WorkComp Advisory
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Roles and responsibilities in Workers’ Compensation
Employers – Injured Employees – Medical Providers and Insurance Carriers

In determining why employers have losses, one of the most common problems we find is that responsibilities are blurred and are not articulated. As a result, the process gets off track, time is wasted and costs escalate.

While roles and responsibilities will vary depending upon company policy, here are some general guidelines:

Employer responsibilities
• Provide a safe work environment
• Develop written Return-to-Work policies and procedures
• Educate all employees about the program
• Train employees on proper reporting of incidents and incident investigation
• Promptly report job related injuries to the insurance carrier
• Provide information to employees about the Workers’ Compensation system and benefits
• Develop a Return-to-Work information package for medical providers
• Regularly communicate with the injured worker during the time away from work and monitor progress upon the injured worker’s return to the job
• Make every effort to develop and provide meaningful return to work opportunities
• Proactively communicate with the treating doctor and insurance carrier to encourage recovery and return to work
• Develop functional job descriptions and identify physical requirements that clearly identify physical activities required to do the work
• Hold medical providers and insurance carriers accountable for providing data to effectively measure results of disability duration and treatment
• Evaluate the program

Employee responsibilities
• Know and follow safety policies and procedures
• Report any injury immediately
• If medical attention is necessary, inform your treating doctor that return to work opportunities are available to accommodate your physical abilities
• Provide your doctor with a Return-to-Work Information Packet as provided by your supervisor
• Notify your supervisor immediately if your work status changes
• When your doctor releases you to return to work, report on the next regular shift and
• Follow your doctor’s orders and restrictions at home and at work.

Insurance Carrier responsibilities

• Ensure proper administration of all Workers’ Compensation claims
• Maintain communication with the injured employee, health care providers, and the employer;
• Encourage and actively assist injured workers in the successful return to work.

Health Care Provider responsibilities
• Provide appropriate, effective medical treatment that facilitates recovery and expedites return to productive work (evidence-based guidelines)
• Learn about the employer’s Return-to-Work program
• Set reasonable return to work and recovery goals from the beginning of treatment
• Work with employer to encourage appropriate return to work opportunities