Social Capital – Funding the Trust in Workers’ Compensation

The workers’ compensation system is filled with complex relationships and competing agendas. It can be confusing or even exasperating for an employee who must navigate this system alone. Employees need an advocate they can rely on while in the workers’ compensation system.

The employer must be that advocate.

By investing in prevention and early return-to-work systems, an employer can create social capital – the trust or ‘good will’ needed to maintain relationships – even in difficult situations. The key is to select a talented employee health partner. Proof:Positive can help you make these systems your own, by involving employees during every step. Engaging employees in prevention and the return-to-work process builds trust and shuts down the avenues for over-treatment and litigation.

Ask yourself this question: Do we give a F.I.G. about our injured employees? Use this mnemonic device to assess your organization’s ability to maintain trust when an employee becomes injured and enters the workers’ compensation system.

  1. First – Does an injured employee receive information from the employer first, regarding workers’ compensation and support systems, Health and Wellness Rooms, etc.?
  2. Informed – Does the employer know the physical demands of the work? Can a match between medical restrictions and job demands be made quickly?
  3. Gracious – Is the injured employee met with a gracious and understanding attitude from the employer? Does the employer have systems in place that allow this level of support (e.g. early return to work, work hardening, ergonomics evaluations)?

Unfortunately, few employers take time to develop systems that provide a responsive, informed and humane response to workplace injuries. When the social capital account is overdrawn, employers pay penalties in the form of workers’ compensation costs and reduced productivity. Take time today to plan your trust portfolio and contact Proof:Positive if you need help.

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