Caught off Guard with a Surprise WCB Related Claim!Its not uncommon for employers to get caught of guard with unexpected WCB related claims. In some instances, they can have serious and long-lasting impacts to your business. Here are some tips to keep you in the know:1. EMPLOYEES WORKING ON PERSONAL PROJECTS IN YOUR WORKPLACE. Do you ever allow employees to work in your facilities on personal projects on their own time? If so these employees will not likely be covered by the employers WCB Insurance in the event of an incident in the course of performing work on a personal project.The WCB insurance regime affords “no fault insurance” for all employers. If the employers’ WCB insurance does not apply to a worker injured while working on their own project and on their own time, then the potential consequences to the employer include the risk of the employee or their family suing for damages.2. HIRING CONTRACTED WORKERS. Did you know that it is the employer’s responsibility to ensure contracted workers and their employees are covered by workers compensation? If not, WCB coverage may become the responsibility of the employer that’s hiring contracted workers. Further to point #1 above, when workers are not covered by WCB, they have the option to claim for damages through the courts.A recent example is a Winnipeg company whose contracted installer fell from a ladder and suffered a serious back injury. Because the contracted worker did not have WCB Insurance, the business owner became liable for the WCB insurance and will bear the cost burden. 3. THE DURATION OF CLAIMS. Your WCB rate is affected by the frequency and duration of claims. We commonly see workers off work for extended period of time unnecessarily. This is problematic for both the workers and the employer. It has been shown time and again that early return to work results in improved morale for the employee and reduced WCB costs to the employer. Rather than accepting a vague doctor’s note stating that an employee must be off work for a period of time, the employer has the right to request a doctor note that describes the tasks that the employee can and cannot DO. This may allow for an expedited return to work with the injured worker being able to perform modified duties.
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR BUSINESS FROM WCB RELATED RISK:
1. Establish clear policies and procedures for employees working on personal projects on company property. It’s a good idea to discuss your particular situation with your lawyer.2. Ensure that contracted and self-employed workers are evaluated prior to starting work to ensure that they are registered with WCB and are in good standing. Check on your contractors at http://www.wcb.mb.ca/clearances 3. Establish a formal Return to Work Program to ensure WCB claims are effectively managed to ensure injured workers are returned to work in a fair but expeditious manner. Both employees and your bottom line will benefit.
DO YOU NEED HELP ESTABLISHING OR IMPROVING YOUR WCB / RETURN TO WORK PROGRAM? Contact the friendly safety professionals at 1Life Workplace Safety Solutions. We’re here to help!