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Winter Weather and Workers’ Compensation

Winter Weather and Workers’ CompensationWorkers’ Compensation Insurance is a major expense for any business owner. Regardless of the industry, each business has its own unique set of risks and dangers in the workplace. However, workers who are exposed to the harsh elements of winter are more likely to experience injury and file a claim. Therefore, let us explore how winter impacts the potential for these claims and how you can protect business, your employees, and your bottom line.

A typical outdoor work environment can be seemingly innocuous. However, add in some snow, ice, sleet, or heavy rains, and it’s a breeding ground for dangers. Slips and falls are the most common type of injuries, as employees can hurt themselves just walking to and from the parking lot or walkways. In fact, according to RMI Solutions, here’s a breakdown of the percentage of worker’s comp claims that are due to slips and falls in five states.

  • Minnesota – 29%
  • Illinois – 32%
  • Michigan – 32%
  • Wisconsin – 33%
  • Indiana – 37%

Injured employees aren’t the only factor that negatively impacts business during the winter. The snowball effect includes additional expenses and consequences including time off work, temporary employee costs, overtime for existing employees, and increased insurance costs, explains Mike Britt, president of Accident Fund Insurance Company of America. When one person is injured, especially in a small operation, their tasks might be handed to other employees to handle the workload. This is emotionally and physically exhausting.

To prevent these injuries from occurring, stay on top of snow removal. Customers and employees alike need to be able to reach your business safely, so be sure to salt the walkways and put out slip warning signs.

Even though it might seem obvious, especially for people who live in harsh winter-prone areas, remind your employees to wear proper footwear with rubber soles to prevent slips and falls. Lastly, employees should minimize the loads they carry in inclement weather. Having their hands free gives them more stability and control when they walk, which means they are less likely to slip. Lastly, if your employees commute frequently, provide the proper training for safe driving in wet conditions and the snow. Do not require them to use the phone while commuting, and give them plenty of time to get to their destination to account for breaks, sleep, and safe driving.

About ASIA

Associated Specialty Insurance Agency, Inc. has been “The Workers’ Compensation Specialist for Brokers and Agents” for the past two decades and is committed to providing brokers and insurance agents across the East Coast with expertise and services to develop a Workers’ Compensation policy. For more information about how we can assist you with claims management, anti-fraud measures, and more, call 610-543-5510 to speak with one of our professionals.

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