Safety Congress Takeaways, part 2

Subrogation (BWC presenters): Subrogation is when the BWC recovers some of the claim costs from a 3rd party (auto insurer or defective product manufacturer or owner of biting dog) that caused the injury. As an employer, notify the BWC if you hear that your employee is suing another party involved in an industrial accident. If the claimant doesn’t tell the BWC he/she has filed against the 3rd party, the BWC can recover ALL the claims costs. Otherwise, the BWC gets pennies on the dollar and the bulk of the claims costs continues to impact your premium rates.

Human Factors in Accident Investigation & Analysis (BWC presenter): Human perception is not accurate (this includes management!). Create checklists and require workers to go through the entire checklist every time. And then audit the checklists and the behavior. Otherwise, humans will choose to ignore the process. After all, if they haven’t been hurt before, they won’t be hurt this time, right?

ADA & FMLA (Employment attorney presenter): This is a chess game, and each party makes only one move at a time. Take one more step, give the employee one more chance than you need/want to, and the employer can win. The employer has a right to get the information it needs to make decisions. The employer must be flexible, and the employee can’t dictate exactly what he/she wants. Have the employee deal directly with HR; supervisors should not have access to medical information or act as go-betweens.


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