Although employers should strive for employee health and safety every day, injuries or illnesses occasionally occur in the workplace. All employees have the right to file workers’ compensation claims if they believe they’ve incurred a workplace injury or illness. As an employer, you have the right to investigate the claim.
If an employee files a workers’ compensation claim regarding COVID-19, it is recommended that the employer conduct an incident investigation. Since information obtained in this investigation may contain personal and health information, the investigation report should be safe-guarded and kept confidential. This information should be limited to those parties that have been authorized by your legal counsel.
QUESTIONS TO ASK IN A COVID-19 WORKERS’ COMPENSATION CLAIM INVESTIGATION:
What are the exact symptoms the employee experienced?
Who made the COVID-19 diagnosis?
When and where did the COVID-19 test take place? What were the test results?
What treatment was recommended?
What are the employee’s exact job duties?
How much contact does the employee have with co-workers and the general public? Indicate any duties where PPE cannot be worn, or social distancing rules observed.
How did the employee explain their alleged contracting of COVID-19 at work?
Did the employee have a potential COVID-19 exposure from family and/or friends?
Has the employee been on any business or personal related travel within the 14 days prior to COVID-19 symptoms appearing?
Does the employee have another job? If so, what is the nature of the employment?
How does the employee travel to and from work? Does the employee carpool or use public transportation?
Has the employee made any social media posts about or referenced attending large group or mass gatherings within the last 14 days?
Have there been any recent investigations at this work site by OSHA, doctors, public health officials, epidemiologists, or industrial hygiene experts? If so, what were the results?
What workplace safety precautions had been in place during the 14 days prior to the alleged employee exposure to COVID-19 virus? Examples include: COVID-19 training, posters or warning signs, face masks, hand sanitizers, social distancing rules, and disinfectant clearing of workplaces and common areas.
Does the employee have any physical or health factors that place them at particular risk for COVID-19 such as age, obesity, respiratory issues, pulmonary disease, kidney disease, or a compromised immune system?
This questionnaire checklist is provided for employers who need assistance investigating workers’ compensation claims during this unprecedented time. For additional assistance, contact your Centurion Insurance provider or our Loss Control Manager, Robert Brooks CWCP, CHRS via email or at (606) 434-0739. Centurion offers a complete loss control program and full service benefits administration. Our experienced providers are ready to assist you with customized insurance and loss control programs today.
Disclaimer: This information is provided for insurance loss prevention purposes only. It is not legal advice. It should not be construed as any kind of mandatory guidelines or recommendations on regulatory compliance requirements.