Most injuries can be prevented before they occur. Here are some of the things you can do to prevent injuries at your company:
STEP 1 - EDUCATION
The best way to reduce injury and illness in the workplace is to establish a comprehensive safety and health education and training program. Preventive programs designed to train you and your employees in the recognition, avoidance and prevention of unsafe or unhealthy working conditions in the workplace have been successful in reducing injury and illness as well as increasing productivity.
The Department of Industrial Accidents' (DIA) Office of Safety is responsible for establishing and supervising programs for the education and training of employees and employers in the recognition, avoidance and prevention of unsafe or unhealthy working conditions. Other responsibilities include advising employee's and employer's of safety issues surrounding the work environment to fulfill the mandate. The DIA awards grants to qualified applicants based upon a competitive selection process initiated with a Request For Response (RFR). For more information on these programs and the safety grant program, please contact:
Office of Safety
Department of Industrial Accidents
1 Congress St., Suite 100
Boston, MA 02114-2017
1-800-323-3249, ext. 376
STEP 2 - JOINT LABOR-MANAGEMENT SAFETY COMMITTEES
An essential ingredient for reducing injuries and illnesses is the establishment of a joint labor-management safety committee at the work site. This committee will provide a systematic forum for identifying and correcting health and safety concerns in the workplace. Worker participation and involvement is fundamental to the success of any occupational health and safety program.
If you show your employees that you care about their safety they will make the extra effort to ensure that your company is a safe place to work.
Post Loss Objective
After an injury or illness has occurred, there are things you can do that will affect your workers' compensation insurance costs.
STEP 1 - MEDICAL ATTENTION
When an employee is injured or suffers an illness, the most important thing is to provide reasonable and necessary medical attention as soon as possible. An injured or ill employee is entitled to adequate and reasonable medical care, including doctor visits, hospital services, prescriptions, etc. Except for the employee's first scheduled appointment, which an employer may require to be with a health provider within their preferred provider arrangement, the worker has the right to choose their own healthcare professional for treatment and to change this professional once. Speedy and efficient medical attention can reduce the long-term disability of the employee and keep insurance premiums down.
STEP 2 - INJURY REPORT
Fill out all forms that need to be filed and notify your workers' compensation insurance company of all injuries and illnesses. If the employee is disabled or not capable of earning their full wages for five or more full or partial calendar days, you must notify the DIA on the <em>Employer's First Report of Injury or Fatality - Form 101</em> . Remember, there is a fine if you do not file the correct form in a timely manner.
You should notify the adjuster for the insurance company and provide the adjuster with any documents they need, so that the claim can be processed without unreasonable delay.
STEP 3 - INFORMATION
Maintain contact with the employee, the adjuster, the medical providers and any other party involved. Keep records of all documents and give the employee a copy.
STEP 4 - RETURN TO WORK
One of the most important ways to reduce your workers' compensation costs is by returning the employee to work. Job or tool modification can help the employee return to work as soon as possible and helps prevent future injuries.