One of the areas that Safety & Health professionals are called upon to directly oversee or lend their support is Workers' Compensation claims management. In those efforts it becomes clear very quickly that a team approach is required to not only prevent the injuries creating these claims, but to manage them to a positive conclusion for all parties involved. The most critical members of that team are Supervisors and Managers of the employees within our various organizations.

With that fact noted, this presentation seeks to provide attendees an effective overview of workers' compensation claim management requirements and practices or -- "Work Comp 101". From this material the safety and health professional can then work with the supervisors and managers in their organization on this issue. The presentation has been broken down into four segments:

  1. Defining Workers' Compensation;

  2. Incident and Claim Management;

  3. Tracking Performance: Metrics and

  4. Injury and Claim Prevention.

The presentation there has two underlying themes. First is an emphasis on the consistent need for communication, when injuries happen. The employee, their manager/supervisor, Human Resources, the site EHS contact along with medical providers and the insurance carrier are part of this communication network. Secondly, the importance on developing a workplace culture that values the importance of injury prevention, along with the related human and business costs that result from them.

Defining Workers' Compensation

Workers' Compensation is defined as a system to provide wage replacement, medical care and rehabilitation benefits to individuals injured while at work. It is a form of social legislation that almost always provides exclusive remedy from civil suits. The Workers' Compensation system is designed to protect both employer and employee in two ways:

  1. Employers are protected from punitive damages; and

  2. The employee does not have to prove that they were not at fault.

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