Must an Employer Maintain a Safe Workplace?

Workers Comp Article to Help Stomp Out High WC CostsResoundingly, yes!

Critical Component in Reducing or Eliminating Injuries

Maintaining a safe workplace is a critical component in reducing or eliminating injuries and lends itself to the opportunity to engage every employee in the effort. Reduction or elimination of injuries decreases an employer’s costs and potentially saves employees from a permanently life-altering injury or illness. In other words, it’s a win-win for all concerned and it may just keep an employer out of trouble, too.

Identify Sources of Injuries / Review OSHA Logs

Taking a good look around your facility perhaps with the assistance of your carrier or TPA’s Safety and Loss Control Specialist is a good place to start. Identify the areas or jobs most likely to be a source of injuries and keep those in mind while creating your safety plan. Review of your loss run and OSHA logs are other places to look in figuring out where injuries are occurring. Your carrier or TPA may have safety programs available that they can help you tailor to meet the specific needs of your organization. Make it a goal of your program to keep all employee’s safe so everyone makes it home in the same shape as when they arrived at the workplace

Incentive Plans Encourage Safe Behavior

Consider incentive plans that encourage employees to look out for each other and to report unsafe behavior or exposures to their supervisor. Be sure to act on those reports. Imagine how many slip and falls would be avoided if liquid spilled on a surface was immediately cleaned up.

Non-Compliance Can Be Costly

It should also be noted that there are jurisdictions that may increase employee benefits by as much as 30% for failure by an employer to comply with specific regulations that results in employee injury. Other jurisdictions carry the potential for direct action against an employer if an injury is caused by the willful and intentional violation of a specific law, statute or regulation. Those situations, while rare do exist so make it a point to know the law in your State and the consequences for non-compliance. Employees in many jurisdictions are also held accountable for safety program compliance and may encounter a reduction in benefits for their failure to comply with a safety regulation or failure to use safety protective equipment provided by and employer.

Safety is Simple and Saves Money

Implementing a solid safety program to maintain a safe workplace is not only simply the right thing to do to keep employees safe but it can save money by reducing or eliminating claims and help an employer in complying with safety laws

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