Tips from the intersection of workers' comp and business.

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Running a small business means you have to keep up on a lot of tasks. There are the big things; sales, payroll and budgeting that can easily take up quite a bit of your time and energy on a day-to-day basis. And with good reason, without a solid handle on any of them your business can struggle.

But there are lots of other important factors you need to pay attention to as well, including workers' comp. Colorado workers' compensation insurance is there to protect both you and your employees if there is a workplace injury or illness. And in Colorado, workers' compensation insurance is required for most businesses with employees, with limited exceptions.

So, even if you have just one employee, you want to make sure you're meeting all of those requirements. If you aren't sure exactly what they are, don't worry, we've got you covered.

These are the five employer requirements you need to know.

1. Get and maintain your Colorado workers' comp insurance

Let's start with the basics. The law for workers' compensation insurance in Colorado requires businesses to have insurance as soon as they have one in-state employee (independent contractors don't count—learn more about the difference here).

Also, you must keep your employees up to date on their rights by displaying this Colorado Workers' Compensation Information form.

Beyond signing up for this insurance, it's also important that you maintain it each year. That's especially true if you have any changes to your payroll or number of employees. Even seemingly small changes like an employee shifting from full time to part time can have an impact on your premium.

2. Display a Notice to Employer of Injury sign

In addition to maintaining your workers' comp insurance, it's also important you let your employees know their rights as well. In Colorado, this comes in the form of a Notice to Employer of Injury sign.

This sign must be displayed at all times in your place of employment and the sign must also fit specific size requirements, at least 14 inches tall by 11 inches wide with letters that are at least 1/2 inch high.

The wording on the sign should provide a reminder that any injuries on the job must get reported and highlight that workers' comp benefits could be reduced if employees get injured while on controlled substances.

3. Report lost time injuries

If one of your employees suffers an injury on the job it's essential you report it right away. If you or your employee delay reporting there are consequences. For instance, you could get hit with fines and your employee could suffer from lack of proper medical attention.

Colorado law requires you to fill out the Employer's First Report of Injury form with your workers' compensation insurer. This report gets filed within 10 days of the injury. From there, your insurer will send the form into the appropriate authorities.

4. Keep records of injuries and occupational diseases

Record keeping is another key part of keeping up with legal requirements. You must have a written record of both injuries that result in lost time and occupational diseases.

Basic information you should note include:

  • Employee name
  • Employee's job description and classification code
  • Record of injury or disease
  • Hours of time missed from work

It's critical that you record these injuries or diseases as soon as they occur so your records are correct. You could miss important information if you go back and create these notes later, leading to inaccurate data which could have an impact on your rate in subsequent years.

5. File accident forms

Lastly, if there is an injury or illness on the job, you will have to file a Supplemental Report of Accident form too, which also gets sent to your insurer. Essentially, it helps to ensure your employee's temporary disability benefits are accurate. Fill out the form once your employee returns to work and send it over to your workers' comp carrier for processing.

Following these workers' compensation regulations will help you stay on track and make sure you are complying with the law.

And if you need to get started with Colorado workers' compensation insurance, you're in the right place. At Cake, Colorado workers' comp is our specialty, so we can help you throughout the process and provide the right coverage for your business. Get in touch today and you'll get a quote in just five minutes.