The Workers’ Compensation Program for East Carolina University is administered by the Office of Environmental Health and Safety in accordance with the provisions of the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act, the North Carolina Industrial Commission Rules and Regulations, and North Carolina Office of State Human Resources: North Carolina State Government Workers Compensation Handbook. A Workers’ Compensation Coordinator has been designated in the Office of Environmental Health and Safety to be responsible for the effectiveness of processing and monitoring the workers’ compensation claims. The University is responsible for accepting employer liability for the State and ensuring payment of claims. It is the intent of East Carolina University to follow all rules and regulations in a uniform and consistent manner while processing claims. As well as ensure entitled benefits are provided to all affected employees. The program is periodically reviewed by the North Carolina Office of State Human Resources to measure and evaluate its effectiveness and recommend changes to achieve optimum results. Our third-party administrator reviews all claims for compensability, assigns adjusters to claims, and ensures treatment goals are met.
Who Can Receive Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
Workers’ Compensation benefits are available to any full-time, part-time, temporary employee or student worker who suffers an injury or contracts an occupational disease within the meaning of the NC Workers’ Compensation Act. The Office of Environmental Health and Safety is responsible for guiding employees through the workers’ compensation process, directing employees to the medical care needed to help them return to work as soon as possible, and ensuring compensation is provided through the third-party administrator if the employee is unable to work due to a compensable injury.
How Do I Report An Injury/Occupational Illness?
- The employee must immediately notify their supervisor of the incident, or as soon as possible after the incident occurs. All incidents should be reported no matter how minor they appear to be.
- The supervisor must immediately report the incident to the Office of Environmental Health and Safety.
- If the injury is a non-life threatening situation, (i.e. cut, scrape, fall without loss of consciousness and/or serious injury, dizziness), contact the EH&S Workers’ Compensation Coordinator to schedule medical treatment with ECU Prospective Health, Family Medicine, or another qualified care provider. All medical care must be authorized by the Office of Environmental Health and Safety prior to treatment, except when emergency services are necessary (i.e., life threatening situations).
- If a life threatening situation, (i.e severe allergic reaction, profusely bleeding, loss of consciousness, or broken bone), seek medical treatment immediately or contact Emergency Medical Services at 9-1-1. If EMS is not needed, but employee is unable to drive to treatment contact the Office of Environmental Health and Safety for assistance.
- If a blood exposure or needle stick occur, contact Prospective Health at 252-744-2070 for assistance.
- After normal work hours or weekends, contact ECU Police at 252-328-6787. They will notify ECU EH&S personnel.
- ECU EH&S will conduct an incident investigation to ensure measures are taken to prevent future injuries or near misses.
Do I Have to Complete Forms for Workers’ Compensation?
Complete and send the following forms to the Office of Environmental Health and Safety as soon as possible, but at least within 48 hours of the workplace injury. If documentation is not promptly received, it could affect the start of the employee’s Workers’ Compensation benefits. The information provided in these forms will be entered into the third-party administrator’s (TPA) database, to be reviewed and compensability determined.
The forms can be downloaded as an editable PDF (save to computer first) or printed as a hard copy. You must hand write your signature on forms, electronic signatures are not permitted. You can scan/email the completed forms to the Workers’ Compensation Coordinator (email@example.com), fax to 252-737-1458, or send through campus mail – Mail Stop 207.
If you need assistance completing the forms, contact EH&S at firstname.lastname@example.org or 252-328-6166.
What About Students?
If a student is injured while conducting assignments or other general duties on campus (classroom, laboratory, etc.) the student should contact Student Health for medical attention, or 9-1-1 if life-threatening injury. If the student would like they can file a TORT claim with the Office of University Counsel.
The student should also complete the Student Statement of Injury Form and send it back to EH&S to document the injury.
What is the Workers’ Compensation Leave Policy?
