Work Related Injuries & Workers’ Comp
According to the National Safety Council, work related injuries occur every seven seconds in the United States. No matter the industry, that means there is a lot of risk for your business and employees. Fortunately, you can reduce your risk and protect against costly out-of-pocket expenses by offering workers’ compensation benefits.
Common Work Related Injuries
The most common workplace accidents include:
Exposure to dangerous environments is also linked to work related issues. These can include:
- Extreme temperatures
- Chemicals and other substances
- Contagious illness
While some exposures are limited to certain industries, many can occur any time, anywhere. Knowing the proper procedure to follow after an accident and having workers’ compensation coverage in place before an accident happens is key to helping both the injured employee and your company recover quickly.
What To Do After a Workplace Injury
The first step after a work related injury might seem obvious – treat the injured. If possible, provide first aid and help the employee seek medical care. Once the emergency is handled, submit a claim with your workers’ compensation insurance to start the coverage process. Notify the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to report the incident and ensure you are following the proper protocols, review the situation and make any necessary changes to prevent future incidents.
It’s important that you respond to work related injuries quickly, and with the empathy and gravity the situation requires. Accidents happen, but how you handle the aftermath says a lot about you and your business.
What is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation coverage is designed to protect both the business and the injured employee from unexpected costs after an accident. For employees, workers’ comp covers medical bills related to the injury and helps pay lost wages while they recover. Most policies also include disability coverage, help with funeral costs and provide death benefits in the event of life-threatening injury.
For employers, workers’ compensation helps pay legal fees should the injured employee sue and limits your out-of-pocket costs so you can get back to business faster. Read more about Main Street America’s workers' compensation coverage.
The Difference Between Health Insurance and Workers’ Compensation
Private health insurance offers a very different type of coverage, often related to preventative care and medical expenses. Workers comp, on the other hand, is coverage that helps both you and your staff. Workers compensation benefits are only available in the event that an employee’s illness or injury is work related. As the business owner, work related illness and injury are considered your responsibility – meaning their medical care is on you. With workers comp, you are covered from unexpected medical expenses and your employee is protected from financial loss while they recover.
What Else Can I Do to Protect My Employees?
While not every injury or illness is preventable, there are steps you can take to avoid workplace accidents, protect your business and keep your team happy and healthy.
Follow OSHA Guidance
OSHA offers great resources and guidance for employers to keep the workplace safe and accident-free. Visit their website and talk to the nearest representative to see what steps you can take for your business.
Once you have a safety plan and procedures in place, be sure every member of your team knows their part. Host regular trainings and keep safety materials readily available so your employees are ready for anything.
Other Coverage to Consider
Workers’ compensation isn’t the only insurance coverage you need to be fully protected. Talk to an independent insurance agent about all your options, including Business Owners policies, private health insurance, optional disability and life insurance coverage and more.
While not all of these policies will be offered by the same company, your independent insurance agent can help point you in the right direction.
Find an independent insurance agent today to see what coverages you need.