If you’re a business owner, then you must provide a safe and secure working environment for your employees. It’s also crucial that you provide workers’ compensation. The workers’ compensation law was passed in all states in 1950, and it’s easy to understand why. If you have an employee that falls ill or is injured due to working for you then it’s their entitlement to workers’ compensation that will cover their medical bills, help towards rehabilitation, cover their wages and (in most cases) prevent you from being sued. It’s workers’ compensation that helps keep your employees protected after an accident and it is their right by law to have access to it.
Read on to discover what you need to know about workers’ compensation.
When are employees covered?
Workers’ compensation covers employees for injuries that they have sustained whilst completing tasks at the request of their employer or whilst in their employment. These work-related injuries are known as such if the injury took place whilst on company property, or whilst in a location that is connected to the company, for example in a warehouse, driving a truck whilst on a delivery or even at an event that the company is hosting.
If the injury occurs during a lunch break then it could still be considered compensable as long as the incident occurs in a way that connects it to the company. So, if you slip in the cafeteria or you hurt yourself whilst dining with a client, these would still be considered work-related injuries.
What are the most common injuries?
There are many ways that an employee could potentially hurt themselves at work, however, the most common injuries that result in a workers compensation claim are:
- Overexertion: Repetitive strain injury caused by typing, the strain of muscles and ligaments, slipped discs and back problems from lifting items. These kinds of injuries can happen in restaurants, offices, warehouses and construction sites.
- Slips and trips: Slipping on a wet surface or tripping on torn carpet. These kinds of injuries are very common and can result in terrible injuries.
- Struck by objects: Being struck by falling or moving objects can break limbs or even cause serious head injuries.
- Road accidents: If you have employees that drive for you, then road accidents may be common.
- Machine accidents: Injuries related to machines can vary from cuts and broken limbs to more catastrophic injuries.
What if you don’t have workers compensation in place?
As mentioned above, workers compensation is a legal requirement and if you fail to comply with your legal obligations then you could face some serious consequences. Fines, legal action, liability claims, as well as damage to your business’ reputation. You may find that your employee chooses to sue you instead.
What other duties should employers take?
If an accident or injury occurs at work, then business owners have a legal obligation to complete the following:
- Provide emergency medical treatment
- Complete injury reports which should be filed and sent to the appropriate people
- Make written reports of all accidents
- Comply with the workers’ compensation board if they request more information
- Comply with all insurance company requests