As Work Slows Down, Workers' Comp Claims Tend to Increase

By Randy Guzman AGCs Assistant Safety Director

Though the economy may be slowing down it is NOT a good idea to take short-cuts on safety. As worker-hours decrease youll actually want to increase your safety training and awareness.

Historically as work starts to slow down the number of workers compensation claims filed tends to increase. Therefore when the claims are filed there are less worker-hours to offset the claims costs. This may result in an increase in your Experience Modification Rate (EMR) which then means increased premiums being paid to the Department of Labor & Industries. Additional costs may include worker replacement time involved on working the claim possible kept-on-salary (KOS) benefits as well as others.

Even with the recent decrease in worker-hours accidents are still happening. There have been 6 construction related fatalities within the last few months.

With the increased safety training and awareness within your company the goal is to decrease or eliminate any workplace accidents. Several tips on increasing awareness:
• Make sure your weekly safety meetings are being performed.
• Make sure your jobsite inspections are performed daily/weekly.
• Encourage workers to report unsafe conditions and practices.
• Ensure that what your safety manual states is effective in practice.
• Enforce your Disciplinary Policy.

If you have any questions or need assistance with your safety program feel free to contact the AGC Safety Department at (206) 284-0061.