The Cost of a Claim – Do you have $150,000…at least?

Picture this, a 26-year-old worker in a quick-service restaurant slips and falls while at work.  She falls to the floor and injures her knee.  She has soreness and pain, but nothing is broken, torn, or sprained.  She has now missed over 250 days of work and has cost almost $35,000 in direct claims costs (compensation and medical paid by the Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board).  Indirect costs soar to between 4 and 12 times that much – that’s almost $150,000, minimum!

Now consider the following questions:

  • Could that employee have been back to work (within the year) conducting some of her previous duties?

  • If not, could she have conducted other duties?

  • Has that worker suffered psychologically because of her time away from gainful employment and her social contacts at work?

  • Has the employer truly done all they can to mitigate the costs of the claim? (both financial costs and human costs)

This is an actual case that occurred in Saskatchewan.  And this is the actual outcome.  Employers can, and must, do better.  At a time where financial and mental health challenges are at an all-time high, employers must do a better job at managing their claims. 

Now consider the benefits of effective claims management, including a modified work program:

  • Financial benefits for the organization – your WCB costs decrease as less compensation is being paid to reduce your risk of being surcharged; you lose less in productivity because you have your trained worker back in the workplace

  • Financial benefits for the worker – they get their paychecks again; their employment remains secure

  • Psychological benefits for the worker – they return to the social aspect of their job, they feel productive in their role, they remain a part of the team

  • Psychological benefits for the supervisor – they don’t have to worry about their injured worker at home, they don’t have to retrain or re-hire to fill the position, they have less worry about the “unknown” next steps

Effective claims management is not just a great business decision, it’s great for everyone involved.  Even if you disagree, isn’t it worth looking into?  Just in case. 

For more information about major claims management mistakes, you could be making, check out our latest YouTube video: 5 Common Mistakes Employers Make While Managing Claims (and what to do instead!).  To learn all about effective claims management, check out our Claims Management webinar, on November 19th