Workers’ compensation programs vary considerably between industries. But there are steps that almost all businesses can take to aid in reducing workers’ compensation costs.
The first priority, of course, must be to focus on safety and keep workplace accidents to a minimum. Certain high-risk industries, such a construction, may require special measures. But in most sectors, some common-sense strategies can make a huge difference.
Reducing Workers’ Compensation Costs through Accident Prevention
Firstly, it’s crucial to hire qualified and experienced personnel and to give them thorough training in all aspects of workplace safety. As a minimum, there should be a written company safety policy, compliance with which is a condition of employment. Managers at all levels also need to be aware that the enforcement of the safety policy is an important aspect of their role.
Aside from the conduct of managers and staff, it is also essential to check the condition of the workplace itself. Compliance with all relevant legislation, environmental standards and sound building maintenance are obvious examples. But you also need to pay close attention to the safety of electrical wiring, machinery and even the ergonomics of office furniture.
These are not matters that are easy to assess by the layman. So having your premises regularly inspected by a qualified safety professional is a sensible precaution that is likely to more than pay for itself in reduced long-term costs.
These small steps will help tremendously in reducing workers’ compensation costs and will benefit both the employees and the business.
After the Event – Steps to Mitigate Costs
But despite all the best endeavors, even well-managed businesses are likely to have their share of workplace accidents. Efforts to minimize their impact and mitigate costs should, therefore, begin immediately after an incident is reported.
Simple steps, such as the provision of first aid kits and the training of staff in their use, can often go a long way towards improving the prognosis of staff who suffer workplace injuries.
It’s also important that the causes of any workplace accident are thoroughly investigated as soon as possible. Any necessary modifications to safety protocols or equipment should then be made without delay.
Use Specialist Medical Advice
Once an injured or sick employee is absent from work, the focus must be on reducing compensation costs by getting them back as soon as possible.
One key to this is to build and maintain a strong working relationship with a specialist in occupational medicine. Such a specialist will help ensure that workers get the necessary physical therapies. And they will also be able to recommend any changes in equipment or working practices necessary to avoid a recurrence of the problem.
Communicate with Absent Employees
Maintaining lines of communication with employees during their absence is vital to encourage their early return to work. A three-way consultation that includes your specialist medical adviser should take place as often as possible to review progress. And you can use the process to explore alternative or part-time roles that the employee might take up in preparation for a resumption of their previous work.
Talk to the Experts
All these steps can help with reducing workers’ compensation costs. But as important as they are, it remains vital – as well as legally mandatory – to have appropriate workers’ compensation insurance in place.
The kind of coverage that’s right and necessary varies considerably according to the size and nature of the business. So at Brashears, we’ll work closely with you to produce a cost-effective, bespoke policy that precisely meets your needs.
We look forward to working with you.