• Tips for a Safe and Successful Year
  • January 30, 2018
  • The start of a new year is the perfect time to review your list of panel providers. Make certain that your list meets the requirements of at least six designated health care providers. At least three of the providers must be physicians and no more than four can be a coordinated care organization. At least one provider on the list must be a chiropractor. The list must include the names, addresses, phone numbers, and areas of medical specialties of all health care providers and be posted in a location visible for the employees.

    Review your job descriptions for each position within your company to ensure they are accurate. A determination should be made as to whether the positions can be modified in case of an employee’s injury and, if so, what accommodations can be made. The job descriptions should be provided to the panel providers to aid with the return to work of an injured employee. Your panel providers should also be made aware of whether modified duty is available.

    Once you have your list of panel providers for the year, hold a short meeting with your employees to review the location of the panel provider list. All employees should sign the Notification of the Employee’s Rights and Duties following the meeting and the document should be placed in the employee’s personnel file. Utilize the meeting time to review company safety protocols.

    How the employer responds to an employee’s injury will make all the difference. If an employee is injured, a new copy of the Notification of the Employee’s Rights and Duties will need to be signed and placed in the employee’s personnel file. The employee should choose a provider from the posted list. While it is normal to want to direct an employee to a coordinated care organization on the list, it is imperative that you let the employee make the decision on where to seek treatment. With a list of posted providers and the signed acknowledgement by the employee, medical treatment is controlled for the first 90 days, and as your providers are now familiar with the duties of your positions and whether accommodations can be made, the likelihood of a return to work is increased.

    Employee and witness statements should be committed to writing as close to the time of accident as possible. If there is video of the accident, it should be preserved. Additionally, if the injury was due to equipment failure or malfunction, the piece and/or product should also be retained. The injury must be timely reported to the insurance company or third-party administrator in order for a decision to be made on whether to accept or deny liability.

    Accidents happen and being prepared for the inevitable will help to limit your exposure.