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5 Easy Steps to Reduce Your Workman’s Comp Insurance

Author: Jan Fernandez    Posted: December 7, 2015

Having come from the Human Resource side of the world, I had the opportunity to wear many hats.  One of my hats was a hard hat. Well, not really, but I was in charge of our company’s safety program.  When I started with my company we had a horrible experience rating, not because there were severe injuries, but because the front line supervisor’s mentality was to put an injured worker on LnI rather than find a light duty job suitable or keep them on salary in the event that they couldn’t work at all.

One of the largest factors of determining a company’s experience factor is the amount of money the state has to pay on any given injured worker’s claim.  While we can’t mitigate the cost of treatment, we can mitigate how much an employee receives in compensation.  According to the Washington State Department Labor and Industries, returning to work speeds an injured worker’s recovery and reduces the financial impact of a workers’ compensation claim on the worker, the employer, and the workers’ compensation system. Help an injured worker get back to work quickly, safely and, if necessary, with assistance. The state offers employers incentives to get their injured workers back to work quickly and safely in an approved light-duty or transitional job.  Eligible employers can be reimbursed for 50% of the base wages and some of the cost of training, tools or clothing the worker needs to do.

This program is easier than you think.  The LnI website shows the five simple steps to take advantage of the Stay at Work benefits.

  1. Read the Activity Prescription Form (APF).
    The health care provider should send you an APF (F242-385-000)with the medical restrictions of the injured worker. If not, request an APF from the provider or Claim Manager. Read the restrictions prescribed by the provider.
  2. Complete the Job Description Form.
    Write a light-duty job description based on the restrictions provided by the provider. The job description does not need to be fancy. If you don’t already have a file of light-duty jobs created, you can find a template for a job description on our website (F252-040-000). The date the job description is sent to the doctor is the first date eligible for reimbursement if the provider approves the light duty.
  3. Get the provider’s approval.
    Send the job description to the health care provider for his/her approval. The provider’s approval is required to receive Stay at Work reimbursements for wages and expenses. The date the job description is sent to the provider is the first date eligible for reimbursement if the provider approves the light duty.
  4. Offer the light-duty job to the injured worker.
    Talk to your injured worker about the benefits of keeping a workplace connection during recovery through light-duty work:
    • Staying connected with your co-workers provides key social and emotional support during recovery.
    • Keeping a full paycheck during recovery helps you financially.
    • Knowing you are a valued employee worth supporting during an injury is key to recovery.
  5. Apply for wage and expense reimbursements online:

Within three years of implementing this program, my company reduced their experience factor from well over a 1.5 to -1.2.  This saved everyone in the long run, the company and employees premiums.  We then looked at joining a retrospective rating association.  For more information on ways to mitigate the rising costs of insurance call Rapport Benefits Group!

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