Sometimes, the best way to cut costs for your business is to do more for your employees. This can be as simple as remembering that you don’t have to compensate injured employees or pay for high medical expenses if there aren’t any injuries in the first place. Promoting on the job safety, health and wellness can go a long way towards cutting your workers compensation and medical costs dramatically, leaving you more money to re-invest in your business.
Get Into a Preventative State of Mind:
If you don’t already have a safety training program, now is the time to create one. Have an industry expert analyze every aspect of your production in search of potential hazards. Fix any problems and do a similar evaluation regularly to account for any changes to or degradation of equipment or procedures. When hiring a new employee, do a thorough introduction to these safety procedures. Set a day each month to review these procedures with all relevant workers, and to retrain them on any new measures.
Build in Rewards:
To really engage your employees and promote performance, reward excellent safety habits with cash compensation, a day off, an early leave, a prize, or something chosen by the employees. This will keep employees on their toes and will give them a reason to care about their safety performance. For the best results, couple this with clear goals and by widely advertising the number of days your business goes accident free. The better employees can track their performance, the better they’ll do.
Have procedures ready in the event an accident or injury does occur. The better versed your employees are in the event of an emergency, the faster they will respond, the less grave the injury will be. Make sure a procedure is set for the administration as well, one that includes follow up with the injured employee and their doctor. This will help your employee feel like you care about enabling their return to work, which will reduce bitter feelings and the chance of a law suit.
Guard Health and Wellness:
You may want to consider going a step further by developing a full health and wellness program. This will of course reduce your medical costs for basic care, but it also will help prevent accidents on the job. After all, in labor intensive industries you want your employees in top condition. It helps no one if your employee puts off going to the doctor for that chest pain because they feel they can’t afford it, and then collapses over a dangerous piece of equipment. Likewise, it’s best to encourage office workers to get those tingling fingers checked early so preventative measures can be taken before expensive carpal tunnel surgery is required. Preventative health and wellness programs can include everything from free flu shots to guard against widespread loss of your workforce during one season to encouragement for yearly physicals to gym discounts and sessions with a nutritionist to encourage long term health.
Provide Complete, Affordable Health Insurance:
There are many further ways to provide complete health care coverage without breaking the bank. Depending on your region and the size of your business, consider pooling your health insurance costs with that another small business for a bigger discount rate. Encourage the group to shop around for the best rate and to audit these costs at least once a year. Pick a plan that emphasizes prescription of generic drugs to increase access to all necessary medication, as well as one that provides access to less expensive doctors through HMOs.
Research Workers Compensation Insurance Plans:
The above programs will go a long way towards keeping your employees happy and in working shape. But none of these approaches will fully allay the costs should an employee be seriously injured, so make sure that you have the best workers compensation insurance out there. This will protect you from lawsuits, pay for most of an injured employee’s lost wages, and help compensate employees with medical treatment and rehabilitation costs. As with health insurance, shop around for the best rate and have your workers compensation insurance audited frequently. If you find your costs are spiking, your business may have been improperly classified, so have someone monitoring the account who is in the know. Your employees are your business. Investing in them long term means investing in your business. Pay the costs up front and get the systems in place and your business can be not just a great place to work but one that thrives financially as well.
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