Employee Safety

Policies and Procedures Manual Section 12


Western Michigan University is covered by the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Act which requires reporting of and preventive measures against on-campus accidents. In accordance with MIOSHA, the University has established regulations and guidelines to assure a safe working environment. Environmental Health and Safety is responsible for the administration of on-campus safety regulations. Detailed information is available in that office.

  • General safety policy. See general safety at the Environmental Health and Safety website.
  • Workplace threats, violence and weapons. See workplace threats, violence and weapons in the employee handbook.
  • Bomb threats. See Bomb Threat at the Emergency Management website.
  • Suspicious letters, packages and bio-threats. Details about the WMU process for handling suspicious mail are located on the Emergency Management Chemical Release page.

Workers' compensation

The Workers' Disability Compensation Act is a state law providing for medical payments and income when injuries and accidents, including disease, arise out of, and in the course of, employment. An employee who is injured on duty must report it promptly to his/her supervisor, following the procedures outlined in the incidents to be reported section below. Any delay in reporting a job-related accident, injury, or disease may make it difficult to validate a claim at a later date.

Workers' compensation is administered by Human Resources. The department provides injured employees with resources and assistance, helping them to return to work as soon as possible.

Incidents to be reported

The University, as a covered employer, provides benefits within the limitations of the Workers' Disability Compensation Act for job-related accidents and/or injuries. The University is required by law to report all work-related injuries, within 14 calendar days of the date of each compensable injury, to the State of Michigan Workers' Compensation Bureau. Failure to report these injuries/accidents within the prescribed deadline is cause for the Bureau to penalize the University. To avoid penalty for noncompliance with the Act, and to assure timely payment for work-related accidents/injuries, all supervisors are required to follow the established procedures for reporting all compensable incidents. Compensable incidents are defined as all accidents and injuries, including disease, which arise out of, and in the course of, employment. Ordinary disease to which individuals may be generally exposed outside of employment is not compensable.


  1. Employees must report accidents immediately to their supervisor.
  2. The supervisor and employee must complete the top half of the report of claimed occupational injury or illness (WC-210) form, which is available at Forms: Accidents and Injuries. The injured employee is to sign the WC-210 form where indicated to authorize release of medical information.
  3. The employee is then sent to Sindecuse Health Center with a copy of the medical treatment for on-the-job injury (WC-210) form and a blank physical capabilities (WC-504) form, which is available at Forms: Accidents and Injuries. Only in case of emergency or if Sindecuse Health Center is closed should an employee seek care off campus.
    • Injuries requiring immediate attention will be examined/treated through urgent care at the health center.
    • Non-urgent injuries or problems where the relationship to the job is questionable should be addressed with the occupational physician. Appointments should be scheduled at Sindecuse Health Center for these non-urgent cases.
  4. The treating physician completes the physical capabilities form and the lower portion of the medical treatment for on-the-job injury form (WC-210), which the employee returns to his/her supervisor.
  5. The supervisor is to complete an accident/injury 311 report (EHS-311) form, which is available via Forms: Accidents and Injuries, within 48 hours and forward to Environmental Health and Safety.
  6. The employee or his/her supervisor must notify Human Resources if an employee is away from work for more than seven calendar days due to a work-related injury or illness, so that a workers' compensation claim can be filed for wage loss benefits.

Sick leave and workers' compensation

Sick leave may be used during any waiting period prior to eligibility for receiving workers' compensation wage loss payments. Sick leave used may be reimbursed to the employee's sick leave bank, should the employee's wage loss benefits cover any period of time for which sick leave was used. This is accomplished by the employee "buying back" the paid sick leave, using funds from the first weekly workers' compensation benefit check received.


The employee's first weekly benefit check is sent to Human Resources. Human Resources will calculate any necessary reimbursement for sick leave used. The funds necessary to buy back the sick leave are deducted from the check; the balance of the check is sent to the employee. Human Resources will instruct Payroll to reinstate the appropriate number of sick leave hours to the employee's sick leave bank.

Any employee receiving weekly benefits may use any remaining sick leave in amounts supplementary to weekly workers' compensation benefit checks, not to exceed 100 percent of regular wages.

After consultation with the employee, Human Resources will notify the employee's department as to the amount of sick leave to be used after the first weekly benefit check has been issued and after any necessary reimbursement to the employee's sick leave account has been made.

Annual leave and workers' compensation

Any annual leave used during a waiting period prior to receiving workers' compensation payments will not be reimbursed to the employee's annual leave bank.

Employees may elect to use annual leave to supplement their workers' compensation weekly benefit, but only if they have exhausted their sick leave account balance. An employee's annual leave should not be used unless his/her express consent is given.


After consultation with the employee, Human Resources will notify the employee's department as to the amount of annual leave to be used after the first weekly benefit check has been issued and/or the employee's sick leave account balance is exhausted.

Length of leave

Duration of a workers' compensation leave of absence is limited under the terms of extended absences in the Human Resources policies and procedures manual. Workers' compensation benefits may continue after termination of employment.

Group insurance and workers' compensation

Employees with approved workers' compensation eligibility and who are off work due to work-related injuries or illnesses have the following group insurance options:

  1. Health insurance may be continued under the same terms and conditions as in force at the time of injury/leave. The University will continue to provide coverage for the employee. The employee will continue to pay his/her share of premiums for dependents, if any. The coverage may be continued until the employee returns to the active payroll or until his/her employment is terminated.
  2. Life insurance may be continued at the employee's expense, at University group rates, until the employee returns to the active payroll or until his/her employment is terminated. If the employee returns to the active payroll, the University will resume paying its portion of premiums.
  3. Long-term disability insurance cannot be continued while an employee is off work with approved workers' compensation eligibility. If the employee returns to the active payroll, coverage will be reinstated on the same terms and conditions that apply to other employees in the same position classification as the employee at that time.
  4. Procedure: Upon receipt of a transaction form removing the employee from the payroll, Human Resources will send a letter outlining group insurance continuation provisions and costs to the employee.

<back   next>