In your office, you have employees you must protect. They have workplace rights, and as their employer you must abide by them. Among these rights is the right to receive compensation in case they get hurt on the job. As a result, most California businesses must carry workers’ compensation insurance to satisfy this requirement. Still, one of their other priorities should be to provide a safe workplace. Let’s talk about some of the most common workers’ compensation risks in your company. How can you prevent them if they occur?
At the end of the day, your employees’ security is paramount. You should therefore spare no expense engaging in proper risk management.
Workers’ Comp in a Nutshell
The average American workplace, despite having safety rules, cannot eliminate every injury risk. Therefore, there’s always a chance any of your workers could get hurt at work. As a result, they might face medical bills or other steep rehabilitation costs. Not only that, their inability to work during a recovery period might further compromise their personal solvency. It’s easy to see how this could cause trouble.
States recognize that people who get hurt at work cannot perform optimally without recovery support. Therefore, most of them have instituted mandatory workers’ compensation programs for most employers. With workers’ compensation, incapacitated workers can receive supplementary income to help them receive better care in recovery. The extra money might supplement a paycheck, or pay medical bills or rehabilitation costs.
Having a workers’ compensation insurance policy can benefit employers in a variety of ways.
- It makes the business compliant with regulatory law.
- It helps the employer avoid paying compensation out of pocket.
- Workers’ comp often eliminates the need for an injured employee to sue the business. Both parties can potentially save on costly litigation.
- Businesses that carry strong workers’ compensation coverage might see improvements in employee performance. If an injured party can receive adequate assistance, they might be able to recover from an injury in a better way. Therefore, they might experience less downtime, and thus can come back to work in better shape.
Therefore, having workers’ compensation can prove beneficial to all parties in a deal. Given that workplace accidents might happen at any time, it’s easy to see why carrying coverage will prove helpful at a moment’s notice.
Common Workers’ Compensation Claims
Workplace injuries often vary by industry and even individual operations. The thing is that a wide umbrella of injuries might qualify for workers’ comp income. Some of the injuries that businesses see most frequently include
- Slip and fall injuries. The damage might include broken bones, concussions, sprains and more. These might result from wet floors, uneven surfaces, cluttered walkways and multiple other hazards.
- Lacerations or burns. These might result from using certain equipment, or exposure to chemicals. Other seemingly benign sources might cause these injuries, such as mishaps with the office coffee pot.
- Strain injuries. Such harm can develop from several sources, but more common causes include
- Repetitive motion. For examples, years of using a keyboard might result in hand injuries that require surgery.
- Heavy lifting. Those who have to lift items regularly might cause sudden injuries, or even sustain damage over long periods of time.
- Strikes and head injuries. Those who work in stocking or warehouses might have a higher risk of these losses. However, such harm might result even in a company’s supply closet.
In each case, an investigation and documentation will determine if someone’s qualifies for workers’ comp. Therefore, injured employees should talk to their employer about the proper reporting process. Employers, likewise, should diligently provide employees with information on filing a claim.
To receive compensation, employees will likely have to document the nature and cause of the injury. They will then likely provide that information to the local workers’ compensation board. The workers’ comp office will walk claimants through the filing process. They will often make sure the employer’s workers comp insurance provider processes the claim duly. If the insurer denies the claim, the employee will likely have recourse to appeal.
Exclusions to Workers’ Comp
Keep in mind, workers’ compensation will not cover every injury. First and foremost, employees usually have a time window in which to report an injury. Reports made after the deadline will not qualify. Furthermore, injuries sustained because of illegal activity likely won’t qualify.
In other cases, certain injuries won’t qualify for coverage because of when they happened. For example, if you leave the office for lunch, and fall in the restaurant, you likely won’t qualify for coverage. Nevertheless, a fall in the break room at lunch might make for a successful claim. Not only that, injuries sustained in car wrecks while on official business might also qualify. Whether someone’s specific injury will qualify depends on local workers’ comp law, in conjunction with their employer’s policy.
Employers, therefore, should do everything they can to prevent employee injuries. A thorough analysis of company risk management and safety procedures can help reduce these risks. Furthermore, daily supervision of the workplace can help catch developing problems. Therefore, the risk of an accident actually happening might drop. It can likely go a long way towards making the business safer.
Also Read: 8 Red Flags of Workers' Compensation Fraud