Lessons Learned About Workers' Compensation

Last update on Jul, 25, 2019
Ellen Jordan

Ellen Jordan

Workers' Compensation National Account Manager

Ellen brings more than 18 years of account management, sales, leadership, and operations experience specializing in the Workers’ Compensation Liability, and Disability industries. Her diverse experience within the managed care segment has allowed her to work with numerous self-insured employers, insurance companies/carriers, and TPAs throughout the country assisting them to develop cost effective solutions.

I had an explosive introduction to the world of workers’ compensation. Literally. While on the job, one of my family members suffered a severe leg injury when a pneumatic tank exploded. Shrapnel tore open their right leg, causing permanent nerve damage and a gaping wound that required reconstructive surgery.

This incident should have immediately set off alarm bells with the employer risk management department and the workers’ comp program third-party administrator (TPA). However, in the accident report, the supervisor noted the injury simply as a “cut leg.” Due to this vague description of the injury there was nothing to trigger a sense of urgency. I had to jump in and act as the “case manager” during my family member’s hospital stay — even though I had no experience dealing with a workplace injury nor workers’ comp background at the time.

As a result, I learned several valuable lessons from this challenging experience. First and foremost, the choice of words used in an accident report really matters. In the case of my family member, an accurate and complete description of the injury would have triggered quick intervention by the risk management/workers’ comp department and TPA (although they did eventually get involved once they had all the facts).

Other lessons learned through my “on-the-job training” include promptly informing the employee’s risk management department about details of the injury; seeking assistance from a hospital’s on-site case manager; asking for a copy of the accident report (for the injured worker to validate); and staying in touch with the workers’ comp adjuster throughout the life of the claim.

A new focus on hearing health care

Today, as part of Amplifon Hearing Health Care, my workers’ comp focus has shifted to hearing loss, and many of the lessons learned from the experience with my family member still apply.
While hearing loss may not be as traumatic as a severe leg injury (and it’s usually not as easy to identify), that doesn’t mean it’s any less significant or that it doesn’t need to be treated with the utmost seriousness.
Occupational hearing loss has become a more prevalent work-related condition in the United States, according to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA). 

Each year, about 22 million U.S. workers are exposed to on-going or continuous hazardous noise levels on the job, and more than 30 million workers are exposed to chemicals, some of which are toxic to the ears and detrimental to hearing. Swift action is imperative when employees sustain hearing loss, because a lot of other complications may occur if it goes untreated, from difficulty communicating with coworkers, to an inability to hear alarms and other warning signals. In addition, research has shown untreated hearing loss to be a risk factor for significant physical and mental health conditions, including workplace accidents, social isolation and depression.

The right partner makes a world of difference

Worker safety is the primary goal of every employer. And hearing loss prevention is no exception. But when it does occur, you want the right hearing health care partner — one with a solid track record of efficiently managing workers’ comp referrals. The ideal partner will have a nationwide network of audiologists and hearing aid specialists who provide the highest level of care that gets valued employees back to performing their best on the job as quickly as possible.

At the same time, you want a service provider partner that can deliver measurable cost savings through a rigorous audiological review process, access to hundreds of hearing aid options, market-tested turnkey or customized pricing packages and other best practices.   

I’ve just described Amplifon Hearing Health Care, and I invite you to get in touch with me, call our workers' comp team at 888-319-9206 or visit our workers' comp page to find our how we can assist you with managing your workers' comp claims as capably and cost-effectively as possible.

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