As a small business owner, you have probably been advised to have a return-to-work-program to reduce your workers' compensation costs. At first glance, this may not make much sense considering that starting such a program will also cost you. However, a keen look at the issue reveals several ways in which it can help manage workers' compensation costs. Here are a few ways in which this may happen.
Reduced Compensation for Lost Wages
The earlier you can get an injured worker back to work, the more you will reduce his or her compensation related to lost wages. Your employer will like this since it reduces the cost of insuring your business. Anything that decreases your insurer's expenditures on you is good news since the increase is likely to translate to lower premiums for your business.
Increased Rate of Recovery for Injured Workers
Anything that gets your injured workers back to work as soon as possible translates to savings for your insurer, and, by extension, to you. The faster your workers heal, the sooner they can get back to work. Employees who get back to work soon, even by merely performing light duties, tend to recover faster than those who wait to recover fully at home. They feel that you care for them, and the psychological boost aids in physical recovery. In addition, your occupational injury consultants can monitor the injured employee and help him or her attain maximum recovery as soon as possible. This reduces the amount of compensation for treatment-related expenses.
Settling fraudulent claims costs your insurer money and increases the number of claims related to your business. The more fraudulent claims your workers make, the riskier your business is to insure. This means it's in your best interest to eliminate workers' compensation fraud. So how do return-to-work programs help?
Well, an employee in the workplace is less likely to lie about his or her injuries/recovery than one convalescing at home. A worker in the workplace knows he or she is being monitored, and will not lie that he or she has a bad back because other people can easily see him engaging in backbreaking tasks. Employees who would feign injury to rest at home may prefer getting back to their normal jobs instead of doing "boring" light duties they may be given at the workplace.
As you can see, having a return-to-work program is an integral process of reducing your workers' compensation claims. Remember such efforts will only bear fruit if you are committed. For example, the program should be in place for all injured workers, and not instigated on a case-by-case basis. For more information talk to a professional like Gilbert, Blaszcyk & Milburn LLP.