What Do Your Employees Want in a Workers' Compensation Program?
Having a workers’ compensation plan isn’t just your backup when the safety training falls through – it’s an essential aspect of an effective safety program. Covering your workers for any potential unforeseen accidents is just another proactive step in ensuring the safety of your workforce.
Beyond the fact that having a workers’ compensation plan protects the employer in case of an injury, there are also many benefits for the employees. As you develop your workers’ comp and injury care plan, consider what would make your workers feel safer and more confident on the job.
Here are a few thoughts about what employees need in a workers’ compensation program.
Knowing What Steps to Take
One of the worst things that can happen after a work accident is no one knowing what to do. The confusion and scrambling just add to the already existing distress. Not to mention, the longer it takes to start treatment, the longer an injured worker’s recovery will last.
After you’ve developed the workers’ comp plan, review it with your workforce. Let them know exactly what should happen if someone gets injured, and explain the roles of anyone else involved. Give employees resources where they can find more information, like the website of your insurance provider or injury care provider. Provide step-by-step material for them to keep, like a wallet-sized card that they can have on hand while working. Make sure these steps are posted in prominent sites at the workplace.
When the whole workforce is on the same page and employers are willing to openly communicate about workers’ compensation, the uncertainty and fear goes away. Employees can feel confident and safe in their job knowing that no matter what happens, there’s a solid plan to take care of them.
Time to Get the Care They Need
Imagine this scenario: a worker is picking up a heavy box and feels a sharp pain in his back. It really hurts and he’s having a hard time standing up straight, but there are still four more hours in his shift, and the clinics will be closed by the time he leaves. A few days go by and the worker’s pain continues to grow, until eventually he’s unable to work at all.
Now imagine that after the worker hurts his back initially, he notifies his supervisor and gets sent to the clinic immediately.
Which scenario do you think will have a better result?
You must let employees get the care they need, when they need it. Obviously, this can be a challenge--if you have shifts that require a certain level of productivity, it’s not easy to be down a worker. But the longer treatment is delayed, the worse the injury can get. Make sure employees know that if they’re injured at work, their supervisor or manager want them to get it taken care of right away.
Knowing an Employer Has Their Back
Building trust between the employer and employee is a huge factor in a successful workers’ compensation plan. Employees need to know that their employer won’t retaliate if they get injured at work. When there’s open communication about workers’ comp, it helps eliminate an us-versus-them mentality and can resolve any fears or obstacles that might hinder an injured worker’s recovery.
The best way to build this trust is by being open and honest about what the injury care process will look like from day one and acting on your word when the time comes. Let employees know how you’ll be part of the process – ensuring that they get the care they need, and helping them transition back to work when necessary.
Need help developing a workers’ compensation plan? Talk to a Concentra workforce health expert. We’ve been treating work-related injuries for more than 35 years, and we’ve helped employers in all kinds of industries develop the most effective plans for their business. Concentra will help you create an effective injury care program unique to your employees’ needs.