Strategies to Minimise Workers’ Compensation Claims at Your Workplace
Despite efforts to prioritise health and safety in the workplace, risk of incident or injury that result in workers’ compensation claims are, to an extent, inevitable. There are however several ways to lower the risk and in turn lower the number of these claims.
Below are some strategies to help your business avoid workers’ compensation claims in a proactive methodical way that will also enhance your overall health and safety program.
Screening to find the right person for the role
Pre-employment screening or testing makes it easier to determine who is best for a role, including whether the candidate actually has the right skill set, is physically able to perform the role or is the right cultural fit for the team and organisation.
By determining a candidate’s suitability and compatibility for a role prior to commencement, employers can achieve reduced employee turnover rates as well as increasing safety. It will mean that there is a lower risk of injury and incidents that result in compensation claims when the worker is mentally and physically fit to meet the inherent requirements of a role.
Provide the right training
Each employee requires proper training on how to perform work involving hazardous manual handling safely, including the use of tools, equipment and safe work procedures. Ergonomic assessments should also be conducted so that favourable behaviour patterns can be adopted in the use of any equipment to best promote the safety of workers.
Employees also require relevant upskilling, including managers and leaders who must be equipped to navigate potential workplace hazards and actively reduce them in order to minimise subsequent claims. Mental health awareness and training in this space is important to consider with the increasing prevalence of psychological claims in the workplace.
Implement an Injury Prevention Program
Bodycare specialises in helping businesses apply the proactive mindset it takes to establish and implement an injury prevention plan at work. This involves engaging with employees while they work, as opposed to solely when they present for treatment, and teaching employees correct technique so that they avoid injury. A preventative approach is key to undertaking work in a way that will continue to pay cultural and financial dividends, through a reduction in workplace injuries and improvement to workers’ health and wellbeing.
Onsite injury prevention goes beyond treatment provision and empowers managers, supervisors and employees to take effective action in reducing possibility for injury. A tailored model that also addresses musculoskeletal injury risks of your organisation – via an Onsite Physiotherapist – can greatly enhance your prevention program. This component encourages employees to present early for treatment of niggles, aches and pains at their earliest onset which has been statistically proven to reduce the chance of a serious injury occurring.
Conduct regular safety audits
Auditing your workplace’s safety management systems involves frequent assessment of the safety procedures and practices in place, helping to identify whether these are operating effectively or whether they can be improved. Conducting regular risk and safety checks is imperative to remaining on the front foot in terms of maintaining your workplace’s safety standards.
There are several steps involved in analysing your workplace’s safety performance, so your business should first distinguish which areas the audit will cover and who will conduct it. It is also important to pay special attention to high risk areas and to review past incidents, since this often reveals patterns and locations of hazards. Finally, ensure that new roles are reviewed, and review existing policies and procedures to determine if they are current, compliant and aligned with best practice.
Provide ongoing health surveillance testing and periodic medicals
The ongoing health and safety of employees must be managed and monitored, especially when they are required to perform safety critical roles or work within hazardous environments. This is where health surveillance testing systems are necessary; whereby ongoing health checks are conducted within a workplace to monitor employee health, ensuring team members are not adversely affected by potential hazards.
Health surveillance checks may be required by law for employees who are exposed to noise or vibration, fumes, dusts, chemicals and other hazardous substances. There are also a number of legislative medical assessments that are mandated depending on sector and company, designed to ensure the monitoring and prioritisation of employee health for critical risk industries. Bodycare offers a range of high quality pre employment and health assessments and medicals that adhere to the standards outlined by the relevant industry or governing body.
Make health and safety a part of your workplace culture
Involving employees in your workplace’s safety journey and advertising it as a top priority allows individual employees to take responsibility for their role in ensuring a safe workplace. This breeds a positive safety culture and allows workers to feel confident in providing feedback on safety in the workplace, without fear of reprisal. A level of diligence from individual employees helps to further minimise compensation claims.
Establish a tailored health and wellbeing program
Organisations which are successful in running safety programs focus on safety being integrated into everything they do. A tailored health and wellbeing program compliments this by showing your employees that your business is serious about making health, safety and wellbeing a priority. Having such a program in place also ensures alignment between all members of an organisation, keeping everyone on the same page.
Encourage open communication when it comes to safety matters
Open and clear communication really goes a long way to ensuring employees understand what is expected of them, and why. It also streamlines safety planning and processes by facilitating clarity, accountability and agency in the workplace.
Employing the strategies above with emphasis on the importance of open communication will help to garner a workplace culture built around safety, empowering workers to speak up and feel comfortable and compelled to express concerns in regard to safety matters.
Bodycare is here to offer support with implementing any of the aforementioned strategies for your workplace. Reach out to the team today for further advice on curbing the number of compensation claims at your workplace.