If your workplace has a safety officer, you might not know what the job requires and how it relates to workers’ compensation. In many workplaces, safety officers play an important role in keeping workers safe and in dealing with injuries on the job.
What Is a Safety Officer?
A safety officer monitors the workplace to ensure everyone is following company safety policies and government safety regulations. If unsafe or hazardous workplace conditions begin to arise, then the safety officer would develop an action plan to address them or work with the company to make new policies.
Safety officers may spend time training other workers in safety procedures. They also may do periodic inspections around the workplace. Safety officers at some companies might handle complaints from workers about workplace conditions. Finally, some safety officers help address workers’ compensation claims.
Depending on the industry, safety officers have varying levels of experience. A worker might need to hold industry jobs for several years before he can be a safety officer, or he might be hired with little to no experience. Some companies have dedicated, full-time safety officers. But sometimes the safety officer handles other unrelated job duties as well.
How Are Safety Officers Involved in Workers’ Comp?
Some safety officers are directly responsible for handling workers’ compensation claims. They take reports of injury from employees and communicate with insurance companies. Also, they may work closely with injured employees after they start receiving benefits.
In other workplaces, safety officers merely act as liaisons to Human Resources or others who handle workers’ compensation claims. A safety officer may need to respond after a workplace injury to see if the company needs to make changes in its safety procedures or workplace environment. He or she might follow up with a special training for people in the injured worker’s department to address the cause of the injury.
If you are injured in the workplace, you can talk to your safety officer about how to report the injury. He or she may take the first report of injury directly, or instead refer you to a manager or Human Resources. Follow up after you make the report to ensure that it has been passed on to the workers’ compensation insurance company.
Need help getting workers’ compensation for your injury? Joe Osterbauer, Esq. and the Osterbauer Law Firm stand up for injured Minnesota workers’ rights. Joe’s 27 years of workers’ compensation experience and his team’s speedy service combine to get clients the results they need. To schedule a free consultation, visit Osterbauer Law Firm online or call Joe’s office at (612) 334-3434.