Is your organization making some strategic mistakes when it comes to dealing with workplace injuries?
Here is a quick list of the biggest mistakes companies make that can lead to increased WSIB claim costs for your organization:
1. Lack of a company-wide commitment to safety and accident prevention
- Preventing workplace accidents takes more than platitudes and a few posters around your workplace
- Making safety a real priority includes regular audits of your work spaces, keeping your Health & Safety policies and procedures up-to-date (and communicating them to your employees), ensuring your supervisors are vigilant, and dedicating sufficient time and resources to training your work force on safety practices.
2. Absence of documented modified work options for injured workers
- As the Boy Scouts like to say, it pays to "be prepared"
- Investing the time in researching a variety of modified work options for an injured worker in advance will put you in the driver's seat in the unfortunate event of a workplace accident (rather than scrambling to find something for an injured worker to do)
- Performing a Physical Demands Analysis (PDA) for all high-risk positions will allow you to give vital information to medical professionals when they are determining what a worker is capable of doing when filling in a Functional Abilities Form (FAF)
3. Not understanding how claim status affects your costs
- Lost-time claims, particularly when an injured worker is away from the workplace for 4 weeks or more, are the primary driver of increased WSIB claim costs
- You should aim to have all claims be no lost-time claims (offering immediate modified work options for any injured worker if possible)
- Additionally, when a claim remains "active" for even one day into the next calendar year (i.e. worker is not returned to regular or modified duties before December 31st). This makes your claim "active" in the next year, which means your costs will be calculated by a much higher "Reserve Factor"
4. Being uninformed about employer programs offered by the WSIB
- The WSIB offers employers cost relief when a pre-existing injury contributed to the cause for an accident or is prolonging the recovery from an accident. The program is called Secondary Injury and Enhancement Fund (SIEF).
- There is also an opportunity to transfer the costs related to an accident to a Third Party if that party was responsible for the accident (i.e. your employee was injured at a customer's site)
- Not pursuing SIEF cost relief or 3rd party cost transfer when appropriate leads to unnecessarily high WSIB claim costs for your organization
5. Lack of regular communication
- The most important strategy is the also the easiest to do
- Lack of communication between HR and the worker, their manager, medical practitioners, and your WSIB adjudicator leads to delays and misunderstandings
- Document all contact in writing for your records!
Consider registering for one of Clear Path's upcoming learning sessions:
- Introduction to Disability Management: Oct 29th in Cambridge. Perfect for those new to claims management.
- Introduction to the WSIB's NEER Program: Nov. 26th in Cambridge or Dec. 2nd in Mississauga. This practical workshop uses real-world examples in order to calculate the financial impact of a variety of return-to-work scenarios.
- Advanced NEER Strategies: Dec. 4th in Mississauga. This hands-on course is for experienced claims managers who wish to deepen their knowledge and learn how to forecast WSIB costs.
You can also contact Anna Aceto-Guerin at (519) 624-0800 or email@example.com with any of your WSIB-related questions. We look forward to hearing from you!