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How does your Safety Performance Stack Up?

This is the first in a series of posts looking at some of the different ways to measure safety performance and WorkCover performance. First up: WorkCover performance.

When it comes to measuring your WorkCover performance, it all boils down to a couple of things. Are you having claims, and if so, how much are they costing?

Generally, if the answer to the first question is “no”, then your performance is pretty good, but more on that later. First, we’ll look at claim costs.

WorkSafe obviously put a lot of emphasis on managing the costs of your WorkCover claims. They measure the WorkSafe agents in a number of ways related to managing costs. For example, they measure agents based on how many injured workers have returned to work within 6 months of injury. Obviously, the longer a person is off work, the higher the cost. They also measure agents on their medical and allied health expenditure, with the view to ensuring they get good health outcomes for the best price.

But when it comes to measuring a business’ claim costs, they look at one thing and one thing only: Compared to other businesses in your industry, do you have high claim costs, low (or zero) claim costs, or are you about average? If you have high claim costs, you will pay higher premium, and if you have low claim costs, you will pay a lower premium.

Having said that, there is obviously more to managing a WorkCover claim than managing costs. At a minimum, you have legal obligations that you need to meet. WorkSafe lay them out here.

At an industry level, WorkSafe also measure performance by the number of claims that are received, but more emphasis is placed on the cost of the claims.

Which brings us back to businesses that have no claims. This is good performance, right? Well, yes. And no(t necessarily). WorkSafe measure themselves against a measure called “Number of injury claims per million hours worked”. Their current performance suggests that there are about 6 injury claims for every million hours worked in the state. Another way of looking at that is, there are about 6 claims for every 500 full time workers in a year, or 1 claim for every 85 full time workers.

Now, some industries are higher risk than others, but this means that on average, employers with less than 85 employees wouldn’t expect to have a claim each year.

So if you have no claims is it because of good performance, good management, good luck, or just the law of averages? Good question. We’ll look at safety performance next.

In the meantime, if you have any questions, get in touch.

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