Fear is costing you more than you know. It costs companies thousands of hours in manpower. Organizations spend millions to protect their people from injuries. The fear mindset is very real. Especially when you manage WCB claims.
Last week I wrote an article called: “Why your WCB program sucks.”
In the article, I targeted upper management in companies to help us break the broken mindset that is plaguing Canadian companies of all sizes and industries.
Fear serves a purpose in Health & Safety
Fear is a good thing. When it is keeping you alive and warning you of a potential danger. It helps us look at our workplaces from a different perspective and ask ourselves: “What is the hazard?”
From there we do our best to inform and mitigate these hazards so everyone can go home safe at the end of the day.
In my post “Why your WCB program sucks” I explain why this same mindset does not work when it comes to managing and appealing WCB claims. Mainly, because a fear mindset is preventing you from focusing on the creativity that is needed to return a worker back to work.
The benefit of accepting a WCB has happened
We struggle with acceptance. Many people think that by accepting an incident happened that somehow this means you condone it. That you take full responsibility.
This is not always true. Acceptance is looking at the workplace incident as it is. It’s important to avoid the temptation to look at it as worse or better than it is. This is because it keeps our minds sober and focused on mitigating the impact a WCB claim has on everyone involved.
Here are the benefits. When I accept a WCB claim has occurred, I can start looking for the facts. I can start to do my job and create the story of what happened. I can be creative in returning an injured worker back to work safely in an efficient way within legislation.
I am understanding what happened and I will take care of those affected by this incident to the best of my ability. This is because I understand how to use the information I’ve gathered to achieve the results I want.
Start with understanding the WCB system
One of the biggest frustrations I hear from health and safety personnel is working for an organization whose management doesn’t properly understand the WCB system.
Management will put pressure and ask questions that only causes stress and anxiety for those they oversee.
When management doesn’t understand the WCB system, they will often:
- Think a surcharge in premiums is due to the company’s poor performing health and safety department
- Demand to appeal claims where it would be better to manage the claim and control costs
- Avoid creativity and out of the box thinking to resolve WCB issues.
- Limit the freedom of decision and support to their health and safety staff to do their jobs better
The fact is companies and upper management need to understand the Workers Comp System.
How to better manage WCB claims within your company
Start with getting educated. It can start with a phone call to one of our Workers Comp Simplified WCB expert who can explain what a current or potential claim would mean for your company. Including your best options for addressing the WCB claim.
Within 15 minutes or less you can have all your WCB questions answered. To speak with a WCB expert click here.
Another option is to trust your people. Speak with your health and safety team on their thoughts. Where do they need support? What can you offer them to ensure that they have all the tools and resources to do their job properly.
While they may not have the answer, chances are there are people in their network who can help the company right now through your issues.
Encourage creativity and brainstorming when you hit a roadblock or obstacle. Go to the WCB website and find the policies for the issue you’re dealing with. Bring your team together and have them figure out alternative solutions.
You can also check with WCB after you come up with some options. Make sure you have a plan before you call WCB.
How to avoid fear with caring in a WCB claim
If you’re fearful it’s because you’re thinking about yourself or your company and not the injured worker. When you are in service to others it’s difficult to be fearful.
I sometimes get questions from organizations on the benefits of focusing on taking care of the injured worker. There are concerns that in doing so, it could encourage more claims or perhaps other issues related to WCB.
The results our clients have enjoyed prove that understanding the WCB system improve how you take care of your people. It also helps your health and safety team create stronger relationships with front line staff.
This results in cooperation throughout the life of the WCB claim. It also has brought injured workers back to work faster and created a culture of accountability which reduces WCB claims overall.
It’s Workers Comp Simplified’s motto to:
“Give the worker what they’re legally entitled to, in the most cost-effective way for the company.”
Make sure that your company has a strong WCB program in place to respond to a potential WCB claim. You want a reporting procedure that’s clear and easy to follow. You want to document properly key data for Occupational Health and Safety & WCB purposes.
3 steps to avoid a fear mindset when managing a WCB claim
To get your company started on the right path, here are 3 things you can do right now:
- Ask your health and safety team where they think there are gaps in how you manage WCB claims. Encourage them to be creative with how to close these haps within the confines of WCB policy and legislation.
- Review and implement these suggestions in a timely manner. It will show your team that you’re listening and that you care.
- Get educated on the WCB system. Even if you think you know or have had previous experience, be willing to listen and always learn more.
If you need help making a change to your WCB program
If you’re stuck or unsure on what are the best steps to take. Ask a Workers Comp Simplified WCB expert to help you. We’re here to empower you and your organization to overcome the challenges of WCB claims.
The severity of an incident is measured in what you do after it happens. The steps you do or don’t take are usually the difference in impact felt by the worker and the company.
When you don’t understand the WCB system, you’re losing thousands of dollars and hundreds of man hours chasing things that don’t matter.
After 15 years managing and appealing WCB claims, I’ve found the faster you empower and lead your team. The quicker you will get a quality result.
To see lasting changes in your company, you must learn to be flexible between fear and creativity. Be vigilant in prevention, but also understanding that the true impact of a WCB claim is measured in HOW you respond to it.