Workers’ compensation insurance is state-mandated insurance that provides lost income, medical benefits, disability benefits, and rehabilitative services for workers injured on the job or while performing work-related duties. When an employee gets hurt on the job or has a work-related illness, only workers’ compensation will cover them. Health insurance benefits will not provide coverage for on the job injuries.
Workers’ Compensation Insurance premiums are computed as a direct result of your claims and payroll. The most effective method of reducing or managing Workers’ Compensation claims is to have effective safety program and a “Return to Work Program”. Here are a few examples of what your safety rules might include:
- Drug and alcohol rules.
- Require safety equipment to be worn at all times.
- Keep work areas clean.
- Do not wear loose clothing or jewelry around machinery.
- Where required, you must wear protective equipment such as goggles, safety glasses, masks, gloves, hair nets, etc. appropriate to the task.
- Safety equipment such as restraints, pull backs, and two-hand devices are designed for your protection. Be sure such equipment is adjusted for you.
- Develop a system for reporting unsafe practices.
- Have monthly safety meetings that review safety issues and related topics.
- Create accident investigation procedures that focus on prevention and change.
Return To Work Program
A Return to Work (RTW) Program is a process used by an employer to help employees who have suffered work related injuries or illnesses return to their vocational status. A RTW should have the following components:
- A modification of work schedule and/or job duties. These need to be approved by the treating physician.
- Modifications will vary depending on type of injury, employee’s condition and skills.
- A plan that allows the employee to gradually return to pre-injury tasks and functions.
Work is therapeutic, and return-to-work programs are effective. The sooner employees reconnect with work associates and perform job responsibilities, the healthier their outlook, and the more favorable your workers’ compensation experience. All in all, a Return to Work Program can be a win-win solution for your employees and company.
Of course, there is more to an effective safety program, than what we have outlined here. Look for more information at a future time.