FAQ after a work related injury
Are even minor injuries to be reported to my manager?
Our policy is that all injuries, even near misses are reported. We report minor claims to our carrier as "information only". Info only claim reporting allows us to make our carrier and the Division of Workers Compensation aware that an injury occurred, but also advise them that there will not be any claims for medical expenses, lost time or wages or need for benefits as it currently stands. By doing so, we get a claim number and comply with the law and have the insurance company on notice in case care is needed for that injury in the future.
What if I don't feel I need medical care? You must still report the injury. In those circumstances, we may require you to consult with a work comp telemedicine provider to assess if care is warranted. No one at Speedy Concrete Cutting, is qualified to determine if medical care is necessary or not. Nor is anyone qualified to weigh the risks with prolonging care or evaluating underlying issues that may make minor injuries more complicated to treat and recover from such as hypertension, diabetes, medication contraindications and the like.
If you decline care, we require your decision in writing. Also, ALL injuries, near misses and policy violation incidents require drug screening. If you decline medical attention, The Speedy Concrete Cutting Drug Free Workplace Policy still requires you to submit to drug testing immediately following the incident.
How about if I change my mind and want to get checked out? To get care after you initially declined it, call your manager so they can put you in touch with the Director of HR. GM's and HR are available 24/7/365.for injury care. Most times a visit will be scheduled the same day.
What doctors can I see? Care must be administered through our established channels unless it is an emergency situation and you are taken to a hospital. Work related injury care comes with rules and regulations that the provider must comply with such as completing a DWC-25 form and billing at predetermined rates. Going to your own doctors for a work related injury is not allowed. If you elect not to go to our existing providers, the adjuster assigned to your case will work with you to find one in network that will provide your care.
What is light duty and how does it work? Occupational Health Care Providers specialize in care and recovery after a work related injury. The doctors are usually given our job description and have an understanding of the type of work we do. Light duty is a limitation on the activities and physical requirements while on the job and under doctors care. The doctor will design a duty status isolating certain parts of the body from use, or placing weight restrictions on specific areas of the body like arms, legs or back and determine tolerable increasing workload he or she can handle as they recover. Occupational Medicine doctors are best at determining the right prescriptions such as anti inflammatories or antibiotics or even vaccines to yield the best recovery outcomes possible.
At Speedy, we are believers in physical therapy as part of a holistic approach to soft tissue and muscular sprain and strain. When physical therapy is given in a controlled environment alongside a chance for the employee to rest or limit the physical demand on their neck, back, legs or other injured part, their recovery time is shortened and their likelihood to bounce back with less pain and discomfort has been proven time and time again.
How is my pay handled?
The law requires the employer to determine the workers 13 week wage and give the info to workers compensation on a special form. The calculation for the 13 week wage can be somewhat complicated to determine (for part time, seasonal, newly hired employees or those who have missed 75 % of the last 13 week of work), however, for illustrative purposes, we will look at it in its simplest form.
Not including the week in which the employee was injured, we count back 13 weeks and add up all the hours and gross wages they earned ( include bonuses, over time, PTO). Then take the total gross wage and divide it by 13 (so we get an average). Ex: $10,950 total gross dollars earned divided by 13 weeks is an average of $842.31.
That number however is NOT what work comp will pay an injured worker who experiences a loss in wages due to his/her injury. Work comp in Florida (and in many other states) pays injured workers on comp 66 2/3% of the $842.31 which would be $556.00 +/- . Work comp pays bi weekly and typically handles the payment of wages directly with the injured employee.
In addition, for injured workers who are able to work and be on light duty, the 13 week wage becomes a "low water mark" meaning, they wont earn below that wage while recovering, however, if they work and their hours are such that they earned above and beyond that wage, they they will be paid according to their "actual" timecard/hours in excess of the 13 week wage.
At Speedy, we have historically chosen to pay our workers directly from payroll and not have our work comp policy pay their wages. In addition, we have chosen to pay our employees 100% of their 13 week wage to ensure that they can focus on getting recovered and getting well and not on the financial hardship living on 66% of their income would create. This has been a great benefit to our employees and their families.
What can I expect at an occupational health care visit? Occupational healthcare providers perform a very high level of care. Facilities are equipped for x-rays, to stitch lacerations, set broken fingers and some bones and even give vaccines like tetanus shots and gamma globulin. Our preferred providers even have onsite hand specialists, orthopedic doctors and cardiology in house as well as physical and occupational therapy.
Because the doctors in our network have a relatively sound understanding of the physical demands of our employees essential job duties. They will likely examine the injured worker and find out more about what the daily workload is in order to set up limitations to work functions and prescribe a plan of care to follow.
What kind of documentation or information should I expect? Occupational Health care providers have rules set by the Division of Workers Compensation. There are forms they must submit to the State, forms they need to get to the comp carrier and they must give the injured worker a DWC-25 to take back to his or her employer. The DWC-25 in its simplest form is the injured workers marching orders until next visit. It tells the employer how to or not to work them, what limitations to their regular job they have, what medicine they have been given, when their next visit is, if they were given a referral to a specialist or for physical therapy and when the doctor expects them to recover by.