Employers in Arizona are not only bound by the Arizona Workers’ Compensation Act (WCA) but by their responsibility as leaders of people to ensure their employees are covered for work-related injuries, diseases, or deaths. The WCA establishes the responsibilities that relate to an employer’s rights and responsibilities when it comes to workers’ compensation in Arizona, as well as how claims are to be handled.
One requirement of the WCA is that all employers secure workers’ compensation insurance coverage for their employees that is up-to-date and appropriate for their business size. Once coverage is secured, the business or their insurance carrier must notify the Industrial Commission of Arizona (ICA) of the coverage promptly after the policy has been bound.
Ensuring that your business is prepared when it comes to injury reporting requirements and medical care after an injury will put you in a position to protect your employees as well as your business. As an employer, if you do not meet these basic responsibilities it could have a negative impact on the safety of the workplace and your employee.
INJURY REPORTING REQUIREMENTS
When a work-related injury is reported, it must be reported to the insurance carrier (if applicable) and the Commission within 10 days by the Employer using the Employers Report of Industrial Injury form (ICA form 101). The employer must also provide the injured employee with the name and address of its insurance carrier and the employer’s policy number and expiration date immediately after the incident.
In the unfortunate circumstance that any fatalities occur, employers must report those fatalities to the ICA no later than the next business day. Fatalities are required to be reported by telephone, telegram or electronic filing. Keep in mind that this requirement differs slightly from the 8 hour fatality reporting requirement imposed by OSHA.
It is also imperative that the work-related injury be reported as soon as practicable to the insurance carrier so that the adjuster can promptly establish a claim file and take action to manage the claim. The WCA establishes very specific timeframes for claim activities, and any delay in reporting the claim to the insurance carrier may jeopardize certain defenses under the WCA.
MEDICAL CARE AFTER INJURY
Injured workers should be provided with an opportunity to obtain medical care for their injuries promptly. Under the WCA, employers are prohibited from directing or otherwise interfering with an injured employee’s medical care. However, an employer may direct their employee to a physician for an initial, one-time medical examination to determine the character and extent of an injury. Most insurance carriers maintain a network of preferred medical providers that can be utilized for both the initial and ongoing care necessary to cure or relieve the effects of the work-related injury.
As you can see, there are several responsibilities that employers in Arizona must undertake when dealing with their employees and the safe future of their business. It is not just about focusing on the day to day activities of your operation and employees, it is about following the laws and steps that are put in place to make sure both employer and employee are protected.
For questions or additional information on how we can help your business in Arizona, please contact Ken Cooper at firstname.lastname@example.org or (949) 379-3858.