A Supervisor’s Role in Workers’ Compensation, Part 2

Supervisors are responsible for a great deal of what goes on day to day in the workplace; it’s not just a position that solely assigns tasks. Supervisors must ensure a safe and healthful workplace for employees. Employees must be able to report unsafe or unhealthful workplace conditions or hazards to a supervisor without fear of reprisal.

This part two guidance outlines ways that supervisors can help proactively limit workers’ compensation claims and find opportunities to promote your company’s safety program.

Proactive Claim Prevention Methods

Supervisors are some of the most influential people within a company when it comes to promoting a positive safety culture.

Most employees will follow the example set by their supervisors. That is, if a supervisor is showing a disregard for safety in the workplace, then there’s a high likelihood that other employees will start displaying those same behaviors. As such, it is important that supervisors show their employees how important safety is. They can do so by incorporating safety initiatives within their everyday routines.

Specifically, supervisors should call out employees’ poor workplace behavior and provide them with feedback on how to do a job correctly and safely. Supervisors can discuss these behaviors with employees right as they occur, or use them as topics for daily toolbox talks.

A positive safety culture in the workplace has been proven to reduce the risk of employee injuries. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, studies have shown that company engagement in safety programs reduces injury and illness rates significantly.

Supervisors who participate in and encourage employees to practice safe work habits will help limit instances of injury and illness, leading to a reduction in workers’ compensation claims and related costs. That being said, it is important for employers to hire supervisors who believe in and promote a safe work environment. In addition, employers should train their supervisors in safety management and make it a part of every employee’s performance evaluation.