Your employee was injured at work. You took care of the employee’s immediate medical needs and reported the incident to your workers’ compensation insurer.
You can help prevent similar injuries, get the employee on the road to recovery and ensure a smooth claim process by doing the following:
1. Investigate the incident
The goal of investigating isn’t to find fault, but to understand exactly what happened so you can make sure the same type of injury doesn’t happen again.
Go to the scene of the accident and talk with witnesses to learn what happened. Take photos. Save any equipment involved. Our post on workplace accident analysis tells you how to prepare to investigate incidents and even provides a checklist that can help you think through what happened and how your organization can prevent similar incidents in the future.
2. Consult with your claims representative
Notify your SFM claims representative right away if the employee will be off work. This ensures that the claims representative will have enough time to get wage-loss benefits paid before your state’s deadline.
When the injured worker is released back to work, call your representative. Make sure you’re aware of the status of the claim and the employee’s treatment schedule, and don’t hesitate to ask questions.
3. Stay in contact with the injured employee
Make a call or a visit as soon as you can. It’s important to answer any questions an injured employee has about the expected recovery and return to work.
It’s not uncommon for injured employees to become isolated or depressed and fear they won’t have a job to return to. Reaching out to them early and often reassures them you care about their well-being and are looking forward to their return to work.
For more details on this topic, read our post about staying in contact with injured employees.
4. Arrange for return-to-work
As soon as a doctor clears the employee to return to work, find a way to bring the employee back, even if medical restrictions prevent returning to his or her pre-injury job. Options include finding a temporary light-duty position, reducing hours or adjusting the employee’s regular job to accommodate restrictions.
Make it clear when, where and to whom the employee is to report.
If the accommodation means the employee will be earning less pay, either because of reduced hours or the position pays less, SFM can make up some of the difference by paying temporary partial disability benefits.
Learn more about return-to-work with the post about why return-to-work matters now more than ever to your bottom line.