Workers’ compensation insurance provides medical and wage benefits to people who are injured or become ill at work. Here in Illinois, as in most states, employers are required by law to maintain workers’ compensation coverage and proactively offer these benefits to all employees. This is true even if you only have one employee or if all of your employees are part-time.
This vital insurance covers both the employee’s medical costs and pays them percentage of their normal wages so they don’t lose all of their income while they’re unable to work. And if an employee dies on the job, the employer’s workers’ compensation policy will pay death benefits to the employee’s dependents.
A sick or injured employee will receive workers’ compensation benefits regardless of if their injury or illness was caused by their actions or the employer’s negligence. However, this policy protects employers from lawsuits related to workplace injuries or illnesses, as employees cannot sue their employer if they receive workers’ compensation benefits (though they can sue if the employer does not offer this offer this coverage).
Workers’ compensation claims have many causes, but there are some common ones to watch out for. Being proactive about reducing hazards protects employees’ well-being, an employer’s reputation, and helps keep workers’ compensation premiums down. Each time an employee files a claim, the employer’s experience modifier increases, which increases their workers’ compensation premiums, so employers have many compelling reasons to promote a culture of safety in their workplace.
Here are some common causes cited in workers’ compensation claims:
- Repetitive stress injuries, often due to poor ergonomics
- Slips, trips, and falls
- Muscle strains, most commonly in the back due to poor lifting technique
- Falls from heights, due to inadequate fall protection
- Eye injuries
- Being hit with a falling object, even sometimes just an object on the edge of a shelf
- Vehicle collisions, including cars, forklifts, or golf carts
- Improper chemical handling, such toxic fumes from mixing bleach and ammonia cleaners
- Communicable illnesses, particularly respiratory diseases like covid-19
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 1,062,700 non-fatal on-the-job injuries and illnesses in 2021 for which the employee had to miss at least one day of work. Employers can help reduce that number (and their workers’ compensation insurance premiums) by training their employees to be aware of and avoid these hazards. We offer courses in good housekeeping, avoiding slips and falls, back safety, ergonomics, hazard communication, and driving safety, among many others. And don’t assume you don’t need safety training if you work in an office; there are plenty of hazards even if you don’t work in an industrial environment.
Here at Kamm Insurance Group, our commercial lines team has decades of experience helping employers find the workers’ compensation coverage they need to comply with state law and protect their employees. We can help you compare quotes and manage your risk to help reduce your experience modifier and get the best coverage and keep your premiums in check.