Who You Gonna Call For Help Upgrading Your Safety Program – OSHA or Your Carrier

Many employers, both large and small, know they need a better safety program, but feel like they do not have the resources to operate properly a safety program. Or, they have a safety program, but believe there is more that could be done to improve their safety record. There are two great free sources for safety program assistance to the employer – your workers' compensation insurance company and the Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Not all workers' compensation insurers offer safety program assistance, but most of the larger work comp insurance carriers do – if you ask. While you can hire your own certified safety professionals to come to your business to inspect your processes, ergonomics and hygiene, most of the work comp insurers already have these experts on their staff. A request for assistance through your broker will start the ball rolling. Some of the areas the insurance company safety consultants can review and make recommendations for include: (WCxKit)

1.     How to create a culture of safety within the company.

2.     How to integrate safety into your company's quality control program.

3.     How to implement safety into your company's business strategy.

4.     How to engage employees at all levels into the safety control program.

5.     How to implement Best Practices for Safety (which they will provide you if you do not already have established safety practices).

6.     How to quantify, gauge, measure and reduce risk.

7.     How to reduce or prevent occupational diseases.

The safety consultants from your workers' compensation insurance company will do a site inspection to identify the areas of risk exposure. The safety consultants will compile a list of their recommendations and then prioritize the recommendations for you. Your company will be able to see where you have the best opportunities to improve safety. The insurers' safety consultants will also evaluate your existing safety program and make recommendations on how to improve what you are already doing.
While some employers are fearful of OSHA, and some risk managers would rather go to the dentist then to pick up the phone and invite OSHA in, OSHA has many safety programs and offer free consultation services. The OSHA safety assistance program is completely separate from their OSHA inspections, and if they were to find unsafe working conditions or something that would normally get you a citation or a penalty, you get a “Get Out of Jail Free card” – no citation or penalty will be imposed if you invite OSHA in to assist you with your safety program. (If a serious safety problem is found, you are still obligated to correct it). (WCxKit)
OSHA will assist employers in identifying potential hazards in your workplace, improve your safety program, and if you follow-up on their recommendations, qualify your company for a one year exemption from routine OSHA inspections. 
Some of the benefits a free OSHA safety inspection and consultation would include:

1.     Assistance to your managers in complying with the federal and state safety and health requirements

2.     Prevention of on-the-job injuries and occupational diseases (and the resulting workers' compensation claims)

3.     A reduction in the number of lost work days

4.     Improvement in employee morale from their seeing your company is concerned about their safety

5.     Education of employees on how they can take responsibility for their own safety and the safety of their coworkers

6.     A reduction in equipment damage and production losses

7.     An increase in productivity

Protecting your company's financial assets through a better safety program is a wise choice. You can hire outside consultants or obtain free safety consultations from your workers' compensation insurance company and from OSHA. Whichever course you take, you come out ahead with an improved safety program.   
 Author Rebecca Shafer, JD, President of Amaxx Risks Solutions, Inc. is a national expert in the field of workers compensation. She is a writer, speaker and website publisher. Her expertise is working with employers to reduce workers compensation costs, and her clients include airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing.
   RShafer@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com or 860-553-6604.

Author Robert Elliott
, executive vice president, Amaxx Risks Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing.  Contac
 t:   Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com or 860-553-6604.

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Workers Comp Resource Center Newsletter

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.

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