Delaware companies implementing the state’s Workplace Safety Program have collectively saved nearly $10 million, according to Delaware insurance commissioner Trinidad Navarro.
Approximately 1,500 companies participated in the program, and the exact savings total $9.8 million. That’s in addition to the more than $45 million saved over the past five years in Workers’ Compensation insurance premiums.
Participating companies receive a premium credit on their Workers’ Compensation insurance costs. The annual savings for each company may run as high as 19 percent.
Since the cost of Workers’ Compensation is a factor when companies decide to do business in a state, the Workplace Safety Program is a boon to employers, employees, and Delaware’s overall economy.
Workplace Safety Program Eligibility
The Workplace Safety Program has been in effect since 1989. The Delaware Compensation Rating Bureau (DRCB) decides which companies qualify for the program and their premium credit percentage. The DCRB sends the Department of Insurance a list each month of companies who have Workers’ Compensation insurance renewals coming up in the next seven months, and who meet the eligibility requirements.
Businesses must complete applications at least five months before the Workers’ Compensation insurance renewal date to participate. Besides basic questions concerning address and contact information, the application focuses on whether work is done offsite, if any work is seasonal, a description of company operations, and whether there have been any Workers’ Compensation claims within the prior three years.
If there are claims, the employer must estimate the number of lost work days in that time period.
These companies may receive the discount if they pass a safety inspection conducted by independent safety consultants. These consultants are under contract with the state’s Department of Insurance.
If a company does not qualify, it cannot receive the premium credit; but such failure does not mean sanctions are imposed on the business by safety enforcement authorities. Failure also does not serve as a basis for insurance premium increases. In short, eligibility can save a company money, but failure does not result in penalization.
The independent safety consultant considers various conditions when determining whether a company passes or fails the inspection. These include:
- Effective worker training
- Adequate health and safety programs
- Identification of potential hazards
- Elimination of these hazards
Companies must provide up to three years’ worth of workplace injury dates to the independent safety consultant.
As the Delaware Department of Insurance notes, an inspector may cite federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards or guidelines. But their inspection is not an OSHA inspection, and it does not determine whether a company is OSHA compliant.
The primary purpose of the inspection is to determine whether a company considers employee health and safety as a crucial part of the business.
Wilmington Workers Compensation Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC Help Workers Injured on the Job
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