Top 6 Causes of Workers Comp Injuries and How to Avoid Them

 

Injuries on the job can occur at any time.  Some employers have a higher risk of injury depending on the type of job they do day in and day out.  Some workers have higher exposure to injury based both on their type of job tasks and their non-occupational conditions they bring into the workplace.  This could be fatigue, other injuries, years of work experience, etc.  Despite whatever baggage some workers carry to into employment, we see the same types of injuries that occur.  These injuries fall into certain classes, which we discuss below:

 

 

  1. Lifting

 

Perhaps the most common cause of injury is lifting.  When workers are exposed to lifting tasks often, their bodies can start having some wear and tear, and the progression of this injury can morph into symptoms of muscle strains, spinal injuries, and the like.

 

A lot of the time workers will disregard the warning signs predisposing them to a muscle strain that needs medical attention.  Everyone has aches and pains, some worse than others.  But for the most part workers will continue to carry on through the pain, until they perform a lifting task that finally prompts the needs for treatment.  In a perfect world, these workers will stop what they are doing at the first sign of injury and report it to their supervisor to get medical attention.  But this is rarely the case.  I have performed tons of investigations into these types of injuries, and when I talk to workers they usually tell me that they noticed the start of the particular pain days or weeks ago, it continued to nag them, until they were working and their back or shoulder finally gave out on them.

 

If you have a lot of lifting on your job floor, there are many ways to try and limit injury including rotating staff, taking frequent breaks, lifting in smaller increments, using back braces, on so on.  Just be aware of the fact that if your labor force does a lot of lifting, and this can take its’ toll on your workers.  So listen to them when they say they have a problem and report a claim if they feel it is serious enough to warrant medical treatment. [WCx]

 

 

  1. Slip/fall injuries

 

About as popular as lifting injuries can be slips and falls.  These injuries can be minor in nature, or as severe as a bone fracture.  Especially hazardous will be slip/falls on stairs, or construction sites, leading to falls and the potential for more serious injuries.

 

Factors out of your control such as rain, snow, ice, and so on can lead to an increase in these types of injuries.  Carriers see increased reports of slip/fall injuries in the Fall and Spring, due to the increase of icy conditions.  Equally dangerous is snow, especially when it is carried into your building’s doorways which then melts and creates a slip/fall by an unsuspecting employee passing by.

 

As employers it is hard to be proactive against these types of injuries all of the time.  But if you pay special attention when the weather conditions warrant, you may be able to save some of these injuries from occurring.  Replacing your doorway carpets is a main way to stop the spread of snow and water into your building.  Placing non-skid mats and borders on steps can also help.

 

So if you have a lot of in and out foot or machine traffic, especially when the weather seasons warrant, keep a careful eye out for these hazards.  You may save a serious injury from occurring.

 

 

  1. Machine injuries

 

It is obvious to say that manufacturing jobsites will have a lot of moving machinery.  And with this increased presence of machinery you will see people being injured by these machines.   Whether it is contusions or amputations, injuries will occur.  A lot of the time these injuries can be prevented from happening.  There are countless claims where the machines are modified, guards are removed, people placing their hands in the machines to remove clogs or stuck parts, and so on.  This is especially true in workplaces where there a lot of parts and fast moving machines on an assembly-type line; workers are trying to do what they can to keep pace with their job demands. 

 

Employers have to be very aware of the fact that machinery should never be modified in a way that removes the safety mechanisms from doing the jobs they were designed to do, which is preventing injury. Even worse is after the injury occurs, the carrier may try to subrogate against the machine manufacturer.  But once the carrier discovers that the machine was modified or guards were removed, this deflates the effectiveness of their claim against the manufacturer.  And worse yet, some states will punish the employer for allowing this modification to happen, which created an increased chance of injury.  So save yourself the headache, and leave the machines to operate as they were designed to operate.

 

 

  1. Lacerations

 

Laceration injuries can occur due to a variety of reasons.  An employee can cut themselves on anything, ranging from a tool or part they are working on to a shelf, a nail, or just about anything else that has a sharp edge to it.  These injuries may be hard to avoid, but you can try and lessen the hazard. 

