Reducing the Cost of Workers’ Compensation
Injuries can happen anytime in the workplace. And here is the deal. Injuries occur in every industry from manufacturing floors to even in offices. They can be sprains, cuts, and fractures caused by falls, accidents involving equipment or trauma due to overuse. Here are the quick numbers on injuries in the workplace:
- In the U.S., employers paid out $62 billion in workers’ compensation benefits to injured workers and survivors of individuals killed on the job and more than $97 billion in workers’ compensation costs in 2017.1
- In Minnesota, 71,600 workers had OSHA-recordable nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses in 2018 (down from 72,500 in 2017). Of those injuries, 21,200 workers had to miss one or more days of work after it occurred.2
- In Minnesota, companies who violate OSHA’s regulations could face fines up to $7,000 per violation or up to $70,000 for repeat violations.3
In addition to paying out workers’ compensation benefits and potential fines, workplace injuries have an indirect cost to employers as well. After injuries occur, employers may be required to find and train replacement employees, conduct an accident investigation, implement corrective action, and repair damage to equipment or property as well as face loss in productivity.
There are precautions employers can take to reduce workers’ compensation direct and indirect costs and, more importantly, improve employee safety.
- Assess the workplace and eliminate hazardous threats – Analyze the workplace for hazardous conditions and processes. Look for key indicators like modifications to equipment by employees, analyze areas frequented by gas or liquids, or signs of employee discomfort. Once flagged, identify a safe solution whether its implementing new tools or equipment, installing proper ventilation, or rotating workers.
- Train employees and train them often – Employees who are safety-aware at work are likely to be more productive and efficient. Train employees on the company’s safety policies and implement safety orientation for new employees. Assess the employees and policies as needed.
- Promote a safety culture – Make it known to employees their safety is a top concern. Ensure supervisors and leaders set an example by upholding safety protocols and reprimand employees if not followed. Create safety committees to help identify and implement procedures or offer incentives to encourage employees to be safety-aware.
Unfortunately, no matter how many precautions are taken, injuries can still happen. There are steps you can take to help injured employees and protect yourself from workers’ compensation fraud. Create an injury response team that brings aid to the injured employee and prevents injury to other employees. Promptly report the injury to your insurance agent, who can help manage the claim and oversee the process. Investigate the accident immediately gathering facts and administering a drug test. Finally, implement a return-to-work program that outlines the expectations of the employee returning to work, even if it is part-time.
Like you, safety for our employees is a top priority at Twin City Staffing. While every company requires safety training tailored to their organization, we help candidates get a head start. Before placing temp-to-hire employees, they are required to complete the Workplace Accident and Injury Reduction Program. The program defines standard safety rules, addresses personal protective equipment, outlines safety precautions for potential common hazards, and teaches reporting practices. We also provide workers’ compensation on employees under a Twin City Staffing contract and handle any potential issues.
1 Federation of American Scientists, “Workers’ Compensation: Overview and Issues”: https://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R44580.pdf
2 Minnesota Department of Labor, “Minnesota Workplace Injury, Illness Rate Remains At All-Time Low”: https://www.dli.mn.gov/news/minnesota-workplace-injury-illness-rate-remains-all-time-low
3 Minnesota Department of Labor, “MNOSHA Compliance: Penalty Chart”: https://www.dli.mn.gov/business/workplace-safety-and-health/mnosha-compliance-penalty-chart