Who needs workers’ compensation insurance? Anyone with workers, it turns out. When employees are injured in the course of employment, such insurance provides wage replacement and medical benefits to workers as well as protections for the employer. Just like any other insurance, you hope you’ll never need it. Still, if you do, it can be absolutely imperative to operations. Businesses that ensure worker safety and implement best practices before they need them are in the best position to protect employees, keep claims manageable, and maybe even keep premiums down.
Best Practices to Mitigate Workers’ Compensation Risks
Chase prevention like you would chase the crisis or you’ll certainly end up chasing a crisis. Make regular safety trainings and ongoing education standard procedure (even if employees roll their eyes). If you don’t have the budget to implement every possible safety measure, you don’t have the budget for the project. The best workers’ comp claim is the one that never happens.
2. Refine your claims management process
If you’re scrambling to figure out how to handle a claim if it comes up, you’re already behind. Have a standard operating procedure on day one. Decide which role is responsible for talking to the adjuster and within what time frame. Train that person ahead of time. Lay out your processes while your brain isn’t in crisis mode and you’ll make sounder decisions. The added benefit is that it will reassure your adjuster that you’re engaged and motivated to reach a speedy resolution.
3. Implement a return to work program
Have a plan for injured workers who have been cleared for modified duty. These measures reassure insurance companies while demonstrating professionalism to employees.
4. Invest in accurate worker classification
An independent contractor filing a workers’ comp claim can easily land a well-intentioned company on IRS and DOL radar screens. This happens with surprising frequency despite the logical assumption that an independent contractor should understand the implications of a business-to-business relationship. One key aspect of a true B2B relationship is that a worker’s business activity exists independent of the employer. Preventing misclassification and communicating clearly with workers is a worthwhile preventative investment. Contact us at 303-526-4900 or by email for a free workers’ compensation risk analysis.
Workers’ compensation is always changing. Each political administration handles it differently and states have their own rules and approaches. Workers’ compensation carriers adjust costs and terms in the face of declining profits and escalating claims costs and operating expenses. Companies that address the subject proactively are in the best position to ensure minimal premium increases. Aside from cost, keeping employees safe is forever a worthwhile investment.