Create a Safe Workplace Creating a safe place to work is the best ways to keep your employee’s accident-free. Not only does it lower your workers compensation cost and premium, but all your employees go home unharmed. This will create an environment where not only do they look out for themselves but they will look out for each other and therefor the organization benefits.
A safe workplace all the employees working together to ensure that everyone on the site is following all safety procedures and wearing all safety gear. This also includes examining the equipment to make sure it is functioning correctly and speaking up and reporting any known issues with equipment and anyone failure to follow safety procedures.
- Look and Check for Hazards
Regularly check the workplace site for hazards and examine those things you already consider safely done. Just because it was safe last week does not mean it is safe this week. This includes regularly checking machinery and tools, as well as regular employee training on how to use, maintain and examine the tools. Examine old tools very carefully. Maybe they have not broken yet or no injury has occurred yet but the tool maybe old and worn. Look closely, the hazard maybe there still.
2. Employee Training
Train your employee to consider safety first and include them in regular training sessions even if they have been trained already. Try to focus the training on not just the use of the tool but also about identifying hazards, reducing the risk of accidents, near miss reporting. By providing each employee with safety check reminders, you might even consider requiring safety check reports to be done. Whatever the employee job duties are make sue the employee knows that safely is as important as all the other duties.
- Get Employees Involved
Employee must be actively involved in safety so it is important to create an environment where the employees are recognized for their active involvement in the safety program. The practice of safety measure at the workplace and to recognized and rewarded. Consider have a monthly safety meeting to discuss and share the safety practices, including missing incidents and any incidents that have occurred. Talk about trouble shooting and safety issues. This impute directly from the employees is invaluable. They are the ones in the field and using the tools and seeing the physical situation that exist on job sites. This will allow to employees to share and feel vested in the safety of the workplace and know that the business is concerned about their safety.
The goal to a safe workplace is continually practice prevention
By Kimberly Daise
One of the most frustrating aspects of managing a workers’ compensation program is getting injured workers back to work. Usually, the employer is faced with an injured worker who wants to stay at home forever or an employer who thinks he can lift 50 lb. bags ten days after surgery. The key is to develop a flexible yet effective return to work program.
Almost every company has a slightly different Return to Work program. However, they have 3 points in common.
1. Job task should fit the medical restrictions
Here is an example: The employer request the worker to return to work in a light-duty job position. The job duties, however, exceed the claimant’s work restrictions and the worker refuses to complete the task. Employer doesn’t want to pay TTD because a light duty job was given to the claimant and he refused to do it. This is an issue because the Judge or Arbitrator, however, orders the employer to pay TTD because the light duty job exceeded the claimant’s work restrictions. This is not a good situation for either party.
Every employer should have documentation that lists the specific job duties and task analysis for every job position. Review this documentation and make sure that the task to be performed is within those permitted. Make sure the light work job has enough details so that when it is reviewed it fits the medically permitted task. This will provide the employer with documentation that the job task was medically permitted. And did not exceed any restrictions. This will eliminate the he said she said position the employer may find himself at a hearing.
Avoid this pitfall before it happens by making sure that the job does not exceed the claimant’s work restrictions and has the job description signed off by the employee.
2. Return to work offers must be in writing
Employers should always offer the employee the position in writing and in person. Phone calls and phone conversation commonly are said to have not occurred.
This is EASY to avoid. Make sure that the return to work offer is always in writing, email or text messaging works just as well as a mailed letter. With this, the worker cannot later claim that he was never told to return to work. Problem solved.
3. Light duty job must have a purpose
What do you do in situations when you want to get the injured worker back to work, but he can’t perform any of the light duty task you have available? Often employers in these situations like to put the injured worker into a distasteful or detestable job, hoping that the worker will quit the job assigned and want to go back to his regular job. For example, the job is watching paint dry on the wall. The problem is this is a big risk. The light duty should meet a legitimate need and purpose within and for the company. The job can not appear to be meaningless or punitive.
By Kimberly Daise
You have control over your workers’ compensation premiums.
Since premiums are based in part on loss history reports you must take steps to prevent injuries and manage claims. This would reduce the chance of cost hikes and maybe result in a reduction in cost.
Tips for controlling your losses, and thus your workers’ compensation premiums:
1. Have transitional jobs ready.
Have a list or positions for light-duty already set aside. Devise transitional jobs that fit within a variety of work restrictions. Thus, when employees are injured, you can easily identify jobs that fit within their restrictions and get them back to work quickly. Don’t delay.
2. Consider options to bring the employee back to work quickly.
Bringing an employee back to work when they’re still recovering can sometimes requires a little creativity. Your options include:
• Reducing the employee’s work hours or work days
• Bringing the employee back in a different position at a reduced wage
• Altering the employee’s equipment or work area
• Swapping tasks with other employees or reorganizing work within the injured employee’s group
• Arranging for temporary work in a different area of the company
• Create a new lighter-duty job that will be transitional and temporary
If an injured employee returns to work at less than their full, pre-injury wage, their workers’ compensation insurance may make up most of the difference.
3. Relationship with an occupational health clinic.
The quality of treatment counts a lot in medical costs and outcomes. To find a good clinic, ask whether they have experience treating injured employees and accommodate return to work programs. This will supplement the back-to-work program. The employee can heal while on the job. Ask and provide the information they’ll need from you regarding the injured worker’s job description.
4. Have a point person for return to work.
It helps to have a person who is accountable for getting injured employees back to work as soon as medically possible. This includes staying in contact with the employee, working with the treating doctor and involving the employee’s supervisor.
5. Make sure employees understand and follow work restrictions.
If an injured employee doesn’t follow their doctors’ restrictions, it can result in costly claim complications. Take the time to go through employees’ restrictions with them and talk about any aspects of the job. Make sure they know they should follow their restrictions both at work and outside of work.
6. Contact with your injured employees.
Let injured employees who are off work know that you are concerned about their injuries and recovery. Call them and talk to them. Let the employee know they are valued and that you are looking forward to their return. Keep up on the status, expectations and return-to-work date for each injured employee. This requires planning and consent contact. It’s important to keep recovery on track.
7. Report injuries immediately.
As soon as you learn of an injury, the clock starts ticking toward state deadlines. Reporting the injury as soon as it occurs ensures that injured workers get the best and most appropriate treatment right away.
It keeps you in compliance with the state deadlines and allows your claims representative to be responsive to your employees. Delayed reporting can result in longer-duration claims and higher costs. Communications is crucial. Employees and supervisors need to know who to contact when an injury occurs, and your organization’s point person for reporting claims needs to act with a sense of urgency.
8. Analyze past injuries.
Anytime an injury occurs, review the incident and identify what caused it and how similar accidents can be prevented in the future. Take the time and spot problem areas and identify opportunities to improve safety.
9. Develop a wellness program.
There is a connection between health issues (such as obesity, diabetes and hypertension) and higher workers’ compensation costs. That’s why it is beneficial of finding ways to encourage wellness among your workforce. Encouraging healthy lifestyles for your employees.