Companies throughout California are struggling with sticker shock as workers’ compensation insurance rates continue to skyrocket. Workers’ comp rates can be a particularly large burden to companies with a high risk of injury, like construction and manufacturing companies.
Wouldn’t you like to decrease the cost of your workers’ comp insurance? Then consider implementing a strict safety program. If safety programs were adopted in high-risk industries on a larger scale, more carriers would be willing to ensure more companies. This increase in competition would help push workers’ comp rates down. Additionally, companies following a strict safety program would experience fewer workplace injuries. Fewer injuries mean fewer claims and fewer payouts, which would allow insurance companies to lower their worker’s comp rates.
So, what would a good safety program look like?
Most importantly, the company’s management team needs to fully commit to implementing its safety program. It doesn’t matter if your company comes up with the very best, air-tight safety program if management isn’t willing to implement it and hold themselves accountable to it.
Develop a comprehensive safety manual that lays out all aspects of the safety program in a clear manner. The safety manual should include all safety rules, policies, and procedures. Distributing the manual to employees is an important step, but it’s not enough. You need to make sure the manuals aren’t just collecting dust in a desk drawer. Make sure your employees read the manual, understand it, and are committed to the objectives of the manual.
A safety program has a much higher chance of working if someone or a small group is put in charge of implementing and maintaining the safety program. This is your safety committee. Depending on the size of your company, you may pick one individual or a handful of employees and task them with upholding the safety program. These individuals will be in charge of training new employees on the safety program, providing yearly refresher courses, monitoring safety throughout the business, investigating injuries or reports of unsafe conditions and making sure that the program is being followed.
First Aid Procedures
Keep first aid materials on site, including first aid kits and an AED device. We also encourage you to offer first aid training to employees or reimburse them for first aid and CPR training classes.
Accidents are inevitable in any business. When one does occur, you’ll want your safety committee to perform a full investigation to determine the causes and to make specific recommendations on how to prevent similar accidents in the future. Learning from the accidents today is the best way to prevent them from happening again tomorrow.
Records are critical in determining whether or not the overall safety of your company is improving. Employees need to record safety checks and document any safety concerns or issues that they find. If an accident does occur, these records will help your safety committee figure out what happened, why it happened and how it can be prevented.
Visibility and Accountability
We recommend posting safety rules and policies in highly visible places throughout the company and to provide regular reminders and refresher training so employees keep safety needs top of mind. You might also want to implement accountability measures to help incentivize employees to follow the policies. This could include rewards when no injuries are reported for a specific length of time or strict punishments if an employee is caught ignoring the safety rules, policies, and procedures.
Fewer injuries are not only good for employees and business owners, but it could also lower expensive workers’ comp premiums if businesses throughout California commit to a safety program in the workplace.