Flu Outbreak Could Cost Employers Up To $9 Billion

Does it seem like your workplace is running a little shorter staffed these days? It likely is. The influenza outbreak that has left millions of people across the nation ill, is the most widespread outbreak since public health authorities started tracking this information more than a decade ago.

The Center for Disease Control is reporting infections caused by H1N1 strain with a larger number of infections of the H3N2 strain being predominate this time around. The H3N2 strain is best known for it’s resistance to vaccinations that are typically most effective against other flu strains. The H3N2 strain is also known to cause more severe symptoms than more common flu strains.

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Disaster Management for the Workplace

As Hurricane Matthew gains in strength, the Southeastern portion of the country is in crisis mode. While state and local authorities are busy issuing evacuation orders, employers should be activating their own response efforts. Employers must juggle everything from employee safety to client relations and data recovery. While most employers in the affected areas are experienced in handling natural disasters, many still do not have formal procedures for handling such events.

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Employers and Staffing Firms Share in Responsibilities to Protect Workers

While agreements between employers and their partnering staff firms often vary, most often the responsibility for Worker’s Compensation claims falls on the staffing firm for contract or temporary placements. However, if you partner with staffing firms to provide you with contract or temporary workers you share in the responsibility for their safety. Not sure what your responsibilities may be? Here’s what OSHA has to say!

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The Costs of Delayed Reporting of Workers' Compensation Claims!

Does your organization make timely reporting of workers’ compensation claims a priority? Studies have demonstrated the costly effects of delayed reporting for organizations in the United States. The costs of delayed reporting will vary by employer based on the fact that each claim is different, each employee is different, and each injury may involve different circumstances. However, regardless of the nature of your business there is a direct correlation between the reporting time and the cost of the claim.

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The faster a workers’ compensation claim is received by the adjuster, the faster and more controlled the process is. The adjuster is able to conduct a thorough investigation while the facts of the claim are still readily available, before the employee and any witnesses may forget key details that are critical to the claim. Prompt reporting can also help to eliminate any delays in providing appropriate medical care and wage benefits to the injured employee.

Recent data released by Sedgwick Claims Management Services Inc. found:

  • Claims that close within 30 days of occurrence cost an average of $287 and about 90% of those claims will remain medical-only cases.
  • Claims that remain open 31-90 days jump to an average cost of $722.
  • Claims that remain open 181-365 days jump to an average cost of $6,875

A recent study completed by NCCI on lag time also found:

  • Week two after the date of the incident cost an average of 18% more than claims reported during the first week.
  • Weeks three and four following the date of the incident averaged a 30% increase in claims cost.
  • After four weeks the costs increased an average of 45% higher.

Making sure your staff is familiar with the importance of quickly reporting any incidents and injuries is key to controlling your costs. Any injury regardless of it’s initial significance should follow the same reporting process that should be clearly outlined in the employee handbook and regularly posted in break rooms and other common areas.

Bottom Line Benefits to Safety Programs!

While building, enforcing, and maintaining a strong safety program can be time consuming and expensive, the repercussions of not doing so can be detrimental to your business. In addition to the safety of your staff and organization, here are some bottom line benefits to a strong safety program:

  • Reduced attendance issues
  • Decreased employee turnover rates
  • Higher employee productivity
  • Greater efficiency as a company
  • Increased quality of work
  • Decreased scrap and waste products
  • Increased employee morale
  • Positive brand image
  • Decreased health care costs
  • Decreased workers’ compensation costs

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The time, resources, and planning for a safety program will vary greatly based on your line of business, company size, and exposures. Consider partnering with a third party safety organization or your legal counsel for best practices.

Are you a stand out professional, technical professional, driver, or skilled worker seeking contingent, temporary, or long term career opportunities?  Visit our job board  for more information!  Want to learn more about how you can gain access to Trillium’s national network of professionals and skilled workers? Contact us today!

Trillium, a national leader in staffing and recruitment is a valued staffing partner to over 5,000 companies nationwide. Trillium is privately owned by Oskar René Poch.