When it comes to workplace injuries ...
90% of employees injured in 2006 have no previous job injury record
This statistic is important. 90% of injured workers have never dealt with Workers’ Compensation and/or disability benefits systems and rules. Even a minor injury may seem like a major occurrence because the process is unknown. Simple issues can lead to stress because of uncertainty. Common questions include, “How will I get paid?” “What is covered and what’s not covered?” “Why did I get a doctor’s bill?”
Employers often neglect to inform healthy employees how Workers’ Compensation works. Yet, employee meetings are an excellent first opportunity to begin to control the process. By outlining a process that tells employees where they can go immediately for care, rather than waiting hours in an emergency room, and encouraging an early return to work with modified duties, employers give employees peace of mind and establish a level playing field of expectations. This is what drives down long-term costs.
Your Certified WorkComp Advisor can be an integral part of these meetings. Employees should know that some decisions are out of the employers’ control such as the waiting period to be paid. However, the employer has put a process in place that will benefit the employees, the co-workers and the company. A good analogy is the athlete who is sidelined and red shirted with an injury. Clearly visible, this athlete is taking the steps necessary to become part of the team. Such is the rationale of a Return-to-Work program.
Experience has shown repeatedly that employers need to establish a Return-to-Work plan that defines the steps employees, supervisors and employers will take in the event of a workplace injury. Failure to have an established plan leaves too much to chance and often results in unnecessary costs related to that injury.