When an employee suffers an injury on the job, supervisors have an essential responsibility to respond to the situation. In most settings, following any work-related accident initiates a workers’ compensation protocol led by a manager or higher-level administrator.
“Supervisors play a crucial role in workers’ compensation programs,” said Matt McDonough, Assistant Vice President of Risk Services at Safety National. “They can help prevent claims by promoting safety training and programs. They also have a post-claim obligation to help support employees once they return to work after getting injured. It is important to keep lines of communication open to ensure both parties are progressing as expected.”
The right approach to workers’ compensation can help simplify remediation during catastrophes. Unfortunately, the process does not always run smoothly. Supervisors put a lot of time and energy into each claim, but the work can get overwhelming, convoluted, and downright exhausting for everyone involved. A fine-tuned strategy with the right tools can help drive efficiencies and peace of mind for anyone in charge.
Onboarding and Supervisor Preparation
Supervisors have conflicting roles. From juggling responsibilities as a friend, mentor, and disciplinarian, managers wear multiple hats in the workplace. The same goes when investigating an injury. Preparation is key in these scenarios.
When it comes to workers’ compensation, supervisors need to be thoroughly trained. The more informed your staff is, the better equipped they are if and when obstacles arise. Many organizations develop custom workers’ compensation modules to help streamline all the steps involved. From training to reporting to managing a claim, users with proper administrative permission have the advantage of an all-in-one system for each part of the process.
If your management is considering the support of a workers’ compensation program, make sure to properly explain the program in detail. Before performing a full-scale launch, establish expectations for leaders within the organization. Be upfront with all its capabilities and functionalities, then designate specific admin access to executives, frontline supervisors, and risk managers.
Benefits of a Structured Workers’ Compensation Plan & System
Merging a workers’ compensation program into your infrastructure can benefit both injured workers and the company as a whole. By taking advantage of the right system, you foster a stronger possibility for a safer, more productive operation.
Injured worker benefits:
- More immediate medical treatment
- Lower risk of long-term disabilities
- Clear expectations and peace of mind
- Faster acclimation to full-duty return
- Avoidance of being isolated
- Fewer business interruptions
- Less exposure to litigation
- Stronger employee morale
- Reduced disability costs
- Preserving the services of skilled employees
Best Practices for Supervisors
An educated supervisor is a competent supervisor, and the more competence you have in the leadership position, the more fit you are to handle a post-injury response. Think, “What is most important for my staff to know?”
The most effective workers’ compensation programs offer continuous training opportunities, but it is more than just re-learning procedures. A critical part of employee training is learning how to apply the right attitudes and communication strategies in different settings. The system you invest in will not be able to walk you through every possible detail, but it can serve as a guide for those moments when your team encounters a situation in which you do not know how to respond.
With a workers’ compensation program, you will not necessarily have all the answers, but you will be in better shape when accidents do occur. Not only can you record your own notes, but you also have the luxury of documents in supervisor training modules to further aid your decisions. Such best practices are available at a quick disposal and can be utilized as a trusted resource.
Whether you are in a pinch or need thorough guidance during a work-related incident, supervisors can depend on the information in their workers’ compensation programs for practical advice.