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Slips, Trips and Falls, Oh My!

Code of Conduct
August 13, 2018
Workplace Safety Includes Security
August 21, 2018

It’s inevitable – someone is going to get hurt on the job.  It may be minor, requiring only first aid treatment, or it may be much more serious, involving medical treatment and lost work-time.  Here’s what employers need to know about work-related injuries.

Employers are responsible for providing medical care and wage replacement for any injuries that occur in the workplace.  Louisiana and most other states require employers to purchase Workers’ Compensation Insurance (WCI) to provide these benefits.

WCI pays medical bills and possibly lost wages regardless of who was at fault with a few exceptions (intentional self-injury, employee impaired by illegal drugs or alcohol, etc.).  In exchange for these guaranteed benefits, employees usually cannot sue the employer for damages for the injuries.

When an employee is injured at work, your first response should be to provide first aid or medical care for the injury.  This may require transporting the employee to a medical facility or, in serious situations, calling for an ambulance.

Advise the staff at the medical facility that this is a work-related injury and provide them with contact information for your WCI provider so that the costs of medical care may be billed to the insurance company.

  • WCI usually requires that an injured employee submit to drug testing to determine if the employee was impaired by illegal drugs or alcohol. Confirm with the staff at the medical facility that blood and/or urine samples will be collected for drug testing. If the injured employee refuses to submit to drug testing, this is grounds for termination of employment and may mean he/she is not eligible for insurance benefits.
  • As the employer, you are responsible for contacting your WCI provider as soon as possible to file the claim. You will need to provide detailed information about what happened.
  • For minor injuries that only require first aid treatment it is not necessary to file a WCI claim but it is still important to document the injury so that you have complete information should the employee require additional medical care related to the work-related injury later; for example, a cut that was treated with a bandage may later become infected.
  • Note: for minor injuries that require medical care you have the option to pay for medical care as a business expense but if you do this you lose the other protections that WCI provides (protection from future liability, wage replacement, future medical care).

An HR professional can help you with all of your human resources needs, from hiring the right employees, running background checks, creating employee handbooks that include anti-harassment policies and procedures, managing employee performance, staying legally compliant, automating employee records, and anything else you need to create an environment where employees can provide the services that you need to run your business.