 

Taking input from your employees is always a good place to start.  These are the people doing the jobs day in and day out.  If they are telling you about sharp edges and sharp parts, listen to them.  Equally important is watching the trend of your injury reports and loss runs.  If you begin to see a lot of people sustaining a laceration injury while doing a particular task, it is time to investigate, before someone loses a finger or thumb due to injury.

 

 

  1. Other employees

 

As dangerous as lifting, slips/falls, machines, and lacerations can be, equally dangerous are the other employees milling around on a typical day.  Countless injuries occur from the fault of coworkers.  I have seen employees dragged, pinched, ran over, dropped, cut, poked, burned, and the like. Of course the other worker feels bad, but not as bad as the person that was injured!

 

You have to preach awareness at the workplace.  Have walkways taped off away from machines and where people in vehicles may be.  Install mirrors around corners so people can see others coming.  Beep horns and enforce speed limits around your work floor.  The injury you may prevent may be your own.

 

 

  1. Repetitive injury

 

Lastly we discuss repetitive injury.  Workers that do the same task day after day use the same muscles and make the same movements day after day.  Over the course of months and years, injuries can occur, the most common or popular being carpal tunnel.

 

Technology has come a long way in helping the worker to avoid a repetitive motion injury.  Job tools are more ergonomic, employers use rotating job tasks and shift employees so they are not doing the same task all of the time.  Machines have become more automated leading to less user interaction, which is helping to prevent injury.   [WCx]

 

But this doesn’t solve the problem that repetitive injury can still occur.  A word to the wise is that the earlier these injuries are reported, the better chance the employee has for a full recovery.  If you wait too long, the worker may be so injured that they will never make a full recovery.  So again, listen to your employees and watch your loss run reports for trends of injuries on certain jobs or while working certain machines.  It can prevent injury in the long run.

 

 

Summary

 

The 6 mechanisms of injury stated above are not the only ones, but they are the most common.  If you as the employer become more involved, and more proactive, you can prevent a lot of these injuries from occurring.  Time and time again I recommend to you enlisting the help and input of your employees.  They work the jobs, they face the hazards, and they can help you prevent some injuries from happening in the first place.

 

 

 

Author Rebecca Shafer, JD, President of Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is a national expert in the field of workers compensation. She is a writer, speaker, and publisher. Her expertise is working with employers to reduce workers compensation costs, and her clients include airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality, and manufacturing. She is the author of the #1 selling book on cost containment, Workers Compensation Management Program: Reduce Costs 20% to 50%Contact: RShafer@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

 

Editor Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher.  www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com Contact mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com

 


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Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.

 

©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact us at: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

 

Two New England Employers Cited for Injuries and Hazards

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Prolerized New England Co. LLC, doing business as Schnitzer Northeast, for 10 alleged serious violations of workplace safety standards at its Everett recycling facility, where two workers were injured. Proposed penalties total $70,000.
 
 
According to OSHA officials, the employees were performing maintenance work inside a large rotating drum used to sort scrap material for recycling when the drum activated, injuring them. OSHA's Andover Area Office conducted an inspection in response to the September incident and identified several serious deficiencies in the facility's hazardous energy control procedures, which should ensure machines are deactivated and their power sources locked out before employees perform maintenance work.(WCxKit)
 
 
In this case, the procedures were incomplete and not clearly communicated, training was inadequate, and the procedures were not reviewed to ensure that they were effective and understood by the employees.
 
 
The inspection also found that the employees were not trained to work in confined spaces, such as the drum, and were not provided a hot work permit for welding performed in the drum. Finally, the employees were exposed to the hazard of falling into the drum through an unguarded chute opening. OSHA assessed the maximum fine of $7,000 for each of the violations, for a total of $70,000 in fines. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
 
 
"The unexpected startup of machinery during maintenance can injure or kill workers in seconds," said Jeffrey Erskine, OSHA's area director for Essex and Middlesex counties. "Preventing this hazard requires a combination of effective hazard control procedures, training and diligence to ensure that the proper safeguards are in place, in use and understood by workers."(WCxKit)
 
 

The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, meet with OSHA's area director or contest the findings to the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

 

 

OSHA Fines Connecticut Employer for Exposing Workers to Injury 

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently cited G.A. Denison & Sons Inc. for 14 alleged willful and serious violations of workplace safety standards at an Old Lyme work site. The New London contractor faces a total of $110,000 in proposed fines, according to an OSHA report.
 
