Workers' compensation laws ensure that an employee who is injured as a result of an accident on the job or who contracts a disease as a result of performing his or her job, will receive compensation and medical benefits. Every state requires that employers purchase workers' compensation insurance to ensure that employees, who are affected by illness or injury, and their dependants, are protected against significant hardships in case of injury, illness, or death.
Workers' compensation was created to protect both the employer and the employee from the costs and hardships of employee injury and illness. The employee receives compensation and medical benefits. In turn, the employee signs off on the right to sue the employer. The employer benefits from immunity from law suits, for the most part.
As an employer, make certain that your employees and management staff know that accident reports must be filled out when an employee is injured or claims job related illness. Make available the claims filing forms from your chosen workers' compensation company. Work closely with your workers' compensation agent to ensure that both the employee's medical needs and your liability are covered. Work closely with your employees to make sure the claim is easy, timely, and correctly filed. Follow your insurance company guidelines.
Additionally, many workers' compensation companies offer the services of an occupational health and safety specialist who can audit your workplace and make recommendations about employee safety and ergonomics. This service is helpful as is the training available from most companies about accident reports and workers' compensation claim forms. You can also contact your state workers' compensation office for help.
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