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Establishing Injury Management Procedures

- August 16, 2019 by Leslie Stoll, CSP, ARM (View all posts by Leslie)

In a perfect workplace, all employees would:

  • Use common sense,
  • Always make the right and safe decisions without being told, and
  • Never get hurt at work

But we don’t live in a perfect world and as an employer, you have to explain exactly what you expect of an employee after an injury occurs.  Injury reporting procedure, are often left out of procedure manuals but getting properly notified of an injury can make all the difference in the outcome of a claim. With timely notification, not only are you able to investigate to prevent future occurrences, but you also having a chance to document the cause of the injury which is helpful when a claim is disputed.  With timely notification, you are also able to correct the hazard that lead to the injury quickly to prevent more injuries.

Below are some tips for establishing an injury reporting policy:

Set a deadline for reporting injuries.  Ideally, the rule should be immediately

Instruct employees to report all injuries, no matter how minor. A small cut left untreated can lead to major problems. A minor back strain can develop into a problem requiring surgery.  As an employer, you want to know about minor injuries long before they become large claims.

Perform a root cause incident investigation on every injury, even the minor ones.

Designate an individual or position to report injuries to. In most cases this should be the direct supervisor of the injured employee.

Designate a person to work with the insurance company to manage the claim.  Having a liaison who is trusted by the work force, helps the injured employee feel more confident about how their claim is being handled.  Not everything about work comp is easy to understand and employee will appreciate having a local contact to help then through the process.

Establish a relationship with a occupational health clinic. In some states this is an easy process, in others, there are few hoops to jump through. But in every state, having an occupational health clinic evaluate an employee is one of the best ways to ensure proper treatment is provided and to help you better manage your claims.

Inform employees of the company’s return to work policy.

Employees should be notified of a company’s return to work policy upon hire and reminded of the policy after an injury.   The sooner an employee comes back to work, the better chance of a full and quick recovery.



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