Employers are required to have workers’ compensation insurance so that employees receive the coverage they need if they are injured on the job. The insurance can get very expensive if injuries are not managed or controlled. As safety and health professionals, one of our goals is to save employers money by protecting their main asset—employees. If employees aren’t injured, employers pay less in workers’ comp insurance.
When CHESS did an injury analysis for an automotive repair facility, we discovered the company had an unusually high injury rate, especially for eye injuries. CHESS worked with management and the safety committee to look at root causes of those injuries and identify ways to address those. We helped them develop and implement several new safety policies and worked with them to make sure those were enforced.
It took some effort to implement the safety eyewear policy. Management, including the shop owners, provided good examples by wearing protective eyewear any time they walked into the shop. Employees were offered different styles of eyewear to choose from. A prescription safety glass program, which allows employees to choose their frames, was implemented. Once employees got used to wearing safety glasses consistently, the company’s workers’ compensation experience modification rate dropped from 1.07 down to .70. That resulted in an annual premium savings in excess of $18,000.