This article was posted on Saturday, Jan 28, 2012

When a company experiences significant increases in Workers’ Compensation costs, it usually triggers internal activities aimed at reducing insurance costs and spending. The key to spending fewer dollars is more than just stopping a few accidents; it is having a sound safety program designed to continuously improve. This is where a safety program that, at a minimum, is compliant with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards can yield significant savings by reducing injuries and illnesses, saving workers’ compensation dollars.

Building a Solid OSHA Program
There are five entry-level steps you can take to have a well-rounded safety program that produces a safe work environment, achieves OSHA compliance, reduces accidents and ultimately reduces workers’ compensation costs.

•    Develop the various programs required by the OSHA standards.
•    Integrate those programs into the daily operations.
•    Investigate all injuries and illnesses.
•    Provide training to develop safety competence in all employees.
•    Audit your programs and your work areas on a regular basis to stimulate continuous improvement.

Develop Programs Required by OSHA Standards
Aside from being a requirement for general industry, the OSHA standards provide a good pathway to incident reductions. A good number of accidents stem from poorly developed, trained or implemented OSHA programs: slips or trips may come from poor housekeeping efforts or not keeping walking and working surfaces clear, not using personal protective equipment may result in excessive lacerations, and poor lifting techniques can result in strains.

Many of the OSHA standards require some type of written program be developed and then communicated to employees. Experience shows that companies with thoroughly developed OSHA-compliant programs have fewer accidents, more productive employees and lower workers’ compensation costs.

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Integrate Programs into Daily Operations
Policies alone won’t get results; the program must move from paper to practice to succeed. Putting a policy into practice requires a strategic plan clearly communicated to key participants, good execution of that plan based on developed competencies, and a culture that inspires and rewards people to do their best.

There are other actions that your organization can take to reduce Workers’ Compensation costs, and we have the tools to show you how.  Contact our AOA Insurance Group Program team today at 800-827-4262 or email [email protected]

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