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Proactive Workers' Compensation claim mitigation strategies

Proactive Workers’ Compensation claim mitigation strategies - blog image

At West Bend, we continue to strive for ways to mitigate Workers’ Compensation claims. Below are some simple, but very effective, tools organizations can use when approaching claims after incidents occur. Incorporating these into current programs will provide your organization with a consistent method to ensure the best possible outcomes.*

Claim mitigation tools

• Regularly review your internal Work Comp policy and communicate it with staff, so they’re aware and understand what steps they’re responsible for if a workplace injury occurs.

• Have forms available to complete a thorough loss investigation and conduct post-accident interviews.

• Provide clear, written expectations for your injured worker with a return-to-work plan and what he or she is responsible for during the injury process.

• Stay in close contact with the injured worker throughout the claim. Follow up after doctors’ appointments to review changes in restrictions and new light-duty tasks. If the employee is out of work, check in with him or her weekly for updates and any changes in status. A little communication goes a long way. It shows you’re empathic and vested in your injured worker’s recovery.

• Establish a relationship with a local medical provider who understands your operations, philosophy, and light-duty return-to-work options. This provides you with peace of mind regarding the care your injured worker is receiving and will likely result in less time out of work for your employee. If you’re in a jurisdiction where you can direct care, be sure your staff and claims professional are aware of the provider and the relationship you established. Provide Work Comp posters with doctor’s information and clearly printed instructions, so your injured worker knows what’s expected of him or her and where to go to be evaluated.

• Work with your claims professional and your loss control representative to create a list of light-duty tasks based on functional restrictions that you can offer your injured worker. These light-duty tasks can be specific to your industry or general tasks based on specific restrictions (e.g., one-handed duty). We recommend sharing these duties with your medical provider so he or she can attest to your specific environment when evaluating your injured workers. It’s also a good idea to invite your medical provider to tour your facility, so he or she can visualize the work that’s being done and see your light-duty options.

• Use a Transitional Return-to-Work (TRTW) program if your jurisdiction allows. These programs can assist with return-to-work if light duty is difficult for your organization. Typically, these programs can place your injured worker with a nonprofit or a similar type of organization where your employee is managed, and hours are reported weekly to you and your claim representative. There’s a cost for these programs, but they can mitigate the claim spend and facilitate recovery. An alternative to this is partnering with a local nonprofit and offering your injured employees light duty within their organization. Restrictions will need to be managed same as if they were if they were working within your company, so a reliable partner is necessary.

These strategies, along with working with their injured workers and claims professional, will allow your organization to mitigate workers’ compensation claims. Being proactive with these measures and having clear expectations and open communications are great practices to ensure the best possible outcomes.

*Workers’ Compensation is highly regulated. Before incorporating any of the suggested measures, consult with an attorney to ensure compliance with your state’s workers’ compensation laws and regulations.

This article is intended for general educational and illustrative purposes only and should not be construed to communicate legal or professional advice. Further, this article is not an offer to sell insurance. Please consult with your licensed insurance agent for specific coverage details and your insurance eligibility. All policies are subject to the terms, conditions, limitations, definitions, and exclusions contained therein.


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