CA Work Comp continues to navigate its response to COVID-19.
California continues to focus on the health and well-being of its residents and workers, going beyond the precautions of almost every other state, to ensure the safety and wellbeing of it’s population. Senate Bill 1159 (signed September 17th) makes effective a presumption that any positive COVID-19 test by an employee was a result of the workplace environment as opposed to the worker’s personal agenda. The cost of COVID claims to employers and their insurers with this newer Bill is expected to result in a 7% increase compared to pre-pandemic expectations.
In response to this Senate Bill, the CA Work Comp Rating Bureau (WCIRB) petitioned to have COVID-19 claims not count against an employer’s Experience Modification. This will insulate business owner’s against the rising cost of COVID claims because although the large number of claims may impact next years base rates, employer’s won’t have a direct increase in premiums through their X Mod.
This article goes on to make suggestions in an effect to help business owner’s minimize liability and costs. These suggestions include: preparing a written prevention plan, identifying potential hazards in practices and operations, establishing strict procedures and guidelines for the workplace to follow, and supervising exposed employees. The more specific the instructions are for the employees, the better, such as a daily list concerning the virus, step-by-step directions in the case of an outbreak, and constant communication of any tests taken or given.
Though COVID-19 exposure may seem unavoidable, California is encouraging we all do our part to seriously consider our actions so that we and all our coworkers can continue our safety and well-being.
To view the full article: https://www.insurancejournal.com/magazines/mag-features/2020/11/16/590625.htm