Doing The Research... - 12/14/2015

Safety E-QuickTips

U.S. Compliance Systems, Inc.

Monday, December 14, 2015

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Safety E-QuickTips is a weekly email designed to help Employers and Employees start their week with a short thought about safety in the workplace.

Doing The Research...

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You invest a lot of time and resources into building your business, so you understand that you need to do everything you can and have the right tools to protect your investment.

So doesn’t it make sense that you would take time and make an effort to implement your company safety program, especially since you know it can help protect your employees, the future of your business and provide a return of $3-$6 for every $1 you spend?

Of course it does!

So why is that most companies don’t do it?

As I mentioned last week, employers that we talk with say it’s difficult to get everyone in a company onboard when it comes to implementing a safety program because it requires change. Even when change is justified it is still not always an easy thing to do.

So for the next few weeks I’d like to point out a few things you can do to get your safety program implemented and keep the process moving forward so you can your best to protect your business and its most valuable assets: employees, company reputation and profits.

Today I’m going to talk about the first step, doing the research. Before you decide on what the best solution is for your company to implement, you need to understand how employee safety and OSHA compliance have affected your company to date and how it could affect its future. When done correctly, this will provide a sound basis for moving the implementation process forward and provides the support necessary to get upper management onboard and involved with the process.

Now before you get all worked up and thinking you’ll need to put hours and hours into your research, I like to keep things as simple as possible when it comes to safety because simple gets things done.

So what I’m going to suggest are 6 simple tasks that shouldn’t take more than a couple hours at most to research and they are:

  • What your company currently does to protect employees form hazards in the workplace and to meet OSHA requirements
  • Your company’s accident history over the past few years
  • The effect accidents have had on your Workers Compensation and insurance rates
  • OSHA citations that have been issued to the company
  • How not implementing a company safety program might affect future work opportunities
  • How not implementing a company safety program might affect future profitability

After reading the list above some of you may be saying, “I know without going any further that my company hasn’t had any accidents and we’ve never been visited by OSHA, so we’re good and don’t need to do anything more to protect our investment.”

If that is what you’re thinking, think again because the last two tasks I mentioned talk about how not implementing your company could affect the future of your company.

To help you through the research, here are a few ideas that might help simplify the 6 tasks.

The first task is pretty simple because you really just need to look at your current safety program and see what you have implemented, such as establishing clear policies and procedures on safety, providing employees with safety training, conducting safety meetings, performing inspections and enforcing safety.

For the second task you can review past OSHA 300 logs for accidents. If you haven’t had to maintain OSHA 300 logs you could look at past accident reports or get in touch with the agency that handles your Workers’ Compensation program and/or your insurance company. Not only do you want to consider past accidents, but also past near-miss incidents. Reviewing any near-miss reports would show you where your company might need to focus safety efforts.

For the third task, if you haven’t had any accidents you can move on. If you have just contact your Workers Compensation insurance company and your liability insurance company to see how the accidents have affected your rates. They can provide you with rate increases and maybe even provide you with information on what you would need to do to get those rates down.

OSHA citations? If you answer yes, what have they cost your company and how long ago did they occur? You’ll want to know when past citations were issued to your company because OSHA holds those against your company for up to 5 years. During that time if you are cited for the same or similar violation(s), they are considered repeat violations and the penalties are much more costly.

The fifth task might be a little tougher since it requires you to think ahead about the future of your company. But a good way to start would be to look at your employees and think of how it would affect your company if a key employee was off work for a while because of an injury or how it would affect your company’s reputation if you had a serious accident.

You may also want to consider how accidents or OSHA citations might affect your ability to bid work. We are seeing more companies requiring bidders to complete prequalification forms or go through prequalification companies, like ISNetworld® or PICS, before they can bid on work. A big portion of the process is about how employee safety is handled.

The last step kind of goes along with the previous step, but is pointed more directly to the profitability of your company. If you’re struggling with this one, just take a look at a couple of our past Safety E-QuickTips that dealt with the Direct and Indirect Costs associated with workplace accidents.

And don’t forget to think about how OSHA citations could affect your bottom line, especially come June of 2016 when OSHA’s penalty structure could increase up to 82%. Now that could have a really negative effect on the bottom line.

That does it for this week, next week we’re going to talk about finding the right solution for your company when it comes to implementing your company safety program.

Until then, here is wishing you and your family a Safe and Happy Holiday Season!

Have you just received your first Safety E-QuickTip or just want to take a look at past issues? Check out our Safety E-QuickTips Archive Page on our website.

Contact Information

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U.S. Compliance Systems, Inc.
Phone: 1-888-475-5353
Fax: 1-888-925-5353
Website: www.uscompliancesystems.com
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