Five Steps to Reducing Workers Compensation Costs

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Five Steps to Reducing Workers Compensation Costs 

When a company experiences significant increases in workers compensation costs, it usually triggers internal activities aimed at reducing insurance costs and spending.

The key to spending fewer Workers Compensation claims dollars is more than just stopping a few workplace accidents; it’s having a sound safety program designed to continuously improve.

This is where a safety program that, at a minimum, is compliant with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards can yield significant savings for  by reducing injuries and illnesses, saving workers compensation dollars.

Building a Solid OSHA Program

There are five entry-level steps  you can take to have a well-rounded safety program that produces a safe work environment, achieves OSHA compliance, reduces accidents and ultimately reduces workers’ compensation costs.

  1. Develop the various programs required by the OSHA standards.
  2. Integrate those programs into the daily operations.
  3. Investigate all injuries and illnesses.
  4. Provide training to develop safety competence in all employees.
  5. Audit your programs and your work areas on a regular basis to stimulate continuous improvement.

Develop Programs Required by OSHA Standards

Aside from being a requirement for general industry, the OSHA standards provide a good pathway to incident reductions. A good number of accidents stem from poorly developed, trained or implemented OSHA programs: slips or trips may come from poor housekeeping efforts or not keeping walking and working surfaces clear, not using personal protective equipment may result in excessive lacerations, and poor lifting techniques can result in strains.

Many of the OSHA standards require some type of written program be developed and then communicated to employees. Experience shows that companies with thoroughly developed OSHA-compliant programs have fewer accidents, more productive employees and lower workers compensation costs.

Integrate Programs into Daily Operations

Policies alone won’t get results; the program must move from paper to practice to succeed. Putting a policy into practice requires a strategic plan clearly communicated to key participants, good execution of that plan based on developed competencies, and a culture that inspires and rewards people to do their best.

When developing any business initiative, there must be an emphasis on frontline supervisors and helping them succeed. Every good business person knows that any new program – safety, quality or anything else – lives and dies with the frontline supervisor. If the frontline supervisor knows the program and wants to make it happen, the program succeeds; if not, the program is a source of constant struggle, and an endless drain on resources and energies. Providing supervisors with knowledge and skills through training is critical to the success of any program.

A solid OSHA program, integrated into the daily operation and led by competent supervisors is just the beginning. Successful safety programs focus on being proactive instead of always reacting to issues. Accident investigations provide an excellent source of information on real or potential issues present in the workplace.

Investigate All Injuries and Illnesses

Workers compensation is designed to recompense employees for injuries or illnesses that arise from or out of the course of employment. This should not come as a surprise, but increasing claims drive up workers compensation costs.

For more information visit WORKERS COMPENSATION or contact a SW Risk Specialist at 1-866-924-7976 (SWRM).

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