Safety of employees is a key part of human resource management, and along with that is processing injury and workers compensation claims.
This can be a confusing, difficult and time-consuming responsibility for the human resource management team Here are some human resource management tips for dealing with the unfortunate case of an employee being injured at work.
Human resource management simplified
The starting place is a comprehensive safety training program for all employees, from the bottom to the top. Ensure that every employee has the training needed to safely and effectively do their job.
Supervisors also need training in the safe way to do the job of everyone on their team. They also need to know what to do when one of their employees is injured on the job: what to do first, where to get first aid, and where an injured employee should go, if possible, for help.
Supervisors can also be instrumental in identifying the underlying causes of the injury, making necessary changes to the workplace to enhance safety in the future, and helping the injured employee return to work.
Managers and executives also need to be aware of safety programs throughout the operations they’re responsible for, and the procedures for treating an injured employee as well as the workers compensation process.
In the unfortunate event that, even with a thorough and effective safety program, an employee is injured on the job, make sure you:
- Secure the site of the injury — Stop all work processes, remove people from the area.
- Apply necessary first aid. Ensure the injured employee receives all necessary medical attention.
- Get information from injured employee, if possible, and any witnesses.
- Interview the injured employee’s supervisor.
- Have employee sign a medical release, if possible.
- Investigate the place where the injury occurred.
- Take pictures, measurements and document everything.
Report all claims to the insurer promptly
The faster the human resource management team begins the workers compensation claim, the smoother the process goes.
Acting promptly also helps the injured worker receive treatment more quickly, preserves evidence of the injury, exposes any fraudulent claims faster and avoid higher costs or penalties associated with failing to report claims.
Human resource management
It’s important for human resource management to communicate after an injury with:
- The injured employee while they’re off work, to monitor their treatment progress, to discuss when they can return to work and any modifications to their responsibilities they may need, such as lighter duties or partial hours for a period of time.
- The health care provider on the injured employee’s health status, the likely return to work date and possible modifications in duties.
- The injured employee’s supervisor about managing the missing employee’s duties, any necessary changes to the workplace, and the employee’s likely return to work and changes in responsibilities or hours.
- The insurer’s claim manager on the progress of the claim, treatment plan and return to work plan.
Make a plan for returning to work
Together with the employee, supervisor and insurer, human resource management’s next responsibility is to develop a concrete plan for the employee to return to work. This plan should comprise a specific date for the employee to come back, and details on any changes to the job or responsibilities, and how long those changes need to last.
Re-evaluate safety plans and training
Effective human resource management includes reviewing the company’s safety program in light of the injury. How could it have been prevented? Should the job the injured employee was doing, or the way they were doing it, need to change to be made safer?
Human resource management should also review the company’s history of workers compensation claims. Look for patterns and trends that could be signs of weak links in your company’s safety and risk management plans, and make the changes needed.
Then begin the process again; ensure that everyone in the company knows the safe ways to work, and what to do in case of an injury.