Supervisor's Role in Controlling Work Comp Rates (part 1)

Managing to control Employer Workers Compensation costs is traditionally approached with a focus on preventing accidents and injuries from occurring. Loss control and safety managers are busily working to make factories and worksites safe and OSHA compliant. 


Surprisingly, 90% of injuries are caused by unsafe behavior, not unsafe conditions. The foremost cause of lost time injuries is overexertion. Ironically, OSHA compliance standards do not address this issue. 


Supervisors are the critical link between unsafe behavior and a productive, healthy workforce.  Making sure the safety goggles are on, the helmet is worn or breaks are taken at the proper times is their critical responsibility. Sometimes though, incentives for production can run contrary to safety standards. Supervisors might be motivated to ignore rules put in place to protect workers. 


Having supervisors actively engaged in both production and safety is a key component to controlling work comp premiums. A great way to engage them is to illustrate the premium impact a lost time work comp claim will have over a 3 year period. If you then translate that cost increase to the amount of product that has to be produced, sold and the amount of profit that has to be made just to recoup the additional expense, you will get their attention. They then can understand the very real cost of unsafe behavior!

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