Workers’ compensation premiums may seem like something business owners have little control over, but the truth is that company leadership can have a significant impact on the overall rate being paid. Taking steps to reduce accidents, combat fraud, and utilize cost-saving discounts are just a few of the resolutions that can help reduce your workers’ comp costs in the new year.

Check for discounts

If you’re ready to get serious about lowering your workers’ comp premiums, it’s time to talk to a third-party administrator (TPA) about the cost-savings programs that you may qualify for. Your TPA partner has access to many BWC group discount programs, including Group Experience Rating and Group Retrospective Rating, that aren’t available to employers who opt not to partner with a TPA or sponsoring organization.

TPAs can provide access to and recommendations for other options to reduce your workers’ comp costs. Additionally, your TPA is always on the lookout for reimbursement opportunities that you qualify for and helps identify the best cost-containment strategies for your business. Check out Cost-Saving Strategies for Workers’ Comp to learn more about the benefits of partnering with a TPA and discover other opportunities that they can offer.

Establish a safety program

One of the most effective ways to reduce workers’ comp costs is to stop accidents before they occur. Developing a safety program is a proven way to reduce the number of accidents in the workplace because it teaches employees about safe work practices. Your safety program can also identify potential workplace hazards and eliminate them before an accident occurs.

Comprehensive safety programs help you identify and eliminate many of the common hazards that lead to accidents in the workplace. Having a safety program in place not only demonstrates that your company is committed to the wellness and health of its employees, but can also help establish your company’s specific workplace standards and procedures. Investing in a well-funded safety program also shows current and future employees that you’re serious about protecting them from accidents, which can have a significant impact on your retention and recruitment efforts. Check out Tips for More Effective Safety Meetings to learn more about making the most of your safety program and meetings.

Help employees return to work faster

The longer an employee is out of work due to injury the higher their workers’ comp claim costs will be and the less likely they are to return to full-time meaningful employment. Staying engaged with employees during their recovery period and working with your TPA and managed care organization to identify return to work opportunities can go a long way in helping both you and your employee recover from the injury.

When an injured worker is out for an extended period of time, a sense of helplessness or complacency can often set in – making them feel like they will never be able to work the same way again. Return-to-work programs identify opportunities for employees to return to meaningful employment as soon as possible after their injury, helping to decrease recovery time while also providing a valuable confidence boost to the injured worker. Whether you opt for an on-site transitional work therapy program or a modified duty off-site program, your return-to-work program is sure to have a significant impact on your employee’s recovery and reduce workers’ comp costs.

Be mindful of fraud

Whether an employee fakes an injury, works with a medical provider to exaggerate the extent of the injury, or the provider claims to have performed tests or procedures that were never done, fraud is a costly (and largely avoidable) part of workers’ compensation. While you may not be able to eliminate workers’ comp fraud, knowing the warning signs can go a long way to minimizing the impact of fraud on your premiums and workers’ comp costs.

It’s important for business owners and managers to understand that the vast majority of all workers’ comp claims are legitimate and result from an on-site sudden injury or repetitive stress injuries. However, fraud can and does have a destructive impact on workers’ compensation and on the health of businesses. That’s why your TPA partner will monitor and review all claims for signs of potential fraud. In addition to this review, your TPA will ensure that your management and safety team members understand and can identify the signs of workers’ comp fraud. Read 5 Reasons You Need a TPA in Your Corner for even more reasons why you should consider talking to a TPA representative today.

Double-check employee classifications

The end of the year is a prime time for you to do a little housekeeping and check your workers’ comp paperwork to ensure that all of your employees are properly classified. After all, the employee who drives the forklift in your warehouse is a lot more likely to be involved in a workplace accident than the one who balances the books in your accounting office.

Much like the manual code under which your business is classified impacts your workers’ comp premium rates, so too do employee classifications affect your workers’ comp costs. Taking steps to ensure that every employee is properly classified in their current job at the end of each year can go a long way to ensuring significant savings on your future premium rates.

Advocating for you

When it comes to helping you reduce your workers’ compensation insurance premiums, your TPA is an invaluable partner. Not only can they help you identify and give access to cost-savings opportunities, but the expertise they offer can also lead to reduced risk and lower overall workers’ comp costs for your company. Partnering with a TPA is an investment in your business’s future that can create a safer workplace for your employees and lead to lower premiums for your business.

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