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Getting injured on the job

Many jobs come with inherent risks. Roofers, for example, are always at risk of slipping on a roof and falling from heights. Roofing companies and their employees are expected to take appropriate safety precautions every time they work, but sometimes accidents just happen.

When an employee is injured on the job—say, while working on a roof—that employee is likely eligible for certain benefits and assistance. This is because most companies are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance, a type of insurance that provides financial support to employees who have been injured or become ill as a direct result of doing work-related duties.

Like any type of insurance, there are processes to follow to receive a payout. It is critically important to know how to file an injury compensation claim, for both employees and employers. For employees, the most important thing is to remember to report it right after an injury occurs. Waiting to report an injury could result in not getting any compensation at all. For employers, it is important to create a paper trail and follow the necessary procedures and paperwork required by the insurance company. This usually means knowing how to file an accident report and providing documentation, such as timesheets and employee contact info.

Types of injury compensation claims

Injuries can vary widely in severity and level of impairment. Some employees are able to recover from minor injuries, such as strains, after some medical treatment and perhaps one or two days off of work. More severe injuries, such as brain trauma or a limb amputation, can be life-altering and may result in years of disability payments.

Workers’ compensation injury compensation claims can come in several forms:

  • Medical-only payments
  • Temporary partial disability
  • Temporary total disability
  • Permanent partial disability
  • Permanent total disability

The difference between a “partial” and a “total” disability is one of degree: a “partial” disability means that the employee is still able to work in some capacity. The difference between “temporary” and “permanent” is self-explanatory; a person with a permanent disability is affected for the duration of their lives by that injury.

Workers who have sustained any kind of temporary or permanent disability must receive a workers’ comp disability rating. This rating is a way to quantify to what extent the individual is disabled. Different body parts are assigned different ratings, and hence, different levels of compensation and days allowed off work. More severe and impactful injuries receive higher disability ratings.

However, the job itself is also considered when assigning workers’ comp disability ratings. A professional violinist, for example, would be severely impacted from the loss of a pinky finger, as it is needed in playing their instrument. This would be factored into the disability rating.

Workers who qualify for disability can also receive impairment ratings. Based on this rating, they may receive different amounts of impairment rating payouts for a varying number of weeks. “Impairment” is different from “disability” in that it should reflect a whole-body condition. The impairment rating is given when a person has reached “maximum medical improvement”; that is, when they have healed or recovered as much as they are going to.

Explore the Claims Process

Read this step-by-step guide about what happens after CompSource Mutual is notified of a workplace injury.

Workplace health and safety

Maintaining a safe workplace should be every business owner’s top priority. A safer workplace means fewer injuries, which means fewer costly injury compensation claims from employees. Although it is the insurance company, and not the employer, that makes the payouts, the company can eventually pay the price in the form of a higher experience modification rate. This rate, also called a mod rate, is a way of quantifying the claims history of any given business. A company with a long history of many workers’ comp claims may pay the price in the form of a higher mod rate, which acts as a multiplier on the company’s premium. In contrast, a company with very few workers’ compensation claims may even get a discount on their premium.

Building an experience modification rating into a company’s premium cost helps create an incentive to have a safe workplace. Because companies can receive a discount on their premium if they have fewer injury compensation claims, they should be motivated to invest more in safety training and in maintaining their equipment and worksites.

Some ways to help promote workplace safety and reduce workplace risks are:

  • Enhanced safety training for new employees
  • Routine maintenance of equipment and tools
  • Maintaining employee morale and promoting healthful practices (e.g., frequent breaks, water readily available)
  • Regular onsite inspections

Why CompSource Mutual

CompSource Mutual’s top-notch team has expertise in serving the industries that keep Oklahoma’s economy running. For over 85 years, we’ve supported a wide range of Oklahoma businesses and get you coverage that makes sense at a fair price. We offer valuable risk control resources, such as safety videos and on-site inspections to our policyholders to help protect Oklahomans on the job. We want to encourage you to prioritize safety – just like we do. You can access help to reduce your business’s risks.

Meet the Safety Team

Book on-site or virtual support from our security experts to learn how to make your business safer.

Yes, but because carpal tunnel syndrome can have many causes and is not unique to any one kind of job, it can be hard to prove. An employee may receive injury compensation for carpal tunnel syndrome if they can prove that it was directly caused by their work duties, and not by any other activities, such as typing on their computer at home or playing tennis.

A certificate of workers’ compensation, or certificate of coverage, is an official document stating that the company or employer is an active policyholder of that insurance plan. It can be obtained by calling or emailing the insurance company. Some insurance companies have it available online.

One example of fraud would be fraud on behalf of the employer. An employer might want to downplay a work-related injury, perhaps to prevent the employee from filing a claim. It would fraudulent (and illegal) to prevent the injured employee from filing a claim, or to tamper with the accident report related to the claim.

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