We’ve posted previously about the necessity for employers, even small business owners, to have the appropriate workers’ compensation programs in place in case of on-the-job injury. Costs for this insurance can add up, though, and this month’s Claims Magazine discusses one type of program that can reduce these costs. If put into practice correctly, Stay-at-Work programs provide an avenue for injured workers to continue work with lighter duties while they heal, remaining involved with the company until they are able to return to their regular positions. Companies with extensive workers’ compensation costs can organize a Stay-at-Work program in a proactive effort to minimize their expenditures.
What is a Stay-at-Work program? The goal of the program is to keep an injured employee working in a temporary position suited to their physical capacity until they can transition back to their regular position, potentially resulting in no lost time from work for the employee. Immediately post-injury, the worker sees a designated physician or clinic, who knows that the Stay-at-Work program is in place and will analyze the worker’s functional capacities. They and the employer can determine a light-duty or modified-duty position that is safe for the employee while they’re healing, and eventually the employee will return to their full capacity and regular position.
Such a program has benefits for both the employer and the employee. The employee can continue to earn their full income while in recovery (as opposed to partial workers’ compensation payments), and remain connected to their co-workers and company at the same time. The employer benefits from reduced employee turnover, as employees continue coming to work even during their healing process and don’t face the more difficult task of returning to work after a long period spent at home recovering. Many of the indirect costs associated with a workers’ comp claim can be mitigated through this process, especially those involved with looking for a training a replacement worker if the injured employee does not return to work. For these reasons, unions also tend to be in favor of Stay-at-Work programs.
If you have any questions or concerns about your business’s coverage for workers’ comp claims, please contact us at Kompani Risk & Insurance Solutions, Inc.. We are an independent insurance broker and offer customized plans to work for your specific situation. Our CEO, R. Glenn Matsen, works directly with clients and can be reached at 415.692.3464, ext 103. We look forward to working with you!