For San Diego small business owners, there are few things more frightening than having an employee receive an injury on the job. Unfortunately, this nightmare scenario happens every day in factories, restaurants, and construction sites throughout California.
If one of your employees reported a workplace injury tomorrow, would you know how to respond? Would you know what steps the California Labor Code says you must take in the days and weeks after the injury occurs? If not, you may find the following guide to responding to a workplace injury quite helpful:
Step 1: Provide Your Employee with Medical Attention
In the immediate aftermath of a workplace injury, the health and wellbeing of your employee should be your priority. As soon as you find out that your worker has been hurt, you should provide them with first aid, call them an ambulance, and/or allow them to leave the premises to visit a doctor.
Step 2: Report the Injury to Cal/OSHA
Once you are confident that your employee is not in any immediate medical danger, you will need to report their injury to the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA). You must do so within eight hours of learning about the injury. Reports can be made over the phone.
Step 3: Give Your Employee a Workers’ Compensation Claim Form
Having taken care of your worker’s health needs and your governmental reporting obligations, you will next need to handle the insurance side of the situation. According to Section 5401(a) of the California Labor Code, providing the employee with a Workers’ Compensation Claim Form is the first step in that process. The law stipulates that this form must be given to the injured worker in person or via first-class mail within one business day.
When handing or mailing the Workers’ Compensation Claim Form to your injured employee, you may wish to have a California business lawyer present. The attorney can make note of the date and time of the event, in case it should ever need to be referenced in future legal proceedings.
Step 4: Report the Claim to Your Insurance Carrier
When your injured employee fills in and returns their portion of the Workers’ Compensation Claim Form, you will need to complete the employer section. Section 5401(c) of the California Labor Code states that you must then forward a copy of the completed document to your insurance carrier and your injured worker. If you run into any difficulties while filling out the form, you can always have a business attorney in San Diego complete it on your behalf.
Once your insurer has received their copy of the Workers’ Compensation Claim Form, they will take over the handling of the case. If your worker’s claim is valid, the insurance company will provide them with payments for any necessary medical treatment. If the claim is questionable, however, your insurer may decide to investigate it further.
A California Business Lawyer You Can Count On
The rules and regulations surrounding workplace injuries in the state of California can be quite complicated and confusing. If you need a business attorney in San Diego to help you better understand and stay compliant with them, please do not hesitate to give the Semanchik Law Group team a call at (619) 535-1811. We would be more than happy to provide you with the legal assistance you need.