OSHA's enforcement action follows an inspection opened June 7, when Denison & Sons employees were observed being exposed to falls from heights of 15–26 feet while working without protection on both a scaffold and the roof of a building located at 69 Lyme St. (WCxKit)
 
 
In addition, OSHA found employees exposed to fall hazards while improperly climbing ladders and climbing ladders while carrying materials on their shoulders, as well as to head injuries from working without hard hats. These conditions resulted in citations for five willful violations carrying $73,700 in fines. A willful violation is one committed with intentional knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.
 
 
Nine serious violations, with $36,300 in fines, have been cited for several other hazardous conditions, including overloaded scaffolding, a lack of eye protection for employees using nail guns, inadequate scaffold access, a lack of protection against falling objects, and a failure to provide employees with fall protection, scaffold, and ladder training. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known. (WCxKit)
 
 
OSHA has placed G.A. Denison & Sons in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program, which mandates targeted follow-up inspections to ensure compliance with the law.
 
 
Author Robert Elliott, executive vice president, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. He is an editor and contributor to Workers Compensation Management Program: Reduce Costs 20% to 50%. Contact: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.
 
©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact us at: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

Ohio Woman Must Repay More than $13K for Working While Collecting Comp

A Warren County, Ohio woman must repay more than $13,000 following an investigation by the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation that revealed she was working while collecting workers compensation benefits.
 
 
The BWC said Pamela Meyers pleaded guilty to a felony count of workers comp fraud related to her work as a bus driver while receiving disability payments for a workplace injury she sustained while working as a driving instructor.(WCxKit)
 
 
The BWC said its Special Investigations Department opened an investigation after detecting Meyers was collecting wages while on temporary total disability.
 
 
Investigators said they found Meyers worked as a driver the Little Miami School District in Morrow from July 20, 2006, to Sept. 4, 2006, and from March 12, 2007, to Sept. 16, 2007, in violation of the rules associated with receiving those benefits.(WCxKit)
 
 
Meyers was sentenced in a Franklin County courtroom to five years of community control, ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $11,400, court costs and investigative costs totaling $2,000. Meyers will serve 12 months in prison if she violates community control. She made a payment of $7,000 toward restitution on the day of sentencing, the BWC reported.

 
Author Robert Elliott, executive vice president, Amaxx Risks Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. See www.LowerWC.com for more information. Contact: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.


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Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.
 
©2011 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

Learn 5 Ways to Know if Injury Treatment is Working and When to End It

The majority of medical clinics treat patients ethically and in compliance with their applicable local/state/federal statutes. That being said, medical clinics are a service business — needing to stay in business and be profitable by generating  traffic.  An empty waiting room equals a clinic out of business. Therefore, the temptation to keep clients/patients coming back for treatment longer than necessary becomes a real possibility.

 

 

Without painting with a broad brush, there are certain areas susceptible to over treatment, continued treatment when the patient fails to heal or reaches maximum medical improvement, or just plain “never let go of this patient” syndrome. These five types of therapyoften called holistic, can and do offer very legitimate and useful treatments and are often an excellent adjunct to more traditional medical care, providing the injured worker achieves good results.(WCxKit)

 

 

 

It is the role of the employer/adjuster to pay attention and manage these holistic therapies by realizing the results may be very subjective, not work for everyone, and must be results-centered. Results-centered means taking measurements of the worker’s status before, during, and after therapy and setting down expected improvement goals, and remeasuring to track healing. The minute healing stops, end therapy .

 

 

  1. Chiropractic

Unfortunately chiropractic therapy is the number one stereotyped method of medicine open to overused/abused without much gain. Chiropractors include occupational injuries, such as carpal tunnel, epicondylitis, arthritis, radiculopathy, etc., as areas benefiting from chiropractic manipulation. In certain situations, chiropractic medicine is beneficial. Some people swear by these treatments. From a claims standpoint if the injured worker makes objective gains on a strain injury, then continue treatment. However if three times a week therapy continues for two or three weeks without improvement (reduced swelling/pain/mobility) it is time to move on to a more effective medical treatment. Chiropractors may attempt to continue treating the patient even though no gains are made. The adjuster must stop treatment before the claim incurs any more medical cost without objective benefit.

