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Why you need to report employee first aid claims

Since January 1, 2017, all California employers carrying workers’ compensation coverage have been required to report any work accident or worker injury where medical care is provided and medical costs are incurred. This includes first aid treatment and “medical only” claims.

According to Brookhurst.com, first aid is a one-time treatment for minor injuries not usually requiring medical care, such as splinters, scratches, burns, cuts, etc., and any follow-up visit(s) for observation. Medical only is an injury or claim incurring medical treatment costs, whether or not the employer or insurer pays those costs, and whether or not a workers’ compensation claim form is filed. Both claim types must be reported individually. Employers are not, however, required to enter first aid claims on their 300 log for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

The doctor treating an injured worker must send a Doctor’s First Report of Occupational Injury or Illness to the workers’ compensation insurance carrier within five days of the initial examination. If an employer fails to comply, he can face a civil penalty of between $50 and $200.

WGBender.com states that insurers recommend that employers report all worker injury claims requiring any type of treatment by a physician or other professional medical provider. They should report these claims to their carrier or third party administrator within five days of the initial treatment. All paid medical costs also must be reported. If a return to work program is not already in place, employers should institute one so as to manage and mitigate all injured worker claims. Such program needs to accommodate any work restrictions during worker recovery periods.

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