Did you know: Workers’ compensation programs in the United States and federal programs together paid $56.0 billion in medical and cash benefits in 2004, an increase of 2.3 percent over 2003 payments.
As an employer, you may be concerned about the rising cost of workers compensation costs, however, there are steps you can take to reduce your insurance premium while maintaining your workers’ compensation benefits.
1. Schedule safety meetings for all employees. Most business owners probably include some kind of safety training for their new hires, but safety awareness is something to be cultivated over the course of a career. Consider meeting with employees regularly to discuss safety — even if you only employ three or four workers. You can also encourage (or require) that employees attend industry safety workshops and classes, which are often held by professional organizations in your field.
2. Implement a cell phone use policy. Researchers at Toronto University have found that having a traffic accident while using a cell phone is the same as that while driving drunk. Drivers need 100% of their attention focused on the road, and several states have already banned cell phone use while driving. Consider enforcing a company policy regarding cell phones for employees who drive during work hours or in company vehicles.
3. Keep an open line of communication. Many occupational injuries and illnesses can be prevented through an established communication system. Creating written protocol associated with a job can go a long way toward reducing accidents.
4. Random drug testing. A drug testing program can deter people from coming to work unfit for duty and also discourage alcohol and other drug abusers from joining your organization in the first place.