Workers' Compensation

Why are accident investigations crucial for Ohio workers’ compensation claims?

Amanda Hagerty
Reading time 4 Mins
Published on Mar 24

After a workplace accident happens, it is vital for your company to gather as much information as possible. This is important because it will help determine if you should certify the claim immediately or look into the claim further. It also helps identify:

  • The need for safety training
  • If you have the correct and adequate safety equipment
  • If your company should undergo an ergonomic study
  • If there are certain trends among your injurie
  • If particular departments/locations are experiencing more injuries and if so, why?

After the injured worker reports the claim, make sure your company documents it thoroughly and reports all the necessary information to your Managed Care Organization (MCO). This may include, but is not limited to:

  • Accident Investigation Report
    • This should include a description of the accident with as much detail as possible. For example, document what time/date the accident occurred, the time/date when the accident was reported by the injured worker, where the accident occurred, what the injured employee was doing at the time of the accident, what part of the body was injured, and if the injured person sought treatment.
    • It is helpful to have an Accident Investigation Report form that your company can use for each workplace injury. If you do not have one, contact your MCO.
    • Complete the Accident Investigation Report as soon as possible after the injury occurs, but not more than 24 hours later.
  • Supervisor Report
    • If the injured worker does not report the injury directly to his/her supervisor, make sure the supervisor completes his/her own report. The supervisor should review the accident investigation report and add any other information that was not included initially.
    • This also gives the supervisor a chance to determine if there are any safety concerns resulting from the injury or if there is a common thread among the types of injury he/she is seeing.
    • The supervisor should complete their report as soon as possible after the injury occurs, but not more than 24 hours later
  • Witness Statement
    • Make sure you gather statements from all employees who witnessed the accident. You will want to include their statement, in their own words. Many employers have a witness statement where the employee can write out their account of the injury to ensure it is their own words.
    • Much of the same information from the accident investigation report should be included in the witness statement (i.e., when and where did the accident happen, a description of the accident, etc.).
    • If there are no witnesses to the accident, and especially if the injured worker works in close proximity with coworkers, make sure you gather non-witness statements. This would include statements from the coworkers indicating they did not witness any type of injury/accident, the injured employee did not make any statements of getting hurt, etc.
    • The witness statements should be completed as soon as possible after the injury occurs, but not more than 24 hours later.
  • First Report of Injury (BWC form)
    • The First Report of Injury (FROI) is a form from the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation and is required for every new workplace injury in Ohio. If you do not have these forms, contact your MCO.

After your company has all of this information, contact your MCO immediately to report the injury.  They will guide you through the steps of the claim and let you know if anything is missing. Immediate reporting of the injury and submitting all of the necessary documentation will help streamline the claim and potentially help save lost days and/or claims cost. It is vital for your company to do a thorough accident investigation of all workplace injuries.

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