Clients Can Outsource the "Hidden Costs" of Workers' Comp

When the phrase "Lost Time" is brought up in referrence to Workers' Compensation claims, it usually refers to the money that must be paid to a worker injured on the job to make up for the wages they lose while they are unable to work.  The longer workers are out, the more lost time benefits that must be paid, which results in higher Workers' Comp premiums for your clients at renewal time. But there is another form of "Lost Time" that can be just as costly to your clients.

That is the time that is lost by your client's HR departments when they have to administer a new Workers' Compensation claim.  For starters, the client's HR department must file a "First Report of Injury." To do that, they need to interview the injured worker and may have to spend time doing further investigation such as talking with witnesses and checking out the environment where the accident occurred.

The HR department may also have to help the employee find a provider to get treatment for the injury.  If the client requires workers to use providers in a specific network, the HR representative must help the worker find the closest location to get treatment.  In general, the HR department is workers' first point of contact, so they may spend a lot of time answering questions from injured workers.

If the client decides to dispute that the injury is their responsibility, there will be a lot of additional time spent going through the process of contesting the claim. This could include having HR representatives attend hearings, either by phone or off-site.  And if they have to consult with an attorney, there are additional legal fees to factor in.

In a nutshell, a Workers' Comp claim can monopolize an HR department's time, and we all know that time is money.  So how can your clients avoid the costs associated with administering Workers' Compensation claims? Well, of course, any worksite should ensure that their environment is as safe as possible, but there can be injuries in even the safest workplaces. They could also utilize contractors and outsource the employment responsibilities to a contracting back-office.  The back-office, not your client, will be responsible for filing reports, doing investigations and interviews, fielding employee questions, and contesting claims.  And it's the back-office that will have to absorb any ensuing increases in Workers' Comp premiums.  All your clients have to do is refer the injured worker to contact their contracting back-office!

While no one likes Workers' Compensation claims, they are a part of operating a business.  Top Echelon Contracting recognizes this fact and has three dedicate HR representatives available to assist with any claims from contractors.

Debbie Fledderjohann is the President of Top Echelon Contracting, Inc.

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