Every business owner wants to create a safe environment for their employees. However, you cannot be everywhere at once. Let’s say that one day, one of your employees slips and falls in a puddle of water. They break their leg and have to take time off work for an extended recovery period. What’s your responsibility in the meantime?
Employee injuries often fall under the workers’ compensation system. Workers’ comp can help injured or incapacitated workers receive income while they recover. Filing for workers’ compensation will likely involve action from both employer and employee.
Businesses Must offer Workers’ Compensation
Oklahoma recognizes the importance of providing injured workers with a supplementary income. State law requires most or all businesses to carry workers’ compensation insurance. This coverage will help provide for the injured parties.
Nevertheless, workers’ compensation laws will vary from place to place. Some businesses may not have to provide coverage to all employees. Others will have certain requirements for filing and distributing their workers’ comp benefits. Different states often have workers’ compensation boards that oversee filings in their jurisdictions. Businesses should check with their specific authorities to see how they must process workers’ comp reports.
Investigating Workers’ Comp Claims
Following an injury, most employers start an investigation into the event. This will also serve as an important piece of evidence when the employee files a workers’ comp claim. Employers might have to follow guidelines like these:
- Immediately see to the needs of the injured party. If that person needs immediate medical care, make sure they get it. Call a doctor, ambulance or emergency service as necessary.
- To qualify for coverage, the employee might have to seek medical documentation. The employer and workers’ comp insurer can likely direct the employee on how and where to seek care.
- Contact your workers’ compensation insurer immediately. Tell them what happened. Your insurance agent can likely instruct you more specifically on the next steps to take.
- Document what happened. This might include photographs of the scene, written statements from the employee and employer and more.
- Start a workers’ comp claim as necessary. Speak to the injured employee and determine their eligibility for protection.
Remember, each state has different processes governing workers’ compensation. Check with your local workers’ comp group at 800.475.0001 to see about your specific requirements. With the right process, you can make sure your injured employees get appropriate protection when they miss work.
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