The concept of behavior-based safety developed by H.W. Heinrich in the 1930-40s looked to employee behavior or ‘man failure’ as the cause of most industrial accidents. Today, industry professionals identify this as an outdated safety approach, yet many employers remain stuck in this old mentality, leaving gaps in safety in your workplace.
Why Behavior-Based Safety Alone is Not Effective
When direct blame is assigned to workers, external factors, the second part of the safety equation, are overlooked. This thwarts improvement in engineering controls, best practices, safety program management and communication.
Incentive programs rewarding safety quotas likewise discourage the reporting of near misses and injury incidents. And the anonymous observation and reporting of peers can create a culture of fear and negative consequences, discouraging the sharing of ideas for improvement.
Building a Culture of Safety in Your Workplace
An organization-wide approach to safety management, the end result of combined individual and group efforts of all levels of staff, starts with management to trickle down to every worker. Replacing antiquated methods, the blame-based behavioral model is replaced with true care and concern for employee well-being in all levels/departments.
Anonymous observation is replaced with management monitoring over peer control. And positive reinforcement applies to the reporting of good and bad incidents: Accidents and near-misses, and the contribution of feedback leading to increased safety. This improved safety culture gleans knowledge from all segments of the organization, with all levels taking responsibility for worker safety.
Interested in learning more about creating a culture of safety in your workplace? Learn how in our upcoming installment on ‘Safety Culture Building Tips,’ or contact Minnesota Comp Advisor today.
Could wearable technology be among the business tips you need for controlling workers comp costs? Fueled by the Internet of Things, technology geared toward safety is becoming increasingly available – and affordable – especially when compared to the true expense of on-the-job injuries.
Who’s Jumping On Board?
Once extraordinarily slow to adapt to technology, according to JB Knowledge’s 2015 Tech Report, construction firms taking advantage of cloud-based software and technology have more than doubled since 2012, with many already beginning to adopt wearable tech, whose offerings go far beyond safety to encompass productivity, knowledge, and endless data capabilities.
What Smart Gadgets are Changing the Construction Industry?
- Smart Helmets
Virtual visors show tasks-at-hand within visible workspace, aiding in training and better understanding job scope, as well as providing extensive data mining capabilities.
- Smart Vests
Redpoint’s GPS-infused safety vests identify predefined hazards, slow/deactivate equipment, and allow employees to request help at their specific geo-targeted location.
- Smart Glasses
Camera-equipped glasses wired to the internet allow live monitoring, and the capability for experienced technicians to provide real-time feedback to new learners without the need to be on-site.
- Bionic Exoskeleton Suits
Move over Iron Man - prevent poor body mechanics and aid workers in lifting heavy loads, reducing painful and costly back injuries and muscle strains.
- Wristband Gesture Controller
The Myo by Thalmic Labs reads arm gestures, and when paired with certain devices (PowerPoint, Drones, Smart Glasses, Netflix ...), can translate these gestures to action. A great tool to prevent the need to drop equipment or gloves to operate electronic devices.
Do you have the ‘smart’ business tips you need to better control workers comp costs? Thumb-on-over to Minnesota Comp Advisor today.
A study recently released by the by the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) uncovered “noticeable decreases” in opioid prescriptions doled out in workman's compensation insurance claims across 25 states. Reforms aimed at curbing opioid abuse, such as those recommended in the March 2016 release of CDC Guidelines for prescribing opioids in chronic pain cases, include drug formularies and prescription drug monitoring programs. Workers’ comp payers now have reason to believe prescribers are finally heeding warnings about the dangers of overprescribing this class of drugs.
Under the microscope
The study compared the amount of opioids prescribed per claim over two 24-month periods ending March 2012 and March 2014 (with injuries arising from October 1, 2009, to September 30, 2012). Opioids received by injured workers showed statistically significant reductions in the range of 20-31% in the six states included in the study: Texas, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Michigan, Massachusetts, and Maryland. Data covered over 337,000 nonsurgical workers’ compensation claims and 1.9 million associated prescriptions from all 25 states, and reflected an average 24 months of experience for each claim: 40-75% of claims in each state.
Other studies show similar pattern
This data corresponds with an Express Scripts report citing overall workers’ comp spending on opioids is down almost 5%, with utilization down nearly 11%. The study also noted opioids received by injured workers (on average) is down from 3.33 prescriptions in 2014, to 2.91. At $450.90 per-user-per-year, opioids continue to be the costliest class of medications for occupational injuries.
When was the last time you celebrated a workman's compensation insurance victory? Make a change for the better with the help ofMinnesota Comp Advisor today.