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R&R Insurance Blog

Important Tips to Keep in Mind After a Car Accident

Posted by Jenna Haertle

Wed, Jul 08, 2015 @ 05:06 AM

Car-Accident-Personal-Auto-Insurance

Have you ever been in a car accident? Did you feel prepared for what steps to take? Was there anything you forgot to do?

 

As a CSA in our Personal Lines Department here at R&R, I frequently assist clients after they’ve been in a car accident. Unfortunately, I was recently in one myself and learned what it’s like to be on the other side of the phone. Being the client was a great reminder about what steps someone should take immediately following their accident. I encourage you to keep these tips in mind, and never hesitate to contact your knowledge broker for more information.

 

  • Safety First! Make sure yourself or the other party is not seriously injured. Call for medical assistance, if needed. If cars can be moved out of the road to a shoulder or side street, try and do so to avoid another potential accident. If they cannot be moved, stay in your vehicle with your seatbelt on. Don’t forget to put on your emergency flashers!
  • Call the police. They can help get tow trucks, direct traffic out of the way, and can file the policy report right there. Having a police report on file for your insurance claim will be very helpful down the road.
  • Don’t discuss fault with the other driver or a police officer. Leave it up to the officer and insurance companies to determine it. Just explain what happened so the police can document it on their reports, don’t admit fault or place blame on the other driver.
  • Gather information. Take a picture of the other party’s insurance card and driver’s license if you don’t have a pen and paper available. Make sure to get their name, phone number, license plate number, insurance carrier and insurance policy number. If possible, take some pictures of the damage done on both vehicles.
  • Witnesses. If there are any witnesses at the scene who have stopped to help, get their information as well. It may be important in helping determine who is at fault later on.
  • Call your insurance agent. It may take around 10 minutes to get the claim started, so make sure you’re in a safe place and out of traffic to do this. If you are in need of a tow truck or a rental car, they can help you out with that as well.
  • Seek Medical Attention. It may take some time before you realize that you've been injured. Once the shock of being in an accident wears off, you might realize you’re swollen or sore in places. It doesn’t hurt to get checked out by a doctor. Make sure that your doctors document everything, in case your pain gets worse later on.

 

Contact a knowledge broker for more information on car accident safety.

Topics: Safety, Personal Insurance, Accident Investigation, car safety, car accidents

OSHA: What to Do After You Make the Call

Posted by Maureen Joy

Tue, Mar 17, 2015 @ 03:00 AM

OSHALate last year, we discussed the OSHA reporting changes for 2015. In addition to reporting, it’s also important to consider and plan for potential site visits when OSHA is contacted. The National Safety Council states that “reacting quickly to the incident with a prescribed procedure and actions can demonstrate your company’s commitment to safety. It also ensures the proper information is collected to fulfill an incident investigation’s ultimate purpose – to prevent future injuries.”

According to an article by Ogletree Deakins, employers are reporting more injuries than expected (particularly with regard to hospitalizations) and OSHA does not have the resources to inspect each incident. Instead, most Area Offices are asking employers to do the following:

  • Conduct an incident investigation (Also known as Attachment A, this is a “non-mandatory investigative tool” that employers may complete in lieu of providing an incident investigation report. Employers are instructed to submit the information by a certain date or risk an immediate on-site inspection.)
  • Document findings and send corrective actions to the relevant Area Office
  • Post a copy of the letter where employees can readily review it
  • Fax or email a copy of the signed Certificate of Posting (Also known as Attachment B) to the relevant Area Office

How should employers respond to these communications?

Ogletree Deakins recommends the best course of action is often to respond the same way an employer would respond to an OSHA complaint letter. The employer’s goal should be to show the incident was investigated and corrective measures were implemented. At the same time, the employer does not want OSHA to be interested enough to inspect the worksite. In addition, employers should be aware of potential civil liability issues.

Rather than using Attachment A, you may also consider submitting a letter briefly describing how you investigated the incident, exactly what happened, and what corrective steps were taken (i.e., retraining or fixes to equipment). The letter may be supplemented with the First Report of Injury (if you are in Wisconsin) or the OSHA 301 form and proof of corrective steps. Employers must recognize that OSHA does not provide assurances that it will not cite an employer on the basis of the information provided.

If you have additional questions or concerns, contact your knowledge broker at R&R Insurance!

Topics: Safety, OSHA, Accident Investigation, reporting injuries, prompt reporting

OSHA Reporting | New for 2015

Posted by John Brengosz

Wed, Oct 01, 2014 @ 06:11 AM

OSHA 2015 ReportingWhat is currently required to be reported to OSHA?

  • All work related fatalities
  • Work-related hospitalizations of 3 or more employees

Starting 1-1-2015, what will employees have to report to OSHA?

  • All work-related fatalities (within 8 hours of finding out about them)
  • All work-related inpatient hospitalizations of 1 or more employees
  • All work-related amputations
  • All work-related losses of an eye

Important note on who is covered by this ruling
All employers under OSHA jurisdiction must report the 4 events listed above and this includes even small employers with less than 10 employees. (who are exempt from OSHA record-keeping)

How soon must these be reported?

