The Cost of Delay: Reporting Workplace Injury

If you delay reporting a workplace injury, there could be real financial consequence.  According to the International Association of Industrial Accident Boards and Commissions (IAIABC), how fast an employer reports an injury has significant impact on the eventual cost they pay per claim, with the most dramatic rise occurring when employers waited two weeks or more.

Wait five or more days and the average costs for medical and income replacement benefits rise an average of 15 percent versus claims filed within 48 hours of the injury, says the IAIABC.  Wait five weeks and the increase can balloon to 45 percent more.

Another report the association cites shows employers who pursue early reporting of nerve-related disorders, like carpal tunnel, can save an average of 20 percent on medical and lost-time costs.  That could represent considerable savings—the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that carpel tunnel alone costs $27 billion annually in medical treatment and lost income and the median time away from work for recovery is 27 days!  Of course, the more severe the injury, the more serious the cost implications of waiting.

Need added motivation to make a report? Know that as time increases, so does the possibility of litigation versus the same injury reported promptly too.

So, once again, an old adage is proven true—time is money, particularly with regards to timely reporting of claims.