If the employee receives medical treatment, no leave is charged to the day of the injury. The employee must obtain a written work note from the physician indicating if the employee is cleared to return to work or if they have been taken out of work. This document should be presented to the supervisor and communicated to the Workers’ Compensation Coordinator. Employees will not be charged leave time to attend WC doctor’s appointments or other approved medical treatments, i.e. physical therapy, acupuncture. Upon completion of the appointment, the employee must report directly to work unless the physician takes the employee out of work.
What If I Am Taken Out of Work?
There is a seven day waiting period before compensation benefits begin. During this period, the employee may use sick or vacation leave, if available, or elect to immediately be removed from payroll with no pay. After 7 days, the employee is removed from ECU payroll and receives 66 2/3 of their regular salary until they return to work.
Leave Options Form (optional)
If you choose Option 3 from the “Leave Options Form”, regarding the use of leave time after the seven day waiting period; review the “Supplemental Leave Schedule” provided below. It explains how much time can be used to supplement workers’ compensation weekly benefits based on the employee’s annual salary. If you have any questions contact the WC Coordinator at 328-6166.
*Please note: If you use the supplemental leave option, this may be considered an over payment, and the university could recoup those funds after the employee returns to work.*
Supplemental Leave Schedule (optional)
What Happens to My Other Benefits?
No other ECU Human Resources Benefits will continue (ex. dental or vision insurances, as well as retirement service credit) if the employee remains out of work past the 7-day waiting period. Contact ECU Human Resources Benefits at 328-9847 to discuss a payment plan. Vacation, sick leave and longevity pay will continue while the employee is out on Workers’ Compensation. Any performance increases from legislature will be awarded to employee’s salary upon reinstatement.
Do I Report Near Misses?
YES. A “close call” or “near miss” is an incident that does not result in injury or illness. Employees should report all “close calls” or “near misses” to their supervisor. Supervisors should report these “close calls” or “near misses” to ECU EH&S.
What If There is a Fatality, Hospitalization, Amputation or Loss of an Eye?
- Job related fatalities that occur within 30 days of a work related incident shall be reported to the North Carolina Department of Labor within eight (8) hours of incident notification.
- For any inpatient hospitalization of 1 or more employees, any work related amputation, and any work related losses of an eye, which are recordable occupational injuries or illnesses as defined in 29 CFR 1904.12 shall be reported by employers within 24 hours.
- All notifications are to be made to ECU EHS (252-328-6166) during normal office hours, and to ECU Police (252-328-6150) during non-office hours. ECU Police will then contact the on-call EHS representative. The following information will be requested: Location and time of incident, number of fatalities or hospitalized personnel, contact person and phone number, and brief description of the incident.
How do I Return to Work?
There 3 scenarios in which an employee on WC leave may return to work:
- The employee has reached maximum medical improvement (MMI) and has been released to return to work by their treating physician; the employee returns to the original or similar position held prior to injury.
- The employee has not reached maximum medical improvement, but is ready to return to limited or transitional work with the approval of the treating physician. All temporary transitional work is subject to the availability of such work.
- The employee has reached maximum medical improvement and has been released by the treating physician, but has received a disability that prohibits employment in the previous position. The University will attempt to place the employee in another position that is suitable to the employee’s capacity to work, which is both meaningful and productive. If a suitable position is not available with the University, the employee will be referred to the Office of State Personnel for re-employment assistance and possible return to work in another State agency.
What if I have Questions or Concerns?
Questions regarding workers’ compensation claims should be directed to the Workers’ Compensation Coordinator at 252-328-6166.
If questions are not answered to your satisfaction, you may call the North Carolina Industrial Commission at 1-800-688-8349 or 919-733-0345. Assistance is available to unrepresented claimants, employers, and other parties to enable them to protect their rights. In addition, the North Carolina Industrial Commission (WC Information Specialist, formerly Ombudsman Section) can answer questions pertaining to all aspects of Workers’ Compensation.