 

 

HOT TIP: Make therapy authorization in limited time quantities,  like 2-3 times a week for 4-6 weeks and then re-evaluate. Some clinics see dollar signs when given unlimited authorization and may be tempted to let therapy go on and on.

 

 

  1. Physical Therapy

Many physical therapists are great at rehabbing patients back to full duty. Sometimes, they keep patients around a little too long before discharging them to a home exercise program. If the therapist is placing a cold pack on the injured party and directing some stretching exercises, it is probably time to check with the doctor and see if the injured worker still needs formal therapy or if discharge to a home exercise program is appropriate. Formal therapy and work hardening programs are expensive, and the frequency per week or month can lead to a higher claim cost over time. It is beneficial to be proactive while reading the therapy notes to see exactly what  the therapists are doing with their modalities and treatment plans. Make sure they are staying involved and getting the patient into a rehab program that continues to make objective medical gains.

 

 

HOT TIP: Watch out for a “shift” in therapy goals. The patient presented with a diagnosis of a torn meniscus and as therapy is winding down, it is suggested she might possibly have another, unrelated condition for additional treatment. (This actually happened to our blog editor!) Adjusters need to educate everyone that only the medically diagnosed condition appended with a doctor’s written orders is eligible for benefits and any collateral treatments will not be paid for. Employees need to know they may become liable for unauthorized treatments.

 

 

  1. Pain Clinics

Pain clinics are one the most expensive types of therapy. An injured worker is referred to a pain clinic usually after surgery fails, or is achieving no benefit from several other types of treatment. A combination of medications, mostly narcotics, are prescribed and follows a treatment plan of strategically placed injections for pain alleviation. These prescriptions are very expensive, can be highly addictive, quite painful and given in a series of three per type. If an injured worker receives 2-3 injections without benefit, the doctor tries a different location, with possibly a different solution of medicine, to see if that helps lessen the patient’s pain.

 

 

When an injured worker is referred to a pain clinic, the adjuster must be very aware of what is going on, reading the medical notes to see the patient’s complaints and setting up a dialog with the treating physician to monitor the success (or not) of treatment. Ask: Is the patient getting better?

 

 

When pain treatment fails, the claimant may show signs of drug-seeking behavior, (addiction) and pain complaints escalate over and beyond the objective evidence of injury. It is at this point a claim may unravel. Adjusters must watch very closely that the treatment rendered is necessary and of benefit to the injured worker.

 

 

HOT TIP: Think – Do you want to be paying for drug rehab also?

 

 

  1. Acupuncture/Yoga/Massage

In occupational injuries, certain injuries can call for some acupuncture/yoga/massage as a treatment. While not seen a lot these days, it depends on the physician. Certain strains/sprains benefit from these treatments. Again lack of objective gain after a few weeks should lead to discharging the patient and moving onto another modality of treatment recommended by the treating physician to rehab the worker back to transitional or full duty status.

 

 

  1. Primary Care Physician (PCP)

The PCP, with whom most people enjoy a good relationship, is normally the first doctor seen for an injury. Since they trust the doctor, injured workers try to stay with their PCP as long as possible, depending on the injury, before referral to a specialist.

 

 

The danger of staying with PCPs is they may try to diagnose and treat conditions not part of their specialty. As long as the patient keeps coming back, the PCP attempts to treat. The adjuster must intervene to ask the doctor to refer the patient to a specialist when no objective healing is taking place. (WCxKit)

 

 

HOT TIP: It is not a bad idea for the adjuster to intervene sooner than later since running up medical bills with the PCP becomes a duplication of payments when the worker, failing to heal, starts over with a specialist.

 

 

Summary:

 

  1. Holistic treatments must be monitored for effectiveness.
  2. The adjuster must be in involved in monitoring every treatment and successful outcome.
  3. Treatment must move toward healing.
  4. When no gains occur, it is time to change treatment modalities/physicians.
  5. The treating modality/physician must not only be good but also have the right credentials to bring the worker to maximum medical improvement quickly, efficiently, and at the lowest cost.

 


Author Rebecca Shafer
, JD, President of Amaxx Risks Solutions, Inc. is a national expert in the field of workers compensation. She is a writer, speaker, and website publisher. Her expertise is working with employers to reduce workers compensation costs, and her clients include airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality, and manufacturing. See www.LowerWC.com for more information. Contact:RShafer@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.


