It is expected that commercial enterprises will do all they can to ensure that the work environment they have created is safe for their employees. Accidents do occur, however, and when they are receiving a sound workers’ compensation policy is the key to protecting your business and your employees.
Foremost, it protects your employees from legal complications resulting from an injury to somebody at work. It also guarantees that workers will have the medical attention that they need in the event of an injury and that they will get a lot of their regular income until they can come back to work.
Understanding Workers’ Compensation
Think of workers’ compensation as a legal compromise. In return for paying employees who need medical treatment or who lose work due to a work injury, employers avoid costly lawsuits. Workers’ compensation also protects employees who might not be capable of defending themselves or their families because of work-connected harm.
It’s important to check whether the workers’ compensation policy is required in your area. Failure to take this policy or otherwise run into state rules can give an employer exposed not only to paying these benefits out of pocket but also to paying penalties levied by the province.
Know Your Company’s Needs
Not all employers are needed to purchase a workers’ compensation policy. State laws vary, but in the main, an employer’s obligation to provide coverage may depend on the number of employees, the type of job, and the type of employment. Likewise, states may take out certain types of workers. Apart from this, you will also need to access the risks that come with your work, and you will need to determine the type of funding you will need. This includes competitive or monopolistic programs depending on the state you are in.
If you’re a sole proprietor, a workers’ compensation policy may be optional until you hold employees who aren’t also owners. To check if you are subject to these requirements, find your state’s workers’ compensation official from this list provided by the U.S. Department of Labor.
Consider the Benefits
When considering some of the added benefits that come along with having adequate workers compensation insurance, there are many. While the amount of time that benefits are provided for, and the type of benefit supplied are controlled by law and individual circumstances, there are four distinct types of workers’ compensation benefits:
1. Wage Replacement Benefits – This category of benefits is made up of three types of wage replacement plans; each is dependent on the time of injury and the effect of the injury on the worker’s ability to earn.
- Temporary total disability benefits – These are available to injured workers who temporarily cannot work due to their work injury or those who cannot find work due to the restrictions placed on them.
- Temporary partial disability benefits – These are available to workers who have returned to work since their injury, but are earning less than they were earning at the time of their work injury
- Permanent total disability benefits- These are paid out to workers whose disability results in their being unable to return work that would earn them a steady wage.
2. Permanent Partial Disability Benefits – This is available for workers who have sustained a permanent impairment, such as a loss of a body function or its functioning due to work-connected harm. The permanent partial disability rating decides the sum of this benefit.
3. Vocational Rehabilitation Benefits – This is available for injured workers who need help in returning to their former or a standardized line of work. These benefits allow the preparation of various programs, such as retraining and on-the-job training.
4. Medical Benefits – The employer and insurer are responsible for the payment of reasonable and necessary medical care and ethical drugs for any workplace injuries. Depending on the injury, this medical concern can include surgery, hospitalization, and physical therapy.
Safety and Loss Prevention
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, sets the standards that employers are required to adhere to ensure workplace safety. Safety training programs work to minimize the financial cost of the workplace due to insurance claims and productivity loss. With that in mind, safety training may directly reduce the cost of compensations, workplace stress, indirect expenses for lost production, and hiring/replacement costs.
Taking the Right Decision for Your Employees
To ensure your business and your employees are protected, you can purchase workers’ compensation insurance as soon as you hire your very first employee. Be sure to work with an insurance company that has experience in handling workers’ comp claims, and talk with an agent about the specific coverage you will need for your company.