In 2015, workers’ compensation insurance rates are expected to go up by 6.7%, according to the suggested rate increase by he California Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau. Many people think that if they shop around for insurance they could find lower rates, but this is absolutely not the case.
The premiums you pay are mainly tied to how many claims your company has had, and the severity of those claims. There are other factors too, such as your industry, your ex-mod, and how diligently your broker handles your claims. This article will focus on what you can actively do in order to take control and lower your rates for the long run.
The most important thing you can go is develop and enforce a safety program that complies with OSHA standards. A program like this will reduce the number of work-related injuries and claims you have to file. These five items are the very basis of a program that creates a safe workplace, is OSHA compliant, results in fewer accidents and ultimately lower workers’ comp costs:
- Follow OSHA requirements when developing your program
- Make sure the programs are part of your daily operations
- Investigate all injuries and illnesses quickly and thoroughly
- Train your employees to ensure the safety program is understood and followed
- Look for ways to continuously improve your programs
1. Develop Programs Required by OSHA Standards
OSHA standards were developed with the one goal of providing a safe workplace. If a program is poorly developed or implemented, accidents are likely to happen. Basic OSHA standards such as keeping walkways clear, using personal protective equipment and using proper lifting techniques can prevent the most likely to occur accidents and injuries.
2. Integrate Safety Programs into Your Daily Operations
You cannot just write your policy down and expect it to work, it must be put into practice. You will need to communicate the plan to those involved, make sure everyone understands why it is important, check to see if they are following it properly, and ensure your company embraces a culture of safety.
Your supervisors must be involved from the beginning so they can help the plan succeed. If the frontline manager believes in the initiative and wants it to succeed, it will. If not, the program will be a power struggle and is doomed to fail. If your supervisors have the proper knowledge, rationale, and skills, they can help you create a safer workplace. Thorough training is critical in this aspect.
3. Investigate All Injuries and Illnesses Quickly and Thoroughly
Workers’ compensation was designed to compensate employees for injuries and illnesses that result from their employment. The more injuries and illnesses you have claims for in your organization, the higher your costs will be. Not only will your premium go up, you will also lose productivity, and workplace morale may also suffer.
By investigating all injuries and illnesses, you can determine the root cause and take preventive measures to ensure the incident will not happen again. You will also have a careful record of the incident to help prevent fraudulent claims. Don’t wait, investigate immediately after the accident takes place.
4. Training, Training, Training
To make sure your safety program sticks, make sure to train your employees how to follow it properly. Review the training regularly with your supervisors and employees to make sure corners have not been cut. Reminding your employees regularly will ensure they cannot forget that you value safety in the workplace.
5. Continuously Look for Ways to Improve
Solicit feedback from your employees during training sessions. Listen to their suggestions. Take notes if accidents still occur even after the program is in place. Nothing is prefect the first time around, but if you work to continuously improve your safety program, training and enforcement, you will be rewarded with fewer accidents, healthier employees, higher productivity, and a lower overall cost to your organization.
If you have questions about how to implement an OSHA compliant safety program in your organization, call ERM Insurance Brokers at (949) 222-0444. Over 35 years of local workers’ compensation and safety program expertise.
Serving Orange County and Los Angeles.