Do Your Part – An Employer’s Role in Accident Management
Just as you care immensely for those who belong to your organization, we hold that same regard for every member of the Berkley family – including you and yours. After an accident, it’s our objective as your Carrier to work with you to reach the safest, most effective course of action. We don’t just believe in two-way relationships, we practice them daily. And we aim to provide our customers with the confidence and protocol knowledge to handle whatever comes their way, starting with the top of command – the Employers.
What we mean by Employer: any individual in a supervisory or managerial position. Notice or proven knowledge to any supervisor or manager qualifies as notice to an entire company. That’s important because if timely notification of an accident is not given by the Employer to the Insurance Carrier (though it meets the threshold of danger), we lose the potential to properly assess, investigate, and defend the claim. In the insurance world, Employers and their Carriers are considered to be in legal privity, and if an Employer or Carrier causes delays by failing to share information with the other, in many states, both parties would be mutually penalized.
When dealing with a claim investigation, Employers are essential in providing critical and timely information which others may only have limited access to. The more we know, the better prepared we can be. So, it is vital that the Employer immediately reports all knowledge they are privy to as soon as possible to the appropriate personnel, and takes careful, quality notes of every incident.
Information considered especially important consists of:
- Names of witnesses
- Incident reports
- Evidence (camera surveillance)
- Payroll information
- Records of lost time and wages paid
It is the Employer’s obligation to document and keep records of all injuries. There is no “minor injury” defense, so though an incident may appear small and not worth the fuss – there is no way to know its severity at that moment. And even the most trivial of injuries have resulted in costly Worker’s Compensation claims in the past.
An Employer should regularly emphasize and reward safe practices in order to set the standard at their organization. They should also train their supervisors extensively and regularly on best practices for documenting all incidents and reports of symptoms/injuries when it comes to accident management. As extra preventative measures, they should host frequent safety training sessions, and implement a pre-employment physical for workers in order to be knowledgeable of the bodily challenges their people are facing.
How an Employer can have a positive impact following a work injury:
- Talking to their Employees
- Showing empathy
- Asking the important questions
- Providing modified duty options for the injured worker
When an Employee feels protected and appreciated at their own place of work, they won’t need to look elsewhere for these forms of validation.