Despite the best safety efforts, workers’ compensation claims happen. The unnecessary lag time between the date of a work-related injury and the date of claim filing can mean the difference between a medical-only claim and a lost-time claim costing tens of thousands of dollars. A lag of more than 10 days is enough to make a claim unnecessarily expensive and can affect how soon employees return to work.
Too often, employees do not know what to do if they sustain a work-related injury or an occupational illness. An effective employee communication plan can help educate employees and reduce the intimidation factor of filing a claim. Besides encouraging immediate claim filing, it should outline protocol and provide answers to often-asked questions.
Employer protocols will differ based on the company’s philosophy and culture. How employers insure their workers’ compensation obligation is another factor.
Employers with self-insured, self-administered workers’ compensation programs or an on-site medical staff will have different approaches than those who rely solely on their insurance company to handle and pay claims.
The key message of the communication plan should provide information on who to contact to file a claim and answer questions. Ideally, this would be the outgrowth of an overall message that the employer cares about its employees.
Posting a sign in the lunchroom is not enough.
Read more at Annmarie Communicates Insurance