How do I avoid workers compensation claims? is a question that is often raised with the Safetysure Team. It is often out of sheer frustration that employer’s call us seeking solutions to prevent an ongoing spat of workers compensation claims. Despite work safety being an important component of any job, sometimes both employees and employers take on risks that result in injuries or property/equipment damage. Ultimately we have never met an employer who wants their employees to get hurt or their equipment damaged on the job, so why do incidents still happen? Here’s our thoughts on some simple things that you can do to avoid workers compensation claims at your business.
Hire the right employees.
Making sure that the people you hire are a good fit for your business both physically and competence wise is critical to mitigating risks of claims. Understanding the physical limitations of the job e.g including aspects like lifting, carrying or climbing and assessing your new hires against their capacity to perfrom aginst these critieria is fundamental to mitigating the risk or workers compensation claims. A pre-emplyment functional assessment of prospective staff may be well worth the investment particularly if there are a range of physical and mental demands of the work.
Assessment of risk taking behavior can also be a tool in your arsenal where your new hire may be required to manage or conduct high risk operations at your business. You definitely dont want ‘Mr or Ms Risky’ out there undertaking high risk tasks in your business that could cost a life, downtime or equipment damage.
Ultimately the main objective is that you are going to want to hire employees that you think will be a good fit for your business. Hire people who you know can meet the physical limitations of the job and can manage the inherent risks appropriately.
Make training a priority.
Every new employee must be trained properly in order to avoid workers compensation claims and injuries. They need to learn how to use every piece of equipment safely so that accidents don’t happen. Additionally. they must be assessed as being competent for the equipment or process that they are involved in. Many times employers make assumptions about competence because of the new hire tells them they’ve used equipment before…unfortunately just because they’ve used it before doesnt mean they’ve used it safely.
Your new hires also need to understand how important work safety is to you before they are allowed to work on their own.
Safety also needs to be a priority.
You need to show your employees that you mean it when you say that safety is important. Make sure that everyone can safely use each piece of equipment that you have. If you work construction, wear your hard hat so that others will do the same. If you have an office, make sure that the chairs and desks are the right height for each worker so that everyone can comfortably get their work done.
Have regular safety meetings and training to remind your employees how important it is to be safe at work.
You should be having regular meetings and other communications with all of your employees. This is especially important when you buy a new piece of equipment, or it has been a while since you had a meeting to discuss safety. The organisations who run mature safety programs focus on safety being integrated into everything they do. It becomes the norm to have a safety conversation around potential risks and how to control them before work starts.
Look around for fatal risks and then focus on minor injuries.
When you first decide to get started, you are going to need to walk around your business and look for anything that could potentially kill or mame your employees. We call them critical risks…if you are not managing and controlling your critical risks then you have started at the wrong end of safety. We see many organisations Majoring on the Minor Safety Issues while failing to Major on the Major Issues.
It begins with your attention on managing critical risks. You might like to try our audit checklist here.
By talking to your employees and using professional consultants like Safetysure to identify the major sources of injuries and fatlities you can be on your way to minimising your workers compensation claims at your business.
Make sure that your employees feel safe bringing any concerns up to you.
If you want your employees to feel part of your safety joourney, you are going to want them to be able to bring any concerns that they have to you. If they have a better and safer way to do something, you are going to want to listen. This also goes the other way. You don’t want your employees to hide the fact that they got hurt at work. If they are injured, they have to feel safe telling you about it!
To sum it up!
If you want avoid workers compensation claims and make work safety a priority in your business, it is important that you keep it simple. Hire the right employees and make sure that they are trained properly. Have regular meetings and communications about safety to keep everyone on the same page. You also need to take a good look around your workplace regularly to make sure that potential fatal or critical risks are controlled as a matter of priority. You also want to make sure that your employees are comfortable in raising concerns and that you take even the minor concerns seriously.
Avoiding workers compensation claims at your business must be a proactive methodical approach. If you need some assistance or even an objective ear in assisting managing claims, call the Safetysure friendly team on 1300 087 888 or chat below.