Workers’ Comp Investigate All Injuries and Illnesses

Workers’ Comp Investigate All Injuries and Illnesses


        A Fresh Approach to Controlling WC Costs

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Workers’ compensation is designed to recompense employees for injuries or illnesses that arise from or out of the course of employment. This should not come as a surprise, but increasing claims drive up 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 cite facts; accident investigations go deeper to uncover the root cause of an accident and make improvements to prevent its reoccurrence. To stop your workers’ compensation costs from rising unnecessarily, you must have an effective accident investigation process. Unless you can determine the root cause of an accident, 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 that incur significant costs are worthy of scrutiny. But ask yourself this question: If you only investigated serious quality concerns instead of every little deviation, would your quality program still be effective? Companies with solid quality programs investigate and resolve every deviation from quality standards.

If your emphasis is only on those incidents that have to be recorded on the OSHA 300 log, you ignore the single largest accident category: first aid-only incidents. Many companies get upset about 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.

If your business is dealing with rising workers’ compensation costs as a result of workplace accidents, it’s time to take a new approach to safety. The key to spending fewer dollars is more than just stopping a few accidents on the manufacturing floor; it requires a comprehensive safety program designed to continuously improve. A safety program that is compliant with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards can yield significant savings for by reducing injuries and illnesses, saving workers’ compensation dollars over the long run.

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