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Workers’ Compensation What Supervisors Need to Know

Workers’ Compensation

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Workers’ Compensation. What Supervisors Need to Know. Session Objectives. You will be able to: Recognize the benefits of workers’ compensation Complete reports and help workers file claims Maintain contact with employees on leave and ease their return to work - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

Text of Workers’ Compensation

  • Workers CompensationWhat Supervisors Need to Know

    Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 0506

    Session ObjectivesYou will be able to:Recognize the benefits of workers compensation Complete reports and help workers file claimsMaintain contact with employees on leave and ease their return to workHelp prevent workplace accidents and keep workers comp costs down

    Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 0506

    Session OutlineWorkers comp, what it covers, and when it appliesCosts and special provisionsClaims and reporting requirementsContact during leave and the return to workPreventing workplace accidents

    Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 0506

    Benefits of Workers CompWorkers comp is good for our company and our employeesIt ensures prompt and proper care for work-related injuries and illnessIt provides income while workers recover and eases their return to work

    Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 0506

    What Is Workers Comp?Accident insurance program State mandated CompulsoryCompany funded

    Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 0506

    What Does It Cover?Medical and rehabilitation expenses Lost wages Death benefits

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    When Does It Apply?Work-related injuries Work-related illnessExceptions

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    Cost of Workers CompState formula Risk factors for specific jobs Employers claims history

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    Special ProvisionsNo lawsuits No retaliation

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    Filing ClaimsNormal claims Fraudulent claims

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    Reporting RequirementsAccident reports Medical reports OSHA forms

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    Workers Comp BasicsQuestions?

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    Maintaining ContactKeep up employees morale Encourage employees to maintain treatment Demonstrate that the employee is expected back at workAlert claims manager to any problems Show concern for employees well-being

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    Easing the Return to WorkRehabilitation and therapy Consultation with medical professionals Alternate duty workWhen no alternate duty work is available

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    Alternate DutyTransitional phase Way for a recovering employee to make productive contribution Temporary Monitored

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    Alternate Duty (cont.)Chance for employee to rebuild strengthOpportunity for employee to learn prevention techniquesMorale booster

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    What Alternate Duty IsntMake-work An excuse to goof off A task that could re-injure the worker or aggravate an illness

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    Alternate Duty SuggestionsLess strenuous parts of normal job Normal job tasks performed part-time or at a slower pace A combination of less strenuous or stressful parts of several jobsA special project without a tight deadline

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    Permanent DisabilitySome disabilities prevent any work Others may require an employee to do a different job

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    Return to WorkQuestions?

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    Accident PreventionConduct regular safety inspections Correct identified problems immediately Hold frequent safety meetings Include safety in performance evaluations

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    Accident Prevention (cont.)Require safe housekeepingPerform equipment maintenance on scheduleEncourage employee safety involvement Highlight safety achievements

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    Accident InvestigationsConduct or cooperate with safety investigations Evaluate situations that lead to stress-related claims

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    Accident Investigations (cont.)Correct conditions that cause injury or illness Follow up to ensure that corrective action has been implemented

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    Key Points to RememberReport all injuries and illness promptlyHelp workers file claimsMaintain contact with workers on leave Help make the transition back to work Help reduce claims and keep down costs by promoting safety and preventing accidents

    Slide Show NotesToday were going to talk about workers compensation. Workers compensation insurance is an important part of our overall safety and health system.You need to understand how our workers compensation program works so that you can help injured employees get prompt and proper care and so that you can ease the transition back to work when they are recovered.You also play an important role in helping the organization keep down workers comp costs and prevent workplace injuries and illness.Slide Show NotesThe objective of this training session is to explain our workers compensation program. At the end of the training session you will be able to:Recognize the purpose and benefits of workers compensationComplete reports and help workers file claimsMaintain contact with employees on leave and ease their return to workHelp prevent workplace accidents and keep workers comp costs downAt the end of this session, youll take a short quiz to test your understanding.

