When your employee suffers an on-the-job injury and incurs medical bills and lost wages, something unusual happens. While the name on the check medical providers receive for their invoices, and the name on the check your injured employee receives for lost wages, is the insurance company’s name, the money paid is actually a loan to you… a loan at an extremely high interest rate.
You really lose big if your injured employee can work but you don’t bring them back to work because you’re not prepared to bring them back. It’s the workers’ compensation system and it’s how the experience modification factor works. It does not work in your favor unless you understand it thoroughly. Basically, you pay the insurance company back about $3 for each $1 it pays to and behalf of your employee.
None of us want an accident to happen in the first place, but what can we do to prevent it?
It starts with hiring the right people for the right job. We help with two simple hiring forms designed to help you from hiring an “injury waiting to happen.” Then we continue with proper supervisor and employee training and communication from you and from us.
The heart of your program needs to be creating alternative job duties that injured employees can return to immediately. They should only be off work more than three days because of a workplace injury if they’re hospitalized, medicated or contagious.
But if an accident happens, how can you help your injured employee while avoiding financial headlines?
You can start by creating an alternative job duty program that springs into action to get your employee back to safe and productive work as soon as medically possible. Then you can launch your injured employee communication program that we work on together to remind your employee that you value them and want them back as part of the team. Maintaining ongoing communication with injured workers who are at home shows genuine concern.
By setting up a process like this, you can:
Help your injured worker return to work within 3 days to minimize disruption to your production/sales
Manage medical expenses and keep them at a minimum without depriving your injured workers of their rights
Close the injury on the insurance company’s books
Keep attorneys out of the picture
Make sure you’re not overcharged
Protect your experience modification factor from skyrocketing and costing you money that’s truly wasted
What are the benefits?
Your employee will have less disruption to their normal routine, be in a controlled environment that prevents re-injury, preserve their leave time which may have been used to supplement, have a positive influence on peers during recuperation, realize their value to the team, focus on ability instead of disability, and have better self-esteem thanks to a productive use of their ability.
For your business, you’ll prevent secondary disability, retain a trained/knowledgeable employee, display a commitment to the wellbeing of the workplace, save money on hiring temps, promote positive employee morale in the workplace, use the recovery period to maintain productivity, illustrate the value of the employee to the workplace, promote cross-training, have lower medical costs and decreased costs for lost work days, promote communication instead of litigation, minimize short and long term disability cases, and promote compliance with the ADA.
Studies have shown that injured workers recover faster if they continue to work in some capacity instead of staying home. By effectively incorporating injured employees into the workplace, you increase their likelihood of a quick and complete recovery AND you control the cost of the injury. It’s a win-win.
*This material is provided as general information and is not a substitute for legal or other professional advice.*