This blog was written by Raul Ontiveros, Workers’ Compensation Claims Director at Helpside and member of our Risk Management team.

Small businesses are always looking for creative ways to be more efficient. One place that often goes overlooked is workplace injury reporting polices. Having clearly communicated practice for employee injury reporting can help businesses manage workers’ compensation costs.

According to an article from Business Insurance, research done by the National Council on Compensation Insurance Inc. found that when employees delay reporting workplace injuries, it can increase the cost of workers’ compensation claims for the company up to 51%. They also found that claims on average have higher costs when injuries are reported within two weeks or longer after an incident. In addition to increased claims costs, delayed reporting can lead to increased recovery time and time away from work. All these factors can lead to an increase workers’ compensation premium, directly impacting your company’s bottom-line.

Unfortunately, there is also a higher percentage of attorney involvement when a claim is reported late.  According to NCCI data, 12.8% of claims made the day of an accident involved attorneys, and for claims make four weeks or more later that increases to 31.7%. Typically, when attorneys are involved in a workers’ compensation claim there is an increase in claim costs, claim duration is drawn out, ill feelings arise between the injured employee and the employer which can affect employee morale.

What steps can I take to get my employees to report injuries on time?

  •  First, it’s important that your employees understand the process for reporting a workplace incident or injury. Talk about your injury reporting policy often, not just in your nee hire safety presentation. For clients participating in the Helpside workers’ compensation plan, you can share (and post) a copy of the Injury Reporting Policy found here. Make necessary forms (such as the Supervisor’s Incident Report of Workplace Injury) readily available to employees.
  • Second, make sure your employees understand your expectations for timeliness in reporting workplace injury. Acknowledge employees who follow the practice and offer additional training to those who delay reporting.

If you have questions about improving your workplace injury reporting practices, please contact our Claims Director at rontiveros@helpside.com.