Workers Compensation Protects Employers

In this economic climate many employers are looking for ways to trim expenses. The expense of providing Workers Compensation Insurance is one area that some employers may choose to take a risk, especially those businesses with few employees, who generally use contracted services, depend on family members to conduct business, or feel that they somehow fit into a category that might excuse them from providing this protection.

The consequences of taking this risk are high. Failing to have Workers Compensation Insurance is a criminal offense. The penalties imposed by different states vary but can include fees of up to and exceeding $100,000 and stop orders. In some cases imprisonment is possible. Protect your employees and yourself with adequate coverage.

In all of the states that the Tom Molloy Insurance Agency provides coverage each state mandates Workers Compensation Insurance to all employers with one or more employees. Nevada, Utah, California and Arizona, all have the provision that employees are not to pay or offset the cost of the policy. Additionally, in Arizona Workers Compensation is a no-fault system. This means benefits are available no matter what caused the job related accident, regardless of if the employee was at fault or partially at fault in causing the injury.

Establishing and requiring compliance with a workplace safety program is one way to help insure a safe workplace in which to conduct your business. Workplace safety programs should include:

1. A safety manual for each employee, including rules and procedures.

2. Regular inspections of the workplace to identify potential risks and create a plan for correction.

3. Work stations that adjust to reduce stress injuries and education regarding safe body mechanics including safe lifting for employees.

4. A plan that allows for staying in touch with employees who are off work due to injury. Return to work provisions with reduced workloads or light duty assignments to help employees return to the work place.

5. On the road safety procedures for all employees who drive a vehicle for the business, whether the vehicle is owned by the business or the employee.

6. Keep records of all injuries and accidents along with action steps and goals toward making improvements and eliminating or reducing risk.

7. ‘Notice’ is a word that can be a strong motivator. Communicate the expectation to have a safe workplace and recognize compliance with safe practices.

The information provided here does not cover every aspect of workers’ compensation law. There are often exceptions to general rules, unsettled areas of law, and recent changes in the system. When shopping for Workers Compensation policies keep in mind the needs of your business. Consider cost, but also ease of access to claims adjusters and the doctors in the network.

Independent contractor, small business, LLC, sole-proprietorship, or seasonal….whatever your business model protect your investment by securing and maintaining a Workers Compensation policy that fits.

On February 7th, 2012, posted in: Blog by

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