A Guide to Reduce and Prevent Workers Compensation Claims
Posted by Beckerman & Company on
Managing the costs of all the insurance policies necessary to ensure a business is fully protected can be overwhelming. Specifically when rates and premiums increase even with no losses or lapse in coverage. Workers Compensation however, offers the opportunity for a business owner to decrease their premium through the Experience Modification Rating, (EMR). For companies that qualify for an EMR, it would be prudent to institute policies and procedures that aim to mitigate or eliminate Workers Compensation claims. Read on for accepted best practices.
First and foremost, mitigating Workers Compensation claims is adhering to exemplary communication and training practices. Whether it is hiring policies, safety programs or the claims management process, all employees need to be thoroughly trained on the most up to date policies. Management needs to clearly communicate its developed policies to all trainers and stakeholders in a timely manner.
Secondly, Workers Compensation claims can be mitigated through the hiring process. Ensuring employees are physically fit for laborious roles as a first preventative measure, and experienced as a second measure, will greatly reduce the amount of claims. There are physical tests employers can administer as pre-employment screening. Once such test is the Isokinetic test which is a form of resistance testing. While pre-employment testing can cost an employer, it will pale in comparison to serious Workers Compensation claims, which can affect your EMR and premiums for three years per claim.
The most widely known workers compensation claim prevention measure is instituting safety programs. Any physical or dangerous role should be analyzed and safety procedures instituted and strictly enforced. Allowing employees to cut corners for the sake of production numbers can minimize profits gained by working for more production, but in an unsafe manner.
Wellness programs are also an excellent safety measure. Encouraging employees to be healthy, and them seeing results, would help reduce workers compensation claims, if they should arise. Factors such as diabetes, obesity and other health issues can complicate sustained injuries- causing greater cost and time from work recuperating. A 2007 Duke University study shed light on this with the finding that obese employees file twice the amount of Workers Compensation claims than non-obese employees. From a claims management point of view, this is a serious reduction opportunity.
Finally, having a clear procedure dealing with the entire claims process is key to keeping claims costs down when they do come arise. From having a concise policy for claims reporting and investigative processes to instituting a “back to work program,” if each step in the claims management process is handled correctly, workers compensation claims can be greatly reduced.
Given the multiple angles with which Workers Compensation claims must be approached, it is no wonder this coverage has the most increasing claims, even with workplace injuries down. The steps given in this article are an excellent starting point for reduced claims. If you have any questions, contact Beckerman and a knowledgeable insurance professional can assist you.