Velma is an employee at a large manufacturing company where she works as a toy designer. The firm where she works has multiple outbuildings on a large campus, and employees often stroll from one building to another to deliver mockups or attend meetings. One day Velma was walking from one building to another along a tree-lined path when she slipped on a seed pod that the trees had shed. She twisted her ankle as she fell to the ground, and ended up not only with a bad sprain but a break in one of the small bones of her foot. What happened next turned out to be a workers compensation claims management lesson learned for Velma’s manager and her human resources department.
Velma had dutifully informed her manager when the accident occurred; at the time the injury didn’t seem that bad but as the day wore on, the pain increased. She followed her manager’s advice and went to the doctor the next morning. When she limped into the office later that day wearing a medical boot, everyone was surprised to learn the extent of the injury. Velma would need a lot of physical therapy and additional follow-up visits at the doctor over the course of the next several weeks.
Months later, management was wrapping up year-end data when someone noticed that Velma had not recorded her time accurately. All of the considerable time out of the office related to the workplace injury Velma had sustained was lumped into the general “sick” category, as opposed to “industrial” which would indicate that payment for those hours was covered by the company’s insurance. Velma and her manager spent the better part of an afternoon going back over months of calendar entries to determine as best they could how many hours should have been recorded and charged thusly, as these numbers had a direct effect on the company’s insurance payments and experience data.
When employees are injured on the job, it’s critical from a workers compensation claims management standpoint to collect and categorize the right information in the right manner from the first moment the company becomes aware of the injury. Capturing information while it is fresh will help ensure it is accurate, and in turn will help the company ensure that all parties collect the monies to which they are entitled. If one of your employees becomes ill or injured on the job, contact your professional insurance agent immediately for guidance so you won’t make a misstep.