As an HR professional, it is essential that you understand the laws surrounding disability workers’ compensationOpens a new window in all the states that your company has employees.
Not only should you be a source for your employees regarding the law, but you should also have strategies in place to keep your employees informed of their rights and responsibilities regarding workers’ compensationOpens a new window .
Additionally, as an HR professional, it is your responsibility to have strategies in place to promote a healthy, happy work environment.
Here are some policies that you should consider enacting in 2020 and beyond.
Make sure your workplace safety rules go beyond what OSHA expects.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has regulations that you must follow for your industry. Your company needs to follow these requirements, but why settle for the minimum? Know the most common injuries reported to OSHA. Create a strategy that goes above and beyond what is expected to keep your employees safe.
Create a strategy that encourages employees to report claims as soon as they happen.
Part of the responsibility to report workplace injuries lies with the employee, but managers need to know the importance of contacting the proper personnel as soon as an incident happens. As a member of the HR department, you need to inform the employees and managers of this responsibility.
Develop a strategy to keep employees healthy.
Healthy employees are less likely to need to file for workers’ compensation benefits. As a member of the HR department, what strategies can you use to make sure your employees maintain a healthy lifestyle?
One way is to provide a health insuranceOpens a new window plan that covers (at minimum) annual physicals. Your company may also consider giving your employees access to an exercise facility. Finally, you may want to provide a wellness program that encourages a healthy lifestyle.
Include safety disclaimers in employee applications.
Ask potential employees to comment on their previous workplace safety histories.
Verify this information when performing background checks and checking references. Make sure the application includes an opportunity for potential employees to write about any safety awards that they received in previous jobs.
Create clear job descriptions and make sure your employees follow them.
One way to reduce the number of workers’ compensation claims is to make sure each employee has a clear understanding of his or her job description. If a task in a person’s job description requires protective gear or specialized training, only that person should perform that task.
Some employees will expand the scope of their job description in an effort to be a â€œteam player.â€ As a department, it is up to you to develop a strategy to curtail those actions.
Provide quality training and orientations.
Make sure safety is regarded as a priority in all steps of the hiring process. Besides the employee reading and understanding his or her job description, each employee must also be appropriately trained on the best (and safest) practices. As a member of the HR department, make sure the employees receive quality training. In fact, consider developing a strategy that enables workers to go through periodic reinforcement safety training.
Enact an introductory period for new employees.
Introductory periods are nothing new. In fact, companies have been using this strategy for years to determine if a worker is a right fit for a job. In addition to using the introductory period to determine whether or not the worker can perform the tasks outlined in the job description, use the initial period to evaluate the employees’ regard for safetyOpens a new window .
If a new hire knows that he or she will undergo a performance evaluation within the first 90 days, he or she will be more likely to follow the safety regulations presented during orientation and training.
Develop a strategy to enforce workplace safety for new and veteran employees.
It may be tricky to find a strategy to enforce workplace safety without disrupting productivity. But as a member of the HR department, that is one of your most important roles. Your plan could not only reduce the number of accidents or injuries in your workplace, but they could also reduce the severity of the accidents as well.
In summary, your strategies should help determine how employees remain safe while doing their jobs. Your strategy should make sure that each employee and manager understand the safety protocol. The HR strategies should inform employees what to do if they are injured or encouraged to perform the job unsafely. Finally, your policy must make sure that your employees and managers are retrained periodically on how to keep a safe workplace environmentOpens a new window .