Controlling workers’ compensation costs can be a significant challenge, especially when a company only focuses on workplace hazards and compliance management. If they ignore the role their employees play, they’re missing out on substantial benefits.
More and more companies now realize that managing employee risk factors drives down workers’ compensation costs and creates a safer workplace. Instead of shifting risk from one internal program to another, the new mindset approaches safety, health and wellness, and the company holistically. Combining workplace safety programs with education and managing chronic conditions can reduce risk in the workplace and reduce their Massachusetts workers’ compensation insurance costs.
Taking a wider view on health has direct and indirect financial benefits. For instance, research from MedMetrics suggests combining chronic health management with an effective workplace safety program substantially lowers the total cost per claim, including direct medical costs. It also reduces claims involving litigation, absenteeism, staffing inefficiencies, and opportunity costs.
Dedicated Data Analysis
At the heart of this new approach is a strong reliance of data analysis with a dedicated team. The team determines the cost of the company’s safety and health measures compared to industry peers and leaders. This data helps them identify which preventable factors cause the most claims and whether they’re modifiable.
The team helps the company craft customized employee programs to address pertinent issues, with the assistance of experts in fields such as risk management, benefits, and wellness. These programs increase awareness, educate, and motivate employees to improve their health and reach personal goals.
Often times, programs start by targeting traditional occupational safety issues such as proper lifting techniques, equipment operation, and workplace risks; which drive up workers’ compensation costs. However, as they develop they can also address lifestyle issues such as smoking, weight management, and exercise which have an obvious connection to injuries, illness, and lost productivity.
Three simple steps organizations can implement can help improve performance. First, companies must bring competitive groups into a cohesive group. Instead of switching risk from one program to another, parties need to break down barriers and align interests for overall company and employee benefit.
Second, interested companies need to reach out and find appropriate external partners. Managing workers’ compensation costs often involves many parties and they may compete for your company’s available resources. To overcome this barrier, it is often helpful to have them join your working group. If you already use a large insurance broker, they probably have the ability to integrate management already; which simplifies matters greatly.
Finally, your company needs data collection programs to track the leading indicators of health. A dedicated team can review data, compare it actual treatment, and measure productivity. Once again, a good insurance broker can probably do this for you.
Reducing your workers’ compensation costs is not the only reason your company should want to care for your employees. When employees feel they’re part of a team, and well-cared for, it enhances the employee/employer connection and performance.
Healthy employees have more energy, productivity, and they engage more often. They have a positive attitude, which boosts morale, and they’re better able to focus on their work.
Studies show that that these initiatives can improve fitness levels and eating habits and reduce negative behaviors amongst your employees. They can also have fewer emotional issues such as stress and depression and higher life satisfaction. Their sleep improves and they are more likely to ask for assistance when the company shows they care about their well-being too.
In as little as six weeks, they can also drastically reduce health risks such as high blood pressure, cholesterol, and risk for diabetes. It improves self-confidence, provides them with a sense of accomplishment, and creates comradery, fun, and happiness in the workplace.
Healthy employees exhibit a positive company image and often reach out into the community, too. In every way, promoting employee health is a win-win situation for any company.
If your business needs insurance and risk management guidance, please call us. We’ve worked with companies since 1988 and have the expertise you need.