Workers Compensation Basics and FAQ for Temporary Employees
Providing a safe work environment is my top priority at Your Employment Solutions (YES). I hope you never have to refer to this information but in the event of an accident, this information should provide you with good insight into how workers compensation works for temporary employees.
Let’s start with a few stats about staffing.
According to the American Staffing Association, in 2013 staffing firms hired over 11 million employees in the Unites States. YES is a small contributor to that market but in 2014 we hired over 7,000 employees for over 100 different companies in Utah.
We do our best to properly educate our employees and coordinate safety efforts with our clients to prevent injuries, but unfortunately some people still get injured at work. I partner with the Workers Compensation Fund (WCF) of Utah to ensure they get the proper treatment they need so they don’t miss work and so they heal as quickly as possible.
Now here are a few stats regarding workplace injuries.
The average injury rate in the US, as reported by the Bureau of Labor statistics, is 3.3 injuries a year for every 100 employees. That’s one injury for every 30 employees. YES employed over 7,000 employees in 2014 and our injury rate was just over 1.5% or 1 injuries for every 66 employees we hire. That’s more than two times better than the national average! Not too shabby!
So, let’s start with those Workers Compensation basic FAQs:
#1) How to report a claim?
It’s very important to your health and important for the proper handling of your injury, to report any injury, no matter how slight, immediately.
Report it to your direct supervisor and then to your staffing agency’s safety manager. That’s me! I’ll file the claim with the Workers Compensation Fund of Utah (WCF) and we will manage the claim until you’re better.
#2) Who pays for Workers Compensation coverage?
Your employer is required to provide workers compensation coverage wherever you work. Employees, temporary or not, should not have to pay for their own workers compensation coverage.
#3) How does lost-time compensation work?
If you are injured on the job, and the doctor believes you are unable to work – or – your employer is not able to accommodate your doctors recommended work restrictions, WCF will pay you two-thirds (66%) of your average weekly wage as “lost time” compensation. If you average $400 per week, your compensation will be about $264 per week. In addition, they will continue to pay your medical expenses associated with that work related industry.
YES strives to provide work for injured employees while they are healing form a work-related injury so you don’t have lost-time compensation and so you don’t have reduced income.
#4) What if you don’t feel like working due to lingering pain?
It’s understandable that after an injury, you may be sore and have lingering pain. However, if the doctor believes you can still work and your employer offers you some modified employment, you have the right to refuse the offer. However, beware that refusing to accept employment that meets your doctor’s recommendations will result in the loss of some or all of your lost-time compensation.
Studies have shown that returning to work, even while still in some pain or discomfort improve your morale and speed up the healing process. For this reason we always encourage you to return to work when possible.
#5) What do I do if I think my supervisor is asking me to do something I think is unsafe?
You have a right to a safe work environment and you have a right to refuse a task or work process you feel is not safe. It’s recommended you discuss the situation with your supervisor or a safety manager rather than just quitting or refusing to work.
Talk with them about your concerns and only proceed once you are comfortable with the safety of the work process. Ultimately, if you are not comfortable with a job or work process, even though it may be safe, you have a right to look for a job more suitable to your comfort level.
In closing, it’s safe to say that preventing an injury is the best way to avoid pain and to avoid having to work with the Workers Compensation Fund.
In addition to keeping yourself safe, we recommend you also keep an eye on your co-workers in order to keep them safe as well. If everyone is looking out for everyone around them, I know we could see our injury rate drop from 1.5% to near zero. And that’s a goal we can all be happy with!
If you have any other questions you’d like to ask, feel free to give leave a comment below, give me a call or shoot me an e-mail. I’d be happy to help!
And don’t forget to: SAY YES TO SAFETY!
Your Employment Solutions
Helpful links, resources and sources for the information provided above:
Bureau of Labor Statistics: US Injury statistics
Workers Compensation Fund of Utah
American Staffing Association: National staffing statistics
Utah Labor Commission: Utah injury statistics
Previous safety blog post and injury prevention video: