Workers comp claims can be one of the most expensive types of coverage for business. This is especially true for those in high-risk industries like construction or manufacturing. According to a new claim and time-loss study done by The Hartford, reducing workers’ comp claims starts with hiring.
Here are some findings that can help reduce the chance of claims in your business:
Claims risks of new hires
If you don’t take careful consideration in your new hiring processes, you increase risks in not only worker’s comp claims but other losses as well. Age may be a factor in many claims, but The Hartford study also showed that the first year of an inexperienced new is the riskiest for claims. There is also evidence that injury rates are 4-6 times higher in the first month of the job.
Other risks for lax hiring processes include employee crime (responsible for 30% of business failures) and injuries or fatalities linked to alcohol abuse (40% of industrial fatalities).
Recommended hiring process rules
You can reduce the above risks with the right hiring process procedures for both pre-employment and post-employment.
Pre-employment regulations include the proper background checks—criminal, motor vehicle registration, etc.—and verification of information such as employment, education, and licensing. Plus, other controls to screen unfit candidates such as drug testing and behavioral assessments—culture fit, job skills, cognitive abilities, and critical thinking.
Post-employment regulations include medical assessments, physical exams, random drug testing and drug testing when indicators are present.
Best practice programs
Maintaining a safe workplace is an OSHA legal obligation of every employer. While your business may have its own particular industry regulations, here are some best practice programs to on-board and enforce to limit the risks of new hires.
- Safety programs: Implement safety and health programs that all management and employees are both aware of and engaged in. To support this, provide safety and health training for new and long-term employees regularly. Make sure new hires also have the designated safety equipment to do the job and that machinery and equipment have the proper safety guards. Driver safety is another issue to consider and proper licensing and vehicle inspection is key.
- Training programs: Some mistakes or injuries can be due to misunderstandings of the scope and responsibilities of the job. So, make sure to provide job descriptions that properly describe essential and non-essential functions, physical requirements and other useful information. Loss control should also be a part of new hire training. Providing new hires with a more experienced mentor can also be a great way for them to have someone to go to for questions and concerns.
- Other programs: Ergonomic programs can greatly reduce employee fatigue and injury and this includes making sure each workstation has the proper tools for the job. Help those coming back from an injury with a return-to-work program—job descriptions, transitional duty opportunities, and good employee and medical provider communication.
We’re advocates for the success of our Oklahoma commercial insurance client’s business and workers’ comp claims can hinder that success. Contact us to see how we can help your business by making sure you have the right policies and coverage.
Posted on Wed, May 27, 2015
by Travis Wiedemann filed under