According to the Insurance Information Institute, employee injuries are one of the most devastating financial losses for companies. This is especially true with smaller companies that have fewer employees to fill in when other workers must take time off due to injuries. Although workers’ compensation insurance covers some of the medical costs and income for an injured worker, the business has to cover costs associated with training new workers, paying overtime and compensating for lost productivity. The best way to avoid these expenses is to prevent accidents from happening. The following helpful tips can reduce the risk of workplace injuries.
Involve both workers and management. When everyone works together in a collaborative effort, workplace safety is easier to maintain. If the workplace has several employees and managers, set up safety teams with team leaders. There should be frequent safety meetings as well.
Study the workplace and its operations. Carefully analyze the business from the inside out. Inspect any equipment used in the workplace for possible safety issues, and read manuals for the equipment to find additional safety concerns. Review all workplace activities and procedures to identify safety risks and hazards, and talk to workers and managers about their individual safety concerns. Be sure to analyze any new equipment or procedures for safety concerns when adding them to the workplace. If the item is a type of dangerous but necessary equipment, train workers thoroughly and test their knowledge.
Remove known hazards whenever possible. If a hazard is identified, it should be removed. However, not all hazards can be removed. For example, a dangerous press may be a vital part of a factory's operations. There may be ways to improve safety procedures for using it even if the machine itself cannot be eliminated without affecting the company's productivity. However, an old elevator that shocks people when buttons are pushed is something that can be fixed or replaced.
Train workers regularly. In addition to their initial training, workers need regular retraining. Conduct monthly or weekly safety meetings depending on the workplace tasks. Daily or weekly meetings are best for dangerous factories. However, a call center office may only require monthly meetings. Provide quizzes to test workers' knowledge of procedures. Also, it is helpful to provide first aid and CPR training to workers.
Look for areas of improvement. Make a constant effort to improve current practices. When an accident happens or almost happens, analyze the situation. Look for ways to prevent it from happening again, and modify safety rules and procedures as necessary to do this.
Workplace safety programs do more than just prevent accidents. They also cut costs for employers and improve the overall workplace morale. Programs may help retain good workers and increase their productivity.
Workers’ Compensation Insurance Considerations
Although some workplaces have best practices in place and follow them strictly, accidents can still happen. The above steps will help reduce the number of accidents. However, it is important to be prepared for the few accidents that do happen. To do this, it is essential to have workers’ compensation insurance.
What Is Covered
Workers’ compensation insurance covers replacement of lost income when a worker is injured. It also pays for the worker's medical bills due to the workplace injury. If the worker dies because of a workplace accident, worker's compensation covers funeral expenses and a death benefit for the deceased worker's surviving family. Claims can be filed for accidents that happen on the company's property and while a worker is driving or away from the workplace conducting company business.
What Is Not Covered
This insurance will not cover losses on the employer's end. Hiring and training a new worker is not covered. Business interruption losses are not covered, and overtime is not reimbursed with this type of coverage.
Workers’ compensation insurance must be purchased as an individual policy and is not part of a BOP or CPP. This type of policy is approved by the state where the company does business.
To learn more about what workers' compensation insurance covers or to set up a policy, contact your Account Manager at Provider Group, or Patrick Darcey, CIC. Patrick is Principal, and works with businesses to ensure they have the appropriate risk management strategy. He can be reached at 401-671-6355 firstname.lastname@example.org.