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Workers' Compensation: 3 Tips for Your Startup's HR Department


As a startup HR department you're likely juggling a million tasks. Payroll, benefits, contracts etc – it's enough to make anyone feel overwhelmed. Still, there are plenty of things you don't want to drop the ball on, including workers' compensation

Workers’ compensation might sound intimidating, but it's actually your friend. It protects your employees if they get hurt or sick on the job, and it protects your business from lawsuits. Think of it as a safety net – for everyone. 

So, here are 3 tips for keeping a handle on things.  

Classify Your Team Correctly

Workers’ compensation costs aren't one-size-fits-all. The type of work your employees do determines your premium. So, a programmer's workers’ compensation will likely be cheaper than, say, a construction worker purely due to the nature of the latter's job. 

So, you want to classify your employees accurately. Don't just shove everyone under "office worker." Talk to your insurance agent and get specific. 

Here are some examples that could be useful for your own files:

  • Office crew: If your team spends most of their time at a desk, their classification could be "clerical" or "administrative."
  • Creatives: Graphic designers and web developers might fall under "arts, media, and entertainment." 
  • Retail: Your sales team could be classified under "retail trade."

Be a Proactive with the Paperwork 

There will be paperwork. It's inevitable. But you don't have to become a filing cabinet yourself. Most states offer online options for reporting claims and managing your policy. Embrace the digital age!

Here's another time-saving trick: Keep employee information up-to-date. Addresses, phone numbers, emergency contacts – having this readily available can make a huge difference if a claim arises. Imagine this scenario: Your delivery cyclist, Sarah, has a bike accident. If you have her emergency contact info on file, you can reach them quickly and ensure she gets the help she needs.

Prevention is Key

Accidents happen, but some are preventable. Here's where you become the office safety champion! Implement basic safety protocols based on your industry. 

Here are some examples:

  • For your tech people, provide ergonomic workstations to prevent repetitive strain injuries. 
  • If your startup involves a test kitchen, make sure everyone has proper food handling training to avoid illness. 
  • In a fast-paced creative environment, spills are bound to happen. Invest in some non-slip mats to keep your team safe.

The safer your workplace, the fewer claims you'll have. This translates to happy employees, a lower workers’ compensation premium, and high fives from your boss (or maybe a raise!). 

Workers' compensation doesn't have to be a headache. By following these simple tips, you can keep your team protected, your startup running smoothly, and maybe even free up some time to finally tackle that overflowing inbox. Remember, a happy and healthy workforce is a productive workforce, and that's a win for everyone.

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