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Workers Comp Accident – Happened Right In Front Of Me

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Workers Comp Accident – Slip and Fall In Restaurant

Over the July 4th weekend, I decided to visit a local restaurant that survived the pandemic.  Who knew that a workers comp accident would happen right in front of me? Please note the accident did not happen at the restaurant in the picture.

pic of restaurant menu workers comp accident
Wikimedia Commons – Christophe Gevrey

The waitperson decided that they would carry too many plates to a table.  The next thing I knew, he was lying on the floor on his back.  Witnessing the fall was not my idea of a way to begin ordering food.

What The Restaurant Did Right

The young server struggled to his feet.  The manager had a packet provided by their insurer.   This means they had insurance.  In North Carolina, up to 30,000 employers, if they survived the pandemic, do not have coverage.  The article was from nine years ago.  I am not sure the numbers have improved since that time.

I offered to help but was politely rebuffed by the manager on duty.  The manager wanted to handle the workers comp accident situation.  They read from the packet what to do.  She was owning the situation, which was a positive sign.

The injured employee was more embarrassed than hurt.   The manager sat the employee down, filled out the appropriate paperwork, then sent him to a local medical provider for treatment.   He was in some pain at the time.

The young man left to go see the medical practitioner, likely a walk-in clinic as it was on a Saturday in a small local town.

What The Restaurant Did Wrong

drawing of women workers comp accident restaurant service
Public Domian – LSE Library

The only on-scene negative occurrence was that possibly the server could have been severely hurt – eight plates of food and his back hit the floor first.   I am not so sure he should have been helped up to his feet.

Even though the restaurant was hopping at lunchtime, the one thing I noticed was the employee was left to his own device to get to the physician’s office.  Having someone take him may have made sure of two things for this workers comp accident-

  1. He would treat where the employer had directed him to obtain treatment
  2. The injured worker would actually seek treatment, not just go home
  3. The manager did not (from what I could tell) call the provider before the employee arrived for treatment.

There are three walk-in clinics in the area open on Saturday.  What if he decides to treat at an alternate one?   North Carolina is a state with medical control/employer-directed treatment.

From the NC Employer FAQs  The employer or its insurance company, subject to any Commission orders, provides and directs medical treatment.

Six Keys Workers Comp Accident Checklist 

to do list on workers comp accident bond paper and pen
Wikimedia Commons – Adam Diaz

Let us look at the Six Keys For Saving on Workers Comp as a checklist to see if the restaurant performed well with a Saturday accident.

  1. ASAP First Reports – From what I could tell the manager faxed the 1st Report of Injury to the carrier.
  2. Medical Control – This one was 50% finished, having someone go with the injured employee to the clinic may have been the best method.  The restaurant was so busy that it was understandable if no employee was available to go with him.  The manager may have called ahead or after the appointment.
  3. Return to Work – I would not see a problem here.  The manager was a very caring person at the scene.  I doubt they would terminate his employment as servers are hard to find post-pandemic.
  4. Employee Treatment by Employer – This key was covered well by the manager.  You could tell that she was trusted by and cared for her employees.
  5. Program Acceptance by Management – The manager obviously knew that there was a method and manual in place to handle accidents.  She followed it line by line.  The carrier-provided material was crucial.
  6. Understanding the premium audit – n/a for now.

Overall the manager handled the workers comp accident well.  She knew to pull out a folder and go through it line by line.  If the injured employee treated at the right clinic, then all was well.

 

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James Moore

Raleigh, NC, United States

About The Author...

James founded a Workers’ Compensation consulting firm, J&L Risk Mgmt Consultants, Inc. in 1996. J&L’s mission is to reduce our clients’ Workers Compensation premiums by using time-tested techniques. J&L’s claims, premium, reserve and Experience Mod reviews have saved employers over $9.8 million in earned premiums over the last three years. J&L has saved numerous companies from bankruptcy proceedings as a result of insurance overpayments.

James has over 27 years of experience in insurance claims, audit, and underwriting, specializing in Workers’ Compensation. He has supervised, and managed the administration of Workers’ Compensation claims, and underwriting in over 45 states. His professional experience includes being the Director of Risk Management for the North Carolina School Boards Association. He created a very successful Workers’ Compensation Injury Rehabilitation Unit for school personnel.

James’s educational background, which centered on computer technology, culminated in earning a Masters of Business Administration (MBA); an Associate in Claims designation (AIC); and an Associate in Risk Management designation (ARM). He is a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) and a licensed financial advisor. The NC Department of Insurance has certified him as an insurance instructor. He also possesses a Bachelors’ Degree in Actuarial Science.

LexisNexis has twice recognized his blog as one of the Top 25 Blogs on Workers’ Compensation. J&L has been listed in AM Best’s Preferred Providers Directory for Insurance Experts – Workers Compensation for over eight years. He recently won the prestigious Baucom Shine Lifetime Achievement Award for his volunteer contributions to the area of risk management and safety. James was recently named as an instructor for the prestigious Insurance Academy.

James is on the Board of Directors and Treasurer of the North Carolina Mid-State Safety Council. He has published two manuals on Workers’ Compensation and three different claims processing manuals. He has also written and has been quoted in numerous articles on reducing Workers’ Compensation costs for public and private employers. James publishes a weekly newsletter with 7,000 readers.

He currently possess press credentials and am invited to various national Workers Compensation conferences as a reporter.

James’s articles or interviews on Workers’ Compensation have appeared in the following publications or websites:

  • Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS)
  • Entrepreneur Magazine
  • Bloomberg Business News
  • WorkCompCentral.com
  • Claims Magazine
  • Risk & Insurance Magazine
  • Insurance Journal
  • Workers Compensation.com
  • LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites
  • Various trade publications

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