Running a small business entails a cocktail of challenges in terms of a concatenation of expenses. While some of them are fixed costs, the rest follow in various forms of unprecedented variables. Keeping these impending expenses in mind, one needs to formulate proper backup plans so as to pre-empt losses.
In case, you are mulling about the possibility of curtailing workers’ compensation insurance, do not forget the premiums, which you need to pay from time to time. In fact, one of the most cumbersome expenses, which hits the small business enterprises includes compensation insurance, covering accidents, and injuries of workers on the job site.
According to the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), about 33 percent of small business entrepreneurs have complained about the hefty compensation charges comprising workers’ medical bills, wages for the number of working days lost due to accidents, and compensation costs owing to permanent injuries. These costs vary from state to state. The average premiums, coupled with health insurance, and labor costs keep spiralling year after year, and hence, cannot be ignored. Besides, frequent untoward happenings at the work site lower productivity, and adversely impact employee morale. Also, the replacement costs of damaged equipment should be taken into account. So, what steps should a company take to protect itself?
The wise have stated- Prevention is better than cure. Hence, every small business owner should plan, and implement a strategic safety programme:
- Talk to your team about workers’ compensation: Talk to your employees, and make them aware of the fact that they are working for a small enterprise where workers’ compensations cannot be granted as freebies. Also, spread awareness about the impunity with which the company would deal with an employee, should he, or she indulge in any fraudulent claims. Make it clear among the workers that the company is liable to pay only the legitimate claims.
- Take interest in handling the workers’ claims: Many companies tend to overlook workers’ claims thinking that these should be taken care of, by insurance companies. A claim could, however, take alarming proportions if it isn’t handled with care. So, when an injured worker submits a claim, talk to him. Make him sit in your office, and ask him what kind of support he expects from you. The employee seeking claims would feel that he or she is being supported, and would be less aggressive about the massive damages suffered by him or her.
- Solve the problem in the beginning: Your employee’s well being should be your foremost concern. If a worker has been falling sick off and on, or if he or she feels tired while working quite frequently, then tell him or her to take an off. In such cases, you need to prove yourself as a benevolent employer who doesn’t reprimand his workers for no reason.
- Prioritize safety: Make sure that safety of your workers should be your priority. Talk to the management team, and frame safety rules right in the beginning. The employees should be trained about the necessary safety norms. Hold regular meetings regarding safety rules, and make your employees aware of the fact that they are accountable for their own safety. Inspections should be conducted at the work place on regular basis so as to rule out all kinds of possible hazards for the workers.
- Have readymade plans to deal with injuries occurring at the work place: There should be first aid treatment facilities, and healing measures available right at the work site, in order to treat the accident victims. Prompt actions could prevent the minor injuries turning into major ailments. In such cases, your employee would think over before he, or she decides to sue your company. Your immediate response to such untoward situations would eventually make you less liable to workers’ claims.