One injury claim can cost a small business owner hundreds of thousands of dollars with an average Lost Time claim of $38K. On November 10, learn "How to Reduce the Chances of a Costly Employee Injury Claim; 5 Tips for Workplace Safety," when The Sullivan Group’s Safety and Loss Control Manager Scott Goldsberry speaks at the Exchange Club at noon. Call Tim Beers for more information, 912-925-6608.
How to Reduce the Chances of a Costly Employee Injury Claim; 5 Tips for Workplace Safety, Lecture Nov 10
(SAVANNAH, GA) According to the National Safety Council, direct costs alone for one employee injury can total up to $38,000 with indirect costs costing the company an additional 4 to 5 times that amount.
Worker’s Compensation costs, depending on occupational risk and the compensation board in your state, can range between 1-1.5% of your employee’s salary.
During these hard economic times, companies need to save all the money they can. Implementing a Safety and Injury Prevention Plan can not only keep your company in balance with state regulation, it can save your bottom line.
According to the US Department of Labor Bureau of Statistics, 2008 saw decreases in overall workplace injuries, noting one reason for the decrease was solid employer implementation of these programs.
Scott Goldsberry, The Sullivan Group’s Safety and Loss Control Manager, gives the Top Five Safety Tips for businesses:
1) Develop a written safety program or manual.
Without being in written form, it’s hard to enforce safety policies and procedures. All employees should have access to the program or manual starting with the New Employee Orientation. Whether or not the company prints a manual for all employees or a master copy is available so everyone has access to it would be an individual company decision.
2) Develop a safety-training program.
Customized to the type of work produced by the employees at the company, training at all levels is essential. Training will remind the employees that the company cares about their health and well-being as well as ensure that they work in a safe manner. 85-90% of all Workers Compensation claims are caused by unsafe behavior. Regular, documented safety training will secure their education in work safety and help reduce the urge to work in an unsafe manner.
3) Host regular meetings on State and Federal Regulations.
Regulations change regularly, which is why it’s important to stay alert of State and Federal rules. With Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations posted on their website, there’s no excuse to be ignorant of them. All employers should be aware and well versed in the regulations to protect their employees from injuries and to protect the company from large fines. Familiarity with OSHA regulations is the responsibility of the company’s management team, just like operators of vehicles on the state highways are required to know the rules of the road to prevent accidents and to protect them from receiving citations.
4) Accident investigations should be completed after every injury.
Investigations ensure companies learn from the mistakes that were made and how not to duplicate the situation. Each accident should be investigated to the point that a "root cause" is determined so that reoccurrence of the same type of injury is reduced or eliminated through proper corrective measures. 85-90% of all workplace injuries are the result of unsafe behavior; however, eliminating hazardous conditions is the first step to reducing injuries.
5) Larger Companies need Safety Committees.
A safety committee, comprised of equal numbers of management, supervisors, and hourly employees gives the company a feel for all sides of the issues. Hourly employees are the ones doing the job so their input is crucial. You also want them involved because co-workers find it easier to discuss problems openly with one another rather than with supervisors or management. Supervisors have to be there since they have worked their way through the ranks and know how to control the situation from the ground up. Management needs to be a part of the committee so decisions on policy and procedure changes or decisions on spending money on items needed to prevent injuries and accidents can be made quickly.
Safety committees can be used to review accidents, conduct safety audits, develop corrective measures to prevent reoccurrence of accidents or injuries, develop new policies and procedures to reduce the risk to the workforce, motivate the workforce to work safely, and develop new trends from OSHA Logs and Insurance Company Loss Runs to determine the focus of the safety program.
Scott Goldsberry has more than 30 years of safety and loss control experience and currently works with The Sullivan Group and its clients on creating policies and procedures for safety and injury prevention.
Safety and Loss Control was an area The Sullivan Group felt necessary to incorporate as a part of their network of resources for its clients. Although the Bureau of Labor Statistics highlighted 2008 decreases in its latest injury census, increases were found in transportation and warehousing (3.4% increase), and government (2.2% increase).
The Sullivan Group focuses on supporting small and medium sized businesses with experts in all aspects of Human Resource Management. Safety and Injury Prevention joins their other resources, including: employee benefits, payroll, compliance tactics, staffing, and workers compensation insurance.
For more information on The Sullivan Group and how they can help your business, visit their website, www.simplysullivans.com.