As employers, we tend to believe that the responsibility to do workers’ comp cost containment lies solely on our shoulders. While it is our obligation to design the program, there is another party that should take a share of this responsibility to make the program work effectively.
According to the National Safety Council, the average cost for all claims in 2017 – 2018 combined is $41,003 and the workers’ compensation benefits paid in 2018 is $62.9 billion, the insurance information institute declares.
Here are the roles an injured employee must undertake to ensure an effective workers’ comp healthcare cost containment program:
1. Know What to Do If They Get Injured on the Job
Basically, it’s your obligation to teach your employees what to do in the event they get injured on the job. But it is their responsibility to apply what they have been taught once they get injured. Make this a part of your safety training, and have a step-by-step process printed on your employee handbooks.
Another way you can make your employees learn what to do in case of an injury is to involve supervisors in the information campaign. Instruct your supervisors and give them the authority to reinforce these requirements during production and safety meetings.
Have a “What to Do In Case of an Accident” brochure posted on all conspicuous places in your worksite, and distribute copies of it annually to each employee.
Accident prevention is important in the workplace. But you must also provide your workers with post-injury response training. It’s a way to ensure the best for you and your employee when a work-related injury occurs.
2. Show Commitment by Signing an Acknowledgment of Responsibilities
As an employer, you must instill to your employees that it is their responsibility to apply what they need to do in case they get injured. That said, you should require them to sign an acknowledgment of these responsibilities after completing their safety training.
3. Know Where to Seek Medical Help
The knowledge of knowing where to get immediate medical care in the event of an injury can make a big difference not only in an injured worker’s potential for early recovery but in containing medical costs. Make this possible by including the names, addresses, and phone numbers of your company’s medical providers in your safety plans and brochures. For employees working off site, put the name and address of the hospital nearest to the offsite location in the safety plan.
4. Keep their Employer Informed of their Condition
All injured employees covered by workers’ compensation are responsible for keeping their employer updated of their medical condition. Your injured worker should keep you informed of their status as it can help you determine if they can return to work in any capacity. This is a two-way responsibility, but your injured worker must initiate the interaction especially if they are having problems with the medical provider which you can help to solve.
5. Complete All Forms Honestly
A majority of employers require their employees to fill out and submit an injury report as it is needed in the filing of a workers’ compensation claim. The injured worker is responsible for completing such report because they know the details about the incident including:
- The date of injury
- The place where the injury occurred
- The nature of the injury
- The date the employer learned about the injury
- The date the employee received the form
- The date the employee submitted the form to the employer
It is the responsibility of an injured employee to complete all forms to the best of their knowledge because it carries important details needed for the approval of the claim. Moreover, the injured worker should get the Work Ability Form completed during doctor visits.
6. Attend Weekly Meetings
An injured employee undergoing therapy or rehabilitation should attend scheduled meetings. This allows you, the employer, to know their condition and any possible obstacles to their return to work. Weekly meetings allow you and your employee to determine adjustments your employee might need to be able to return for duty. Meetings don’t necessarily have to be done physically as there are other means to do it such as a teleconference, virtual meeting via Zoom, etc.
7. Take Part in Transitional Duty
The earlier an injured worker can get back to work, the less their workers’ compensation cost will be. It also allows the injured worker to regain his earning capability.
8. Be Present in Every Medical and Rehabilitation Session
An injured employee files a workers’ compensation claim to get medical care and get well as soon as possible. Thus, all injured employees must attend any and all medical and rehabilitation appointments to recover as quickly as possible.
An injured employee can do a lot of things to help in their employer’s workers comp healthcare cost containment program. As an employer, it is your obligation to make your workers understand these responsibilities not just for the reduction of workers’ compensation cost but to facilitate quick recovery and restore the injured workers’ capacity to earn.
Workers’ comp cost containment is beneficial to both the employer and the employee. You must both work to attain it. We can help.
Call us at (866)214-5920.