The first report of injury (FROI) is a critical element for worker’s comp compliance. Even if the employer does not agree with the employee, the employer must file an FROI. Each state has its own FROI form, but the requirements follow a similar pattern. Employers must file an FROI after an employee misses five or more paid workdays due to an injury. The employer has seven business days from the fifth missed workday to file.
Employers should make four copies of the FROI form. One copy should go to each of the following:
- The state
- The employee
- The insurer
Employers should retain the fourth copy for their business records.
Another circumstance that requires an FROI report is if the employee seeks medical treatment for a workplace injury. Once the doctor learns of the context behind the injury, they must file a report. This is to ensure an accurate timeline and detailing of medical facts (i.e. dates, times, and locations pertinent to the injury). Much like first notice of loss (FNOL) reporting, prompt FROI reporting leads to a better result. Delaying can cause confusion over the accuracy of facts and interrupt the return-to-work process.
FROI and absence management often go hand in hand. Returning to work after a workplace injury can intimidate some employees, especially if they missed a prolonged period of work. However, returning to work can improve the employee’s morale with the proper accommodations. A phased reintegration can provide financial and emotional benefits for the employee. This also benefits the employer as the employee can return to work faster without overwhelming them. To learn more about FROI and absence management, contact us.