Operating a business is never easy, but is especially challenging in a difficult economy. This should lead management to identify cost control methods. Workplace injuries are extremely expensive when both the direct and indirect costs are considered. An injury management system can help limit these costs while assisting injured employees return to the workforce. I’ve worked as a MEMIC safety management consultant since 1993, and I still see businesses that do not have effective injury management systems.
An effective Injury Management System consists of the following:
- Knowledge of loss experience (injury cause, injury type, body part).
- Identify and meet with a local preferred medical provider who can treat occupational injuries and illnesses; establish a working relationship with a shared return-to-work philosophy.
- Detailed job descriptions (that include physical tasks required) that can be used to communicate job requirements to the medical provider.
- A written plan that identifies the employer and employee responsibilities regarding injury reporting, claim filing, preferred medical provider use, return-to-work guidelines, and communication with injured employees during treatment and restricted duty.
- Identify alternate duty job activities available in the event an injury occurs.
- Documented injury management system training to include specific employee responsibilities.
OSHA has developed a “$afety Pays Program” that includes an injury cost estimator. This tool can provide convincing evidence of the importance of an effective Injury Management System.