Indiana Workers’ Compensation: Managing School Employee Safety
Educational institutions make safety a top priority for the children and adults attending their schools. Equally important should be the safety and health of school employees to prevent accidents and injuries, improve productivity by lowering absentee rate, boosting morale and reducing Workers’ Compensation premiums.
To help prevent frequent Workers’ Comp claims, proper management is needed. This means school district administrators and supervisors committing to a proactive safety program along with all employees.
Yet managing employee safety in schools poses several challenges including having the time and financial resources needed to make safety a true priority. Finding the time to devote to safety, conduct training, hold meetings and develop safety practices and processes can be an obstacle. In addition, most schools face constant battles to maintain and justify the budget to add staff to manage safety. Few districts have or can justify having a full-time safety coordinator so responsibilities are spread out among several staff members. Moreover, changing priorities can create a trend where employee safety issues are addressed only during crisis or when convenient.
To overcome some of these challenges, following are some steps schools can take to put safety ahead of the class:
- Integrate employee safety into every operation of the school. Most school districts make loss control services available.
- Educate school administrators about Workers’ Compensation and safety management.
- Include school board members in Workers’ Comp and safety management discussions. Often members are business people who have understand Workers’ Comp.
- Identify an individual within your school district who can be responsible for safety, ensuring that he or she has the time to devote to the safety process.
- Gain and maintain trust among employees. Employees must believe that the administration is truly committed to safety. This can be accomplished daily through safety actions and involving employees in the planning and carrying out of safety measures. Employees should be involved in identifying and resolving safety and health problems, bringing their unique insights to achieving the goals and objectives of the safety program.
- School administrators should maintain a positive attitude toward safety to inspire this same attitude among employees and foster a culture of safety throughout the district.
These are just some steps school administrators should take. We’ll expand on this topic in a future blog, outlining additional actions regarding safety for school administrators to consider and how employees can get involved.
At Caitlin Morgan, we specialize in Workers’ Compensation insurance. In addition to providing coverage for a wide range of industries, we’ve developed the Indiana School’s Educational Service Center (ISESC) Risk Management Program to help public schools in the state address volatile commercial Workers’ Compensation premiums. The ISESC Risk Management Program is a reinsurance structure that allows individual school corporations to enter into this group without the required collateral for self-insurance, and protects them at the top end based on their size. The program is available to appointed Indiana agents that write school business or markets to schools. To learn more about our Workers’ Comp programs, call us at 877.226.1027.