What Your Workers' Compensation Program Should Include
When an employee has an injury on the job, a successful workers’ compensation program can help to ensure a fast recovery and limit the financial impact to the company. As an employer it’s important to have an existing workers’ compensation program in place, in the event an on-the-job injury occurs. While many employers may think it just includes proper injury care, you may be surprised to find out that it includes much more.
Employee on-boarding, training and certification
A successful workers’ compensation program includes processes and policies that are part of your training and hiring process. This can include, specialized certifications and exams that are required for certain roles and duties. Pre-employment physicals such as HPEs (Human Performance Evaluations) are exams that will help ensure you are putting the right people in the right job roles based on their physical capabilities. Injuries are bound to occur if your employees are performing tasks they are physically incapable of performing.
Safety training and employee education
Your workers’ compensation plan should include bi-annual safety training and employee education. The training and education should cover your company’s designated injury care process and occupational medicine program. You can have a great injury care process but it’s worthless if your employees don’t know how to use it. Employers should spend time and resources to develop safety procedures or equipment and then train employees on how to use those specific safety tools. This is why it’s critical to conduct training on a frequent basis to equip your employees with the necessary knowledge to avoid workplace injuries.
Along with training your employees, your process must be clearly documented throughout the workplace and made easily accessible to all employees. It must be made very clear what measures need to be made following an on-the-job injury.
Preparing your employees for care
An established process will help you designate one care provider that can manage all of your injury care needs. Once you have determined your provider, it’s important to inform your employees and initiate the correct procedures to allow your employees to receive the care that they may need. This can include pre-authorization forms, communication patterns, established reporting, and feedback for your insurance provider and regulation and compliance.
Familiarizing your medical provider with working conditions
It’s important that your medical provider is familiar with your working conditions, job duties, workplace environment, types of shifts and available on-site care for your employees. By giving your provider the opportunity to tour your facilities and view copies of your job descriptions they may be able to identify any risk factors or danger areas. When a care provider has a better understanding of your work environment they’re able to recommend best practices to avoid recurring injuries, as well as tailor treatment plans to allow for transitional duties.
Understanding the rules and regulations
The workers’ compensation program that you implement must be up-to-date on all OSHA requirements and any state and federal regulations. Not only does your organization’s program have to abide by those policies but the medical provider that you decide to choose must also be familiar and experienced in the workers’ compensation rules and regulations in your designated state(s).
Direct Access and Communication
Your chosen provider should allow you and your employee to have direct access to their physicians, clinicians, care teams, occupational therapists, and specialists involved in employee injury care and return-to-work programs that impact your business. This also includes ongoing updates from your occupational medicine provider on workers’ compensation statistics, injury rates, outcomes and functional assessment reports to show how you compare to others in the industry*.
There is no specific formula to developing the perfect workers’ compensation program. You need to tailor the program to what is right for you and your organization. Your program should be a unified collaboration across all departments in your organization. All the elements listed above are critical pieces of the program and can get you started on the right track to keeping your employees safe and healthy. To talk to a program expert and find a plan that is customized to you and your needs click here.
* Many states have laws regulating the manner and extent of communication regarding patient care. Concentra strives to provide the fullest communication under applicable laws to maximize employer information while protecting patients’ rights. The communications as described here may be altered to adhere to these laws.