Every employer should be prepared to conduct their own on the spot workplace injury investigation. In cases of serious injury, or injuries of a questionable nature, early intervention by the employer is essential. By being proactive, an employer can more readily reduce their liability to exposure by preventing a situation from spiraling out of control rather than engaging in a costly court action.
The main reasons to investigate are:
- This is your only opportunity to conduct your own discovery into the cause or legitimacy of the injury while the incident is fresh.
- Allows you to obtain the witness versions of the incident before details are forgotten, in some instances to prevent possible deception or collusion.
- Provides the best opportunity to understand the underlying cause of the incident and to make an informed management decision.
Understanding How to Conduct an Investigation
Every investigation is really nothing more than a step-by-step logical process. You are best served to have specific individuals designated to perform the investigation.
Your purpose as an investigator will be to determine whether the alleged workplace injury had a casual connection with the worker’s employment. You want to know whether the worker was exposed to a particular danger or possibly some other risk peculiar to the Worker’s Compensation actions at the time of the alleged injury.
You’ve probably seen former Tonight Show host Ed McMahon in the headlines lately. In a sad turn of events, McMahon, once famous for knocking on people’s door to make their dreams come true, is now facing the nightmare of losing his home to foreclosure.
Records show McMahon is $664,000 behind in payments on his Beverly Hills mansion. How could this happen? Simple: McMahon got caught by the housing bust just like so many other Americans.
These days it is so important to have a Insurance company with your best interest in mind. Personal Insurance mistakes are common for the simple fact people aren’t doing their homework on multi policy discounts.
Call Scurich Insurance today to find out how we can help you save BIG!
Scurich Insurance Services
A Member of United Valley Insurance Services
P.O. Box 1170
Watsonville, Ca 95077-1170
Ph# 831-722-3541 Ext. 15
Although Workers Comp policies go by the official name of “Workers Compensation and Employers Liability,” it’s easy to overlook the “Employers Liability’ coverage, which protects your business against liability arising from physical injury and occupational illness claims that Workers Comp doesn’t cover. The Employers Liability section resembles a Commercial General Liability (CGL) policy, defending the employer against claims and paying the employee, dependents, or others in cases of employer negligence.
Consider these types of claims:
- Action-Over: Let’s assume that Curbside Concrete’s employee is injured in an accident while driving a company mixer and sues the other driver, who then sues Curbside, arguing that a defect in its truck caused the accident. Employees who use tools are especially prone to filing claims of this type: the employee sues the manufacturer of a tool that injured them on the job. The manufacturer then counter-sues the employer for negligence in failing to supervise the employees on the safe use of its tool.
- Loss of Consortium: A seriously injured or dead employee might have a relative or spouse who sues the firm for the resulting loss of normal relations with the disabled or deceased companion. This absence can affect a son or daughter with a mother or father who can no longer fulfill the proper role of a parent, as well as someone whose spouse’s sexual function has diminished.
- Consequential Bodily Injury: A worker’s injury has an adverse on one of their relatives. For example, after Joe suffers an injury on the job, his sister must now quit her job to drive him to the occupational therapist every day.
- Dual Capacity: A firm faces a suit beyond its role as the injured worker’s employer. Mike, the building maintenance worker, is injured while installing a basketball hoop in the company gym by a drill manufactured by his employer, Dynamic Drill, Inc. He files a suit against Dynamic as creator of the tool, not as the employer. A dual capacity claim allows Mike to circumvent the prohibition under Workers Compensation law against suing his employer.
These workplace occurrences are not far-fetched. Our Risk Management professionals would be happy to provide a thorough review of your Workers Comp policy to make sure that you have the protection you need.
This real-life case reinforces the need for every business to provide OSHA-required training, along with providing some type of Safety Services training.
A West Virginia company assigned a new employee – call him Jim – to drive a forklift, even though he had no experience or training in forklift operation “There’s nothing to it,” his supervisor told Jim. “It’s just like driving a car.” However, his first few weeks on the job turned out to be bumpy. Several times on each shift, while driving the forklift, he would knock things over. Although the supervisor warned Jim to be more careful, he continued to bump his way through the workday, leaving a trail of destruction wherever he went.
About three weeks after being hired, Jim’s supervisor instructed him to drive down a narrow aisle between two rows of stacked, loaded pallets. After objecting, Jim reluctantly proceeded down the aisle. His left foot, which was dangling outside the forklift where it shouldn’t have been, became pinned between the forklift and the wall of pallets. Jim suffered multiple fractures of the foot, together with a badly twisted knee; both injuries required surgery. Instead of going back to work, Jim went to court, filing suit against his employer and his supervisor for negligence.
His argument was clear: The company and his supervisor failed to provide safety training that could have prevented the accident. Jim’s attorney told the court that, although OSHA regulations mandated specific training, testing, and certification for forklift operators, the company had not trained, tested, or certified him. This meant that Jim should not have been operating a forklift – and if he hadn’t been doing so, the accident would not have taken place.
The Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia agreed, ruling there was sufficient evidence to prove that both the employer and the supervisor were negligent. When they hired the employee; they knew that federal law required proper training or certification of forklift operators. Allowing Jim to drive a forklift without proper training was an act of negligence.
The message: Failure to provide OSHA-required training is a huge mistake. Whenever you hire new employees or assign workers to new jobs with new hazards, make sure that they receive proper training from the get-go. Never allow an employee to operate dangerous equipment or perform any other hazardous job until they have completed the required training and demonstrated competence, as well as understanding the hazards and necessary precautions. Lastly, provide workers with some type of training in Safety Services, every bit of knowledge helps!
A business that has to close down completely while the premises are being repaired may lose out to competitors. A quick resumption of business after a disaster is essential. Having the right Business Insurance is what you need to think about!
- Business interruption insurance compensates you for lost income if your company has to vacate the premises due to disaster-related damage that is covered under your property insurance policy, such as a fire. Business interruption insurance covers the profits you would have earned, based on your financial records, had the disaster not occurred. The policy also covers operating expenses, like electricity, that continue even though business activities have come to a temporary halt.
- Make sure the policy limits are sufficient to cover your company for more than a few days. After a major disaster, it can take more time than many people anticipate to get the business back on track. There is generally a 48-hour waiting period before business interruption coverage kicks in.
- The price of the policy is related to the risk of a fire or other disaster damaging your premises. All other things being equal, the price would probably be higher for a restaurant than a real estate agency, for example, because of the greater risk of fire. Also, a real estate agency can more easily operate out of another location.
For more information on how to protect your Business with the right Business Insurance, visit our website today!
Mariah Carey takes out 1,000,000,000 Insurance policy on legs………….
That’s not a typo, folks. Mariah Carey recently took out a Personal Insurance policy for her Legs for one-billion dollars. The policy was taken out after Mariah was awarded Gillette’s “Legs of a Goddess” award and, according to a spokesperson, “the sum reflects her popularity.” To further reflect her legs’ popularity, Gillette had an extremely bizarre statue of her legs made to commemorate what must be the biggest award ever in the career of one of the best-selling female musicians of all time.
Was It Worth It?
Well, they are definitely nice legs, but just like Mary Hart, it’s not like Mariah Carey couldn’t do her job without them.
What’s important to you?