As a small or newly-established business, one of the most common problems you may face is the workers’ compensation insurance. Depending on the industry you’re in and the risks involved in it, workers’ compensation insurance can take a toll on your business and investment.
The workers’ compensation insurance includes medical bills, remittance of the recovery period and anything that makes the injury permanent. And the fact is, you can’t ignore these payments as they may lead to further complications with the governing bodies.
Hence, the safety and security of your workers is of utmost importance. Here are a few things you can do to reduce the level of risk for the workers and avoid unnecessary expenses:
Write a safety control program. Make sure your workers understand it and always follow the safety procedures. Being strict right now will reduce the frequency of injuries in the long run and hence lead to reduced claims. This should also include a disciplinary program that can lead to temporary pay cuts, if the employees were to break the safety protocol or reward them with compensation for following the procedures thoroughly. Holding safety meetings and/or discussions regarding specific issues regularly will also convey the importance of safety at the company.
Beware of Fraud
Cases of employees purposely getting injured to get benefits from the claims is a very common act. You’re not wrong to invest in investigating a case if you feel that the employee is trying to cheat you to get the benefits. If this does happen, try to resolve the issue behind the scene. Speak with the employee in person and reach a common ground where you don’t have to pay anything and if they want to, the employee continues to work for you with a reduced paycheck and a warning under his belt. Keep a record of these events and only take severe action against repeat offenders.
Even if an injury doesn’t occur, every incident of accidents or close-calls should be taken into account just as seriously. Reports need to be made of the incident and the necessary action needs to be taken. If the employee is at fault then they should be put through the disciplinary program, but if there was a mechanical error, then the technical precautions also need to be taken. Do everything that is required to make sure that the incident doesn’t cause any damage in the future.
Follow Claim Protocols
In case of an incident, you should work on the claim as soon as possible. Understand the situation, talk to the witnesses, take photographs of the place of incident and fill the accident report with as many details as possible. Get the employee tested for drugs (apart from the random drug tests that you should make the employees take). If the employee does test positive, you may not deny the claim, but it will certainly help your case. This will not only help you reduce the expenses, but will also make it easier to get benefits from the insurance.
In case an injury does occur and the employee is on an extended leave for recovery, the company needs to pass on the message to the rest of its employees about the same. The safety manager needs to know about the incident and must be advised to find a way to avoid such injuries in the future. The reporting manager or supervisor needs to be notified about the absence of the employee. The HR team needs to be notified about the employee being on a paid leave for recovery and should be advised to arrange for a temporary hire if needed. You should also manage the return-to-work process and follow-up on the employee’s medical reports and their doctor’s recommendations.
These were some of the procedures that you can put into action to reduce the number of incidents and follow the process of claims efficiently. As mentioned earlier, it applies differently to every business from various industries and how you go about it depends on how your business works. But in the end, make sure that your employees are looked after and are in a safe working environment.