Workers compensation costs can cripple even the most prosperous company, between the actual claims made by the injured employees, the increase in your insurance policy, and the overall mood of the company. By eliminating potential risk factors, an employer can help keep those costs at a minimum, which means lower premiums, less hurt employees, and a happier staff. The following are seven ways you can reduce your workers compensation risks.
1. Establish and maintain a drug-free workplace policy. If your employees are not distracted from being high and inebriated, they are less likely to injury themselves or anyone else on the job. They will also perform their tasks better and with less mistakes.
2. Create appropriate and continuing training policies for all employees. One of the easiest ways to keep your employees safe and your risks down is training! All employees should receive training on equipment usage and safety procedures. Periodic continuing education on training and safety should be required on a regular basis. Training should not ONLY be done at the time of hire.
3. Encourage your employees to offer suggestions, and put in place the ideas that are the most appropriate for your organization. Your employees are the ones doing the work, and will be the foremost authority on processes that don’t work, or may actually be hazardous. Listen to your employees, encourage their suggestions, and do everything you can to bring their suggestions to play.
4. Institute a well-being initiative that includes preventative screenings. These screenings can catch issues before they are issues. While this may seem more of a way to keep your company’s health insurance costs down, think about this: a sick employee is not going to be working his or her best, and is susceptible to injury. Help them remain healthy, and your workers compensation costs will be lower.
5. Monitor the trends in your workers compensation claims. Is there a trend? Is it a process or a person? Act appropriately by changing and improving a process or working with the employee with additional training to keep that person educated and safe while performing his or her job.
6. If an employee does become injured, have a supervisor go with the injured employee to the hospital or doctor’s office. This has a two-fold purpose. By sending a supervisor with the injured employee, it will show that the company cares about the welfare of the employee. It will also ensure that the workers compensation claim isn’t exaggerated beyond what it truly is.
7. Do not remove or allow anyone to remove safety guards or modify equipment or machinery. The safety guards and shields came with the equipment for a reason – for operator and employee safety. Serious injury or death can occur if those measures are removed. If there is a component of the machine that isn’t working or is hampering the use of the machine, contact the manufacturer. They will be able to determine if anything can be done to modify or correct the machinery in a way that does not jeopardize employee safety.
Keeping your workers compensation risks (which translates to costs) down is imperative for any company, and is easier than you think. With just a few simple steps, some of which are mentioned above, you can make your workplace a safer, more enjoyable, and more cost effective place to work.