As workers’ compensation rates rise across the nation and the National Council of Compensation Insurers (NCCI) institutes new rating strategies that could negatively impact your premiums, the importance of reducing the frequency and severity of workers’ compensation claims becomes even more crucial.
Every organization struggles to find new strategies to reduce injuries and decrease workers’ compensation costs. The following suggestions can help you develop strategic framework to reduce injuries and lower your organization’s cost of risk.
- If you haven’t already done so, establish a strong safety culture. Begin every meeting with a safety update, including the expected total cost of current losses. Companies that excel in reducing losses know that safety begins at the pinnacle of an organization, not on the shop or retail floor.
- Ensure from the moment of hire each employee understands that safety is his or her responsibility. Strengthen and consistently enforce policies and procedures to promote a safer workplace.
- Provide continuous training and try to establish a return-on-investment (ROI) for all training initiatives. This helps you reduce the risk of deciding, “We can cut safety training; we’re not realizing any Return on Investment (ROI) on it.” Smart companies rarely scrimp on training.
- Strengthen your internal accident reporting system. Ensure your employees understand that injuries must be reported immediately, even if they do not feel the need to seek medical treatment at that time.
- Develop a network of local physicians or urgent care clinics to treat your injured employees. Use them as partners in returning your employees to work whenever possible.
- Make sure you have current, written descriptions for each job. Send a copy of this job description to the physician at the time of injury and each time the employee visits a new physician. Update physical requirements so that doctors understand what employees really do in their work process. Otherwise, doctors rely solely on the employee’s description of the physical requirements of the position, which may tend to overstate physical requirements.
- Employee ownership of the safety process is critical to a safe working environment. Form a safety committee composed of line employees and a few front-line supervisors, with your risk management department on board. Front-line employees are often best-versed in determining how to prevent future accidents. They can make common-sense suggestions on how to prevent future losses.
- Employees want to work and go home safely. Continue to set and emphasize reasonable injury-reduction goals. But to promote your goal, work with your employees to establish reward programs that encourage team accomplishments and watch your losses plummet.
To effectively reduce the cost of risk associated with your workers’ compensation injuries, you must employ a team process in which all team members communicate quickly and thoroughly. The above are just a few of the simple steps that can keep your workforce safer and lower your costs.
If you need help managing your workers’ compensation program, designing and implementing a comprehensive safety program or evaluating your current safety program, please feel free to contact me at 732.395.4251 or firstname.lastname@example.org.