August 28, 2019
By Rebecca Batisto
The benefits of a diverse workplace are easy to recognize, but there are some challenges to communicating to a group compiled of people from different backgrounds, different age groups, different experiences, and even different languages. Workers’ compensation is already a complicated subject, so how do you ensure that all of your employees know and understand workers’ compensation insurance?
Most likely, HR will take the lead on managing an employee who has been injured and is applying for worker’s compensation. They will oversee the process from making sure the employee receives appropriate medical attention through addressing any necessary accommodations or training in order for the employee to return to work. HR will also ensure employees receive protection as appropriate under state and federal agreements such as Americans with Disabilities or the Family Medical Leave Act.
HR will also ensure necessary training is in place for the organization including on-boarding for new hires as well as refresher training for employees. Depending on the type of business, a workers’ compensation specialist role may be created to provide added support to the organization.
Many smaller companies either outsource their human resources function, or they work with specific organizations on each element. If you are working with an insurance agency, make sure your employees have access to someone there that can answer questions or walk them through processes. *
Employers typically use handbooks and procedure manuals to document and educate both supervisors and employees on worker’s compensation coverage. In addition to posting these documents to an online resource, information must also be posted in accordance with state requirements, typically in a common area such as a lunchroom. However, organizations should never assume a process document can take the place of in-person training.
Organizations should also educate employees directly on their specific workers’ compensation coverage as well as procedures if they are hurt on the job. It’s also important to educate the entire workforce on their rights when it comes to a safe work environment. This should include safety training as well as specific procedures for reporting an injury.
Educating employees on workplace safety, as well as creating open communication about workers’ compensation before an incident happens will go a long way to mitigate the company’s exposure while making employees feel cared for. Be sure employees understand the entire process, including how they return to work.
The first line of education regarding workers’ comp should be the supervisors and managers closest to the workforce. Employees rely on these first-line supervisors for a wide range of information about the company and its procedures. Employees are more likely to ask questions of the people they work with on a daily basis than in a meeting of all employees. Managers should be able to walk an employee through the worker’s compensation coverage in simple language while also being well versed in what to do if an employee sustains a workplace injury.
Also, be sure supervisors understand the entire workers’ compensation process, not just the initial injury reporting. Remember, for the employee, this could be a fearful time and supervisors should be able to provide at least an overview beginning with getting medical attention all the way through returning to work. Organizations should ensure that supervisors know where to find support.
If you need support in explaining the ins and outs of workers’ compensation, Normandy Insurance can help you educate your employees in addition to guiding you to the coverage that’s right for your business! We invite you to contact us today to find out everything we have to offer!