As an employer, you might absolutely dread one of your employees getting hurt. You care about your employees, of course, and you don’t want to see them in pain because of a workplace accident (and, well, there’s an awful lot of paperwork involved with workplace accidents.) Ensuring that the employee gets the medical attention and care they need is the most important thing, so as a business owner it’s important for you to have enough workers’ compensation insurance to provide for your employees if they get hurt – workers’ comp is probably one of the most important types of business insurance. But there are things you can do to control and manage the cost of the workers’ compensation insurance you need. Below are six tips that explain how you can lower your workers’ comp premium.
1. Place an emphasis on safety.
The best way to avoid workers’ comp claims (and the potential rise in your insurance rates that follows) is to prevent the accident in the first place. And that means taking the time to properly train your employees in safety protocol – for example, how to stay safe while working with ladders. Every member of your team should get the training they need to stay safe on the job. It’s kind of hard to avoid accidents and danger if you don’t know where to look for it, which is where training comes in. Anyways, it’s important to talk about safety, too, to keep it fresh in everyone’s mind. Safety is a team effort.
Here are some basic safety tips you can consider for your business.
- Identify hazards around your workplace and take steps to minimize them.
- Choose a flooring material that won’t make everyone slip and fall – you need a floor surface that has good traction.
- Reduce distractions on the job.
- Implement ergonomics at your workplace. Ergonomics means tailoring a workspace to the jobs that are performed there to reduce the chances of strain and injury. There are even benefits of implementing ergonomics at an office.
- Teach and emphasize proper lifting to help employees avoid back problems – lift with your legs, not with your back, everyone.
2. Create a return to work program.
A return to work or modified duty program allows employees who have been hurt to come back to work. They will be assigned tasks that have been customized for their physical capabilities while they’re recovering from their injury. Keep in mind that it’s essential to make sure that the employee is getting the medical attention and support they need.
Now, having a return to work program might make it seem like you’re just trying to exploit an injured person. That’s not the case. The goal of a return to work program is to support the employee as they come back into the workplace and resume their job duties. So, when you’re creating the new tasks that are tweaked for your employee, make sure that the work is meaningful and genuinely contributes to your business so that the employee doesn’t feel punished or unnecessary. It’s important that they know how much you value them.
3. Understand your workers’ comp mod.
Your company’s mod, or modification factor, is a method of figuring out how “risky” your company is by comparing it to other businesses in your industry. It gives insurance carriers a way of seeing whether your workers’ comp losses are better, on par, or worse than what they’d expect. (The size of your company, unexpected big losses, the frequency of losses, and the severity of your losses are all ways in which your business is compared to others.) The data used by most states for calculating mods is collected by the National Council on Compensation Insurance.
Okay. The significance of your mod is that it can either make your workers’ comp premium higher or lower. If your mod is above 1.0, you have a debit, which means that your losses are worse than what they should be. If your mod is below 1.0, you have a credit, which means your losses are better than what is expected. A debit means that you could have higher workers’ comp premiums while a credit means that you could get lower workers’ comp premiums.
4. Investigate accidents and near-misses.
It’s really important that you put on your detective hat and conduct an investigation of any accident or near-miss that happens at your workplace. Talk to witnesses and get their accounts of what happened. Check out the area where the accident occurred and observe what could have caused it. Try to get to the bottom of what happened and keep a detailed and organized record of your discoveries. The idea is to find out why the accident happened so that you can prevent another accident from happening in the future. Knowing why it happened will help you take steps to avoid another injury or accident.
Pro tip: Try to conduct your investigation within 48 hours of the incident. The witnesses will have a clearer memory of what happened, and besides, it’s best to take action immediately to prevent future accidents.
5. Report injuries that need to be reported promptly.
If the accident is a reportable one, you need to file that report as quickly as you can. It’s best to do this ASAP to help the investigation and claim move forward as smoothly as possible. The Department of Labor requires you to file several reports – for instance, the First Report of Injury or Occupational Disease must be completed according to your state’s workers’ comp laws. Find out what paperwork and reports you have to fill out and go to town.
Pro tip: Make sure your employees know that they need to inform their supervisor (or you) about any workplace accident or injury as soon as they can.
6. Check your payroll.
Make sure that all of your job classifications and your payroll are correct. All of this needs to be accurate so that you’ve got the right amount of workers’ comp insurance.
Your employee is the priority when it comes to your workers’ comp insurance. Taking steps to improve safety at your workplace is vital so that you can prevent accidents and injuries. A bonus of emphasizing safety is that you can lower your workers’ comp premiums. So, the simple truth is that preventing workers’ comp claims is really in everyone’s best interest.
Another way to save money on business insurance is to shop around and compare rates. Our team of insurance experts can help you with that. We can get multiple quotes for workers’ comp insurance so that you can compare coverages and prices. All you have to do to get workers’ comp quotes is fill out our form or give us a call today.