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How do employers benefit from investing in
safety programs and loss control?
Safety programs can vary tremendously in depth and scope depending on the size and
nature of a business. Obviously, more dangerous and complex industries require more
details and prevention measures than a smaller, low risk industry. However, the
fundamental concepts are the same.
A safety program can be as simple as creating a safety manual, establishing some
safety rules, and executing incentives for workers. More complex industries may
require additional layers to the program including training materials, OSHA
compliance, MSDS Safety Data Sheets, and assigned responsibilities.
Four Easy to Follow Steps for starting Your Own Workers' Comp Safety Program:
A quick safety audit will help you identify risks and establish a plan for your
safety program. Some of the things to consider while conducting your internal safety
A safety manual for employees can be as simple as a Word document printed and
stapled together. The important first step is creating one and updating it as your
business grows or changes.
Once you've reviewed all the information from your internal audit, its time to begin
writing your employee handbook. Some of the important topics (sections) you will
want in your safety manual include:
Once you have your basic manual together provide copies to all employees and have
them sign an acknowledgment form indicating they have received and will review the
safety manual. As your safety program expands over time add all new policies, rules
and resources to your Manual and hand out new material to existing employees.
Once your safety program is organized and packaged into a Handbook, its time to put
the program into action. The first step is to provide ongoing employee training
and/or review of existing rules and policies. This can be as simple as choosing an
existing topic and distributing a handout during a 10 minute monthly meeting.
There are tons of resources available online for monthly or weekly meetings. Your
current workers' compensation carrier likely has a free online library of topics and
handouts readily available for your use. Examples include ladder safety, defensive
driving, seat-belt policies, lock-out/tag-out, and equipment safety checklists.
The final step to a successful safety program is to incentivize your employees on an
ongoing basis. Safety incentives go a long way in influencing the overall culture of
Incentive plans don't need to break the bank. In fact, its actually better to keep
incentives small and more frequent in the early stages of your program. Items you're
likely give employees at some point anyway are good incentives. Examples include
t-shirts, hats, logo apparel, office items, extra time-off, preferred parking,
longer lunch hour, lottery tickets, mugs, or even points which accumulate towards
An employee safety program is not as complicated as most employers anticipate. The
best advice is to get started and the rest will come in time. Best of luck.
We're often surprised by how seldom businesses utilize the free safety resources
provided by their insurance company. Many employers even get concerned when a
carriers requests a loss control inspection prior to releasing a firm quote. The
fact is a business can learn a lot from a loss control audit with little to no risk.
Aside from a hands-on loss control inspection, most carriers have amassed a
tremendous amount of free safety resources specifically designed for almost every
industry segment. These resources include self-audits, turn-key programs, incentive
plans, tips, training materials, and articles. Employers don't have to invest any
money at all to take advantage of these free resources.
As an agency, we've turned to our insurance companies for loss control inspections
many times. What we've found is that most employers are initially skeptical about
having their insurance company evaluating their workplace. They're often concerned
that their rates will go up or they will get cancelled. Interestingly, they
typically end up with great advice, an easy program to follow, and lower workers compensation insurance rates at renewal.
Consider talking to your insurance company about their free safety services and
resources. Or give one of our Specialists a call to find out if your business might
benefit from a safety program or loss control inspection.
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