AWC Blog

The Importance of an Employee Handbook

Employee handbooks are typically associated with big corporations with thousands of employees, but businesses of all sizes benefit when employers provide a clear, concise, and easy to understand employee handbook. Having an employee handbook can help ensure that expectations, policies, and procedures are clearly laid out for all of your employees. There are benefits for employee handbooks to you, as the employer, especially when everything within the handbook is applied consistently and fairly to all employees. There are several things that should be included in an employee handbook, including a clear outline of what your employees are expected to do in case of an accident or injury at work. What is Required In Your Employee Handbook When you sit down to craft your employee handbook, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. Remember to write it in a clear and understandable manner so that your employees can grasp what they’re reading without confusion. Certain elements must […]

2016 Workers’ Compensation Costs

The workers’ compensation insurance market will remain relatively flat for 2016, according to industry leaders. Prices will fluctuate very little for many companies. Unless you’ve previously filed claims, your workers’ compensation premiums should remain stable, or even decrease, over the next year. Workers’ Comp Costs Remain Stable in 2016 Most insurers are only increasing premiums for those companies with a history of losses. Many companies that managed to stay accident-free are seeing no increase in their premiums, and in some cases, single-digit percentage decreases from insurers who want to retain their business. Large, national companies with stables histories of loss may also qualify for two-year agreements from some insurers – further stabilizing workers’ comp premium costs. This isn’t an option for everyone, but for the bigger companies with the right amount of risk, it may be something to consider and request from your insurance agent. Thanks to new tools and available data, insurers are able to look more closely at […]

Ergonomics Matter!

Did you know that half of all workers’ compensation claims are for back injuries from lifting, pulling, pushing, keyboarding, and straining? Carpal tunnel syndrome comes in second and accounts for the highest number of days of lost work. More than half of carpal tunnel syndrome claims result in 31 or more days out of work. Poor ergonomics is the cause of thousands of workers’ compensation claims each year, costing businesses millions of dollars. Luckily there are a few things you can do to improve the ergonomics of your workplace. Buy the Right Equipment A $500 chair may sound like a lot of money to spend, but compare that to $10,000 for a medical procedure to diagnose mysterious back pain. Chairs, keyboard trays, footrests, and ergonomic mice, among other ergonomically designed equipment, can greatly reduce your workers’ compensation claims. Have your employees position their computer screens at their natural, resting eye position to avoid neck and eye strain. Suggest or make […]

Is Tyson Foods Destroying Workers’ Comp?

Over the past 25 years, Tyson Foods has been working to redefine workers’ compensation insurance, often to the detriment of their own employees. In the 1980s and 90s, when repetitive occupational injuries, like carpal tunnel syndrome, became more widely known and understood and more injured workers began filing workers’ comp claims for those injuries, insurance costs skyrocketed. Most companies were paying $6 for every $100 of payroll, more than three times what businesses pay today. Something had to be done to lower costs for businesses. Tyson Foods, the nation’s largest packer of chicken, beef, and pork, stepped in and began lobbying different governors around the country for changes. They were largely successful. Costs were lowered and rules changed to benefit businesses, making it harder for some claims to be approved and lowering the amount of benefits to be paid. Over the years, even as prices have largely fallen, more changes have been allowed across the country that have proven detrimental […]

Retaliatory Discharge: What You Need To Know

You’ve had a problem employee for weeks, maybe even months. They’ve created discord with other employees, upset customers, and found plenty of excuses for why they can’t do the job you hired them to do. Now, they’ve been involved in an accident on the job and filed a workers’ comp claim. You’ve had it with them and their trouble-making. They have got to go. We know you’d never fire someone simply because they filed a workers’ comp claim. But even if the reasons were legitimate, can you prove that their firing didn’t have anything to do with their workers’ comp claim? What is Retaliatory Discharge? Essentially, retaliatory discharge is a form of wrongful termination that occurs when an employee is fired after doing something within their legal rights that an employer doesn’t want them to do – whistleblowing, refusing to discriminate, or filing a workers’ comp claim after an accident. The reason for their firing can’t be linked to those […]

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