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Workplace accidents can cause injury to your employees and your business. The resulting job absences may mean lowered productivity, lost time replacing personnel, and/or unplanned overtime or temporary worker charges. Especially for a smaller company, during a busy season, or when trying to complete a key job for a client, this can be devastating.

Workers compensation insurance is designed to cover medical expenses and lost wages for employees who are injured on the job — but the best way to protect your employees is to help them avoid injury or illness in the first place. Furthermore, too many workers compensation claims can flag workplace safety issues to your state board and raise your insurance rates.
 

Here are three important steps you can take to protect your employees and avoid workplace accidents:
 

1. Assess the Risk

Put together a dedicated safety team that regularly assesses risk factors at your business facilities. Depending on the size of the company, this may include hiring dedicated risk managers and outside consultants. For each facility, piece of equipment or process, take stock of potential dangers and establish procedures to mitigate those risks.

  • Create a written safety plan. Include policies for safe conduct and for reporting incidents, as well as procedures. Make sure the plan incorporates the OSHA requirements for your industry.
  • Keep the plan up to date. Review and amend as new equipment or processes are introduced. 
  • Consult your insurer. Chubb risk engineers are knowledgeable about business-specific hazards-and how to prevent them.
orange suit, writes in notebook

 

2. Establish a “Safety First” Culture

Ensure that safety is embedded in the workplace culture and make it a collaborative responsibility of both management and employees. A great way to enhance and promote this is through a formal workplace safety program. According to the Insurance Information Institute, workplace safety programs not only help prevent accidents, they also increase morale, productivity and employee retention

  • Start from day one. Your written safety control program should fully explain the company’s safety policies; make sure all new hires review the policies during onboarding.
  • Make your program visible. Communicate your safety culture through posters, frequent notifications, and talk it up in meetings.
  • Reward good safety records. Let your employees know you value their efforts to maintain a safe workplace. 

3. Train and Set Employee Expectations

Training for all levels of employees and management is key to creating a safe environment for all. In addition to job-specific safety training, conduct regular refresher sessions. Take these opportunities to remind staff to avoid unsafe behaviors, like heavy lifting without proper precautions or supervision, or hazardous situations, like walking on wet, slippery floors. Consider first aid training for some or all of your staff. Be sure to:

  • Train early and often. Anytime a worker is new to a facility or piece of equipment, conduct safety training for that site or machine. It can also be helpful to train workers on safety basics, like ladder or lifting safety.
  • Ensure a two-way dialogue. Encourage employees to come forward with safety matters; listen to and act on their concerns.
  • Evaluate and evolve. Regularly — and in the event of an accident — conduct safety reviews, update training procedures, and implement preventive measures.
  • Consider a variety of training options. Effective training can be done through in-person or classroom training, webinars, and online learning. Having a variety of options can make it easier to schedule employees for appropriate sessions.

 

This document is advisory in nature and is offered as a resource to be used together with your professional insurance advisors in maintaining a loss prevention program. It is an overview only, and is not intended as a substitute for consultation with your insurance broker, or for legal, engineering or other professional advice.

Chubb is the marketing name used to refer to subsidiaries of Chubb Limited providing insurance and related services. For a list of these subsidiaries, please visit our website at www.chubb.com. Insurance provided by ACE American Insurance Company and its U.S. based Chubb underwriting company affiliates. All products may not be available in all states. This communication contains product summaries only. Coverage is subject to the language of the policies as actually issued. Surplus lines insurance sold only through licensed surplus lines producers. Chubb, 202 Hall's Mill Road, Whitehouse Station, NJ 08889-1600.