  • Fatality: within 8 hours of finding out about it or if the death occurs within 30 days of a work-related incident.
  • For inpatient hospitalization, amputation and eye loss, employers must report within 24 hours of learning about it. (employers only have to report an inpatient hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye that occurs within 24 hours of a work-related incident.)

How do I report one of these events to OSHA?

  • CALL: Your local OSHA office or use the 24 hour hotline at 1-800-321-6742
  • ELECTRONICALLY: OSHA is working to have this in place soon! (www.osha.gov)

What information do I need to report?

For fatality, inpatient hospitalization, amputation or loss of an eye, report the following:

  • Company name
  • Location of the incident
  • Time of the incident
  • Type of injury sustained
  • Number of employees who suffered the event
  • Names of the employees involved
  • Contact person and his/her phone number
  • Brief description of the work related incident

Employers DO NOT have to report an event if it:

  • Resulted from a motor vehicle accident on a public street or highway. (it does need to be reported if the event happened in a construction work zone)
  • Occurred on a commercial or public transportation system (airplane, subway, bus, ferry, streetcar, light rail or train)
  • Occurred more than 30 days after the work-related incident if a fatality or more than 24 hours after the work related incident in the case of an inpatient hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye.

What about heart attacks?

Employers do have to report an inpatient hospitalization due to a heart attack, if the heart attack resulted from a work-related incident.

2015 OSHA reporting explained: download flow chart

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NOTE: In the same ruling, OSHA has also changed the list of occupations that are now required to complete the OSHA 300 log. It is important to note that employees who had fewer than 10 employees in a calendar year are still exempt from having to complete an OSHA 300 log.

For the new list of industries now required to complete a 300 log as well as additional information can be found at: www.osha.gov/recordkeeping2014.

 

Have additional questions? Contact your knowledgebroker.

Topics: Safety, OSHA, Accident Investigation, OSHA 2015, OSHA requirements, Business Insurance

Absence Management: Best Practices and Positive Outcomes

Posted by the knowledge brokers

Fri, Jul 26, 2013 @ 10:28 AM

Injury-at-Work.jpgThe causes of absenteeism are varied, and so is the impact on companies - from decreased productivity to a reduction in profit and morale.

Some employers are finding better ways to manage employee absence. Research shows a direct correlation between these five major employer practices and a better absence management program:

  1. A full return-to-work (RTW) program, starting with a written RTW policy and a list of alternative duties for light duty clearance.
  2. Referral process for employees to health management programs.
  3. A central leave-reporting system for STD and FMLA.
  4. Detailed reporting for disability and FMLA usage patterns, costs etc.
  5. Use the same resource for STD, FMLA and other benefit programs

7 Positive Outcomes of an Absence Management Program

  1. Enhanced productivity
  2. Reduction in lost-time claims
  3. Decreased overall absenteeism
  4. Direct cost reduction
  5. Better return-to-work ratios
  6. Lower workers compensation premiums
  7. Improved employee morale

Employers are recognizing the importance of managing absences, but most have a long way to go in managing their overall presenteeism program.

Implementing strategies to help workers stay healthy is critical to controlling costs. At R&R, we take wellness to a whole new level. Wellness programs will increase the health and longevity of employees and their families –which means that businesses can have a lot of control over their health insurance costs and the productivity of their employees – control that they don’t know they have. At R&R Insurance, we call this program WellCompForLife!

Join our upcoming Work Comp Seminar to learn more!

Topics: Return to Work, Workers Compensation, Employee Benefits, Wellness, Accident Investigation, presenteeism, std, FMLA, Absence Management Program, WellCompForLife, absence management, Business Insurance

3 Common Mistakes of Accident Investigation

Posted by John Brengosz

Wed, Oct 12, 2011 @ 10:10 AM

There are three common mistakes we find companies making when it comes to their accident investigation: Lack of training on why the accident investigation form is important; Poor accident investigation forms; and Lack of follow-through on valuable information gleaned from the accident investigation. This quick video explains these three common mistakes of accident investigation.

Poor Accident Investigation Forms.
Using accident investigation forms that concentrate too much on general HR information about the injured employee can waste valuable time during an investigation. Streamline your accident investigation forms to allow the supervisor to focus on how and why the employee was injured.

Lack of training on why the accident investigation form is important.
Understanding why an accident investigation form needs to be completed, how to conduct an accident investigation and understanding an organization's ultimate goal after an accident are essential elements that if not adhered to - can lead to poor results.

Lack of Follow-Through.
Often times great ideas spring from an undesirable circumstance. Accident investigation forms are there to capture the how and why of an accident and also corrective action steps the company can take to ensure it doesn't happen again. This is valuable information that should be shared with safety committees and multi-location staff to improve the overall safety of the organization. Don't overlook the follow-through on your great ideas!

For more information about accident investigation, one of our upcoming accident investigation seminars held in Waukesha, WI, or any other risk management concerns, please contact our knowledgebroker, John Brengosz.

Topics: Safety, Workers Compensation, Accident Investigation, Resource Center, accident investigation forms, poor accident investigation, accident investigation follow thru, safety committee, Business Insurance