When you run a business and have employees, their safety should become one of your biggest concerns. Workers compensation is a crucial component of a functional workplace and the guidelines that should be followed are incredibly important. Here are a few of the biggest mistakes employers tend to make with their employees when it comes to workers compensation claims in the workplace.
Mistake: Refusing to accommodate employees who are on light-duty restrictions.
Why? If a doctor advises the employee to return to work after an incident on light duty, you may be tempted to turn the employee away, but this is never a good idea. Allowing an employee to work, even on light duty, helps to keep the costs of the claim down because technically, the employee is still on payroll so there will be no lost wages for what time they are at work. Further, an employee could claim in the future that they were willing and able to work, but you would not allow it, which looks bad if the claim goes to a hearing in the future.
Mistake: Not staying on top of the claim after it is filed.
Why? Once the employee has had their initial medical evaluation, it is easy to get sidetracked and forget to stay tentative to the situation, especially if the employee is still working. However, it is imperative to stay on top of the situation and make sure there are followup interviews and examinations until the employee is completely healed. Letting a claim go ignored before it is closed is a good way to not catch on if a physical problem is exacerbated on the job.
Mistake: Alienating the employee who has filed a claim from the rest of the team.
Why? The last thing that you want to do is make an employee feel unvalued because they have been hurt on the job. Don't make the mistake of alienating the employee by not including them in usual activities, even if they are not actually on duty. If there is company developments or changes, keep the employee informed. Even go as far as inviting them to corporate events and meetings if they can attend. Alienation means disconnected communication, which could lead to an employee having negative feelings about their treatment.
The thing about it is, if you are ever unclear with something you should do when it comes to workers compensation claims in your business, it is always best to get direction. Making the wrong moves could easily lead you to making some costly mistakes in the long run. Talk to a workers compensation attorney if you need any information or advice.