Simply follow the low-cost practices below:
Make safety a priority
Lost wages and productivity can hurt your business, and qualified help is hard to replace. It takes time to
recruit and train someone to fill the void.,
That’s why your overarching goal should be injury prevention Make this one of your strategic initiatives, one
of your key performance measurements and a recurring item at all your board and executive meetings. Top
management can and should be held accountable for workplace safety within their teams.
Train and educate your workforce
Provide training and education to all employees and levels of management on occupational safety, accident
prevention and first aid. Specific safety training should be required for all jobs that have a moderate risk of
Make someone on your team responsible for updating your formal safety practices (including proper
equipment handling), and training materials. Task this person with keeping track of the latest guidelines,
workers’ compensation requirements, procedure updates and best practices.
Focus on prevention
Keep track of all injured personnel to see if certain jobs are more at risk than others. Note the length of
absence and severity of past injuries. Appoint a safety manager and task him or her to compile a list of all
workplace risks with recommendations on how to prevent them, then create one or more safety committees.
Safety committees can be made up of a cross section of your employees including management, human
resources and legal representatives. These committees create awareness and reinforce compliance by
adopting the safety manager’s recommendations and developing practices that will curb workplace injuries.
Create a culture of safety
Now that managers are accountable, training is mandatory and safety committees are overseeing prevention,
communicate all these findings, actions, resolutions, policies and procedures to your employees.
The company newsletter, or a weekly e-blast, is the perfect vehicle for such a task. Middle managers should
put it on the agenda of their weekly staff meetings. Safety is everyone’s concern, so welcome team-based
initiatives and provide a suggestion box. Ask for everyone’s help in achieving a safe work environment.
Investigate every accident promptly
Internal investigations into accident claims by your safety committee(s) are vital to managing the cost of
incident related losses. It also helps to prevent future losses. Thorough investigations should include the
accident report, statements from the employee, manager and witnesses, a recommendation by the committee
and how this recommendation will be implemented.
As mentioned previously, these accidents need to be discussed at the executive level for any significant
change to occur. By documenting and collating this data, a bigger picture can emerge. Are accidents
happening because employees are not aware of the risks, because of poor performance, or because of
Report claims quickly
Claims should be reported to your insurance carrier on the same day of the accident. Immediate reporting
allows claims adjusters to begin their assessment while the details of the accident are fresh on everyone’s
minds. It ensures that employees receive the help and benefits they need right away.
There’s an even better reason to report claims immediately. Many injuries will worsen over time, and some of
that can be prevented if the carrier is notified quickly. It will also lessen the likelihood that employees will be
dissatisfied with the timeliness in which their claim is addressed.
Prioritize claims management
Designate someone to proactively manage your claims. They should regularly communicate with injured
employees to ensure their questions are being answered and they are receiving appropriate care. They can
liaise with the case workers to make sure the return to work timelines are still current and to coach the
managers as needed.
Having someone guide the process will help employees return to work faster and make sure paperwork is
handled on schedule. This person should obviously be part of the safety committee and coordinate with the
safety manager so that everyone can share the knowledge. Remember though that sensitive (employeespecific)
medical information should not be shared.
Implement a return to work policy
Develop a return to work policy to let employees know you value them and that they can expect to find
suitable light duty assignments if they are ever injured. That policy should be available to all employees. It sets
the stage for initiating the return to work program when the worker is injured.
The return to work action plan is a formal document created by the employee’s manager, that specifies when
he will resume work, what duties he will be assigned, and how many hours he will work each week. The
employee’s manager should review overall progress and possible job restrictions with the employee to ensure
that this plan is suitable and realistic.
If you create a culture of safety that incorporates the right policies and procedures, you will go a long way in
reducing workplace accidents and claims. But if someone does get hurt, having a plan in place will make the
process better for everyone.
Speak with your insurance professional if you have questions about workers’ compensation law or claims