3. Provide Adequate Training

Besides making sure new hires are properly trained, contractors also will want to arrange continuing education. Staff members need additional training when new products are added or an assigned responsibility isn’t being performed correctly. Proper preparation for a job helps with insurance costs, because the business has fewer accidents, and it saves money and helps with employee retention.

“If a loss occurs, you will be asked if the employee in question had adequate training,” says Jason Paton, vice president, distribution and marketing, Midwest Region for Liberty Mutual, Warrenville, Illinois.

Clearly defining an individual’s job duties goes hand-in-hand with good training. Offering training manuals in a variety of languages also makes a difference. Target the languages that coincide with those spoken by the employee mix, says Paton.

4. Schedule Consistent Employee Assignments

Research concerning an individual having multiple jobs is ongoing at the Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety (LMRIS). One of its studies published in the American Journal of Public Health reports that someone working multiple jobs has a 27 percent higher chance of sustaining a work-related injury.

When an employee switches between jobs and has to perform multiple tasks, that person is more prone to accidents, says Paton.

But “multiple jobs” is open to interpretation. Does it mean more than one job within the same company? Or someone who works for more than one company? Or both?

Whichever is the case, those at a higher risk of injury include women, younger workers between the ages of 18 and 44, “blue collar” workers and those with some college education.

Another good reason for one person to have one assignment is that there will be no question as to what that individual’s workers comp code is. These are the identifiers for certain job classifications. Different work exposures may mean different codes, which can generate different rates. Those calculations can be confusing. BSCs also may want to go back and make sure all their employees are properly classified for workers comp, because correcting them may save money. Workers comp is the most expensive of all the insurances a BSC pays, says Marley.

5. Subcontract Tasks Outside The Company’s Expertise

Working underground or from heights on scaffoldings or ladders, increases the risk of accidents, says Paton. Liberty Mutual recommends subcontracting window cleaning, pest control, security and snow removal.

According to the International Window Cleaning Association, one error in this industry can be potentially fatal. Trained high-rise window washers have less chance of sustaining an injury than someone who only cleans windows occasionally. Safety risks are also high while removing snow. The task is usually performed in cold, icy conditions and often includes taking snow off rooftops.

6. Hold Regular Safety Meetings

One of the best ways to evaluate the safety situation at a company is by surveying employees. Those doing the work, not the supervisors, know more about where and when injuries are likely to occur.

Once that information is in hand, feel free to ask the insurance carrier how often safety meetings should take place, who should attend and what they should accomplish.

Also consider hiring a safety manager or, if that’s too costly, assigning the position to a staff member. Ask this manager to familiarize himself or herself with the OSHA laws and procedures for the industry.

In addition, it’s also a good idea to incentivize safety procedures.

“Give out awards to staff for best safety practices,” says Marley, “Because it is very connected to morale.”

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