Workers compensation is essential to protect your employees and your company. However, if your business has a significant number of employee injuries, workers compensation costs can take up more of your budget than you’d like. By taking a fresh look at your approach to safety, hiring, employee classification, and claims management, you can find new ways to keep your workers compensation costs under control.
6 Ways to Control Workers Compensation Costs
Thoroughly Train New Employees
Employees have more than three times the risk for a lost-time injury in their first month on the job than they do after having been in their job for more than a year. Without the right communication and training, employees are more susceptible to injuries and other costly mistakes. Train employees on the appropriate procedures for your workplace, and make sure they know what to do in the event of an injury.
Make Safety a Top Priority
The best way to keep workers compensation costs down is by keeping employees safe and preventing injuries and claims. Focusing efforts on developing and maintaining an effective safety culture can help reduce workplace injuries and accidents and ultimately reduce your workers compensation premium. Click here to view proactive, simple steps you can take to change your safety culture and keep your employees safe.
Do Your Homework Before Hiring
Choose new hires who share the same safety culture values. Provide accurate job descriptions to job applicants, obtain previous work references, and conduct criminal background checks. Also, conduct a pre-start post-offer drug test and obtain a motor vehicle report (MVR) for new hires.
Manage Insurance Claims Proactively
Managing claims is as important as managing any other aspect of your business. The benefits of effective claims management include faster recovery time for injured workers, reduced operational downtime, reduced claims costs, and less negative impact on an organization’s experience modifier.
To manage your claim proactively, stay in contact with your employee and your workers compensation insurance carrier throughout the duration of the claim. Also, be sure to complete the required documentation in a timely manner to avoid unnecessary delays in the claims process.
Learn more in our article “Claims Management: How to Keep Employee Injury Claims from Turning into Monsters.”
Implement a Return-to-Work Program
Regardless of the number of employees you have, your business can benefit from a return-to-work program. If an employee is injured on the job site, you need a plan in place to ensure they get prompt medical care and are able to return to work as soon as medically possible. A return-to-work program can help you accomplish these goals. Click here for a brief outline of how you can implement your own program to help control workers compensation costs.
Make Sure Employees are Classified Properly
Employers are assigned classification codes based on their industry, and different codes are assigned to employees based on the type of labor in which they engage. These class codes are set by the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI), and they are state specific.
You can affect the amount of premium you pay by conducting an audit of your employee classification codes on an annual basis to ensure accuracy. This can be done by reviewing current employee classification codes and identifying any employees who are not correctly classified. For example, if you have an employee who has moved from a job on the factory floor to the office, this employee may be assigned a less costly classification code to reflect the change in their work responsibilities to a job with less risk of injury.
If you need to review a specific class code or request information from the NCCI Scopes Manual, you can call NCCI at 800-622-4123 or visit www.ncci.com.