Correlation Between Your Hiring Procedures & Workers' Comp Claims

Topics: Workers' Compensation

The job market and employment outlook in the U.S. continues to be strong. The unemployment rate is staying around 3.6%, which means that a steady stream of workers are entering the workforce. As businesses add more employees, there is also a greater need for workers’ compensation insurance to protect the organizations and their employees from risks.

Recent data shows that new employees can be more prone to injury. The Bureau of Labor Statistics found that nearly 40% of injured workers have been on the job for less than a year. New workers are more likely to be hurt because they lack the experience and information needed to properly protect themselves while performing their job duties.

To help mitigate the risks for workplace accidents, small business owners need to have a solid plan for recruiting, hiring and training workers. Performing each of these steps could help reduce the number of workers’ compensation claims as well as increase the productivity of your small business.

During the Hiring Process

Hiring the right employees is critical to the success of a small business. There are different steps during the hiring process where the employer can discuss the responsibilities of the open position as well as explain their everyday procedures and processes. This process can help the employer understand not only the potential employee’s prior experience and how well suited he or she is for the position, but it can also help the employer learn about his or her character and personality.

The Job Descriptions

A well-written and effective job description will detail the job functions, necessary skills and qualifications, work experience and education level. The physical requirements, such as lifting or carrying weight specifications, should also be defined. A full explanation of the job duties will give the prospective employees more information to help them determine if the role is right for them.

The Interview

After vetting applications, it is time to set up interviews with potential candidates. The interview process should involve different team members asking open-ended and behavioral questions that will help the team evaluate the candidate. The interview will determine if the applicant is a good fit for your company. You also want to make sure that the candidate is physically capable of doing the job. The American with Disabilities Act (ADA) , as well as many state laws, prohibits employers from asking candidates about past work injuries, medical histories or disabilities. However, a hiring manager can ask the applicant if he or she can perform the essential duties of the position with or without reasonable accommodation.

Pre-employment Screening

After making an offer to a candidate, pre-employment screening should start. Employment screening is a vital step in the hiring process. Common types of screening include background and criminal record checks, education and professional license reviews, driving records checks (for industries that rely on drivers), pre-employment physical exams, job function tests and drug tests . Businesses should have a screening policy fully documented including consent forms and federal and state requirements.

Insurance Business Magazine shared the importance of performing pre-employment screening, stating, “A key step in bringing new hires on board is the pre-employment process to screen for workers’ comp risks that might come up during the course of an employee’s work.”

Workplace Safety Program’s Impact on Workers’ Compensation Claims

After background screening, the new employee should begin an onboarding program involving training for their position as well as a thorough explanation of the company’s workplace safety program. Safe working conditions along with the proper onboarding and training demonstrates that small business owners are committed to their employees and their well-being.

New employees should understand all aspects of their company’s workplace safety program . After the initial explanation, there should be continuous safety training programs for all employees. The prevention of workplace accidents is the ultimate goal of a workplace safety program.

According to Property Casualty 360, “A commitment to accident prevention helps to protect employees, increase productivity and ultimately manage the total cost of an employer’s workers’ compensation program.” Protecting both new and seasoned employees should be the primary goal of any safety management program, but it also brings benefits to the bottom line. Investment in workplace safety programs brings savings in workers’ comp and other medical costs, as well as substantial financial benefits in the long run.

Risk Management and Workers’ Compensation Insurance from AmTrust

Effective hiring procedures impact a company in multiple ways, from morale and productivity to the reduction of workers’ compensation claims. Looking at the economic impact of hiring practices, including safety training, will ultimately benefit the bottom line as well as ensure that the workers will return home safe and healthy every day. AmTrust knows that safety training is key to a proactive approach to minimalizing injuries, incidents and controlling costs.

AmTrust is one of the nation’s largest workers’ compensation insurance carriers, writing more than 350 eligible classes of business. Help your small business clients get the coverage and loss control services they need. Contact us today.

This material is for informational purposes only and is not legal or business advice. Neither AmTrust Financial Services, Inc. nor any of its subsidiaries or affiliates represents or warrants that the information contained herein is appropriate or suitable for any specific business or legal purpose. Readers seeking resolution of specific questions should consult their business and/or legal advisors. Coverages may vary by location. Contact your local RSM for more information.

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