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Home > Employers > Managing Claims > When an Injury Occurs > Your Five-Step Response

Your Five-Step Response

The 'Five-step response' is SFM's step-by-step method of handling work injuries. Follow these steps, and you'll make an impact on your organization's bottom line, avoid state penalties, and save yourself some headaches.


Get the proper care

In an emergency, call 911. In a non-emergency, suggest your employee go to your preferred medical provider, the one you should already have an established relationship with.


Gather information

Find the information necessary to report the injury accurately and completely.

Use the First Report of Injury checklist as your guide...

Iowa Minnesota Nebraska SouthDakota Wisconsin

Talk to the injured employee and any witnesses. Get the injured employee's personnel file.

If the injury is serious, call your SFM claims representative right away to help investigate the accident. Take photos of the accident site. Save any broken parts in case the accident could be a result of faulty equipment.



A segment for claims coordinators on SFM's
'Five-step response.' Taken from SFM’s "Responding to work injuries" webinar. For specific information about your state's laws, click on the appropriate state icon above.


Fill out the First Report of Injury

Injuries in all states can be reported online using your policy number or your CompOnline password.

Be as accurate and complete as possible when you fill out a First Report of Injury. If you get additional information later, forward it to your SFM claims representative immediately.

Make sure dates are accurate. A missing or wrong date can cause hassles or penalties later.

If you're unsure which state's form to file, call your SFM claims representative.

If you have sensitive or questionable information, don't write on the First Report because injured employees receive a copy of it. Call your SFM claims representative to report any sensitive information.

All injuries should be reported to SFM, even minor ones. If a work injury involves no medical treatment or lost time from work, consider filing an "Incident-Only Report."

To do this, check the "IOR" box on the online form or write "IOR" on the paper form.


Report to SFM right away

Fatal or catastrophic injuries must be reported to SFM immediately. All injuries should be reported to SFM within 24 hours.

Even if you don't have all the information, go ahead and report anyway. Your SFM claims representative will follow up with you.

Minimally required information includes the employee’s first and last name, Social Security number, home address, date of birth, date of hire, occupation, work activities and gender. The time of injury and nature of injury are also required.

You will receive a letter from SFM confirming receipt of your First Report of Injury, which will include the claim number and contact information for your claims representative.

If the injury involves the employee losing time from work, your claims representative will call you to discuss the claim within 48 hours. If you have not received a phone call or letter within a week, call SFM.


Report lost work time

When you know the employee will miss time from work, notify your SFM claims representative right away.

If the employee starts losing time after you've submitted the First Report, contact your SFM claims representative.

Unless you tell SFM that an injured employee is missing work, the employee won't receive the wage replacement check he or she is entitled to by law. And that may trigger state penalties or prompt the employee to contact an attorney.

If you know the injured employee will miss time from work, begin planning his return to work right away.

Related SFM resources

These resources, plus more on other topics, are available in SFM's Resource Catalog.


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