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Workplace Safety

Six Injury Categories: what do they mean?

By September 5, 2014No Comments

Workers’ compensation injuries fall into one of six categories, given in their order of severity:

Medical Only – Simple first aid or minor medical services required to tend to this injury type. Most workers’ compensation claims fall into this category – splinter removal, disinfectant and bandage, negative x-ray, or tetanus shot typify these claims. The frequency of these claims, however, most directly affect your experience modification and premium. Frequency is a greater factor than severity of claim.

Temporary Partial Disability – These claims include an element of lost time from work. Typical claims are sprained ankles, broken bones, or perhaps an eye injury. The “partial” disability suggests a change in work duties rather than laying off the job for a period of time. Perhaps a driver works as a dispatcher due to a foot injury.

Temporary Total Disability – Implies time off the job completely. Injuries which do not allow light duty alternatives, such as concussions. The injury prevents working, but only temporarily.

Permanent Partial Disability – Suggests an injury with lasting consequences, but allows the injured to work. Finger amputations, loss of eyesight or hearing, joint problems caused by injuries or occupational disease fall into this category. Usually, the injured is compensated with a prescribed number of weeks pay, and they can return to work.

Permanent Total Disability – An injury so bad the injured will not be able to work again. Double amputations, occupational diseases that affect breathing or sight, catastrophic car accidents typify this group of injuries. These injuries are compensated with a statutory number of weeks remuneration.

Death – Needs no further explanation. Death claims usually pay the statutory maximum number of weeks remuneration.

Study the list. How much is a great safety program worth in this context?