As an employer, you’re responsible for providing your employees with a safe work environment. Nevertheless, accidents can happen, and workers’ compensation insurance guarantees employees who suffer some type of job-related injury or illness get the medical care they need. It also allows for them to receive wage replacement until they’re able to return to work. But how much do you know about workers’ compensation? Here we answer five common questions for business owners.
Laws vary by state, but Texas is the only place where it’s not mandated for employers to carry this protection. Some states offer an exemption for certain types of employees, including farm workers, domestic help, and seasonal workers. Find a workers’ compensation official where you are by clicking on your state on this list provided by the U.S. Department of Labor.
While the specifics of each plan is different, there are four major categories of coverage with workers’ compensation insurance:
Safety should be a priority at your business. Have a safety policy in place and train your workers on this policy. Offer them updates and any tips that will help them stay safe on the job. Some businesses have wellness programs in place that encourage healthy living and fitness, which should also reduce the number of accidents at work. Consider offering incentives for employees who practice safety at work. And don’t forget about your office staff. It isn’t just warehouse workers or those in construction who get hurt on-the-job. Provide ergonomically-friendly office equipment for those with desk jobs.
Depending on the laws of your state, an employee is entitled to workers’ compensation benefits any time they are injured within the scope of performing their job. For example, a salesperson who is injured while he is away from the office is still covered if he is conducting business. Likewise, an employee who is injured while running a work-related errand is also covered. However, workers’ comp does not cover employees who were injured while on break even if they were on company property.
As we stated earlier, laws vary by state. Costs also differ depending on where you are. According to the National Academy of Social Insurance, costs fell for the third year in a row in 2016. And consider this: according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), more than 4.1 million workers suffer a serious job-related injury or illness each year. In other words, the cost of not having workers’ compensation insurance could far outweigh any costs of having it.
It would be impossible to cover all the rules surrounding workers’ compensation, but at Normandy, we can help you purchase the specific coverage you need for your business. Our agents have a working knowledge of workers’ compensation insurance, and experience in handling claims. Contact us today, and we’d be honored to help you.