Workers' Compensation

What is Workers’ Compensation?

  • A state-mandated insurance program that provides benefits to employees who suffer job-related injuries and/or illnesses.
  • Workers' compensation benefits are intended to provide injured workers with an efficient and quick way to pay bills and medical costs during the recovery period including but not limited to:
    • Medical care from the injury or illness
    • Replacement income (usually 2/3 of the worker's average wage)
    • Costs of retraining
    • Compensation for any permanent injuries
  • Note that workers' compensation payments don't account for any pain and suffering that the injured employee might experience

If I sustain a workplace injury, what are my duties as an Employee?

  • Always get the necessary medical treatment
    • If the injury is an emergency, call 911, or go straight to the Emergency Room
  • If the injury is not an emergency, notify your supervisor ASAP, preferably before the end of your work shift
    • You and your supervisor will report the injury to Human Resources (LHH 237) in writing
    • Information can be emailed directly to Luke Jackson: ljackson@coloradomesa.edu
    • You can also fax paperwork to HR: 970.248.1061
  • If you wish to see a doctor, Human Resources will schedule you an appointment with one of the designated providers
  • Understand that workers' compensation benefits can be denied, forfeited or reduced by 50% if employees aren't following claim protocol. Examples include:
    • Failure to report injury in a timely manner (before the end of work shift)
      • Must notify your employer in writing 
    • Fraud
    • Failure to show up to appointments
    • Refusal to cooperate with rehabilitation service
  • It is always a good idea to report all workplace accidents (or near misses) even if you don't suspect an injury, just in case an injury is discovered after the deadline expires.

Can I be treated by my own doctor?

  • An injured worker must go to a doctor or medical provider that the employer designates. You are allowed one change of doctors/providers in your workers' compensation case if you're unhappy with the one you originally chose.

What is covered by workers' compensation?

  • Injuries incurred during the scope of work
  • You are also covered if you are injured while traveling on business, doing a work-related errand, or even attending a required business-related social function

What is NOT covered by workers' compensation?

  • Workers' compensation covers most work-related injuries—but not all. Coverage may be denied in the following situations:
    • Failure to give notice to your employer
    • No link to employment
    • Volunteer work
    • Willful negligence or horseplay
    • Not an employee of the company
    • Self-inflicted injuries (including those caused by a person who starts a fight)
    • Injuries suffered while a worker was committing a serious crime
    • Injuries suffered while an employee was not on the job
      • This includes lunch breaks, and commuting to and from work
    • Injuries suffered when an employee's conduct violated company policy
      • States can impose drug and alcohol testing on the injured employee, and can deny the employee workers' compensation benefits if such tests show the employee was under the influence at the time of the injury.

Can my employer fire me for or tell me not to file a workers' compensation claim?

  • No, most states (including Colorado) prohibit this by law.
  • If an employer does retaliate against an employee for filing a workers' compensation claim, the employer should be reported immediately.

Does workers' compensation cover long-term problems and illnesses?

  • Your injury need not be caused by an accident—such as a fall from a ladder—to be covered by workers' compensation. Many employees receive compensation for injuries resulting from overuse or misuse over a long period of time, such as repetitive stress injuries or chronic back problems. You may also receive benefits for some illnesses and diseases that are the gradual result of work conditions, such as heart conditions, lung disease, and stress-related digestive problems.
  1. All employees will be provided an orientation to workers' compensation, including general safety rules and designated providers. 
  2. In the event of a work-related injury or illness, the injured employee must report it to their immediate supervisor or the safety coordinator before the end of the work shift.
  3. If the injured employee needs immediate medical attention, they will be driven or sent to the nearest appropriate hospital or clinic.
  4. If the injury is not an emergency, the injured worker will be sent to Human Resources where an appointment will be made with one of the designated medical providers as soon as possible.
  5. A formal accident investigation will be conducted following all work-related injuries. The supervisor or safety coordinator will be responsible for interviewing the injured employee and all witnesses. The safety coordinator will use the information from the accident investigation to identify changes that may help prevent future incidents.
  6. The safety/claims coordinator will report the claim by Internet, phone 1-800-7242 or fax to Pinnacol Assurance within 24 hours of the accident.
  7. For lost time claims, the supervisor will contact the injured employee at least once a week to answer questions, keep the injured employee informed of organization activities, and discuss return-to-work options.
  8. The safety/claims coordinator will contact the injured employee’s medical provider after each appointment to keep current on the employee’s work status, medical progress, and to ensure that appointments are being kept.
  9. If the employee is unable to return to normal job duties, the supervisor will determine if the employee’s position can be temporarily modified to accommodate the restrictions.
  10. Accurate records will be kept for all workers’ compensation claims. This file will document all communications regarding the claim and all records from the medical providers and Pinnacol Assurance.

Claims Forms (Submit Immediately to HR or Luke Jackson: ljackson@coloradomesa.edu)

- Main/Bishop Campus

- Montrose Campus

- Employee Accident Report Form (Required for all locations)

For additional information:

2018 Colorado Workers Compensation Act

Department of Labor and Employment - Workers Compensation

Grand Junction, CO:
  • WorkPartners Occupational Health
    • 550 Patterson Road, Suite A, Grand Junction, CO 81506
    • 970.241.5585
  • St. Mary’s Occupational Health
    • 1100 Patterson Road, Grand Junction, CO 81506
    • 970.244.2001
  • Grand Valley Occupational Medicine
    • 2004 North 12th Street, Grand Junction, CO 81501
    • 970.256.6490
  • Western Valley Family Practice – Redlands
    • 2237 Redlands Parkway, Grand Junction, CO 81507
    • 970.243.1707

For Emergencies:

  • Community Hospital ER
    • 2351 G Road, Grand Junction, CO 81505
    • 970.644.3100
  • St. Mary’s Hospital
    • 2635 North 7th Street, Grand Junction, CO 81502
    • 970.244.2273

Montrose, CO:

  • Montrose Wellness Center
    • 224 South Nevada Avenue, Montrose, CO 81401
    • 970.252.9644
  • Pavilion Family Medicine
    • 1804 East Pavilion Place, Montrose, CO 81401
    • 970.249.6670

For Emergencies:

  • Montrose Memorial Hospital Emergency Room
    • 800 South 3rd Street, Montrose, CO 81401
    • 970.240.7180

 

If you have any questions in relation to workers' compensation, please feel free to contact Luke Jackson in Human Resources at 970.248.1820 or ljackson@coloradomesa.edu.