    Slide Show NotesWell discuss:Workers comp, what it covers, and when it appliesCosts and special provisionsClaims and reporting requirementsContact during leave and the return to workDealing with permanent disabilitiesPreventing workplace accidentsFeel free to ask questions during the presentation if anything is unclear or needs further explanation.Slide Show NotesWe are conducting this class because we want all employees who are injured or become ill on the job to get the care they need and be able to support their families while they are out of work. And we want them to have a successful transition back to work. At the same time, we want to try to keep our costs down. Our workers compensation program helps us achieve both those important goals. Moreover:Workers comp is good for our company and our employees.It ensures prompt and proper care for work-related injuries and illness.It provides income while workers recover and eases their return to work.

    Slide Show NotesBefore 1911, workers who were injured on the job or became ill because of their work were out of luckas well as out of work. They had to bear the cost of all medical expenses by themselves. And if they were unable to return to work, they had to rely largely on the charity of their family, friends, neighbors, or church to survive. Workers compensation laws changed all that. Workers compensation is an accident insurance program covering employees work-related injuries and illness. Workers comp is regulated at the state level. Each state sets the rules for coverage, costs, and benefits. This means that the rules vary somewhat from state to state.Workers compensation is compulsory in every state except Texas. Companies must pay the full costs of workers compensation insurance.Slide Show NotesWorkers comp covers a range of expenses related to work injuries and illness.It covers medical and rehabilitation expenses for employees who are injured or become ill on the job.It also replaces a portion of wages while the employee cant work or if the employee is permanently disabled. A state formula determines compensation for partial or total disability. Workers comp also pays death benefits, including funeral costs and wage replacement, to the workers surviving spouse and minor children.Explain your states formula for determining compensation for workers out on leave.Slide Show NotesWhen does workers comp apply?It applies to any injury that occurs while an employee is working, during breaks or lunch, or during work-related or required activitiesfor example, calling on a client, attending a training session, or going to a conference or seminar. It generally does not apply to injuries incurred while employees are commuting to or from work.Workers compensation also applies to work-related illness, including those that may develop over a long period, such as those caused by exposure to hazardous substances or repetitive motion tasks. Generally, stress-related physical or mental illness is covered. Stress may stem from a job-related incident, such as a violent attack, a hostile environment, such as one created by some form of harassment, or some type of exceptional pressure related to the work itself or the job environment. It is no-fault insurance. This means that in most cases it covers even employees who cause an injury. Exceptions may, however, apply to employees who are injured as a result of willful misconduct, fighting, or impairment related to drug or alcohol use.If your states law varies on any of these points, highlight the state rules at this time.Slide Show NotesWorkers compensation is a very valuable benefit for employees, but it is a very costly one for the organization.Insurance rates are based on a state formula that takes into account statewide accident rates and medical costs, much like any other type of insurance. In addition, our workers comp rates depend on risk factors assigned to specific jobswith more hazardous jobs given higher risk ratings.Workers compensation rates are also based on our claims history. The more claims filed by our employees, the higher our premiums. Tell trainees how much workers compensation insurance cost the company last year. Stress the importance of the trainees role in implementing cost-reducing measures and helping to prevent workplace accidents and injuries.

    Slide Show NotesAll workers comp laws contain two special provisions.Employees covered by workers comp cannot sue us for their injuries or illnesses. The only exceptions to this rule apply if we fail to carry required insurance, intentionally cause an employee injury, or retaliate against an employee for filing a claim. Retaliation is prohibited by law. We can take no action to penalize any employee for filing a claim. You should never do anything to try to discourage an employee from filing a claim. This means employment actions such as demotions, transfers, and termination as well as any form of intimidation, harassment, or pressuredirectly from you or encouraged by you.

    Slide Show NotesWhen employees are injured on the job, they need to file a claim promptly.Encourage employees to seek prompt medical attention for work-related injuries and illness. The employees recuperation period and the cost of the claim are usually reduced by fast medical attention. Claims should also be filed as soon as possible, which means you need to complete your part in the process right away. Failure to make a prompt report can, in some cases, jeopardize the claim or delay benefits. Most claims are legitimate and most employees want to return to work as soon as possible. Unfortunately, there is some fraud in the workers comp system as there is in nearly all insurance programs. On the whole, however, your role is to help employees obtain the benefits to which they are honestly entitled and to assist them to return to work as soon as possible. Naturally, if you have any information about fraudulent claims, report this to the insurance company for further investigation. But never take any direct action against an employee who you believe has filed a fraudulent claim. Review the procedures employees must follow to file workers comp claims. Ask trainees to describe their experiences with paperwork and working with claims managers. Distribute samples of the organizations claims form and explain how it should be completed.

