No matter your industry, workers’ compensation premiums are a significant expense. In high-risk industries, they make drastic impacts to profitability. Controlling workers compensation costs can also bolster your business’s competitiveness.
Control What You Can
The most obvious means to control workers’ compensation costs is to avoid claims. The more claims a business experiences, the higher future insurance premiums climb. While not all risks can be mitigated, many can. Instill a culture of 1) safety and 2) accountability through effective safety training and ongoing education.
Below are a few tools your business should consider toward this goal.
Workplace Safety Program
A safe work environment doesn’t happen by chance or good intentions. Safe workplaces are planned, and safe operations are practiced. The first step is to create and implement a formal safety program. Such a program includes:
- Clearly defined safety responsibilities for employees
- Regular workplace inspections
- Comprehensive employee education and training
- Reporting guidelines and tips
Promoting a positive culture of safety increases awareness of hazards while also promoting teamwork and boosting morale. A safe environment communicates that employees are valued, increasing job satisfaction. if you do not already have a workplace safety program, ask your Bankers Insurance agent for a draft specific to your industry.
A safe work environment doesn’t happen by chance or good intentions. Safe workplaces are planned, and safe operations are practiced.”
Establish a Return-to-Work Program
When an employee misses work due to a workplace injury or illness, the business suffers both direct and indirect costs. Direct costs are derived from medical benefits, increases in premium, and wages or overtime for replacement workers. Indirect costs are not financial, but instead refer to decreased production, time spent on claims management, and lower morale.
A return-to-work (RTW) program allows the business to reduce direct costs while making the injured employee productive, thereby also decreasing indirect costs. Research shows the longer an employee is away from work, the less likely they are to return. With a return to work program, a business can reduce the length of an employee’s absence without undermining their recovery. In fact, even returning an employee to light duty can reduce a claim’s cost by 70%.
Work With In-Network Medical Providers
Doctors within an insurance carrier’s network can provide up to 50% savings on medical treatment as compared to out-of-network providers. Maintain a list of all in-network workers’ compensation medical providers by specialty and provide it to injured employees.
Continuing Safety Education
When new employees are on-boarded, introduce them to safety policies. Require they demonstrate how to follow them, emphasizing safety as part of each individual’s job responsibilities. Training should be regular and for all employees, not only new ones. Controlling workers’ compensation costs is achieved through planning and implementing a culture of safety that involves every employee. Regular training reinforces your culture of safety and keeps employees abreast of updates.
Safety training should be broad, but also job-specific. Every employee should understand their job hazards and how to avoid them. Mentoring programs are another great means to reinforce training and increase adoption of safe practices.
For more information about workers’ compensation insurance and how your business can control costs, contact your Bankers Insurance agent today. Not a client of ours? Let us compete for your business! Each of our clients is assigned an insurance agent and provided their email address as well as a phone number that rings right on their desk.