Unless your business is a one or two-man operation, odds are, you have a Human Resources department. You need someone to handle your employee issues. This includes hiring, firing and training your staff. It also includes dealing with workplace accidents and injuries. There are times when an employee tries to take advantage of their employer. They may fake an injury or intentionally get hurt in order to receive workers comp benefits. If you don’t have a clear and established formal workplace accident policy in effect, you won’t be able to prevent this kind of behavior.
All businesses in Connecticut with at least one (1) employee are required to carry workers compensation insurance. This insurance is intended to cover any employee injuries that take place on company time or on company property.
While workers compensation insurance can be expensive, it’s a necessary evil. If an employee gets hurts on the job, your insurance policy will cover their medical treatment and replacement wages. If you didn’t have this insurance, workplace accidents could bankrupt your company.
While workers comp is intended to protect your employees in case of a workplace injury or accident, it’s also intended to protect the employer. In order to qualify for workers compensation, an employee has to meet certain requirements.
This is why it’s a good idea to contact an experienced business lawyer in Connecticut. They can review your workplace accident policy and make sure it protects your company. They can also help you draft a policy if you don’t have one in place.
What Should Your Policy Include?
It’s important that you not only have a comprehensive formal workplace accident policy in place, but that you communicate it to your employees. One way to do this is to have new employees review and sign the policy in their new-hire orientation and training. You also want to make sure all employees are made aware of any changes to an existing policy.
Your Human Resources manager should draft your workplace accident policy. They should also ensure that an accident or injury report form is included in the policy. Some of the things that need to be covered in your policy include the following:
- Make sure you provide for emergency medical care – The most important thing your policy must address is providing injured employees with immediate medical care. This may require transport to a hospital or urgent care center. If the injury isn’t of an emergency nature, you may opt to have your employee report to a company approved doctor. Finally, some companies actually have on-site medical care.
- Provide an accident/injury form – It’s critical that your employees fill out an accident/injury form. If they aren’t able to do this themselves, they need to ask a manager to do this for them. Typically, your policy should require that this form be completed within a certain time from the accident. For example, your policy may require that an employee fill out an accident/injury form within 24 hours of the injury or accident.
- Notify employees of drug testing – Employers have the right to require an employee to undergo a drug test in the event of a workplace accident or injury. If an employee refuses to comply with this requirement, they may jeopardize their workers compensation claim. You can either have the drug test take place on company premises or at the medical provider who treats the employee after their accident.
- Management or HR Notification – Your policy must alert employees to the fact that they are required to report any accident or injury to management immediately. This will help prevent false claims or insurance fraud. Your policy should require this notice to either be made in writing (email, etc.) or it may simply require that management document the report in writing.
- Medical Treatment – Your policy should outline what the expectations are for post-accident care. For example, if an employee refuses to comply with medical treatment, they risk having their workers compensation claim denied or terminated. The same is true of employees who fail to comply with treatment recommendations from the company approved doctor.
Of course, this is only a brief overview of what your workplace accident policy should entail. You should meet with a skilled business attorney in Connecticut to ensure that your policy protects both your company and your employees.
Call and schedule an initial consultation with an experienced business lawyer in Connecticut at Aeton Law Partners today. It’s important that you take the time now to ensure that your policy is effective and complete. It can save your company time and money down the road.