A 17 Point Disaster Planning Kit For Workers Compensation
Republished with permission from ReduceYourWorkersComp.com
Risk managers often work on disaster planning and have a detailed plan on what to do if a man-made disaster like September 11, 2001, or a natural disaster like hurricane Katrina was to occur. But an area that is often overlooked by the risk manager is often right under their nose. What would they do if a disaster was to strike their workers compensation claims office?
Every risk manager and every claims department needs to have a contingency plan on how to handle the workers compensation program if a disaster was to strike the claims office. If you look on the internet, you can find excellent disaster planning programs for business in general, but not a single disaster kit for workers' compensation. (WCxKit)
We will attempt to list some of the planning you need to do to protect your workers' compensation program from the disaster that strikes your business. In your workers compensation disaster kit you should have:
1.A plan to obtain emergency medical care for all employee injured while working when the disaster occurs. This should include not only ambulance transportation, but also means of transport if the ambulance service is overwhelmed. The emergency medical care should be at the nearest medical facility if possible, but if the nearest medical facility is destroyed, alternative medical facilities further away should be identified in your emergency plan. [All states provide workers compensation coverage for employees injured or killed while working when a disaster strikes.]
2.A daily computer backup of all claims activity. This backup program should be stored at a different location than your claims office. Preferably, the backup of the claims documentation should be stored in a different area of the country in case your city is struck by a pandemic, an earthquake, hurricane or other wide spread disaster.
3.Prior to the disaster, all the claim adjusters, support staff and other employees should know what the disaster plan is and what they are to do in the event a disaster strikes the claims office.
4.An adjuster and claim staff contact list of cell phone numbers and home telephone numbers should be in your work comp disaster kit.
5.An emergency list of contact numbers for family members or other designated emergency contacts should be available in case of injury to employees or if the employees are unable to leave the office due to structural damage to the building or roadways.
6.A vendor contact list for the IT supplier, attorneys, medical providers, nurse case managers, surveillance companies, vocational rehabilitation counselors and any other vendors used on a regular basis. As the vendor's office may also be damaged in the disaster, you need the cell phone numbers for the vendors in your work comp disaster kit.
7.A plan on how to notify all employee/claimants of the disaster and to provide them with an alternative telephone number to contact.
8.A contact list for the insurance broker, the insurance carrier, the excess insurance carrier, the third party administrator, and the state Workers Compensation Board.
9.A list of contact numbers for other divisions or departments within your company that are not located in the same geographical area as your office.
10. A predetermined location, either temporary or permanent, to reestablish the claims office or risk management office.
11. A plan on transferring the work comp claims to another claims office if your company is large enough to have two or more claims offices.
12. A plan to obtain office supplies and the necessary desk, chairs, computers, copiers and other equipment to furnish your replacement claims office location.
13. A plan to obtain all the necessary forms for the state Workers' Compensation Board.
14. While many disasters strike without warning, some disasters like hurricanes and floods give your company a window of opportunity to do an emergency relocation of your staff. Have a plan for this.
15. If the disaster comes without warning, have a plan for temporary adjuster staffing at the replacement office location. (WCxKit)
16. As the disaster will probably have the telephones out of order, have an emergency phone message ready for the telephone company to use with your telephone number until your phone service is restored.
17. A plan to insure the security of the claims information when it is transferred to your replacement location.
By planning ahead a disaster that strikes your physical location will not turn into a disaster that causes the values of the work comp claims to explode. By being ready for a disaster, you can maintain control over your workers compensation.
Author Robert Elliott, executive vice president, Amaxx Risks Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. Contact: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com or 860-553-6604.
Disclaimer: WorkersCompensation.com publishes independently generated writings from a variety of workers' compensation industry stakeholders. The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of WorkersCompensation.com.