Continuing our weekly series of basic laws of the workplace, this week will focus on the injuries at the workplace.
In 2008, there were over 67,000 injuries reported at the workplace (with 34 fatalities). Thus, at some point or another, odds are that one of your employees will get injured.
While there are whole books spent on handling such claims, there are two basic concepts that employers should consider when employees have work-related injuries.
First, all of these type of injuries (with some limited exceptions) are covered by the workers compensation system in Connecticut. The WCC in Connecticut has a detailed information packet that provides all the necessary forms and information for employers to get refreshed on the topic.
Second, when these injuries occur, the employer should consider three steps: 1) Assist the employee is getting medical treatment; 2) Notify your insurer of the injury and possible claim; and 3) Fill out the "First Report of Injury" to the insurer, which serves as a more official notice of the claim.
Of course, there are always questions that pop up that don’t fit into neat categories. The classic example is an employee who suffers an injury at the company softball game. I suppose the updated example is an office invests in a Nintendo Wii to keep the company morale up and allow people to spend some time during breaks getting in shape. (Nutmeg Lawyer Adrian Baron takes this one step further; his firm actually bought some Wii games for his staff.)
Each of these situations will be a little different. Companies that have risk management departments may be able to address these issues without much outside help, but small to mid-size employers should consider working closely with their insurer to determine the best practices approach to dealing with injuries at the workplace.
And consistent with yesterday’s article, making sure your company has purchased workers’ compensation insurance is critical to avoiding getting ensnared in the government’s crackdown.