Workers’ Compensation – Managing Risk

Millions of workers experience work-related injuries every year. Besides, many of them experience repetitive injuries. Such workers have a long cumulative period of work disability (Ruseckaite & Collie, 2011). Therefore, reducing the incidence of recurrence of work injuries plays a vital role in removing the economic burden they pose and protecting the workers from serious health problems (Ruseckaite & Collie, 2011). As medical workers have higher risks of work-related disorders and disabilities, managing the risks of workers’ compensation is essential in the healthcare system. Identifying the main specifics of risk management in workers’ compensation helps to understand the contribution of the specialists involved in this area to providing the proper functioning of the system.

The main activities of risk manager in workers’ compensation are aimed at administering and overseeing the incidence of claims for workers’ compensation, analyzing the causes of the injuries, providing appropriate preventive programs suggestions, and ensuring the objectivity of the claims. The responsibilities of risk managers in workers’ compensation include monitoring the ongoing cost of workers’ compensation losses and preparing the workers’ compensation program budget. Besides, risk managers should analyze all claims, identify the most common sources of injuries, determine the conditions that appear to increase the risks of injuries, and, based on the gained data, develop a successful safety program, which ensure employing the appropriate risk management methods to prevent future injuries and subsequent compensation claims. Suggested activities determined in such programs can include educational lessons, technical improvements, etc. Moreover, risk managers workers’ compensation need to assess the relevancy of claims and ensure their timely management.

Employee safety plays a vital role in risk management. It presents the ultimate goal of risk management practices and the main object of analysis. Risk management activities are aimed at identifying which specific features of the workplace and elements of the process of work put a threat to the safety of employees and appear to be the most common causes of the injuries. Risk management is aimed at removing or eliminating the identified sources of danger and ensuring the prevention of future injuries. Besides, appropriate analysis and management of existing claims contribute to developing effective safety programs.

The most effective methods of risk management can help to ensure that the risks of workers’ compensation are properly managed. The risk management team can first identify and characterize the threats that present risks for workers’ compensation. Then, the team should analyze the vulnerability of workers’ compensation to the identified threats. Further actions can include determining the methods of reducing the risks and developing the techniques of measuring the effectiveness of suggested methods. The results of the study on the filing of workers’ compensation claims among nursing home workers show that workers’ compensation system captures only the most severe injuries, as most of the workers do not use the system in cases of minor injuries (Qin, Kurowski, Gore, & Punnett, 2014). Such situation presents a serious risk for the system, as only “a fraction of healthcare workers” receive benefits from using it (Qin et al., 2014, p. 7). Therefore, risk management team should put much attention to this problem and work on reducing the workplace and education factors that prevent the workers from filing appropriate claims. Providing appropriate educational activities with informative content about the rights of the employees in cases of injuries and maintaining healthy working environment should be one of the primary objectives of the team.

Risk management in workers’ compensation is of vital importance for the healthcare system as it helps to reduce the risk related to this system and contributes to preventing future incidents.

References

Ruseckaite, R., & Collie, A. (2011). Repeat workers’ compensation claims: risk factors, costs and work disability. BioMed Central Public Health, 11(492), 1-8. Web.

Qin, J., Kurowski, A., Gore, R., and Punnett, L. (2014). The impact of workplace factors on filing of workers’ compensation claims among nursing home workers. BioMed Central Musculoskeletal Disorders, 15(29), 1-9. Web.

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