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Almost Does Count in Accidents

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It's easy to measure how safe you are in terms of the number of injuries or accidents on a work site or within an office, but the number that is reported doesn't tell the full story. If you have a number of close calls, then your luck won't last forever and it's likely indicative that you policies need to be changed. 

Encouraging Communication

You can't be everywhere at all times, which is why you'll need people to be entirely honest with you about what they've been doing on the job. Employees might assume something was an isolated incident or just a mistake on their end, and those kinds of assumptions could spell trouble for your company. You can't prevent every incident, but you can start to see patterns emerge when you make it clear that information is valued when it comes to their day-to-day activities. By definition of almost, nothing has happened. It's easy for us to forget about things that didn't happen which is another reason why it's often not reported. So instead of being infuriated by having a team meeting where one person brings it up and then 6 other people agree, work out a way to talk to your people or have an official reporting system about would-be accidents.

Proper Follow-Up

It's quite possible that workers are requesting changes that aren't possible on a short-term basis or ones that are too costly for the company to consider right now. You'll need to think of the proper work-around solution that can minimize the chances of something else happening. This can be as simple as having one team member assist another during difficult tasks as an extra pair of hands may do the job. There also is something to be said for having your best people on the job, as some can utilize their skill sets more. If you do have an employee who can consistently perform a difficult task whereas others seem to think they may be hurt at some point, then you should find how to use everyone's strengths to the company's advantage.

Worker's Comp in the Digital Age: Uber's Settlement to Alaskan Drivers

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As technology progresses, so too must society. However, technology goes much faster than bureaucracy and with that disconnect comes lots of problems. Uber has developed a platform that allows people to become their own bosses by taking their car out and giving rides to those who need them. It's typically cheaper and more convenient than a cab, allowing people to simply input what they need into an app and then have a driver come straight to them. But exactly what does all this mean for the drivers in terms of worker's protection?

Calling someone a contractor rather than an employee allows you to get out of a whole slew of federal requirements regarding fair practices. Uber has slapped that label onto their drivers under the guise that it makes the driver their own C.E.O of their transportation business, but some people are challenging their judgment here. Alaska has ruled that Uber needs to start treating their drivers like employees, meaning (among other things) that if people are injured on the job they'd need to provide worker's compensation according to state law.

In the light of all the new ways to work, it opens up a myriad of questions as to how people should be treated, and both federal and state governments seem to need to push through the bureaucracy to start making decisions faster due to the immediate nature of technology. Uber paid $77,900 to the Department of Labor because of their assumptions, and this certainly won't be the last time something like this comes up. 

Erring on the side of caution probably seemed far too costly for Uber, but the time and effort that was put into this settlement was likely not something they could really afford either. The Alaskan drivers who signed up to work for Uber likely had no idea what their rights were, and many of them probably still don't know. If you're operating in something of a legal grey matter like Uber is, you need to be aware that all jobs come with their fair share of risks. The money you save today could end up costing you much more down the line.

Worker's Comp Insurance in Missouri Sees a Fall in Rates

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When a company decides to follow the right path for their workers, it can seem like a road that never ends. Taking the time to fully vet employees, train them and ensure safe working conditions takes a lot of energy out of everyone involved. It can seem easier to cut corners, which a lot of companies do despite all of the risks and warnings involved, but Missouri is proving to businesses everywhere exactly what the fruits of taking the extra precautions and doing the right thing can mean. 

Governor Nixon announced that 2016 is expected to see a 2.4% loss in worker's comp claims as compared to 2015. Contracting is where they're likely to see the biggest drop at 4.9%. Missouri's earning a well-deserved reputation of having the skilled workers and safe conditions to make a significant difference in their numbers, and their rates are definitely showing their success as compared to their neighboring states. Missouri's economic growth is sure to be fueled by this change as employer's pay less for injuries and more for salaries, upgraded equipment and a larger workforce. 

Ultimately, the regulation and final decisions comes down to the Division of Workers' Compensation in the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations working in tandem with the Department of Insurance. However, with the steady improvements that they've seen over 2015, there's every reason to believe that these rates will become in reality in just a few short months. 

Hopefully this piece of news helps to inspire those states with more wide-spread problems to start to rethink their policies and analyze their processes. Besides it being costly and time-consuming to file claims, it also opens up a public relations nightmare if their practices start to result in workers becoming injured on the job. Families and individuals alike rely on these companies to provide them with the income and benefits to lead healthy and productive lives, but too much pressure or a lack of attention to detail can threaten the well-being for everyone involved. Thankfully, Missouri is a strong example of the many benefits of doing things right.

The Dangers of a Tight Schedule

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There are many benefits to sticking to a schedule. When workers, engineers and foremen can see their work come to completion exactly as planned, it's satisfying for everyone involved. It also helps keep costs down and investors feeling confident. However, planning doesn't come easily to most people, and the costs can be disastrous.

Most people will cut corners when they can. This has nothing to do with work ethic, it's simply human nature to save energy when possible. Tight schedules can mean skipped steps, which can make for unsafe workplaces. Communication and time budgeting can help you. 

Talk It Out

When contracts are being signed and work is being discussed, odds are there are misaligned expectations on either end of the deal. It stems from being unable to cover every last detail, but you can minimize this miscommunication by delving into the specifics of what the schedule will look like. Weather, new regulatory rules, machine malfunctions, common contagious illnesses: uncontrollable events are bound to happen. When you address this with everyone involved in the process, they start to understand that it's not laziness or incompetency that causes delays. 

Take Your Time

You may need to budget for more time than you think you'll need, even when you take into account the many things that can happen. Under-promising and over-delivering is a tool that is often misused in business. Everyone is so busy proclaiming themselves to be number one that they're forgetting what that actually means. When you're competing with companies that promise they'll get everything done in no time for half the price, that's the time to set yourself apart by letting clients know that you get things done right the first time, every time. Your company promotes safety and quality above all else. 

No Pressure 

Some people do shine under pressure, but for many it just causes a lot of unnecessary stress. It only takes one mistake to lose a worker and be faced with a worker's compensation nightmare. For the benefit of everyone, don't put those kinds of expectations on your workers.