Workers Compensation Brokers and Reducing Workplace Exposures

Brokers working with businesses pertaining to nursing homes understand the importance of developing programs that deal with issues of on-the-job injuries. Many business owners have implemented injury prevention efforts in an attempt to reduce this exposure. By introducing new methods aimed at reducing the strain that accompanies many of the associated duties they have found that they can greatly reduce the number of claims filed by workers that may otherwise become injured during the execution of their duties.

Workers compensation brokers are happy to provide lower rates to those facilities that have achieved considerable success in reducing work-related injuries and therefore reduced any associated workers’ compensation costs.

The benefits of having a safer work environment

There are many benefits for facilities that are able to provide a safer and more comfortable work environment. Fewer injured workers can result in reduced staff turnover, as well as associated training and administrative cost reduction. Having fewer injuries can also result in reduced absenteeism, increased productivity and improved overall employee morale.

This all leads to increased resident comfort.

These conditions can help to aid employers in reducing the number, as well as severity, of work-related musculoskeletal disorders in their facilities. Using such corrective methods has been found to be a success in other nursing home environments. We all realize that providing care to nursing home residents can be physically demanding work. Nursing home residents often require assistance in performing even the most ordinary tasks, such as walking, bathing, and other normal daily activities.

In many cases, residents are wholly dependent upon caregivers for mobility. Manual lifting and other tasks involving the repositioning of residents are often associated with an increased risk of back pain and other stress injuries to caregivers. For example, if an attendant loses their balance while moving a patient this can lead to other serious risk factors due to the amount of physical effort required to perform such tasks, and performing the same motion or series of motions continually or frequently places undue stress on the body.

The number and severity of injuries resulting from physical demands in nursing homes and the associated costs are something that workers compensation brokers study. They are hard at work trying to formulate ways in which these concerns can be substantially reduced, mostly by practicing safer work methods and procedures.

Lowering Costs Through Workers Compensation Brokers

Believe it or not, the cost of workers’ compensation insurance has always been within your clients’ control. By having them take some time to understand just how the system works, how premiums are calculated, and what options are available, you’ll be able to help them to keep their payments at a reasonable cost. Simply by implementing a company-wide safety program that reduces the number of workers’ comp claims they have they’ll be able to reduce costs with lower premiums. Most workers compensation brokers will agree that this is a fact.

Regardless of the industry they work in, they need to make sure that their employees have and utilize appropriate safety equipment wherever needed. Staging regular inspections of their facilities for safety hazards and looking for other ways to stop accidents before they happen will also pay dividends. For instance, just training employees in the correct way to lift heavy objects is a worthwhile example, since back injuries are common to workers’ comp claims. In an office scenario, learning the right way to work on computers will help to reduce claims for repetitive stress injuries.

Check that workers’ classification is correct

Check to make sure that the company and employees are properly classified, since misclassification is one of the most common reasons for overpaying on workers’ compensation insurance. Non-hazardous jobs have much lower rates than hazardous ones, so by misclassifying even one worker into a higher hazard level job, the total premium may increase significantly.

Workers’ comp premiums are generally based on regular payroll figures, excluding overtime. Some states allow deductions of overtime pay to straight time for the purpose of figuring payroll, but you should have your client check with the state office of employment to see if those guidelines are correct.

Remember, the quicker an injured worker returns to work, the lower the disability claims costs may be. Modify the injured worker’s assignment upon return (or put him or her on light duty), but that’s really a small price to pay for helping an employee returning to work.

As a workers compensation broker you should discuss with clients available plans that use managed medical care to treat injured workers. Most states allow HMOs, PPOs and other managed-care providers to handle workers’ comp claims.