An effective way businesses can control workers’ compensation costs is to implement a comprehensive safety program. This strategy can yield significant savings by reducing employee injuries and illnesses, ultimately reducing workers’ compensation expenses, and it can help keep employees safe. Read on for more information.
5 Steps to Building a Solid Safety Program
Businesses should consider these five steps to create a well-rounded safety program that produces a safer job site, achieves OSHA compliance and reduces accidents:
- Develop safety programs required by the OSHA standards.
- Integrate those programs into daily operations.
- Investigate all injuries and illnesses.
- Provide training to develop safety competence in all employees.
- Audit programs and worksites on a regular basis to stimulate continuous improvement.
Adhering to OSHA standards provides a pathway to incident reduction. Many accidents stem from poorly developed or poorly implemented OSHA programs (e.g., not using the correct fall restraint systems, improper use of personal protective equipment and poor lifting techniques). Experience shows that companies with thoroughly developed, OSHA-compliant programs have fewer accidents, more productive employees and lower workers’ compensation costs.
Safety programs must move from paper to practice to control costs. Achieving this requires a communicated strategic plan, effective execution, and a culture that inspires and rewards people to do their best. Additionally, providing the site foreman with knowledge and skills through training is critical to the safety program’s success.
Reducing accidents can reduce workers’ compensation claims, which in turn can reduce costs. Fully investigating accidents enhances a business’s ability to reduce them. Investigations provide crucial information on real or potential job site issues, and they can uncover the root cause of an accident, allowing businesses to make the needed improvements. All incidents should be investigated, regardless of severity, to discover what went wrong and why.
Providing regular training and education can help to develop safety competency throughout an organization by improving knowledge and skills. For example, proper training can help supervisors comprehensively investigate accidents. Conducting regular audits can also assist in identifying weaknesses and provide an opportunity to implement improvements.
Tangible Benefits of a Safety Program
- Taking these steps to create a safety program may result in several benefits, including:
- A return on investment with bottom-line benefits connected to a properly designed, implemented and integrated safety program
- The reduced potential of OSHA fines with an OSHA-compliant safety program
- A system to fully evaluate, fix and prevent issues at their root causes
- Fewer accidents, keeping employees safer and reducing workers’ compensation claims; a safer job site also improves morale and employee retention
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