Workers Comp Series: Keeping Your Claims Experience Low

Nothing can keep your insurance costs low like having a clean workers compensation claim history. How can you have a Workers’ Comp claim without increasing the losses on your policy? The answer: First Aid Claims. While that is often out of your control when it comes to a claim with any severity, you can pay for medical care for minor injuries directly to the medical provider.

As with any regulation, there are a list of qualifications you must know in order to navigate what is and what isn’t a first aid claim.

First Aid, as defined by the California Labor Code and Regulations, is any one-time treatment, and any follow-up visit, for the purpose of observation of minor scratches, cuts, burns, splinters, or other minor occupational injuries, which do not ordinarily require medical care. Such one-time treatment, and follow-up visit for the purpose of observation, is considered First Aid, even though provided by a physician or by other registered professional personnel. These are not recordable injuries per OSHA guidelines and no claims file needs to be made for them. However, it is recommended that First Aid claims are reported to your Workers’ Compensation Claims Office as a precautionary measure. First Aid injuries do not add to your losses if you pay the medical bills.

The following are some examples of treatments that are generally considered First Aid:

    • Antiseptic or ointment application.
    • First degree burn treatment.
    • Application of bandages.
    • Removal of foreign bodies not embedded in eye. (minor procedures only)
    • Removal of foreign bodies from eye if only irrigation is required
    • Recommending non-prescription medications and/or administering of a single dose of prescription medication on first visit.
    • Heat therapy (first visit only)
    • Negative X-rays

Injuries involving loss of consciousness, restriction of work or motion, or transfer to another job are also not First Aid.  In fact, if the employee misses any work or has his or her job duties modified for any day after the date of the injury, the claim cannot be classified as a First Aid injury.

Knowing about First Aid claims can make a huge difference in the price you are paying annually for your Workers’ Comp premiums. Our goal is to make your life easier by providing important info, such as this, so that you can apply the newfound knowledge to your business.

About the Author

John Hoefer is the founder of the Brewery Insurance Program. Having insured breweries and food manufacturers for many years John excels at providing the right coverage unique to those that manufacture consumable and perishable goods.

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