Workers’ Compensation Injuries: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

By | June 21, 2013

Summertime is here and seasonal warm weather businesses are in full swing! Summertime can also mean taking some extra risks, like trying to finish a job faster to get out of the heat or the sun.  Managing work site injuries is always very important, no matter what season of the year. Depending on how your company handles work site injuries, we want to advise you about “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly,” and how to handle those types of Injuries.

Here is a little summary of important questions in managing on-the-job accidents/injuries.

Who handles the decision making in your company about obtaining medical care? Usually the supervisor does, or whomever you have placed in that role.  Do you provide on-the-spot first aid?  Keep in mind that basic first aid is not always enough and you should never discourage an employee from seeking professional medical help.

 

Do you have a company nurse? If not you should consider one! 

Immediate care can be given to the employee, then the nurse can promptly arrange for the injured worker to get to a physician or clinic of your choosing (employer) that will work with you and your goals to achieve efficient and rapid healing.

Do you provide transportation to the medical facility?  You should consider this! Always have the supervisor go with the employee, even if an ambulance is necessary. This shows you value your worker. Stay with your employee to make sure they receive prompt attention at the medical facility.

 

Do you always acquire the name or names of contact people at the medical facility?  This provides a direct channel for contact about your employee’s condition for the next few hours or days, as needed.

 

Is your employee tested at the medical facility for drugs and alcohol?  Always instruct the medical provider to implement a drug & alcohol screen. You need to cover all your bases. If the employee has gone to an out-of-network clinic, have them go to your designated clinic the next day, if possible, for that test.

 

Does the president of the company or owner go to the hospital for a visit?  If any employee is hospitalized this is just smart thinking, try not to just send flowers. Owners need to show their workers and families that the company cares.

 

Do you know about the Work Ability Form, Employee Report of Accident, Supervisor Report of Accident, and Witness Report of Accident?  The supervisor should fax all these reports to whomever is coordinating the injury, and to the workers’ compensation manager.

 

Do you complete a report of incident and post injury interview?  This is usually done by the supervisor once your employee is stabilized and can easily answer these questions without distress.

 

There are important documents to send to the work comp manager of the case and your injury coordinator. Do you have all these ready to go?  Post injury report with employee, employee report of incident and witness report form. See above doc links.

 

Are you following best practices for recognizing safety hazards and checking on equipment?

 

Are you following up on your employees to find out how they are doing and when they will be able to return to work?

 

By asking these questions, I hope you understand the scope of what is needed to handle an injury promptly. Employers and employees need to be protected. We all love when everyone is doing their jobs efficiently and work runs smoothly. Injuries can be devastating or just troublesome, depending on the accident. These questions will help you with either type of incident. Injuries can often be categorized as “The Good,” “The Bad,” or “The Ugly”.  I can help you prepare for all the necessary and proper procedures so that you will be able to cope with whatever comes your way.

 

Sincerely,

Red Hollingsworth PWCA, CRM, CIC 801-631-5202

Professional Workers’ Compensation Specialist / Risk Manager


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