211 – Workers’ Compensation Injury and Illness Reporting

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Purpose

This policy establishes procedures for reporting injuries received by employees while on duty or while acting under color of the law when off duty.

Legal Reference

Texas Labor Code, Sections 409.001 through 409.005, as amended

Forms

  1. Form TWCC1, “Employer’s First Report of Injury or Illness”
  2. Form TWCC6, “Employer’s Supplemental Report of Injury”

Policy

Personnel injured while on duty, or anytime while acting within the course and scope of their employment for the Harris County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO), are required to inform their supervisor of the injury within twenty-four (24) hours after the injury has occurred. The supervisor will complete a First Report of Injury (TWCC1) immediately upon being informed.

In the event the injured employee is unable to report the injury, the notified supervisor shall be responsible for ensuring that the First Report of Injury (TWCC1) is completed and submitted to the Human Resources Payroll Section within twenty-four (24) hours.

The First Report of Injury (TWCC1) will be forwarded to the attention of the Human Resources Payroll Section immediately after the report is completed.

First Reports of Injury that are completed after the Payroll office closes will be placed in the mail room in the box marked for “Payroll Section.”

First Reports of Injury shall be turned in the day the injury is reported. Reports shall not be delayed if the required information is unavailable. Incomplete reports shall be forwarded to the Payroll section with the notation that a completed report will be sent when available.

In those cases where the employee suffers serious injuries or death, the Payroll section will be notified by telephone immediately. If this is impractical because of the time of occurrence, then the advance notification will be made the next work day. The First Report of Injury (TWCC1) will be forwarded as quickly as possible.

Any injury sustained by an employee on duty, or while acting under color of the law when off duty, must be reported whether or not he or she receives medical attention from a doctor, hospital emergency room attendant, emergency medical technician, or any other person.

If the injury is to such extent that medical treatment is obtained from a doctor, the employee will not be permitted to report back to duty until a release certificate from the doctor is received by his or her immediate supervisor. This release should then be forwarded to the Payroll section.

In the event a report is made concerning injuries to an employee (crash report, offense report, etc.), the report should be attached to the First Report of Injury (TWCC1).

When an employee is released to return to work, an Employer’s Supplemental Injury Report (TWCC6) must be completed and submitted to the Payroll section as soon as possible.

If the employee’s incapacity extends beyond sixty (60) days, a Supplemental Report of Injury (TWCC6) will be submitted noting the extended incapacitation. A subsequent Supplemental Report of Injury will be repeated for each sixty (60) day period until the employee returns to duty.

Each subsequent absence that is claimed to be a result of the incident causing the First Report of Injury (TWCC1) to be submitted shall be supported through the use of the Supplemental Report of Injury (TWCC6).

Requests for information pertaining to workers’ compensation reporting requirements should be directed to the Payroll section.

Procedure

The injured employee shall:

  1. Seek medical attention.
  2. Notify his or her immediate supervisor as soon as possible.
    • In order to be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, employees must report all on-the-job accidents, illness, or injuries to their supervisor immediately or as soon as possible. Failure to report in a timely manner may result in the loss or denial of workers’ compensation benefits.
  3. Follow HCSO procedures for notifying a supervisor if he or she is going to be absent from work because of the injury or illness. Also, coordinate any time off with the timekeepers of his or her division.
    • Supervisors and timekeepers may require additional paperwork not addressed in this procedure.
  4. At any time the injury or illness requires the attention of a physician or lost time from work, obtain a copy of his or her job specification description (JSD) from his or her immediate supervisor. Have his or her immediate supervisor add to his or her JSD any specific tasks which he or she must perform as part of his or her job (for example, driving if he or she is the wagon driver). Take the JSD and release form to the employee’s physician and have him or her fill out the appropriate release completely.

When the employee is ready to return to duty, return the JSD to his or her immediate supervisor and a copy to Human Resources. The employee must first obtain clearance from his or her immediate supervisor before returning to duty.

If the employee has been off-duty for a long period of time, or if he or she has a severe injury or disability, it may be necessary to assess his or her physical or mental ability to do the job he or she performed previously. Therefore, it is necessary to obtain information about the employee’s ability to perform the job. The employee should fully understand all releases completed by his or her physician. Prior to signing the releases, the employee should have all questions of his or her supervisor and physician answered.

The HCSO must have an open position which the employee can physically perform before he or she can return to duty. Clearance must be given by the bureau commander via the employee’s supervisor before the employee may return to work.

While absent from duty due to injury, workers’ compensation, or mental or physical disability, the employee shall remain at his or her residence or place of confinement unless otherwise authorized by a physician. If not at his or her residence as directed by a physician, the employee shall immediately provide his or her supervisor with a contact location and telephone number.

Supervisory Requirements

The injured employee’s supervisor shall:

  1. Have the injured or ill employee assessed by medical personnel. Obtain appropriate medical attention for the employee (ambulance, hospital by car, take home, etc.).
  2. File a First Report of Injury with the Payroll section on behalf of the employee.
  3. If the employee’s illness or injury will require time off from work, file a supplement report.
  4. Notify the chain of command of the situation.
  5. Inform the employee that he or she will need a release from the attending physician in order to return to work.

Releases to return to work are job-specific. The supervisor should obtain the appropriate release and provide it to the employee. Releases for all job assignments are available from Human Resources.

The employee must submit a release as described above before being allowed to return to duty if:

  1. Illness or injury occurred on duty,
  2. Illness or injury was duty-related,
  3. Illness or injury resulted in lost time, or
  4. Illness or injury required treatment by a physician.

If the employee has been out for more than fifteen (15) weeks or 600 hours, HCSO Department Policy #205 – Family Leave applies, and that process must be followed.

Revision

This policy has been revised on the below listed dates:

April 21, 2009

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