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SUBSCRIBE:  Workers Comp Resource Center Newsletter

 

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.

 

©2011 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

 

 

NEW ZEALAND 106 People Injured Every Day on the Slopes

More than 13,000 people injured themselves skiing or snowboarding last year, which is the equivalent of approximately 106 injuries a day during the ski season, according to a report from New Zealand’s Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC).
 
 
ACC received nearly 7,600 claims for ski-related injuries and about 5,600 claims from snow boarding-related injuries. (WCxKit)
 
 
Otago saw the most injury claims (6,400), followed by Manawatu-Wanganui (2,764) and Canterbury (1,738).
 
 
Now the snow has arrived, ACC wants people to enjoy the ski season and stay injury free. “Skiing and snow boarding are great ways to get fit and have fun. But every winter thousands of people suffer from preventable strains, sprains, and other injuries sustained on the slopes,” said ACC injury prevention manager Peter Wood. “Injuries can be prevented by being in peak condition before you hit the slopes. Hill running, walking, and cycling are good general exercises for the muscles you use in skiing or snow boarding,” he added.
 
 
Strains, sprains, and bruising are the most common type of injury for skiers, according to ACC statistics, and the body parts they are most likely to injure are the knees, suggesting that many injuries are as a result of falls.
 
 
Snowboarders are more likely to hurt their wrists and suffer from fractures or dislocations. Knowing how to fall can cut your chances of actually getting hurt. “We all fall over at some stage so it is good to know how to fall safely as this can make the difference between a spot of embarrassment and a painful injury that prevents you from enjoying this winter’s ski season,” Wood said.

Author Robert Elliott, executive vice president, Amaxx Risks Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. See www.LowerWC.com for more information. Contact: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

 
Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.
 
©2011 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

Western Australia Proposal Limits Indemnity Payments to One Year

The Minister for Commerce in Western Australia recently announced the introduction of the Workers Compensation and Injury Management Amendment Bill 2011 into State Parliament.
 
 
The Bill proposes a significant change in the scheme with the abolition of age based limits on workers comp entitlements. (WCxKit)
 
 
Under the reforms all workers will have the same entitlements to compensation regardless of their age. At present the scheme discriminates against older workers by limiting the entitlement of injured workers aged 64 or more to only one year of income payments.
 
The bill will also:
 
1.      Provide a mechanism to ensure seriously injured workers have a common law remedy where their employer is uninsured;
2.      Bring significant and much needed improvement to workers comp dispute resolution arrangements; and
3.      Address longstanding technical issues.
 
 
The improvements delivered through this bill will benefit both workers and employers while maintaining the long term sustainability and fairness of the States workers comp scheme.
 
 
Author Robert Elliott, executive vice president, Amaxx Risks Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. See www.LowerWC.com for more information. Contact:Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com or 860-553-6604.
 
 
 
Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.
 
©2011 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com

5 Simple Things to Do When a Workers Compensation Injury Occurs

Here's What You Do When a Worker is Injured


Even companies
with the strongest safety programs will have some workers comp claims. When an injury occurs, the immediate actions taken by the employee's supervisor or co-workers has an impact on the outcome of the claim. The employer must require a tight injury process, including:


1.
      Obtain immediate medical assistance for the employee – send the employee to designated doctor or medical facility if statute permits. Pre-screen medical providers and learn everything you can about your TPA or insurance company PPO (preferred provider network). Some PPO's have SUBSETS of providers with better outcomes. For example, the BOLD network is the expert network of one TPA, Broadspire, which has better outcomes. USE THESE SUBSETS IF POSSIBLE. Make sure "panel cards" are in vehicles or available in the workplace, and make sure the panel cards are updated.

2.
      Do not permit employee's with minor injuries or soft-tissue strains to wait to obtain medical assistance – most will end up going to the unapproved hospital emergency room or their own doctor. An excellent way to do this is to use a nurse triage service and have ALL injuries called into the service. The nurse triage will determine if medical care is needed and if so what type of care is needed. They will then identify a network emergency facility, medical clinic or individual provider and provide address, phone number and directions to the facility. This helps keep all employees in your network "loop" so you can maintain control.

