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A Basic Guide to Workers’ Compensation for Construction Firms

Accidents, injuries, and fatalities are common in the U.S. construction industry. To give you an idea, one out of every five fatalities among U.S. workers is in this industry, according to the National Safety Council (NSC). As an employer in the construction industry, work-related accidents can cause you to lose valuable employees as well as destabilize your business. Therefore, you should take all the necessary measures to protect your employees as well as your business. While purchasing workers’ compensation insurance can go a long way in helping you achieve this goal, you also need to take proactive measures to prevent potentially expensive workers’ comp claims. To this end, you should:

Record Everything

Before the insurance company pays out a claim, an insurance adjuster has to investigate the injury and write a report. Depending on the results of the investigation, the insurer will either approve or deny the claim. To prevent a lengthy claim process from derailing your company, support the investigation process by providing information concerning the injury or illness. This means that you’ll have to document every detail concerning the accident. For instance, if you didn’t witness the accident, ensure you gather information from those who did and write a report of what conspired. You should also be aware of details such as an employee’s work history, medical history, information about group insurance, and prior workers’ comp claims. Essentially, having documented information will not only help with the claim process but also lower the chances of your firm being implicated in case of a lawsuit.

Offer Immediate Medical Care

Whenever an accident occurs at the workplace, the first step should be offering medical care to the injured employee. Urgent medical attention can help prevent the severe effects of an injury. It also demonstrates how determined your management is when it comes to addressing workplace injuries, something that can help build a positive reputation for your company. Take note that the insurance company can also gauge the genuineness of the workers’ compensation claim based on how you handle the injury. In some cases, injured employees refuse medical attention, something that can affect the authenticity of the claim. In case of such, be sure to document the refusal to avoid implicating yourself.

Be Aware of State Laws on Who Can Treat Injured Workers

Unless you’re based in Texas, the federal government requires you to carry workers’ compensation insurance for your employees, says the National Federation for Independent Business (NFIB). Workers’ comp for construction firms is particularly crucial considering the risky nature of the industry. There are additional workers’ comp laws that vary by state. For instance, while some states allow injured employees to seek treatment from the doctors of their choice, others limit them to a list of medical providers. With this in mind, understand what the state expects of you as the employer in case of a workers’ comp claim and guide your employee accordingly.

Ensure Easy Transition for Employees Returning to Work

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), employee health issues cost U.S. employers about $1,685 per employee per year. To minimize such costs, ensure you implement a workers’ comp program that aims at easing the transition for employees who return to work following an injury. For instance, having light duties can encourage recovering employees to return to work earlier without risking their health. In turn, this will allow your firm to resume normal operations faster after a workplace accident.
To learn more about workers’ compensation coverage, contact our experts at Atlas Insurance in Sarasota, FL. We can help customize your business insurance coverage based on your unique needs.

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