Workplace injuries are largely avoidable, but probability and circumstance often lead to inevitable accidents that can result in workers’ compensation claims. The handling of a compensation claim can be a difficult process for both employer and employee, potentially causing a rift between the two parties. In this article we’ll present three tips on how worker’s compensation should be handled properly and improperly.
Workers’ compensation claims take valuable time from multiple staff members, not only the staff member making the claim. Acting immediately when presented with a worker’s compensation scenario minimizes the net loss on payroll and ensures a timely resolution is reached and saves both parties plenty of time, given the often bureaucratic systems involved in addressing these claims.
Maintain Highly Accurate Records
While timely response to a compensation claim can minimize costs, employees are able to submit a compensation claim up to one year from inception. Over time, firsthand accounts become unreliable and records are commonly lost, exacerbating the difficulty of resolving a claim. Organized, accurate records ensure claims can be responded to at any point in time.
Watch for Patterns
Identify patterns that contribute to workers’ compensation claims and acting to resolve them is a surefire preventative measure to reduce the impact of claims on your business. Strains and sprains, for example, contribute to over 80% of the costs associated with compensation claims, so identifying the key areas of your business in which they can occur can be pivotal in reducing claim frequency.
Proper Claim Management Practices
Saul York, an attorney with Hinden Law, offers a gold nugget, “The best practice for minimizing the overall financial impact of a workers’ compensation claim on your business is through the development of a transitional return to work program.” By identifying activities that injured personnel can assist with, human capital costs are reduced and overall turnover is lowered, which in most cases can cost a company up to 25% of the lost employees annual wage in rehiring costs.
Improper Claim Management Practices
Jonathan Turner, Kentons Law Office, advises, “One of the worst mistakes to make when managing a Workers’ Compensation claim is a failure to respond in a timely fashion. The worst example of late claim response was by the US Postal Service in the fiscal year of 2014-2015, where the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act paid out over $1 billion USD in workers compensation benefits, due to over 32% of incidents responded to outside of EHS system timeframes.”
By remaining punctual and aware when responding to compensation claims, the overall impact of Workers’ Compensation claims on your business can be minimized, maintaining amicable relationships between employer and employee.