What Supervisors Need To Communicate About WC


Asheville, NC (CompNewsNetwork) - Until an accident occurs, Workers' Compensation is not top of mind with many supervisors who are managing a multitude of tasks. A supervisor plays many roles in Workers' Compensation – first contact when accident occurs, accident investigation, contact with the injured employee, overseeing return to work programs, managing work schedules to adjust for lost of injured employee, etc.  Yet, one area is often overlooked – educating employees on the purpose and function of Workers' Compensation.


Whether it is an orientation or a general training session, here are five key points supervisors should make with employees:


1.      The company ultimately pays for the cost of Workers' Compensation

Some employees believe that an insurance company or governmental agency pays the costs. In reality, Workers' Compensation is a financing contract that spreads the costs of injuries over time. It affects the company's bottom line and competitiveness and in turn, the job security of employees.


2.      The company values its employees and is committed to the returning injured employees to work as quickly as safely possible.

The company will provide quality medical care, prompt payment of medical bills and wage loss benefits, and transitional job opportunities and/or accommodations that will enable injured employees to transition back to their regular position. The company provides these benefits; an injured employee does not have to hire an attorney.


3.      Workers' Compensation is income protection for the short term

Employees who remain on Workers' Compensation for a long-time can suffer a loss of earnings and develop a disability attitude and lifestyle. The best thing for both the injured employee and the employer is to get the employee back on the job.


4.      Employees have responsibilities

While it is the employer's responsibility to maintain a safe workplace and provide Workers' Compensation, employees are responsible for knowing and following all health and safety rules and speaking up about potential hazards. If injured, an employee must immediately report the injury, follow the treatment plan prescribed by the treating physician, keep the employer informed of their medical status and return to work when medically possible.


5.      The company will pursue fraud 

The company treats all injured employees fairly and equitably and all reported claims are considered and treated as legitimate. However, if during the course of investigation evidence of fraud is uncovered, the company will report the situation to the insurance company and the appropriate governmental agency.

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This material is provided as general information and is not a substitute for legal or other professional advice.

Kevin Ring is the Director Educational Programs for the Institute of WorkComp Professionals, the Asheville, NC-based organization that trains insurance agents to help employers reduce Workers' Compensation expenses. A licensed insurance agent, he leads workshops, analyzes Workers' Comp programs and is the co-developer of a Workers' Comp software suite that helps insurance professionals in working with employers.

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