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How to use workers' compensation effectively

Most Pennsylvania employers are aware how expensive workers' compensation insurance can be. There are some effective strategies, however, that can help them control their costs, while making sure injured employees receive proper treatment.

One way an employer can manage workers' compensation costs is to make sure all employees know that they should report any work-related injuries within the first 24 hours of the incident. According to a report, whenever these types of claim reports are delayed, the costs are usually higher. To combat high costs, the claim should be promptly reported so that the injured employee can receive the medical attention needed to return to work. The report also noted that about a third of employees injured on the job just need medical guidance for treating their injury themselves without making a costly emergency room visit.

In addition, employees injured on the job should immediately report the incident to an on-site triage nurse who could record the interview and advise the employee about treatment and the type of medical provider needed. Having employees speak with a triad nurse is better than a claims professional because workers are generally more truthful with nurses.

Employers can also control workers' compensation costs by focusing the costs on employees with complex physical conditions such as amputations, spinal cord injuries or brain injuries. In fact, these types of claims amount to 6 percent of all claims but make up nearly half of the overall costs.

Regardless of circumstances surrounding a workplace accident, employees hurt on the job may be eligible to file a claim for workers' compensation benefits. Employees who have suffered a work-related injury may wish to contact a workers' compensation attorney who could assist them with the claims process and advise them regarding the benefits they may receive.

Source: Property Casualty 360, "A look at Workers' Compensation best practices", Kent Martin, Jan. 1, 2016

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