If you’re a small business owner or if you own a commercial property, you know the importance of having insurance, even though you may not like the cost of paying it. There are several ways to help the costs of your insurance depending on the type of business you have and what discounts are available in your state. No matter where you are, with a bit of consistency, there are some ways to keep premiums down.
One of the newest tactics is the good, old fashioned ‘apple a day keeps the doctor away’ mentality.
The Centers for Disease Control published a study that observed a potential growth of approximately 130% of obese Americans in the next 20 years. Coupled with the 2007 Duke University Medical Center study that shows obese workers place more Workers Compensation claims and miss more time from work from injuries or illness, it could quickly become a dangerous hiring discrimination factor.
Even if HR knowingly or even unknowingly hires a leaner workforce, there is no guarantee that they will stay lean.
The effort should then focus on a workplace that provides incentives and good working conditions for people of all sizes and shapes, thereby greatly reducing the exposure to Workers Comp claims and other losses associated with illness or injury of employees.
By addressing these issues across the board, employers could reduce worker’s compensation claims, missed time from work, avoid higher workers comp premiums, and other types of workforce loss regardless of employee’s waistlines.
To help keep workers comp claims low in relation to wellness, there are several things employers can do:
• Reduce hazards
• Provide regular training and offer incentives and rewards for safety practices
• Offer a range of medical benefits
• Provide on-site health care
• Provide exercise equipment and an area for exercise
• Provide a safe walking track or outdoor exercise area
• Require cafeteria to offer a wide range of healthy fare and reduce options for high sugar and refined carb foods
When a workers comp claim does occur, an internal HR representative should be assigned to the employee’s personal case. The goal should be to assist the employee in gaining full health and returning to work as quickly as possible, but without adding undo pressure or stress to the patient. It should be about helping them rather than pushing them.
Soaring medical costs work against workers compensation premiums as does any workers comp claim. By carefully evaluating all options to reduce this risk exposure and managing the claims that occur, an organization can make a huge difference in their profit margin and eventually their business insurance premiums, but there are a few good rules of thumb to keep in mind in addition to promoting wellness.
1. Hire and train quality employees.
• Employee theft is a big cause of loss among retail business owners. Dead bolts on the doors won’t stop that. However, if you do your best to screen your employees for their personal character, you may minimize this loss.
• Train your employees to spot shoplifters or to identify and fix hazards. Let them know what steps to take if they identify a theft occurring while keeping themselves out of harm’s way.
• To reduce the cost and potential worker’s compensation claims, make sure your employees have all the safety gear and the safe, positive work environment they need.
2. Thoroughly inspect the grounds and buildings on a daily basis.
• Identify and correct any new hazards as they’re discovered. Your insurance company may have the right to deny your claim if they investigate and believe the loss occurred by a hazard that was ongoing and never addressed.
• Look for are leaky pipes, hazardous materials not properly secured, compromised security measures like a broken lock or missing window bars, and anything that could injure a customer or employee.
3. Add security features if you don’t have them.
• A monitored alarm system with video is preferable. Otherwise, any security measures you can add to reduce or avoid theft are important.
• Make sure you have dead bolts at every entrance and for any additional building or storage structures.
• Add tracking or alarm tags to easily stolen articles or for those items that are of high value.
• Consider keeping higher value or easily stolen items in a locked break-resistant display case.
It may seem like a lot of work at first, but when you consider the costs of workers comp claims (and sadly, their increasing popularity) and the amount of money you pay out for workers comp insurance premiums, it may seem trite, but is true: better safe than sorry.