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Informer | February #1

Posted on Tuesday, February 06, 2024
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With Spring approaching, it is a good time to remind employees of the importance of safe walking during freeze/thaw events.

During these events, most large claims happen when office staff are arriving, leaving work or running errands. Many falls happen when employees do not realize that the surfaces have changed and become slippery.

To help prevent these injuries, remind your employees:

  1. Wear appropriate footwear
  2. Watch where they are stepping
  3. Keep hands free
  4. Use handrails on stairs
  5. Use 3 points of contact when entering and exiting a vehicle
  6. Stay on paths cleared of ice and snow
  7. Report unsafe conditions
  8. Use traction aids when appropriate and when provided

With everyone’s cooperation and commitment to reducing and eliminating trips, slips and falls we can make sure our employees go home safely.

Did You Know?

IMWCA has training available on LEARN. Please take the time to use the resources available to help prevent unnecessary injuries.

Learn more about the traction aid grant.

When an injured worker does require medical treatment at an authorized provider they should let the provider know that this is a work-related injury and the medical bills should go to IMWCA.

When an employee receives a serious injury that is an emergency, the top priority is to call 911 or transport the injured worker to the emergency room. Once the injured worker has stabilized, call Company Nurse to report the injury. For less serious injuries you should call Company Nurse for help.

IMWCA has been utilizing Company Nurse since 2009. Company Nurse allows injured workers to report an injury immediately following an accident. The nurses the injured employees speak with at Company Nurse do not diagnose injuries. They do perform a triage process that will guide the employee to the appropriate level of care based on the information gathered during the phone call. Having a medical professional direct your injured employees to the appropriate level of care, should result in fewer emergency room visits, and fewer claims if First Aid or self-care can be administered. Remember, the Company Nurse Injury Hotline is available 24 hours per day, seven days a week and on all holidays. 

If the injury requires an emergency room visit follow-up care should be with the designated clinic, not their family physician. The claims examiners can help the injured worker navigate through this process. If an injured worker decides to seek medical treatment with their own doctor or chiropractor they may be responsible for the medical bill(s). 

When an injured worker does require medical treatment at an authorized provider they should let the provider know that this is a work-related injury and the medical bills should go to IMWCA. If it can be avoided, the injured worker should not provide their personal health insurance information. This should reduce the number of medical bills sent directly to the injured worker. Getting the bills to us promptly will help ensure prompt payment of the bills.

Ongoing training is critical to employee safety, a cornerstone of IMWCA’s mission. 

Our free annual IMWCA University offers training on a broad range of topics aimed directly at Iowa’s local government employees: safety coordinators, managers, municipal staff, elected officials, and agents.

Providing accurate payroll information helps ensure that the estimated premium is as accurate as possible. The worksheet lists estimated payrolls for 2024-2025, which were determined by increasing the 2022-2023 audited payrolls by 3% for most members. For new IMWCA members, the pre-audit 2023-2024 estimated figures were used for the worksheet. Please review the increased numbers and change or keep them as appropriate. This process needs to be completed by Monday, April 1. If no updates are made by April 1, the auto-increased payroll amounts will be used for your July 1 renewal. Additional information on the IMWCA renewal process is available online.

Carrie Teninty City Clerk provided some insight on what the city has been doing to develop and maintain their safety culture.

Do you have a Designated Provider and a Return-To-Work policy?
Yes, we worked with IMWCA to get these policies in our community. The Designated Provider had a slight curve since we do not have any sort of medical facility here in our community.  

Please describe your safety committee structure. Who is on the committee, how often do you meet and what are the short-term goals of the committee?
Our small community and small workforce allow us to meet at least weekly. The employees also know they can come with any sort of safety-related concern or request and it will receive attention as soon as possible.

What other proactive safety steps do you practice?
We keep on top of equipment. Ensure your employees have an open line of communication.

What words of wisdom do you have for other members of IMWCA to help them develop their safety culture?
Utilize your IMWCA Adviser and let them help you. Utilize the IMWCA website.

What current issues is the committee working on now?
We have recently added on to our public works building to co-locate our City Hall. Getting all of those facilities settled and safe for employees and the public is our focus currently.

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Our bi-monthly newsletter includes information about IMWCA as well as timely topics of general interest, including safety and health.