Expand safety programs beyond normal workday to improve bottom line, says National Safety Council
The Illinois-based advocacy organization has created a resource to help companies expand their safety programs beyond the workplace. It includes various tools to help organizations build programs to encourage safety and health among employees and their families.
Research has shown that comorbidities can increase the severity of workers' comp claims. Improving the overall health of workers can potentially lessen the incidence of chronic medical conditions.
In addition, the council says companies pay an estimated $820 per employee annually for off-the-job injuries, including costs associated with absenteeism, health care productivity, and unscheduled work interruptions.
The family safety and health employer resource includes the following modules to help companies develop needs-based programs:
- Building a family safety and health program.
- Driving safety.
- Preventing unintentional overdoses.
- Vaccine-preventable disease.
- Tobacco cessation.
The resource stresses the importance of leadership/management involvement, clear goals, and tracking. It identifies five steps for implementing a family safety and health program:
1. Provide management commitment and involvement.
2. Establish a baseline to assess current off-the-job safety and health issues. This can be accomplished through gap analyses to determine areas for improvement.
3. Set measurable improvement goals that are aligned with safety and health improvement plans and other business priorities. NSC cautions that goals in and of themselves do not solve a problem and that education, company and employee commitment, and involvement will help. It also warns against setting too many goals.
4. Implement plans to reach the goals. Answering who, what, where, when, how and why can help create a plan.
5. Review and adjust.
Read more at the WorkersComp Forum homepage.
March 28, 2011
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