By Mindy Carrothers, Pinnacol Safety Group Program
The first 24 hours following a workplace accident are critical to your injured employee and to you. In almost all cases, reporting an injury immediately helps employees recover and return to work faster. By reporting the injury early and actively managing the claim, claims costs can also be lowered. Getting familiar with the following four steps will help you prepare for an employee injury, in the unfortunate event that one should occur:
1. Get medical treatment for your employee
If your employee’s injury is life-threatening, go to the nearest hospital emergency room. Get him or her stabilized – that’s top priority. In all other cases, give your employee your Designated Provider List Notification Letter, have him or her select a provider from your list and take your employee to the doctor. Your employee will appreciate your concern and you will gain important information about the injury, recommended treatment and an outlook for returning to work. It is best to document that you have provided the injured worker with this information. (Whenever possible, we recommend having your employee sign and date the letter. Give the employee one signed copy and keep one signed copy for your records.) If the employee is initially taken to an emergency room, the designated provider will step in afterward to manage all related follow-up care.
2. Investigate the accident
Use the Accident/Incident Investigation Report and the Employee Accident Report, found on the Claims Management Resources page on pinnacol.com/resources to thoroughly investigate any accidents. Complete your investigation immediately, before memories fade and evidence is lost. Conducting an Accident Investigation is an important prevention tool which can help you further mitigate accidents and enhance your safety program. Make sure to watch Pinnacol’s Accident Investigation webinar at pinnacolchannel.com to learn more.
3. Report the Injury to Pinnacol
Provide all information requested on the First Report of Injury form, but don’t wait to report if you don’t have all the information. Be sure to relay any questions or concerns about the injury when you report it. You can report an injury within 24 hours the following ways:
• Web: www.pinnacol.com
• Phone: 303.361.4000 or 800.873.7242
• Fax: 303.361.5000 or 888.329.2251
4. Complete the wage history form and plan for modified duty
If your employee is unable to return to regular duty work, provide an accurate average weekly wage with the Wage History form. Start thinking about what modified duty tasks the injured employee may be able to assist with. In addition to helping the injured worker stay connected at work, returning an injured employee to work at modified duty can also decreases claims costs. For information on modified duty, refer to Pinnacol’s Return-to-Work Resources found on the Resources page of pinnacol.com.
Planning ahead is crucial to both your employees’ safety and to effective claims management. Proactively understanding what to do in the event of an injury can help you prevent an accident and react quickly in the case that an injury occurs. Don’t forget to make sure your managers, supervisors, foremen and employees also know about and understand what to do if an injury occurs. For more information on injury reporting and the claims management process, visit Pinnacol.com/resources and click on Claims Management Resources.