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These recommendations together will give your control in the battle to minimize the cost of workers’ compensation.

Safety Program:

The lowest cost workers’ compensation claim is the one that never occurs. When an insurer is calculating your annual premium they review the frequency of accidents and the severity of the accidents that do occur, as well as the costs. A strong safety program will incorporate safety training for all employees, manual handling training, a job hazard analysis to identify and eliminate causes of accidents, work-site evaluations and inspections to prevent accidents, and a safety specialist or safety committee to keep safe practices at the fore-front of your work process.

Return to Work Program:

It is mandatory for your company to have an injury managment system and a company-wide return to work policy should be implemented. The return to work policy should be a part of every new employee’s orientation. It should be posted on the employee’s bulletin board and be discussed in staff meetings. All employees should know a job will be available to them as soon as they medically approved for light duties.

The company’s Injury Management Co-ordinator (IMC) should place a call to the medical provider the day of the initial medical treatment to learn the work restrictions provided by the doctor. The IMC should advise the doctor of the employer’s willingness to modify the employee’s job duties to comply with the work restrictions and be able to provide details of avaliable suitable duties.

Wellness Program:

An integrated health and wellness program will reduce the cost of workers’ compensation by reducing the impact of comorbidities on the injured employee’s recovery. The combination of unhealthy employee's and an aging population, with moves to increase the retirement age mean you will be increasingly hiring people with with one or a number of chronic conditions. By reducing obesity, diabetes, hypertension and physical deconditioning, an injured employee recovers faster from an injury, reducing both the amount paid for medical care and the time lost from work.

Get started with our free online LifeRISK Program.

Medical Cost Control Program:

In Western Australia, medical expenses make up ~16.0% of the total cost of worker comp. By directing the injured employee to a doctor with vocational medicine experience who understands the need to get the employee back to work as soon as feasible, you will eliminate unnecessary medical treatment and unnecessary delay in the employee returning to work. 

From the moment of injury and Post-Injury Investigation, until the injured employee has reached maximum medical improvement,  the course of the medical care should be managed. Initially, an IMC or occupational nurse can arrange the immediate first aid and any subsequent medical appointments. If the injury is severe, and the employee is going to be off work, the IMC or a preferred voc rehab provider can monitor and assist with coordination of medical care.

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