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Employers win when injuries are reported quickly and monitored regularly

Supervisors are the focal point when there’s an injury. They are right there. But many times, they have not been shown the importance of reporting a claim immediately. Delays in injury reporting are a major contributor to escalating claims costs.

The Hartford Research Study (2004) found that claims filed a month or more after an injury cost an average of 48% more to settle than those reported in the first week. Even a week’s delay can increase claims costs by 10%. To effectively control claims, a 24-hour injury response process must be in place.

Delays in reporting a claim means delays in starting appropriate medical treatment – adding to the cost of medical care and wage replacement.

While early claim reporting is essential, the role of the employer does not stop there. Many businesses––perhaps more than you might expect––do not know what to do or what steps to take when an injury occurs. It isn’t that they don’t care or are lax. It is simply that they have not been educated. In some instances, it’s as if the company’s involvement ends when the injured employee leaves the premises and a medical provider and the insurance company take over. While that may be the accepted “model,” it’s counterproductive for the injured employee and the employer and can lead to escalating claims costs.

There are practical reasons why companies need to have a supervisor training policy and monitor the injury- management process. First, to investigate the cause so the same injury won’t occur again. Second, to help the injured employee avoid further injury or disability. Third, to ensure that the injured employee is receiving the proper medical care and returns to work in a timely manner. Fourth, every company, no matter its size, is interested in providing proper care to the injured worker and reducing Workers’ Comp expenses.