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Control Workers Compensation Costs Cheat Sheet by

control     costs     compensation     workers

Introd­uction

There are steps you can take to keep tight control over your workers’ comp costs while lessening the chances of a costly and burdensome claim. Keep in mind that employers who have succes­sfully cut their workers’ compen­sation costs report that this is a challe­nging task requiring attention and commitment on the part of manage­ment.

Perhaps most important is an unders­tanding that policies designed to protect employees’ safety and well-being provide a solid foundation for minimizing workers’ compen­sation claims.

Experience shows that employees who feel that workers’ safety is a major concern of management are less likely to attempt to abuse the workers’ compen­sation system.
Credit: http:/­/ww­w.s­ecu­rit­yin­fow­atc­h.c­om/­art­icl­e/1­212­843­4/h­ow-­to-­con­tro­l-w­ork­ers­-co­mp-­costs
William J. Lynott is a veteran freelance writer who specia­lizes in business management as well as personal and business finance.

1. Start with the Hiring Process

Within the limits imposed by labor law restri­ctions, pre-hiring interview techniques should be designed to identify applicants who may pose a higher than average accident risk potential. Always begin by thoroughly examining the applic­ant’s résumé. In partic­ular, look for gaps in the employment history. Ask for an explan­ation of any gaps and consider the applic­ant’s answers carefully. Any unexpl­ained gaps should be considered as red flags.

2. Conduct Background Checks

After obtaining written consent from the applic­ants, conduct thorough background checks before hiring. Include physical fitness exams approp­riate for the job. Applicants reluctant to agree to such checks should be viewed with concern.

3. Safety Training

Have permanent programs in place to train employees on safe working behavior. Discourage unsafe working and driving habits. Instruct employees not to take risks. Encourage the safest, least risky procedures even if they may take longer to complete the job. Make sure that new workers are aware that safety is a top priority in the operation of your services. By demons­trating your interest in safety, you establish your concern for employees’ well-b­eing. That, in turn, will help to minimize the possib­ility of costly workers’ compen­sation claims.

4. Safety Awareness

Maintain safety awareness throughout the workplace. Remind employees to practice safety procedures by displaying safety posters in an employ­ee-only area not seen by customers. Regular discus­sions by you about safety will help.
 

Workers Comp

5. Monitor for Behavioral Changes

Within legal parame­ters, maintain your efforts to identify employees or applicants with drug or alcohol problems. A failure to address this issue might be considered by some as a lack of interest or concern. That, in turn could result in legal problems in the case of accident or injury.

6. Maintain your Fleet

Make certain that your vehicles are properly inspected and mainta­ined. In partic­ular, driver complaints about problems that could involve safety must be addressed at once.

7. Classify Employees Properly

Be sure to classify employee job descri­ptions and titles correctly. Obviously, some jobs are riskier than others. A job involving driving carries more risk than that of office worker or dispat­cher. That is why it is important not to assign all of your employees to a certain job classi­fic­ation unless you are sure that is correct. With more than 600 job classi­fic­ation codes in use today, improper job classi­fic­ation for even one employee could increase your workers compen­sation premiums. Each classi­fic­ation code is based on the level of risk associated with that job. Job codes are subject to change, so it is important to use the most recent edition of the classi­fic­ation codebook for your state.

8. Establish a Safety Committee

If your operation is large enough, establish a safety committee made up of at least one employee and yourself. Even in a small operation, this step will establish your continued concern for employees’ well-b­eing. The commit­tee’s stated purpose will be to identify and correct safety problems and provide ideas for improving safety efforts and programs.

9. Act Quickly in the Event of an Injury

In the event of an on-the-job injury — even one of a seemingly minor nature — be sure to provide medical attention promptly to minimize possible compli­cations from delayed care. Compli­cations to even a slight injury can result in increa­singly costly workers’ compen­sation claims which, in turn, can result in perman­ently increased insurance premiums.

10. Get Workers on Disability Back on the Job

If one of your employees should go out on a disability claim, work to get him or her back to work as quickly as practical. An employee who is unable to return to work on a full-time basis may be able to work part-time or in a job of lesser demands. The longer an employee remains unable to work, the more the insurance company will be required to pay in compen­sation benefits —which is likely to result in increased insurance premiums for your business.

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