3 Mistakes Employers Make When A Work Injury Happens
Workplace accidents and injuries have significantly decreased over the past few decades thanks to guidelines developed by OSHA. In 2017, private industry employers reported 2.8 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses, compared to 3.4 million workers treated in Emergency Departments in 2004.
By law, employers are required to file a workers’ compensation claim for accidents and injuries occurring on the job. An accident is “an unfortunate incident that happens unexpectedly and unintentionally, typically resulting in damage or injury.” Here are three common mistakes made by employers when filing a workers’ compensation claim.
Failing to create a complete and detailed report of the accident or injury.
An accident report should include interviews with employees who witnessed the accident, video footage, if possible, and photographs of the scene. The more evidence employers have about the accident, the quicker the claims process will be. In addition, gathering detailed evidence will help employers understand exactly what happened and improve existing safety procedures to prevent this accident from occurring again.
Delaying the filing process.
Injured employees should receive a claims form within 24 hours of notifying the employer of the accident. It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure timely reporting to the workers’ compensation carrier. The employer typically needs to provide the carrier with the employee’s social security number, date of hire, payroll history, and other pertinent information.
Not implementing a Return to Work program.
Employees cannot be fired or “laid off” just because they suffered an accident, or condition, on the job. Employers are required to have a return to work (RTW) program, which is a modified duty program designed to help employees ease back into the workplace even if they can no longer perform their pre-injury job responsibilities. The benefits of an RTW program to employers include reduced workers’ compensation costs, reduced turnover, and stable productivity in the workplace.
We Are Here To Help!
If you believe your employer isn’t following the rules after a work injury, we are here to help. Contact us at 714-547-5025. The consultation is always free and confidential.