Keep your team happy and safe to avoid injuries and minimize difficulties when they do occur. These five precautions can dramatically reduce your workers’ compensation claims.
Worker’s compensation claims are part of running a business. However, there are steps you can take to keep your team happy and safe—to avoid some injuries altogether and minimize difficulties when injuries occur. These five precautions can dramatically reduce your workers’ compensation claims.
1. Hire slow. Fire fast.
You can teach people a skill, but it’s hard to change their habits and personalities. Take time to find candidates with the mindset you are looking for that complement your company’s culture. Have multiple managers interview strong candidates, conduct background checks and use integrity testing to help you decide on who to hire. Someone who has the right mindset is more likely to succeed and less likely to cause careless accidents and get injured because they’re more engaged and believe in the purpose of your company.
Don’t hire reactively to fill an empty seat. Choosing the wrong candidate can cost you money in turnover, lower team morale, cause poor customer relations, and increased workers’ comp claims and premiums. If an employee isn’t working out, it’s important to let them go before a potential toxic personality leads to dissension and reckless injuries.
2. Test for integrity.
Integrity testing is a pre-employment online assessment that identifies whether an individual is likely to steal, fight, submit fraudulent workers’ comp claims or commit other transgressions. It helps you avoid potential bad hires by screening those individuals from your candidate pool.
Integrity testing works by uncovering harmful behaviors people exhibit without realizing that what they’re doing is wrong. As an example, we all know it’s illegal to speed on the freeway but most of us do it anyway. We justify our behavior by telling ourselves everyone else does it or that we’re a safe driver, so it’s okay. Integrity testing operates on a similar premise. Some people don’t think it’s wrong to steal, fight or come to work intoxicated.
3. Clarify expectations and training
When potential employees know what to expect and they receive proper training, they’re less likely to get injured or cause harm to others. Make sure your job descriptions are accurate and detailed, including the skills and physical requirements of the position. For example, a job description might specify that the employee must be able to lift 25-pound boxes 75 times a day and stand for one-hour increments for their shift.
Automated training programs or learning management systems can ensure employees receive the necessary training for all aspects of their roles, including relevant equipment, processes, and groups of employees (ex: new hires or drivers). You can easily document the training provided and have employees sign off when complete. In the event of an injury, you’ll have detailed documentation for attorneys and claims adjusters showing the employee has received adequate training for their position.
4. Know your medical provider network (MPN)
A medical provider network, or MPN, is an industrial clinic your insurance carrier works with that provides medical care for injured employees.
It’s a good idea to interview multiple MPNs to find the best fit for your company. Be sure your MPN understands your company, your expectations, and any available accommodations you may have for injured employees. For example, your goal might be to get employees back to work as quickly as possible, even if it means they will have some type of modified job duty. If applicable, make sure your MPN knows that you can accommodate an injured employee, for example, by swapping a physical job for administrative work.
5. Follow up on injured employees
Most workers’ comp claims that go to litigation do so because an employee doesn’t think they’re being properly cared for. You can avoid this expensive scenario by following up with your injured employees to make sure things are going well.
Find out if they’re able to make their doctor visits. Check that they understand what care the MPN is providing, the course of treatment, how long they’ll be out of work, and whether they’ll need modified duty. Making an injured employee happy might be as simple as checking in with them or providing transportation to an appointment.
These five simple steps can save you money and headaches when it comes to injuries and the impact they can have on your workers’ compensation premium. They’re also good practices for maintaining a happy, engaged team that’s driven to work hard for your success.
Want more advice on how to keep your team safe and happy while reducing your workers’ compensation claims? Contact the Risk Advisor team today.