Some recent events with clients have reminded me of an article I read recently that was authored by Rebecca Shafer, President of Amaxx Risks Solutions.
There are a number of events that could occur in any organization that may cause an increase in the number and severity of workers’ comp claims.
I have seen the results of these events so I would like to share some information that Rebecca outlined in her of August 19, 2011 article.
New equipment in the workplace: when new equipment that can be hazardous is run by operators who are either poorly trained or not trained at all, you have a formula for disaster. Injuries will occur and when they are serious you can expect OSHA visits, fines and penalties
Employee benefit reductions: particularly during these times when employers are scrambling to generate more revenue and cutting costs, taking away benefits has a tendency to cause a backlash. Some employees feel they need to “show the employer” by not caring about their jobs, neglect following the normal procedures, get sloppy, and then get hurt.
Demotion within the company: no one wants to be demoted and when this starts to happen within a company, people feel humiliated, feel they have lost respect and worth in the eyes of their employer. Workers’ comp results in an atmosphere where bad moral exists.
Plant shutdowns/layoffs/furlough days: one could successfully bet that claims will result from these events…time after time this is a common occurrence. Employees feel that an injury that happens at home becomes a work related incident; unwitnessed injuries become common; small injuries that may have occurred sometime ago, may now be amplified or made up to be greater than they really are.
During these times, the key to the prevention and management of injuries that may occur around these types of events, communication, training, documentation and positive employee relationships are critical.
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