In many cases, workers compensation acts as a form of insurance, reimbursing lost wages and paying related medical costs when employees are hurt at work. Immediate family may also receive benefits if a loved one passes in the course of employment. While it is necessary to have a straightforward system for employees to file workers compensation claims, employers, workers, and worker compensation lawyers generally agree: the best possible outcome is to avoid injury in the first place.

Employers Take Responsibility

Unfortunately, the vast majority of workers compensation claims and job lawsuits boil down to cases of he said, she said. A handful of Idaho employers hope to change that. These employers are directly taking part in the seventh annual Safety Fest, or lending their support through a corporate sponsorship. The Safety Fest aims to address holes in employee training and create a safer work environment for all. The training is free and will run from Feb. 18 to Feb. 20.

Classes will review safety-related products and personal protective equipment (PPE), workplace violence, chemical classification and labeling, and basic first aid. Some of the classes are required for employment certifications. Instructors will strive to capture interest and make the lessons pertinent and fun. “You can even feel like Frankenstein,” Instructor John Zeman jested, as he demonstrated hearing loss protection equipment, such as Skull Screws.

What Still Needs To Be Done?

Safety officials agree free safety instruction is a step in the right direction, but it doesn’t have to (and shouldn’t) stop there. Employers can also help control workers compensation costs by establishing a quality wellness program. How does this work? Top worker compensation lawyers reveal that companies generally pay more for workers with chronic pains and illnesses, workers who smoke, and workers who are obese. Wellness programs aim to improve overall employee health, sometimes through methods as non-invasive as daily wellness reminder emails. Some offices also offer insurance plans that reimburse employees for going to the gym regularly, or even offer on-site counseling or stress management programs.

Workers compensation costs are controllable. Employers can help keep costs low by following Idaho’s lead and improving safety training instruction and implementing proactive employee wellness programs.