When you have people working for you, it’s up to you to ensure they have a safe place to work. No matter how safe you believe you’ve made it, injuries can happen. Don’t buy into these six workers’ compensation myths.

1. You Will Never Have an Employee That Gets Injured, so You Don’t Need It

In even the safest places to work, an accident could still happen. States have different laws and requirements when it comes to workers’ compensation which can be complicated and workplace injuries are very common. Being properly covered is a very important tool.

2. My Employees Are Less Likely to Get Injured

It doesn’t matter if you have field workers, warehouse workers or employees at desks, injuries can, and do happen. Here are the top 10 private industry occupations with the largest number of injuries and illnesses in 2017:

1

Laborers (non-construction)

2

Heavy truck and tractor-trailer drivers

3

Janitors and cleaners

4

Nursing assistants

5

General maintenance and repair workers

6

Retail salespersons

7

Registered nurses

8

Stock clerks and order fillers

9

Construction laborers

10

Light truck and delivery service drivers

Together, these 10 occupations made up 37.7% of the total injuries and illnesses. Even if your industry isn’t listed, this doesn’t mean there aren’t injuries and illnesses. Employees that work inside, outside, on the road or in an office can all get injured and become ill. Having your workers’ compensation policy will help alleviate any worry about what happens if they do.

3. If an Employee Is Injured, You’ll Be Able to Self-Insure

Many states require workers’ compensation for any business with employees. Not being properly covered can result in fines.  If you were to compare the cost of a policy with the potential cost of just one lawsuit, it makes sense to be proactive and get proper coverage. Between 2016 and 2018 the average workers’ compensation claim at Farm Bureau Financial Services cost $21,100. Looking at just claims in which the employee lost time from work, the average cost increases to just over $60,000.

4. You Are Only Responsible for Accidents Determined to Be “Your Fault”

Workers’ compensation is a “no-fault” coverage. That means that if the injury occurs at work it is very likely to be covered. This is different than Employer’s Liability that requires negligence on the part of the employer for coverage to apply.

5. Benefits Are Only for a Certain Amount of Time

The length of workers’ compensation benefits can vary by state. There are different types of disability:

  • Temporary partial disability
  • Temporary total disability
  • Permanent partial disability
  • Permanent total disability
  • Vocational rehabilitation
  • Death benefits

6. I Have an Ag Operation so I Don’t Need Workers’ Compensation

Many farmers believe they qualify for an ag exemption, which can vary by state. The problem is that in many cases the farmer is being sued and only then finds out the court did not agree they were exempt. This may be due to the activity an employee was doing at the time of the injury, the legal make-up of the operation, or other issues. This can be very costly.

Depending on the injury, you could be paying benefits for the injured worker’s lifetime. Having workers’ compensation coverage will help you protect your employees without emptying your pockets or having to shut down your business.

Reach out to your Farm Bureau agent for more information on workers’ compensation and protecting your business and employees.