Workers' compensation insurance pays the medical expenses of employees who suffer injuries at the workplace. If you are a new business, you may not know much about this cover. Below is an extract discussing a few things you should know about workers' compensation insurance.
Workers Compensation Insurance Is Compulsory
In Australia, the government expects you to have workers' compensation insurance if your business employs people permanently, on contract, part-time or seasonally. The cover is compulsory since it protects the employer and employee. Employers are protected from injury suits that could bankrupt their businesses while employees receive fair compensation for injuries suffered at the workplace.
Always Choose The Right Cover
In a bid to cut costs, some employers will take a basic cover. However, the coverage you take should be customised to suit your business needs. Ask the insurer to assess your premises and operations before issuing the cover. In most cases, the insurer will evaluate the risk levels, the number of employees and their remuneration to determine the amount of coverage your organisation needs. If the premiums are too high, the insurance company will ask you to reduce the workplace risks. For example, you could renovate your premises to meet the required fire standards. If your employees work outside the premises, you should equip them with safety training and personal protective gear to reduce the probability and severity of accidents as they work.
Inform Your Employees About The Exceptions On The Cover
As a rule, you should inform your employees how the cover works. Remember, they could be negligent since they know they will receive compensation for any injuries suffered while working. Workers' compensation only pays when the employer's negligence causes the accident. Therefore, an employee who suffers an injury due to improper use of machinery, poor judgement or intoxication cannot receive compensation. The incident should take place during working hours. Additionally, an employee cannot seek compensation if the injury occurred while they were in the process of committing a crime.
This information compels your employees to observe workplace safety since they know that self-caused injuries do not qualify for compensation. Moreover, it will help keep your premiums down. Remember, if you make too many claims, the insurance company considers you an insurance risk. Therefore, they will charge more.
You should also inform your employees about claims filing and how they can improve their chances of fair compensation. For instance, once the accident occurs, they should take note of any witnesses around and seek immediate medical attention. If possible, they should hire a lawyer to file the claim, handle insurance adjusters and prepare a water-tight case.