by Rebecca Gomez
At Baker Romero, we encourage our clients to focus on the importance of developing a safety culture in the work environment. Administrators should find ways to motivate employees to practice safe work practices. An effective safety culture can help lower the amount of claims and minimize the cost of a claim as both affect the x-mod and the workers’ compensation premium.
This past year, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) enacted a new regulation that prohibits employers from implementing injury based incentive programs. OSHA considers this type of incentive program as retaliatory, which can discourage employees from reporting injuries. Having rewards based on injury free days is an example of the prohibited safety incentive program. When employees refrain from reporting a claim after an injury, another issue to consider is the adverse impact it can have on a claims report. The cost of the claim significantly increase when employees do not report injuries.
However, OSHA did not prohibit the use of incentive programs altogether. Employers should develop a safety program that encourages safe work habits and implement an effective return to work process. Recognizing employees for safe work habits such as completing training and using safe work procedures can create a proactive safety culture. Also, consider incorporating safety measures into performance appraisals. The performance appraisal demonstrates the importance of a company’s commitment to safety.
In the final analysis, developing a strong safety culture by encouraging safe work habits can be more effective. Administrators should create innovative ways to encourage and recognize safe work habits that encourage employees to be safe on a daily basis.
As a service to our clients, our agency provides safety videos tailored to their organization to help them promote safe work habits. Please contact us for information regarding the safety videos or if you would a quote for workers’ compensation coverage. We are here to help