Meat and food processing is a dangerous industry, but that doesn’t mean it has to be an unsafe environment for you or your employees. A strong correlation exists between employee safety and food safety, (University of California, Davis). What does this mean for you? The best way to control workers compensation costs is to have a robust safety program that prevents claims from happening in the first place. In this post we will provide you with our “Core Four” pillars for doing just that.

Why is a Safety Program with CORE FOUR so Important in Workers Comp? 

Decreasing the likelihood of a workers compensation claim is in your best interest in the meat and food industry. By utilizing your HACCP program as a starting point for potential hot spots you can:

  • Control workers compensation costs
  • Keep your employees safe and feeling secure while on the job
  • Identify critical control points to improve food safety

“Use your HACCP work flow diagram as a starting point to identify areas that could potentially lead to claims down the road.” Cole Williams, Professional Risk Advisor [Insurance Associates] 

Our “Core Four” of Workers Compensation and what they mean for YOU

You heard us mention the need for a robust safety program, but what does that all entail? There are four basic documents you will need:

  1. Employee Safety Manual – intended to reinforce the workplace culture that SAFETY IS IMPORTANT. This manual will outline your safety policies, the hazards possible on the job, and procedures if there is a workers compensation claim on the job. 
  2. Return to Work Program – Our primary goal is to prevent injuries from happening, but what happens when they do? A robust return to work program is a key component in your overarching Safety Program so your employees know what to expect upon their return from a workers compensation injury. 
  3. Drug Free Workplace Policy – This is a tool we add to your toolbox to reinforce to your employees that in a dangerous workplace, there is no room for impairment. 
  4. Post-Accident Drug and Alcohol Screening – This is another tool we add to show your employees you have policies in place and protection on the backend in case impairment in the workplace becomes an issue.

Bottom line, your employees need to know they are working in a serious business and that fatalities and impairment are possible. Your way of showing you care about their safety and wellbeing are through active injury prevention.

“The meat and food industry is dangerous, but it doesn’t have to be unsafe.” Cole Williams, Professional Risk Advisor [Insurance Associates]

To hear a more in-depth explanation of our Core Four, CLICK HERE!

Additional Workers Comp Tips

  • If you do have a workers compensation claim, report it immediately! In many states there are fines for late reporting, but you can also save your business $$$ in reporting immediately. You will experience a claims expense increase by almost 25% if the workers compensation claim is reported just two weeks late. That number skyrockets up to 50% for reporting 30 days late. 
  • Minimize the damage to your experience mod by paying employees for their wages when they are off work due to a workers compensation claim. Why? It decreases the size of your claim, medical only claims are reduced by 70% before they enter the mod rating formula, and the amount you pay in lost wages will be less than the premium you WILL pay from an increased experience mod.

So, what is our key takeaway?

A Safety Program is a MUST to keep your employees safe and productive, to minimize the damage to your experience mod if you have a claim, and to produce safe and high quality food.  

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