Workplace insurance is important for employers and employees alike. Workplace hazards are a major cause of accidents – and can also lead to higher workers’ compensation and insurance costs.
As a business owner, it is of course, hugely important to educate all of your workers about possible hazards in order to control and minimise their incidence and severity. And as an employer, it is also your responsibility to maintain current workers' compensation insurance to protect employees against financial hardship as a result of a workplace accident or injury. Workplace insurance is where it all starts.
In most cases, Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) accident and sickness insurance is provided through an approved insurer - and workers’ compensation is covered by separate State and Territory legislation. WHS accident insurance protects both the employees and you the employer in the event of sickness or an accident or workplace-based incident. It does this by assisting businesses to cover the cost of workers’ claims and potential lawsuits – whether for lost wages due to injury or illness, or for medical care and compensation.
A recent US employer-based survey found 35 per cent of all small businesses believed workplace safety - and creating a culture of safety in the workplace - were their top concern. This is why WHS or workplace insurance cover and a corporate health plan are so important for employers.
At RecruitWest we provide employers with ongoing advice and support through our workplace insurance providers to take the pain out of WHS insurance provision and application. Of course, keeping your business and employees safe and productive remains the main priority of any business. And the good thing about RecruitWest’s WHS insurance cover, including its workers’ compensation program, is that it does just that.
There are many other reasons why workplace safety and insurance cover are so important. One of the main ones is it reduces the possible financial cost to both the business and its employees. Obviously, businesses exist to make a profit. And since most businesses have a relatively low profit margin - and work very hard to make any sort of profit - workplace accidents or injury and the resulting compensation - can lead to large and costly financial expenses.
Of course, workplace injury claims can add extra costs to any insurance policies you may have via increased rates, loss of no-claims bonus, or similar. However, this is a significantly better outcome than if the business had no insurance at all.
Another significant cost to businesses affected by WHS accidents or compensation is reduced workplace morale. Sometimes, when an employee is injured or incapacitated, worker morale can plummet as a result of the remaining employees having to work longer hours or harder, to make up for the injured employees. This can also lead to extra financial strain on the business. Such is the importance of workplace safety that the trend among WHS insurance carriers nowadays is for them to also assist businesses with accident prevention in the workplace.
Finally, it is important to stress the importance of public liability insurance, as it protects both you and your business against the financial risk of being found liable to a third party for death or injury, loss or damage of property. It also covers any economic loss resulting from your negligence or that of your employees. Regardless of a business’s size, it is important they consider insuring themselves for public liability.