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How a few simple and affordable steps can reduce work comp costs

It's a situation that plays out countless times a day in workplaces here in California and across the nation. An employee trips and falls over a misplaced object or an employee strains their back while attempting to lift a heavy box. While you may think that there is little you can do as an employer to prevent these types of work injuries -- meaning they are simply a cost of doing business -- you'd be wrong.

The Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation recently set out to examine how it could help employers combat work injuries caused by slip, trip and falls and overexertion after determining that they were behind 60 percent of all lost time claims in the state in 2010.

What they discovered was that employers can achieve significant savings through relatively simple and straightforward solutions.

"Attentive employers can make a few minor changes at minimal cost that can significantly increase safety in the workplace and provide the added benefits of healthy, productive workers and lower workers' comp premiums," said Steve Beuhrer, CEO of the Ohio BWC.

In order to prevent slip, trip and falls, the BWC found that employers should consider taking the following steps:

  • Keep aisles clear of equipment, boxes, cords and other clutter
  • Make the necessary repairs to uneven surfaces and inadequate lighting
  • Take steps to ensure that floors and stairs are cleaned regularly, and that any messes are cleaned up promptly

In order to prevent overexertion injuries -- meaning sprains and strains caused by employees exceeding their physical capabilities when attempting to lift, push, pull, carry or lower any job-related items and/or equipment -- the BWC found that employers should consider taking the following steps:

  • Utilizing hoists, handcarts, handles, and other lift-assist devices
  • Reducing the weight of objects and the distances that they must be moved
  • Teaching employees proper lifting techniques and how to use the necessary tools

Stay tuned for more our workers' compensation defense blog ...

This post was provided for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal or medical advice.

Source:

Risk and Insurance, "Common sense, simple strategies save money in workers' comp," Aug. 16, 2012

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