    Slide Show NotesOnce a claim has been filed, there are several reports that must be generated concerning the claim.You will probably be involved in writing or collecting information for accident reports, witnesses statements, and other documentation relevant to work-related employee injuries and illness. Other documentation includes medical reports that detail the diagnosis of the injury or illness and prescribe appropriate treatment. The employees physician and specialists will produce these reports, which become a part of the employees claim file. OSHA requires separate forms to report work-related injuries and illnesses. It is important that these be completed and submitted promptly. Discuss any reports trainees are responsible for filing. Explain all the details (when, where, how, and to whom) involved in filing these reports.Slide Show NotesAre there any questions? Do you understand the purpose and benefits of workers compensation? The cost issues? Filing claims and making required reports?Conduct an exercise, if appropriate.Now well talk about what happens when an employee goes on workers compensation leave following a workplace accident.Slide Show NotesYou should maintain regular contact with employees on workers comp leave for several important reasons.Your involvement can help keep up the employees morale, as well as the morale of his or her family, during this difficult time. Your contact can also help to encourage an employee to stick with the treatment program and keep working through difficult rehabilitation or therapy.Communication with the employee will also serve as a reminder that the employee is expected back at work as soon as the doctors allow. During your conversations with an employee you may also discover that there are problems concerning treatment or benefit payments that need to be referred to the claims manager.Finally, your contact with an injured or sick employee demonstrates to the rest of your employees that the organization is concerned for the well-being of all its employees. Discuss your policy for maintaining contact with injured employees on workers comp leave and dealing with any problems concerning treatment or benefits. Ask trainees how they handle this responsibility and what special things they do to show their interest and concern.

    Slide Show NotesNow lets talk about easing an employees return to work after recovering from a workers comp injury or illness.Rehabilitation programs help employees regain strength or learn to function with a disability. Therapy teaches employees ways to work without reinjury or repeat illnessfor example, proper lifting techniques or stress management techniques.Medical professionals will determine when an employee can return to work. Consult with the employees doctor to find out whether the employee can return to regular duties or whether a light or alternate duty job is necessary for a while before the employee can take up regular job duties again. Alternate duty work helps bridge the gap for the employee between being out of work and resuming regular job duties. The employees physician will monitor performance during this period to prevent overtaxing, reinjury, or repeated illness. The physician will tell you when the employee can go back to his or her regular job.When there is no appropriate alternate duty job, the employee may be treated solely at an off-site rehabilitation center until he or she is able to return to the regular job. Slide Show NotesOne of the most important ways to ease a recovering employees return to work is by assigning appropriate alternate, or light duty work.Alternate duty work is a transitional phase for a worker recovering from a job-related injury or illness. It is a way to ease the employee back into work routines without causing further harm.Alternate duty work gives the employee the chance to make a meaningful and productive contribution during the transitional phase.It is a temporary situation that will end once the employees doctor says he or she can resume regular job duties.The transitional phase is monitored by medical professionals to prevent reinjury or repeat illness.Slide Show NotesThis time provides a chance for the employee to rebuild strength gradually.Alternate duty work also provides the opportunity for the employee to learn to perform tasks in ways that can prevent future injuries or illness.It is also a morale booster for employees who may be bored at home or fearful about future employment status. Discuss your organizations specific policy and procedures concerning alternate duty work.Slide Show NotesNow a few words about what alternate duty isnt.It is not make-work. It must be real work, something that needs to be done. Make-work harms the employees morale and may make co-workers resentful.It is definitely not an excuse for the employee to goof off. This would be bad for the morale of the whole work group. The employee must understand that the work is important and that you are counting on him or her to work hard and do a good job. It is not work that could reinjure the worker or aggravate an illness. Consult with medical professional to design appropriate alternate duty work.Slide Show NotesHere are some suggestions for possible alternate duty jobs.Alternate duty work could include less strenuous or stressful parts of the employees normal job. It could also involve normal job tasks performed on a part-time basis or at a slower rate to accommodate the employees recovery.Another useful possibility is to combine the less strenuous or stressful parts of several different jobs to create one full-time job for the recovering employee. This could free up other workers to take on special projects or catch up with work that is falling behind. You could also decide to assign a special project without a tight deadline to a recovering employee. You probably have several projects that youd like to get done, but no one ever seems to have the time to do them. This might be an ideal opportunity to proceed with one of these projects. Ask trainees to share their experiences with alternate duty work. What types of light duty assignments have they made for which types of injuries? What problems have they experienced with alternate duty? What solutions have they developed to make it into a successful transition for returning employees?

