10 most common workers comp mistakes

10 most common workers comp mistakes

MGIX 2018 attendees learned how to avoid some of these workers' comp mistakes.

February 21, 2018
Lauren Rathmell

Pictured above: MGIX 2018, hosted by the Ohio Nursery and Landscape Association, featured an exhibit show floor and a number of education sessions.

Handling workers’ compensation can be a stressful task for business owners. During MGIX 2018 in Columbus, Ohio, Cordell Walton, program manager at Columbus-based CareWorksComp, discussed some common workers’ compensation mistakes.

CareWorksComp serves as an expert on workers’ compensation, risk and claims management. The following are 10 most common mistakes he sees in this area:

1) Not understanding the system. Taking the time to familiarize yourself and your employees with your workers’ compensation program will help claims go smoother.

2) Not being involved. An easy way to be proactive in your workers’ comp process is to be actively involved. Walton suggested checking jobsites and identifying any possible hazards.

3) Not having a knowledgeable point person. It’s imperative to develop a good relationship with your MCO (managed care organization).

4) Not having an injury reporting process in place. There needs to be a process understood by all employees in case of a workplace injury. “Always instruct your people to report to their superiors immediately when an injury happens,” Walton said. He also suggested putting the process in the employee handbook and having everyone sign off on it.

5) Missing deadlines. Missing a deadline can leave you with a lapse in coverage. If you receive discounts or rebates, you may lose those discounts after 40 days without coverage. You must report your payroll every year on April 15.

6) Not understanding how rates are established. This also ties in to paying attention to deadlines. Your payroll report factors in to your rates, so giving timely and accurate numbers will keep your rate where it needs to be.

7) Not understanding how claims can impact your bottom line. Walton said to keep in mind that claims impact your rates for four years.

8) Not taking advantage of discount programs. There are different groups and rates for each company’s situation. For example, companies with no workers’ comp claims could see up to a 53 percent discount on their workers’ comp.

9) Not understanding and utilizing claim cost control strategies. Any proactive efforts like documenting any incidents can help control your claim costs.

10) Lack of communication with your MCO/TPA/BWC/Claimant. Whenever an incident occurs or a claim is made, you need to ensure all the right people are in communication, even the person who was injured. This will help build your claim.