard you work to keep your employees safe on the job, there are situations which can compromise their safety and expose them to risks to injuries.
As a company, you should develop a process for handling workplace injuries. It is your assurance that things will be managed smoothly should any of your employees get injured in the workplace.
Develop a company policy to have all employees trained to report incidents to your designated representatives such the company HR manager or any member of your company’s safety committee.
When an incident happens, your safety representative:
- Determines whether first aid is necessary right at the scene or the injured employee needs immediate emergency care at a health facility.
- Notifies the injured worker’s emergency contact about the incident.
- Bring your injured employee to a medical care provider that is part of a workers’ compensation provider network.
When an incident happens, it is your responsibility as a business operator to take immediate action. Secure the area of the incident and make sure that additional incidents/injuries are prevented.
To ensure that your injured employees are given appropriate medical attention, consider this quick guide to the workers’ compensation process.
1. Get Immediate Medical Treatment for Your Injured Worker
When one of your employees gets injured on the job, the first thing you need to do is make sure that he/she is given immediate medical care. If the situation is life or limb-threatening, call 911 at once to make sure that your injured worker is transported to the nearest emergency medical facility.
For less serious injuries, you can have your employee brought to the nearest medical facility for emergency treatment.
2. Report the Injury as Soon as Possible
A report of the injury is a very important requirement for the availability of workers’ compensation benefits.
If an employee is injured in your workplace, have your representative meet with your injured worker in order to complete an injury report or workers’ compensation claim form which requires the following information:
- Employer’s name
- Injured employee’s name
- Date of the incident/injury
- Place the incident happened
- Type/description of the injury
- The date the employer became aware of the injury
- The date the injured employee received the form
- The date the employee returned the form to the employer
Bear in mind that neither you or your employee doesn’t have the luxury of time to let an incident that leads to an injury remain unreported for a long time. According to business practices, employers should bring their injured worker to a treatment facility or medical provider network as soon as possible. As an employer, you are also expected to provide your injured employee with a workers compensation claim form together with their written workers’ compensation rights within 24 hours after being notified of the injury.
During the meeting, your representative should also discuss with your injured worker the most important things related to his/her case such as the claims procedure, available benefits and who to call for any concerns. There are, however, other things your representative needs to take up with your injured employee. These are:
- Injury Report. The injured worker is required to submit a report of his/her injury not later than 48 hours after the incident.
- Physician Selection. Once your injured employee is brought to a treatment facility that is affiliated with a workers’ compensation provider network, your representative will let your injured worker understand who is authorized by state law to choose his/her treating physician.
- Medical Expenses. Since the injury was work-related, your representative should give your injured employee your workers’ compensation carrier’s
contact information to ensure that your injured employee’s medical bills are sent to the appropriate party.
- Travel Reimbursement. If applicable.
- Compensation Benefits. Your representative may discuss with your injured employee the compensation and other benefits he/she may be entitled to pursuant to your state’s workers’ compensation laws.
- Family and Medical Leave. If applicable.
Once the incident report is completed, your representative can file it with your workers’ compensation carrier.
3. Maintain an Open Line of Communication with Concerned Parties
Days after the workplace injury, you must keep an open line of communication between all parties involved. Namely your workers’ compensation carrier, your injured worker, his/her supervisor, medical provider, co-workers, and family. Your injured employee needs it to support his/her recovery. You also need to make sure that your employee’s private information is protected.
4. Devise a Return-to-Work Program with Your Claims Adjuster
As an employer, one of your main focuses for sending an injured employee for medical treatment is to get them back to work as soon as possible.
One of the most important things you can do to promote the early recovery of your injured employee is to offer him/her a return-to-work program known as “modified work duty”. It is a program that allows an injured worker to return to work with a workload that is lighter than his/her pre-injury tasks.
A modified duty or return-to-work program minimizes the length and cost of temporary or total disability in connection with a work-related injury. It allows an employer to convince an injured employee to return to work and perform jobs with lesser physical requirements.
As an employer, you are allowed to work with your claims adjuster and nurse case manager to create a return to work program to facilitate the return of an employee who had been out of work due to a work-related injury.
5. Evaluate Your Work Processes for Possible Safety Updates
Each time an accident happens in your workplace, you should take time to analyze what caused it and why. There’s so much to learn from safety incidents. More often than not, they are indications that something needs to be changed in
your operating procedures and safe working practices, and updating them could help to avoid or prevent similar incidents in the future.
The treatment and care of your injured employees under workers’ compensation can be complex and challenging. This often happens especially if you, the employer, are not well-versed with the intricacies of the medical provider network.
At Direct Pay Provider Network, we can make things like this easier for you and your injured employee. We work not only to make your injured workers feel better, but bring them back to work earlier – to minimize your costs and recover your worker’s lost productive time.
Call us at (866) 214-5920.