    Slide Show NotesSome disabilities resulting from work-related injuries or illness may prevent an employee from ever returning to work or from returning to the same job. When employees are permanently disabled and unable to return to work, workers compensation continues to provide them with income replacement payments.Some permanent disabilities, however, may only prevent an employee from returning to his or her previous job. In this case, we will make every effort to find a job the employee can do, and well provide any necessary training. If there is a difference in pay, disability payments under workers comp will make up the difference.Discuss your organizations policy for providing jobs for employees who are disabled in work-related accidents and are unable to perform the job they had before the accident when they return to work.

    Slide Show NotesAre there any questions? Do you understand what weve discussed about maintaining contact with employees on leave and easing their return to work? Are you clear about permanent disabilities?Conduct an exercise, if appropriate.Now well talk about how you can help prevent workplace injuries and illness so that we can keep our workers healthy and safe and reduce our workers compensation costs at the same time.Slide Show NotesWorkers compensation is an important employee benefit that helps workers who have been injured or become ill on the job cope with their situation and return to work, if possible. But, of course, the ultimate goal is to make workers comp unnecessary by preventing injuries and illness in the workplace. There are many things you can do to help in this effort.Conducting regular safety inspections to look for hazards is an important step in the right direction. When you identify safety problems, correct them immediately, making sure that your solutions are effective.Hold frequent safety meeting with all your employees. Emphasize a broad range of safety concerns and focus on those areas that place your workers at greatest risk. Include safety as a factor in performance appraisals. This drives home the message that safety is an important part of the job and that employees will be held accountable for their safety performance.Invite your safety director to talk briefly to trainees about how to conduct safety and health inspections of their work areas.Slide Show NotesMany accidents occur simply because of sloppy housekeeping practices. Make sure that your employees work areas are kept neat and clear of hazards.Make sure that equipment is properly maintained on a regular schedule and that any malfunctioning equipment is removed from service immediately and repaired by knowledgeable and authorized personnel.There are many things you can do to encourage employee involvement in the organizations safety and health program. Encourage employees to join safety committees, ask them to help with inspections and training, and invite their suggestions for safety improvement.Highlight safety achievements throughout the organization and within your work group. Feature recognition for safety suggestions, keep track of months with no lost workdays, and talk up new safety and health initiatives.Ask trainees to share their ideas for encouraging employee involvement in the organizations safety and health program and for highlighting safety achievement.

    Slide Show NotesAccident investigations also play an important role in prevention of injuries and illness in the workplace.When employees are injured in accidents or become ill because of their work, conduct or cooperate with thorough safety inspections to determine:What conditions and/or actions caused an injury or illnessWhether similar incidents have occurred beforeWhat equipment, procedures, and/or training changes could prevent future incidentsEvaluate situations that lead to stress-related claims and objectively consider:Workload, deadline, and other pressuresGeneral moraleOther signs of employee stress in the departmentWhether your attitude or expectations are contributing to stressSlide Show NotesTake all necessary steps to correct any conditions that caused an incident. For example, repair or replace equipment, change procedures, conduct training, reduce workloads, and so forth.Follow up regularly to ensure that corrective action has been implemented and that safety and health conditions are improved.Review your organizations accident investigation policy. Distribute samples of your accident investigation report form and talk about how to complete it correctly.Slide Show NotesThese are the main points you should take away from this training session. Report all injuries and illness promptly.Help workers file claims.Maintain contact with workers on leave.Help make the transition back to work.Help reduce claims and keep down costs by promoting safety and preventing accidents.Do you have any questions about our workers compensation program or your role in it?Give trainees the quiz, if appropriate.Now its time for the quiz.