When an employee is injured as a result of work or has a work-related illness, supervisors have certain basic responsibilities:
If the employee requires emergency medical treatment, ensure that he or she receives immediate care.
If the employee's injury results from a specific event or series of events during one day or shift, instruct employee to report injury, by initiating a claim online in the Safety Management Information System (SMIS). Advise the employee to complete and forward the form to you in SMIS as soon as possible, but not later than 30 days after the injury.
If employee does not have access to a computer, he/she could enter claim using his/her supervisor's computer or the designated Workers' Compensation Program Specialist's computer. However, if access is not available, the supervisor should provide him or her with a paper copy of form CA-1, Federal Employee's Notice of Traumatic Injury and Claim for Continuation of Pay/Compensation, and advise the employee to complete and return the form to you as soon as possible, but not later than 30 days after the injury.
If the employee develops a condition due to prolonged exposure lasting more than one day or shift, instruct employee to report the condition, by initiating a claim online in the Safety Management Information System (SMIS). Advise the employee to complete and forward the form to you in SMIS as soon as possible, but not later than 30 days after the injury. However, if access is not available, the supervisor should provide him or her with a paper copy of form CA-2, Federal Employee's Notice of Occupational Disease and Claim for Compensation, and advise the employee to complete and return the form to you as soon as possible, but not later than 30 days after the injury.
If the employee has a traumatic injury (a specific event or series of events during one day or shift, provide him or her with a Form CA-16, Authorization for Examination and/or Treatment. This form should be issued within four hours of the injury, whether or not the claim appears valid. For questionable claims, box 6b should be checked to indicate its doubtful nature. Only one Form CA-16 may be issued per traumatic injury. A Form CA-16 may not be issued for past medical care, except within 48 hours after emergency treatment.
The CA-17, Duty Status Report is provided by the supervisor to the injured employee and attending physician to indicate the availability of light-duty. It also serves as an interim medical report containing information as to employee's ability to return to any type of work. Supervisors should discuss with the employee any light-duty options available, and indicate those options on the CA-17. Supervisors will also need to specify the usual work requirements of the employee on Side A of the form. The employee should be instructed to have the medical portion of the CA-17 completed by their physician to determine if light-duty assignment is appropriate. A copy of the employee's current position description should be attached to the CA-17 for the physician's review. This is a critical step for managing the care of the employee, by the agency, and providing supervisors with clear work restrictions and limitations for injured workers during the recovery / light-duty period.
Supervisors should, if appropriate, provide injured employee with alternative work assignment to accommodate any medical limitations, or provide light restricted duty assignments whenever possible. Keeping a partially disabled employee in the work place tends to speed his or her recovery, which benefits the employee and reduces agency costs. If the employee is totally disabled, or if you are unable to accommodate the restrictions, maintain contact with the employee during his or her absence from work.
You should advise your designated Workers' Compensation Program Specialist promptly of any injuries occurring in your organization. You should also refer the injured employee to the Workers' Compensation Program Specialist for further assistance after taking the steps described above. The designated Workers' Compensation Program Specialist will provide specific information throughout the course of the injury compensation claim, to both you and the injured employee.
When you receive the employee's completed Form CA-1 or CA-2, through the SMIS or a paper copy, check to see that it is complete and that the facts are consistent. You need not have witnessed the injury to agree with the stated history. Complete the supervisor's section of the form and forward it immediately to your designated Workers' Compensation Program Specialist immediately, whether or not you feel that the claim should be approved. If you have specific information which casts doubt on the claim's validity,
You may challenge it and supply supporting information, but you must still forward the claim promptly. Failure to do so can result in a fine, imprisonment, or both (20 CFR 10.16(a)).
If the employee has a traumatic injury, explain that he or she is entitled to Continuation of Pay (COP) for absences due to disability or obtaining medical treatment, for not more than 45 calendar days following the injury. Any such absence needs to be supported by medical documentation. The specific COP periods should be clearly indicated on the time and attendance sheets, whether the employee loses entire days or only a few hours of a day. If you are unfamiliar with the COP provisions, contact the designated Workers' Compensation Program Specialist for further information.
Inform the designated Workers' Compensation Program Specialist of status of injured employee and any problems or potential problems regarding the Workers' compensation case.
Coordinate with timekeeper to ensure that proper codes are entered on timesheets in order to track any Continuation of Pay and light duty hours.
Reference materials available to supervisors include the following Department of Labor publications: