Taking the proper steps in your organization to ensure prompt reporting of all workers compensation claims is essential to helping control your claim costs. As an employer, there are several things you can do to ensure documentation and reporting of a claim goes smoothly.
The Division of Workers' Compensation requires that "an employer or its insurer report the injury, other than an injury that requires immediate first aid and no further medical treatment or lost time from work, to them within 30 days after knowledge of the injury. Employers have to report all injuries to their insurance carrier within five days of the date of injury or within five days of the date on which the injury was reported to the employer by the employee, whichever is later."
Missouri Employers Mutual encourages our policyholders to report all injuries, even if it only required immediate first aid. Reporting minor injuries allows for two benefits. First, when a claim is reported to us, we report it to the Division of Workers’ Compensation which establishes the beginning of the statute of limitations on the claim. Second, if the minor injury ends up requiring further medical treatment or lost time becomes a factor, the claim is already in the system and can be assigned quickly to a claims representative for handling.
Train management and staff on claim documentationThe proper documentation makes all the difference in successfully reporting a claim. Train your supervisors and managers about what documentation is needed when an employee reports a work-related injury. Start the process with basic but crucial questions including, were there any witnesses? If so, have the witnesses document exactly what they saw or heard and have them sign their statement. It is also very important to have the injured employee recount, in their own words, exactly what occurred and have them sign the document.
Documentation makes it easy to gather incident information including the date and time the injury occurred, where and how it occurred, the severity of the injury, and body part(s) injured.
Review personnel files annuallyAlong with the incident details, you will also be required to report some personal information on the injured employee. The information is required, so it is very important to keep all of your personnel files up to date. When reviewing personnel files you should ask yourself, do you have the employee's legal name, date of birth, social security number and home address? If you do not require employees to update their information when they move, marry, etc., you may not have up-to-date records. The employee’s hire date is also important for reporting and should prompt you to verify if they have had a recent promotion that resulted in a job title or salary change. If your company does not have a formal process for keeping personnel records up-to-date, we suggest that you implement one.
Although a lot of information is needed for reporting a claim, the process doesn’t have to be complicated. Put an injury reporting procedure in place that includes documentation of all work-related injuries (both major and minor), training supervisors and managers on the documentation and reporting requirements, and keeping your personnel files updated. For more information about reporting and managing injuries, check out the injury management tutorial on WorkSAFE Center and our prompt reporting video on YouTube.