One insurance most loathed by employers is workers compensation.
None the less, there is no dispute, employees, contractors and in fact all site attendees are entitled to a safe workplace. At common law even trespassers are entitled to a safe workplace. However, the cost and handling of workers compensation delivers to the employer little more than a huge financial impost. With the costs of claim driving premium costs for several years, many businesses have gone into receivership purely owing to the cost of workers compensation premiums.
Worse still when an employee is off, lost productivity must be made up.
We are now seeing more claims for psychological or stress, anxiety, and bullying and harassment.
In a world dominated by social media, its unlikely that existing resources will be adequate to identify, treat and mitigate these new work era claims. In the current economic environment, the need to identify high risk workers has never been greater. It is one issue to manage the claim, an even greater challenge to handle the loss and a far greater concern strategizing to identify the exposures which lead to catastrophic loss claims. Future claims of this type have the potential to cause exponential premium increases for larger employers and with that, inflict serious financial harm to the business.
Professional services are available which can analyse premium classifications, premium projections, claims estimates. Alternative insurance programmes based on claims management strategies, can offer some relief potentially for those business feeling trapped. Management of injured workers requires cooperation from many stakeholders including the employer, the insurer, injured worker, employees, doctor, insurer, and other health professionals. One weak link in the chain is enough to cause unnecessary costs.
Workers Compensation is about the health and recovery of your worker and how to achieve this safely and meeting your statutory obligations. The outcome of a poor workers compensation risk system for employers however goes to the core of the financial health of the business.
There is little by way of risk management in the legislation about the health, financial or otherwise of the employer. In some jurisdiction there are general statements about fairness, or being equitable etc, but it would appear nothing about protecting the financial integrity of the employer. While some insurers provide safety financial incentives, these are by comparison to premiums quite small. In NSW, SIRA who administrates this risk states ‘its objectives and regulatory role is set out in the Act is …. to promote the efficiency and viability of the insurance and compensation schemes established under the workers compensation’…Hardly inspiring for employers.
In serious circumstances, injuries in some jurisdictions serious offences may result in criminal convictions and or prison. Often injures to contractors will expand into recoveries against employers and without professional management, employers are at greater financial risk. Injures may also involve action and prosecution from Work Safe and similar bodies, resulting in fines and legal costs. Some of these may be insured and with appropriate professional advice and service, these risk issues can be identified and treated.
If you are concerned, talk to us. We have significant capabilities and together with our affiliates we can help both before serious accidents occur.
In addition if you already have perplexing premium or claims issues we are here to help guide you.