Workers Comp

Your Employee Got Hurt On The Job... What Now?

There are always questions in an employer’s head when an employee gets hurt on the job. Do we need to send the employee to the hospital? Do we need to send them to the clinic? Did the employee actually get hurt on the job?  Do I need to record this on my OSHA log?

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These are all fair questions, and there is no silver bullet answer to any of them. All of these questions depend on the circumstances surrounding the injury. But, one of the most cut and dry questions an employer can answer is: do I need to record this on my OSHA log? Many companies feel the best way to avoid hefty OSHA fines is to record all of their injuries, similarly to how a company should report their Workers Compensation claims. However, the requirements for OSHA are much different than insurance companies. For some larger companies who have several claims a day, recording every minor incident to OSHA can be quite a hassle and not exactly great for the image of the company either.

The general guideline for OSHA recordability is that an employer must record an injury when it requires treatment beyond first aid. But, even this definition can be misconstrued because “first aid” is a fairly vague term. “First Aid” by OSHA’s guidelines even includes having an employee get an x-ray as a pre-caution to rule out a fractured bone, as long as the result is negative. In some people’s eyes, getting an x-ray performed would be considered beyond first aid.

So, how is an employer supposed to know when exactly to record injuries to OSHA? Well, there are a few tools we have found that can help tremendously. One very simple solution is to contact OSHA or your Workers Compensation clinic for a “Guide to OSHA Recordability” sheet that lays out the guidelines of First Aid vs Medical Treatment.

Even better than that, there are new software tools available that can help businesses with OSHA recordability as well. ZyWave, for example, is a software tool that we offer to our clients for no additional charge because we see the true value that it offers. Under the “OSHA” section of ZyWave, there is an “OSHA Recordability” tab which, when clicked, will start up a program that will run the employer through a few simple questions. How the injury happened, what treatment was given, etc. After a few questions, this program will tell the employer whether or not this incident needs to be recorded for OSHA or not. If the incident needs to be recorded, the employer can then choose to take the information given by the employer in the previous questions to begin automatically completing an online OSHA 300 Log, which the client can then access at any time in the future.
In addition to determining if an injury is beyond “First-Aid” or not, recording severe injuries in a timely manner is one of the MOST important parts that employers must be conscious of. An employee hospitalization, amputation, or eye loss on the job must be reported within 24 hours to OSHA. And, any work-related fatality must be reported within 8 hours.

About the Author

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Eric McCaugherty is a Sales Executive at Bouchard Insurance. Eric specializes in Property & Casualty, Workers’ Compensation, and Health Benefits for large commercial accounts in the construction industry. | Connect on LinkedIn

Properly Insuring Your Employees

Creating an environment that protects employees is essential to a good company culture. Incentivizing your employees’ well-being is a proper safeguard to both their own satisfaction and your liabilities as a company. Proper employee benefits can protect workers both on the job, and in their private lives.

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Most employers have to offer certain benefits and insurance to their employees. They also have to follow local employment laws. These laws help create safe working environments for employees. The law also helps make sure the company doesn’t put itself in the way of financial and personnel losses.

Employee benefits encompass both standard benefits and workers’ compensation. These types of insurance vary in when employees can receive them. However, they both seek to protect the financial well-being of employees. The better you protect your employees, the better you protect the business.

Offering Employee Benefits

In many cases, it is the law that you have to offer various forms of employee benefits. Furthermore, employees have rights. Employment law governs how you must create a fair and welcoming environment.

Most companies choose to offer insurance beyond the law’s minimum requirements. Employee benefits can vary in the options you choose to offer.

One of the most common types of employee benefits is health insurance. Many employers offer health insurance through group plans that include some or all employees. Employees can often save premium costs by enrolling in a company’s health plan. Company plans are often cheaper than private, single member plans.

Health plans might cover a variety of services depending on the employer’s offerings. Offerings may include coverage for emergency care, routine wellness checks, dental and vision care. Health insurance is a vital protection for most employees.

Businesses often offer a variety of other benefits to help safeguard employee finances. Annuities, investment plans, and 401(k) plans help safeguard income while an employee works for the company.

Make sure you follow the law when it comes to insuring your employees. Insurance law usually governs employees even if they miss work. Most employee benefit plans still protect workers during temporary leave and absence periods.

Should an employee become sick or get injured on the job, the company may also face extra insurance requirements. In these cases, you may need to provide workers’ compensation insurance.

Worker’s Compensation Requirements

Just like you probably have to offer some forms of benefits to your employees, you likely have to offer workers’ compensation.

Workers’ compensation insurance that can help you provide supplementary income to employees who get sick or injured while on the job.

If an employee experiences an on-the-job injury, he or she may have to take time off work to recover. The employee’s absence can cause a loss to operations. It may also cause a loss to the employee themselves because they cannot work and make money.

Use workers’ compensation insurance to help compensate an employee who takes extended leave. You often have to provide workers’ compensation regardless of whether the injury was the fault of the company. Employees can often use this income to help remain solvent while recovering. They might also use it to help cover extra medical bills, therapy, or any other treatment they might need.

Why should you offer worker’s compensation?

By carrying workers’ compensation insurance, you often protect your company in many ways.

Workers’ comp usually allows you to assist employees without having to dip into your reserve finances. Therefore, you will likely minimize financial losses. However, keep in mind that you need to do everything you can to reduce employee workplace risks. Negligence on the part of the company could put employees in the way of otherwise avoidable harm. Insurance could deny your workers’ compensation claim if you negligently caused an accident. You might still have to pay the employee, you just won’t be able to use insurance.

Second, workers’ comp can sometimes protect a company from legal challenges. Most employers require workers’ comp recipients to give up the right to sue a company for damages. In exchange, they offer workers’ comp to adequately compensate the victim.

Third, workers’ comp does have a relationship to improved recovery times for employees. With workers' comp, an employee can engage with services that help him or her get better faster. That way, the employee can return to work in prime shape. This adds can help a business improve your financial recovery.

Never forget that the best way to reduce workers’ comp risks is to create a safe, welcoming environment for all employees. Make sure that people don’t face glaring injury risks in places that they frequent. Also ensure that you post safety warnings in appropriate places. Employees shouldn’t operate business machinery without the proper training and safety guards.

With the right workers’ compensation insurance, you can protect your employees when unfortunate accidents do happen. You can also use this insurance as a great way to protect your business finances.