Workers’ compensation insurance is important no matter the size of your business. If someone gets injured on the job, workers’ comp is in place to protect both the employee and the business owner. For employees, getting hurt at work can be incredibly stressful—from the unknowns of the recovery process to the fears around what happens if they aren’t able to work.
Workers’ comp isn’t just important for employees, however. It can help protect business owners financially if an accident happens at work. While requirements vary from state to state, it’s still a good idea to have workers’ compensation insurance to help ensure you won’t need to pay out of pocket if an employee gets hurt.
Whether you’re a business owner or an employee in Florida, it’s important to understand the legalities behind workers’ comp. Who’s eligible for workers’ compensation and what are the legal requirements in Florida?
Who is eligible for workers’ compensation in Florida?
If a worker is injured on the job or becomes ill as a direct result of their job in Florida, they could be eligible for workers’ compensation. Workers who suffer from slip and fall accidents, auto accidents, getting struck by machinery, or falling from a height while on the job are all typically covered by workers’ comp. Additionally, illnesses or injuries that form over time—repetitive use injuries or toxic exposure—may also be covered.
Proof that the injury or illness was due to work is crucial for making a case. Workplace injuries are relatively straightforward—getting struck by heavy machinery, falling off of a roof, or tripping and falling over an unmarked uneven surface can be clearly linked to the job.
Workplace illnesses, on the other hand, may be a little more challenging to prove—though it is absolutely possible. For workers at chemical plants or in the agricultural industry who spend much of their time in contact with or in the same vicinity as a multitude of chemicals, it’s important to keep track of any visits to the doctor or emergency room that document possible symptoms of chemical exposure.
For employees who are eligible and whose claims are approved, workers’ compensation can help cover the costs of medical bills, rehabilitation expenses, as well as any wages lost while being unable to work. If you’re a business owner in Florida, having workers’ compensation insurance can help prevent you from being required to pay these costs out of pocket if an employee gets injured on the job.
What are the coverage requirements for Florida workers’ compensation?
Workers’ compensation coverage requirements in Florida vary depending on the industry as well as the number of workers a company has. Though it may not always be required, no matter what line of work you’re in, workers’ compensation is typically the safest option.
Within the construction industry in Florida, companies with one or more employees are required to have workers’ compensation in place. For the agricultural industry, businesses who have six or more regular workers or twelve or more seasonal employees who work at least 30 days in a season or 45 days in the same calendar year must have workers’ compensation. For any other industry, workers’ compensation is required for any company that has four or more employees.
Construction jobs may also have higher premiums than non-construction occupations. Because of the nature of construction work, the level of risk tends to be higher than with other jobs. Heavy machinery, heavy lifting, and working on a construction site all lend themselves to more opportunities for injury.
Ensuring compliance with Florida’s laws
Navigating the workers’ compensation process can be somewhat complex. For small businesses with less manpower, working with a PEO can be a good option. Professional employer organizations help you manage your workers’ compensation and ensure compliance with state laws. PEOs can also step in to help you automate payroll and manage human resource services.
Whether you’re an employee or business owner in Florida, keep these things in mind and consider putting workers’ compensation insurance in place to help protect you in the event of an accident.