Bethlehem Press

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

BASD-Worker’s comp costs compound

Tuesday, November 27, 2018 by Heather Nigrone Special to the Bethlehem Press in Local News

Employee safety was discussed as a strategic initiative at the November human resources committee meeting. The board reviewed past data on worker’s comp claims, and how basic prevention guidelines have begun to reduce those costs.

Recent efforts have reduced reporting timelines, continuing a push to have all claims reported within 48 hours after the incident. The district has also seen a reduction in the overall number of claims, and has started tracking incidents by employee type and accident type to better understand training needs.

However, the board was reminded that while some employee groups showed higher percentages, such as the relatively small maintenance department, the figures are impacted by the total number of staff in each department; and that the need for more training exists in every employee group.

BASD Board member and Bethlehem Vo-Tech Chairman Craig Neiman has worked his career in industrial corporations like Crayola and Air Products, and he was particularly taken a back by the total number of injuries reported districtwide and the staggering cost it removes from the BASD budget. The recommendation to the board was to continue with safety committees and training, and also to have a specialist from the workers compensation carrier come in and have specialized talks, in an attempt to use education to prevent the most common accidents.

The board stressed that not only is cost an important factor, but that they want to focus on protecting their people from injury. Board Member Tom Thomasik ended the discussion by adding that those presentations should be recorded and made available as part of the new employee orientation materials.