As a restoration contractor, it’s important that you find ways to save anywhere that you can. This is particularly critical in cases of fixed costs–the things that you simply have to pay in order to keep your business functioning. Understanding the costs associated with your workers compensation can go a long way towards saving your business money. That’s why we put together the following list for ways to save money on your workers compensation costs:
1. Make sure you understand the job classifications you’re claiming on your worker’s comp policy. Workers who have high-risk jobs will require you to pay a higher rate for workers’ comp insurance than workers whose greatest risk is slipping on a wet spot in the bathroom. By clearly understanding the way your employees are classified and ensuring that no error has been made during the classification process (for example, listing a clerical employee in a field position), you can help reduce your workers’ comp insurance costs significantly. Also, make sure that your employees don’t step outside their job descriptions and perform tasks that are riskier than their typical duties. An employee who is injured performing a non-routine task can hurt your workers’ compensation insurance rates.
2. Keep your safety rating high. Over time, your workers’ comp insurance rates will depend on how many claims you’ve had. When you insist on on-the-job safety, going above and beyond to ensure the safety of your workers, your rate of on-the-job injuries and claims will decrease, dropping your insurance rates along with it.
3. Have a plan in place to get your workers back on the job even if they’re injured. An employee who is able to work even part-time, even if it’s in a different position from the one they usually hold, is an employee who is able to close their workers’ comp case. When you have a plan in place to help expedite this process and share it with your insurance company, your rates will reflect the change.
4. Review your payroll calculations regularly. The amount that could potentially be paid out in workers’ compensation is directly related to your payroll–and that’s separate from tips and independent contractors’ wages. By evaluating your payroll on a regular basis, you ensure that your workers’ comp insurance information remains accurate–and that you aren’t paying more than you have to.
5. Streamline the claims process as much as possible for your employees. Employees who have difficulty reporting their claim or getting the medical care they need are employees who will be out of work longer, thus increasing your overall workers’ compensation insurance rates. Take care to ensure, too, that your employees know the difference between a minor injury that can be treated on the job or through a quick office visit and one that requires a workers’ comp claim. Your employees should also have easy access to information concerning what to do in the event of a workers’ comp claim. Put it in the employee handbook, list it online, and make it easy for your employees to contact you with any questions they have about the claims process.
6. Stay in touch with workers who are out on workers’ comp claims. Let them know that they are valued employees and that you’re looking forward to getting them back in the office. Discuss any plans that you’ve made to modify their work day so that they’re able to return to work. All of these steps are critical to ensuring that employees are back on the job as soon as possible, thereby keeping your workers’ comp insurance rates as low as possible.