Are these problems the same across the country – Is there anyplace where employers have no workers’ compensation worries?
Success is not a matter of location, but of management. Some states do have laws favorable to the employer, such as lower weekly payments. However, a company managing its workplace and its claims with an aggressive and comprehensive injury management program is able to control workers’ compensation costs regardless of where it is located. Conversely, companies located in states with laws thought of as favorable to the employer can still have abysmal workers’ compensation experience when they fail to properly manage the process.
In Connecticut, with one of the highest weekly benefit rates in the country and a reputation of being a rough workers’ compensation environment for employers, many companies are avoiding high workers’ compensation costs. They do this because they took control of the situation, with orderly procedures, focusing on returning employees to work as soon as they can perform some type of productive activity.
A successful company has a hand-picked physician experienced in occupational medicine, who has visited the plant, and has agreed not to prescribe time off until AFTER consulting with the employer. These employers educate their employees, their supervisors and their managers to understand that the company is paying a high cost for workers’ compensation coverage. They explain they want to pay legitimate claims promptly, but they emphasis they are going to monitor the system carefully for abuses. They work closely with their unions to bring them into the process early and gain their support. Surprisingly, there is more resistance to change by company management than by organized labor.
Workers’ compensation cost containment is not a matter of location, it’s a matter of management. It’s often a question of “just getting started.”
Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws are different. Consult with your corporate legal counsel or other professionals before implementing any cost containment programs.
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