An EHS Pro’s Role in Workers’ Compensation

Katherine Schofield, PhD, CSP
(University of Minnesota Duluth)

Workers’ compensation (WC) and claim management are common responsibilities of EHS professionals. However, there are few formal avenues to learn about WC insurance, statutes, programs, best practices, and analytics, especially for those who are seeking the information for professional advancement. An understanding of WC is important not only to the EHS professional, but to the (injured) workers and organization. WC provides a data-driven, quantitative component that is particularly use for communication with management and business-side of organizations. Even in a safe organization or department, with few claims, the management of WC insurance can have a major impact on goals, costs, and budget. This session will highlight essential aspects of WC insurance for the EHS professional as well as common pitfalls, problem areas, and budget busters. The session will discuss: a brief history of WC and the national WC landscape; common WC insurance arrangements/programs, pros and cons; WC pricing and premium calculations; experience modification factor; injury reporting, “waiting period”, medical-only versus lost-time claims; injuries that qualify as WC claims; WC benefits/payments; disability classifications (TTD, TPD, PPD, PTD); claim management process and best practices; other “players”- nurse case managers, qualified rehabilitation consultants, and lawyers; resources and partnerships; return to work and the injured employee; claims data- trending, development, inflation, analysis; and business impact.

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