The goal of workers’ compensation insurance coverage is to protect your business and personal assets from the medical bills associated with a workplace injury. It also gives employees peace of mind that they can sustain an income and pay their medical bills while recovering from an injury.
We understand that no one wants to deal with a workers’ compensation claim. But you need to be prepared in case something happens.
Our blog shares how to protect yourself and your employees when you need to utilize workers’ compensation insurance at your business.
You need to prevent workplace injuries as much as possible. First, identify the most common reasons why people file workers’ compensation claims.
Overexertion in physically demanding environments. These types of workplaces include construction sites, when they are too hot or too cold, and facilities where there is heavy lifting, pushing or pulling (such as in a warehouse or factory). Workplaces with repetitive motions over long periods, such as factory production lines, may also see workplace-related injuries from physical movements.
Preventing injuries can include providing frequent breaks in the heat, giving people tools and ways to help lift heavy objects, and offering an ergonomic environment.
Transportation-related injuries. People who spend a lot of time on the road, like truckers, logistics operators, taxi drivers, and more, have a greater chance of getting into an accident. Ensure you maintain safety standards on all vehicles and conduct regular training for safe driving.
Slips and falls. If there are any liquids on site or any industrial facilities with slick surfaces (such as with fine powders), make sure to have protocols for when spills occur and maintain safety procedures that keep spills at bay.
Equipment-related accidents. Equipment malfunctions or misuse can cause workplace injuries. Train your employees on the right way to use on-site equipment.
In general, knowledge is power. Train your employees on ways to reduce workplace injuries while creating an ergonomic environment for everyone in your company.
Have a Proper Procedure in Place for Workers’ Compensation Claims
When there is the potential of a workers’ compensation claim, follow specific procedures to benefit everyone involved.
Get medical help, if necessary, depending on the extent of the injury. This depends on the type of injury. A cut or scratch may not require medical attention. A sprain, strain, or bone break may require a trip to urgent care or an emergency room.
Report an accident or injury promptly. This step is vital. Many workers’ compensation insurance policies and state regulations require you to report an injury promptly. In Missouri, employees must report an injury to an employer within 30 days. It’s best to report an injury immediately unless you need treatment.
Track everything. Employees and employers should track everything once everyone fills out an injury report. This includes visits to the doctor for continuing care, a diagnosis and recovery time, and detailed notes of medical care visits. Insurance companies will keep their own records, but often employees and employers will also keep records.
Follow the Insurance Company’s Instructions
As a business owner, you must follow the insurance company’s instructions for filing a claim. The overall goal is to benefit all parties while following the law.
What If Someone Files a Lawsuit?
As a business owner, you don’t want a lawsuit. Sometimes, it’s unavoidable with a workers’ compensation claim. That’s why it’s vital that you follow the law when it comes to filing a claim. You may have to hire an attorney to combat a lawsuit. The right type of workers’ compensation insurance can help cover the costs of attorney’s fees.
Keep in mind that only 7 percent of workers’ compensation claims are denied, and only 5 percent of court cases go to trial if someone files a lawsuit. So your odds of facing litigation are small, but you might consider the peace of mind of having robust coverage that protects your assets in case of a lawsuit.