Workers’ compensation laws are often misunderstood because they can vary significantly between states. If your employee reports an injury and you are unsure of what steps to take, you are not alone. However, regardless of your company’s geographical location, the first two days after an employee gets injured on the job are always the most important.
It is important to act quickly and take action immediately for legal reasons, but also because studies show that the faster you initiate the workers’ compensation process after an injury, the lower the ultimate cost of your claims. Additionally, waiting more than 48 hours after an incident occurs gives the injured party and witnesses time to forget crucial details about what happened. It also means employees’ recollections may become skewed from opinions of outside parties, like an attorney, or from talking to one another.
You can help protect your company and save money by taking the following steps in the 48 hours after an employee reports an injury:
- Refer employee for medical attention
- Perform an assessment or accident investigation
- Immediately ensure the injury or accident will not happen again
- Report the injury
- Inform employee about company policies on returning to work
- Submit the workers’ compensation claim
In addition to these points, make sure you become familiar with the workers’ compensation laws in your state(s) of operation. Your state’s workers’ compensation board will help you stay in compliance with the legal timelines in effect in your state, which will ultimately help save your company money.