Adviser Fall 2018 Vol 1 - Page 8

This Is COOL Insurance Made Simple Control WC Costs ... (Continued from page 5) A solid OSHA program integrated into the daily operation and led by competent supervisors is just the beginning. Successful safety programs focus on being proactive instead of being reactive. Accident investigations provide an excellent source of information on real or potential issues present in the workplace. Investigate All Injuries and Illnesses Workers’ compensation is designed to recompense employees for injuries or illnesses that arise from, or out of, the course of employment – the more injuries you have, the higher your workers’ compensation costs. To reduce those costs, you must reduce your accidents. And the ability to reduce accidents is significantly enhanced when accidents are fully investigated instead of simply being reported. Accident reports are historical records only citing facts, while accident investigations go deeper to find the root cause and make improvements. Businesses that stop rising workers’ compensation costs have an effective accident investigation process that flushes out the root cause of the problem. Unless the root cause is discovered, recommendations for improvement will remain fruitless. Again, training proves beneficial because a supervisor skilled in incident analysis is a better problem solver for all types of production-related issues, not just safety. All accidents should be investigated to find out what went wrong and why. Some may suggest investigating every accident is a bit over the top and that only those developed, OSHA-compliant programs have fewer that incur significant costs are worthy of scrutiny. But if accidents, more productive employees and lower your emphasis is only on those incidents that have to be recorded on the OSHA 300 log, you close your eyes to the workers’ compensation costs. biggest accident category: first aid-only incidents. Many companies focus on recordables or lost time accidents because of the significant costs involved, but they don’t realize that the small costs and high numbers of first aid-only incidents really add up. Experience shows that companies with thoroughly Statistics show that for every 100 accidents, 10 will be recordable and one a lost time incident. If you investigate only recordables or lost time accidents, 89 go unnoticed. Would you consider a quality program that allows an 89 percent failure rate successful? Reducing serious accidents means you must reduce your overall rate of all accidents – including first aid-only incidents. That only happens when every incident is fully investigated to find the root cause, and corrective actions are identified and integrated into your daily operations. Training and Auditing for Continuous Improvement The final steps focus on training and auditing your program for continuous improvement. Training plays a significant role in safety and in reducing workers’ compensation costs. The goal of training is to develop competent people who have the knowledge, skill and understanding to perform assigned job responsibilities. Competence, more than anything else, will improve all aspects of your business and drive down costs. Supervisors must have the knowledge and ability to integrate every safety program into their specific areas of responsibility. Every employee must know what is expected of them when it comes to implementing safe work procedures. Once the programs are developed and implemented, they must be reviewed on a regular basis to make sure they are still relevant and effective. (See Control WC Costs on page 8) 7 Adviser a publication of LeadingAge New York | Fall 2018