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Why it's crucial to immediately report a workplace injury

July 20, 2018
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When an injury happens in the workplace, it can be a stressful situation for everyone involved. The injured worker may need medical attention and time off to recover, so it’s vital for the employee and employer to communicate openly as soon as the incident happens. How you respond immediately after an injury can be the difference between a successful recovery and an expensive, time-consuming, and frustrating process.

First things first: If an employee's injury is life- or limb-threatening, they should go to the nearest hospital emergency room immediately. Later treatment can be done by a designated medical provider.

To ensure that your employees get the care they need, the claim needs to be filed promptly. Not sure if an injury qualifies as a worker’s comp claim? Call us, and we’ll help you figure it out.

If you’re not familiar with the ins and outs of workers’ comp in Colorado, here’s why it’s so crucial to have a prompt injury reporting policy in the workplace.

Ensure employees get the benefits they need

To be eligible for the full amount of benefits, a claim must be submitted by an injured worker within ten calendar days of the accident. While it’s still possible to receive workers’ comp benefits if this window of opportunity is missed, the employee may be subject to late penalties. 

When you hire a new employee, we recommend training them to report injuries quickly. When each member of the team is aware of the time-sensitive nature of submitting claims, the process should be simple to navigate.

As soon as the injured worker notifies you of an accident, you should give the employee your Designated Providers List and complete a First Report of Injury Form. The employer must complete this form within ten days of the incident, or the employee may benefits delayed and the employer may be penalized.

What to do after reporting the injury

If you’re an employer, you may be curious about the next steps once you’ve reported the workplace injury. While some business owners consider the process to be complete as soon as they have submitted a claim, it’s best to document the occurrence for your records. By taking this additional step, you can look for ways to improve workplace safety processes in the future. 

In addition to thoroughly describing and documenting the incident, make it a priority to stay in touch with the injured employee and your claims representative. When everyone’s on the same page and communicating, it makes for a much smoother process.

Navigating workers’ comp rules and regulations doesn’t have to be a challenge. When you work with an experienced insurance team, you’ll be relieved to find that the claims process is easy to follow.

Pinnacol Assurance assumes no responsibility for management or control of customer safety activities. Please ensure your business meets the requirements of all federal, state, and local laws, regulations, or ordinances related to workplace safety.

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