3.
      While the employee is enroute to the treating physician, advise the treating physician of any temporary jobs you can offer during recovery (WCxKit)  Some companies have video tape of each jobs. This is an excellent tool to educate the doctor of all positions at your company. In addition to this though, you should speak with the doctor and/or office manager so they know your employee is enroute. A supervisor can accompany the employee to the clinic, and should do so to aid the employee and drive him back to the facility.

4.
      Advise the treating physician of modifications you can make to the existing job to accommodate the work restrictions the physician gives the employee. The doctor should have visited your facility when your program is set up, or soon afterward, to become familiar with all regular positions and modified positions.

5.
      Have a goal of returning to work all employees within 1 to 3 days after the injury unless they are medically unable to perform any role for the employer. Offer the employee a transitional duty job immediately when he returns from the medical appointment. Instruct him to come to the facility after the medical appointment unless he is on bedrest or cannot drive.

Follow these simple steps to achieve effective injury management and a quick return to work of injured employees and lower work comp costs.

Author Rebecca Shafer, JD, President of Amaxx Risks Solutions, Inc. is a national expert in the field of workers compensation. She is a writer, speaker and website publisher. Her expertise is working with employers to reduce workers compensation costs, and her clients include airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing.
Contact: 
RShafer@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com or 860-553-6604.

 
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Workers Comp Resource Center Newsletter

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.

©2010 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact
Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

Post Injury Response Procedures Training Employees

When developing  your post-injury response procedures, all participants — the supervisor, employee and potential witnesses must be fully trained.  Then, in the event of a work-related injury, everyone knows how to respond intelligently because they are alert to the kinds of information they must document about the incident. 

It is, however,  your supervisors who play the most pivotal role in post-injury response management.  Supervisors are the ones who take charge immediately after the event.  They direct the actions of the injured employee and witnesses.   Since supervisor judgment is critical to the outcome of the injury, training must focus on making wise decisions. 

Since you are  relying on your supervisor's ability to make good judgment calls on the scene of an injury, training must focus on strict post-injury protocol.  There is no substitute for rigorous supervisory training.  It will save your company dollars and heartache down the road because it's not a question of  if  a work related incident will occur, but  when.  Therefore, when a workplace injury does happen, supervisor preparedness is key.

After training, test supervisor mastery by creating scenarios where the supervisors are asked make the best decision based on the information they have and what the protocol permits

Determine the extent of the employee's need for medical attention.
If Emergency Services are Required
1.  Follow  departmental procedures for contacting Emergency Services. 
2.  Remain  with the employee until medical professionals have arrived on the scene. 
3.  Obtain  contact information of the medical facility.
4.  Send a  work ability or injury treatment form along with the emergency services personnel. 
5.  If you can  accompany the injured employee to the medical facility, then do so.  Follow up with the injury treatment form to have it completed by the treating physician.
6.  If you can  obtain an employee statement, do so, if the employee is able to speak or write.   
7.  Have witnesses  complete the written witness statement forms.
8.  Document  everything you can about the incident, including date, time, location, nature of work employee was performing, whether safety gear was being used appropriately, production schedules, exigent circumstances, such as whether the employee was double shifting, or working over time, whether machinery (if used) was in good repair, whether employee tools were in good condition. 
9.  Take photos  of the worksite where the injury occurred. 
10.  Compile  statements, photos, into an injury-tracking file to which you will be adding your communication pieces and diaries as the employee recuperates.

If Emergency Services are not Required
1.  Ensure  the injured employee receives appropriate first aid if required.
2.  Direct  the employee to preferred medical providers if this is permitted in your state. (workersxzcompxzkit)
3.  Send  an injury treatment form along with the employee to be completed by the treating physician and faxed back to you within 24 hours so you can adapt a modified duty job to accommodate the employee's limitations.
4.  Make sure  you tell the employee that the form has to be completed and faxed back.

Author Robert Elliott, executive vice president, Amaxx Risks Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers' Compensation costs, including airlines, health care, manufacturing, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. He can be contacted at: Robert_Elliott@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com or 860-553-6604.

Podcast/Webcast: How To Prevent Fraudulent Workers' Compensation Claims http://www.workerscompkit.com/gallagher/podcast/Fraudulent_Workers_Compensation_Claims/index.php

 

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers' comp issues.

©2009 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com

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