Most employers are required by law to provide safe and healthy environments for their employees. Staying in compliance with all the standards that apply to a particular business takes specialized knowledge about the rules and a keen eye for potential problems. It also requires training staff to empower them to be a part of the compliance program. Doing all of these things is important, but it’s only one part of a comprehensive risk-management program.
Start with OSHA
The standards and regulations set out by the federal Occupational Health and Safety Act (OSHA) and its corollaries at the state level, like California’s Cal/OSHA, are notoriously complicated. Employers have powerful incentives to comply with the rules that govern their industries. For starters, reducing the risk of employee injuries should also reduce the costs of an employer’s insurance program.
Temporary staffing businesses often lack direct control over the places where their employees work. A lack of direct control doesn’t mean that a staffing firm can afford to ignore the OSHA rules that apply to a particular client’s operations. In fact, quite the opposite is true. A staffing firm needs to have a process in place to evaluate every client’s compliance regime. Failing to do so creates a significant blind spot for a staffing firm and its workers’ compensation program.
Designing a program beyond OSHA
Even though OSHA standards are comprehensive in scope, they still can be thought of as only a baseline. A risk management program that focuses solely on complying with OSHA rules neglects many important opportunities to control costs. Going beyond OSHA involves adding an additional layer of risk assessment and process control that captures the full reality of the actual workplace. As part of its client evaluation and management process, a staffing firm can accomplish this in a number of ways, including these:
- A close examination of the client’s safety policies and a study of how they are implemented.
- A review of day-to-day management practices.
- A close study of the actual behavior of workers at the client site.
For staffing firms, the challenge is to develop a program that is flexible enough to allow for a cost-effective and efficient review of new clients and new work sites, so the risk management program enhances rather than interferes with the firm’s services. Not many risk management advisors have proper insight into the staffing industry to give firms the kind of help they need to build an effective program.
Gunnin specializes in serving clients in the temporary staffing industry. Our team has a time-tested approach to risk assessment that helps clients enhance their safety performance and bring insurance costs down. To learn how Gunnin can help your business thrive, contact us today.