7 Steps to Effective Workers' Comp Claims Management
Manufacturing and recycling facilities that focus on safety and accident prevention, also fully understand the value of managing claims. In the event an employee is injured, steps can be taken to minimize both recovery time for the employee and overall claim cost. How? We have seven suggestions for effective claims management.
1. Injury Reporting Process- Employers should have an injury reporting plan in place. An injury reporting plan would be noted in the employee rules of conduct and provide a step-by-step plan for employees to follow in the event of an injury.
2. Injured Employees- A plan should be established to provide prompt medical attention to any injured employee. This would include (1) creating relationships with local occupational health clinics that can provide appropriate care and have an understanding of your business operations, (2) an early return to work program (3) and the ability to make referrals to appropriate medical specialists.
3. Claim Reporting- Claims should be reported to the carrier the same day as the occurrence. This allows claim adjusters to effectively investigate and set cost mitigation techniques into action. Prompt reporting of claims to the carrier has been proven to lower the overall cost of the claim.
4. Accident Investigation- Effective accident investigation is an essential step to manage the cost of losses and prevent future losses. Investigations can also uncover fraudulent claims and can identify situations where subrogation would be appropriate. A best practice approach to accident investigation would include:
- Immediate reporting
- Written employee statement
- Written witness statement
- Supervisor report
- Internal follow up to review all documents and create any needed corrective action
5. Communication- Employee communication in the event of a workers’ comp claim is essential to ensure the employee receives proper care and that they understand the process. In many cases, employees retain attorney representation due to their lack of understanding of how the claims process works. Clear communication with injured employees is essential initially and throughout the claim process. Employees should understand what to expect with medical treatment, payment and how their payroll will be impacted.
6. Early Return to Work- Also referred to as “modified duty”, this program has many benefits that can minimize the cost of the claim. Early return to work can eliminate temporary total disability (TTD) payments, which greatly reduce the cost of the claim and impact on the experience modifier.
- Additionally, it has been proven that employees who return to work for modified duty have faster recovery rates and are less likely to pursue attorney representation.
7. Broker Support
- Assurance Claims Advocates are experts in their role and can help the client manage the claim, as well as work directly with carrier adjusters to obtain best case scenario outcomes.
- Assurance Safety Advocates can assist in providing programs for injury prevention, accident investigation and supervisory training.
- 4 Steps for Writing an Effective Accident Report
- Intro to Accident Investigation Webinar Replay
- OSHA's Impact on Manufacturing and Recycling
- OSHA's Top 10 Cited Standards for Scrap and Waste Materials Companies (Sic 5093)
- Workers' Compensation Videos
- Workers' Compensation E-Book
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