As an employer, you know how important it is to look after the health and safety of your employees. Running a safe place of work is a point of pride to every business owner, and you will, of course, be running regular inspections to make sure that everything is up to code. You will also be instructing any new employees about the steps they need to take to protect themselves and your property. This is all part of running a successful business and making sure that your business is a good place to work.
However, the fact is that there is always the chance that one of your employees may suffer an accident or injury. It does not matter how many steps we take to prevent accidents from happening, sometimes these things just happen. When injuries happen at work, you should expect to receive an injury at work claim from your employee. There is even the chance of a fatal injury at work. In 2019, there were 306 fatal occupational injuries reported in Florida. If the idea of this puts you in a cold sweat, then it is time to learn about what your responsibilities are and what you can do to protect your business and ensure that your employee gets the proper support they need.
How The Accident Took Place
First things first: as the employer, you need to be crystal clear on how the accident took place. Make sure that you have all the details as soon as you can. Talk to the employee who has been injured and get their account of the events on record. Then, you need to talk to anyone else who was there and who saw what happened. Remember to make it clear that you are not looking to contradict anyone’s version of events, but that having all the facts straight will help to make sure that things get resolved quickly.
It is important to note that there are situations when the employee would be liable rather than the employer. For example, if the employee was under the influence of alcohol or drugs when they suffered the injury at work, this would likely be their responsibility. Similarly, if the employee violated any company policy or was found to have been committing misconduct, this is very important information to have.
You Need Worker’s Compensation Insurance
If your business does not have worker’s compensation insurance, then this is a situation that you must remedy as quickly as possible. Remember, as a Florida business, you may be required by law to have workers’ compensation insurance if your company has four or more employees. If your business does any kind of construction work, including any self-employed workers and contractors, you are legally required to have this insurance. If your business fails to offer this insurance when legally required to, you may face a stop-work order from the Division of Workers’ Compensation. This will be enforced until the situation is resolved, and you may also face a fine.
When you have workers’ compensation insurance in Florida, you may be covered for medical bills, expensive emergency treatment, any lost wages because of their injury, and even death benefits. If you do not have this, then all the costs will be your responsibility.
Injury At Work Claims Are Expensive
Right now, businesses all over the world are looking for ways to cut their costs. They are going over their budgets with a fine-tooth comb, picking out any expenses that they deem to be unnecessary. However, insurance should never be something that you skimp on. Even if your business does not meet the legal requirements in Florida as described above, then it is still worth investing in workers’ compensation insurance. The biggest reason is that the costs resulting from an injury at work claim for your business could be astronomical.
If you are found to be responsible for this injury, then you could be looking at thousands, if not tens of thousands, of dollars to pay as a result. Keep in mind that, per the Division of Workers’ Compensation, the average cost of a temporary disability claim is just under $20,000. A fatality claim averages out at more than $73,000, and a permanent benefits claim is more than $600,000. Can your business really afford to survive those kinds of costs?