Take No Risks with Your Risk Management Strategy

April 24, 2024

Developing a comprehensive strategy for handling risk can reduce workplace injuries and save your company money.

In many businesses, planning and preparing for risk is often a task busy business owners postpone. It's not typically prioritized until circumstances force attention to it, often due to a workplace incident or complaint that draws the attention of regulatory agencies like the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) into the picture. At that point, companies find can themselves in reactive mode, scrambling to regain their footing.

Hopefully, this type of reactionary scenario is not one that your business is dealing with, but if it is, turning to an ally like Syndeo can help you get a handle on your situation and move forward with proactive strategies that can help prevent similar occurrences in the future. Investing time and resources to ensure your business meets industry safety standards lays the groundwork for long-term success, even though the return on investment may take time.

This article discusses the importance of detailing your risk management strategy, key Syndeo services that can help you minimize risk and foster a safety-compliant mindset, and shares relevant client examples of those services in action. It is the fourth installment of our PEO 101: The Busy Business Owner’s Guide to HR series. You can catch up on the first three installments: Humans Resources Guide, Payroll Partners, and Benefits Mastery.

What is Risk Management?

When running a business, numerous unforeseen events, uncertainties, and threats can disrupt your operations and cause setbacks. Risk management is the process of identifying, addressing, and managing those challenges to minimize and mitigate the impact on your employees, production, and ultimately, your profits. 

Why is Risk Management important?

There are a number of reasons that managing risk to your business is important, the primary one being taking care of your primary assets: your employees. Your employees are the backbone of your organization, and their safety should be your top priority. Implementing robust safety protocols and providing comprehensive training programs can significantly reduce the number of workplace injuries and illnesses. By fostering a culture of safety, you not only protect your employees from harm but also demonstrate your commitment to their well-being, which can boost morale and productivity.

Another key reason for implementing a risk management strategy is to minimize financial losses and liabilities. While it can be tempting to divert resources away from safety trainings and risk management strategies to maximize profits, the reality is that doing so can be more costly in the long run. The cumulative effect of updating safety manuals, providing appropriate safety training, and conducting preventative hazard inspections, for example, can lead to a decrease in workplace accidents because your employees know how to be safe and what needs to be done to prioritize safety. Reducing workplace accidents leads to fewer workers’ compensation claims, a key driver in determining future insurance premiums. 

At Syndeo, our Risk Management department specializes in helping our clients develop, implement, and evaluate safety protocols and procedures to keep their businesses compliant with federal and state regulators. Key services, such as on-site inspections, updating current safety manuals, providing OSHA training and assistance with OSHA visits, and administering workers’ compensation management, are all tasks that Syndeo can assume so that you, as the business owner, can narrow your focus to business innovation and expansion. 

Syndeo’s Risk Management Key Services

1. Workers’ Compensation Procurement

Syndeo can procure and manage workers’ compensation insurance coverage on your behalf, safeguarding your business against liability for workplace injuries or illnesses sustained by employees. Through our human resources information system (HRIS), we meticulously assess the job codes of your organization and their correlation with workers’ compensation classifications. Regular assessments enable us to determine the potential risks, manage claims, and ensure compliance, allowing for updates to the job code when there are changes in the job requirements, work conditions, or regulations. Through proactively monitoring the job code relationship and workers’ comp classifications and maintaining alignment between the two, you can trust that your coverage will adequately mitigate the injury risk. 

Beyond assessing job codes, Syndeo’s HRIS can track and manage injury and work-related illnesses. Our team, well-versed in handling workers’ compensation claims, offers expert guidance in facilitating the reporting claims processes, coordinating medical treatment for injured employees, and advocating on behalf of the employee and employer with the carrier. We can help your organization find nearby providers who understand the entire scope of workers’ compensation claims and communicating OSHA-recordable injuries. These providers strive to get your employees back to work as quickly as is safely possible. Developing a return-to-work program that facilitates a timely and safe return for injured employees to suitable work duties can clarify expectations/communicate intentions/establish mutual understandings while minimizing the impact of workplace injuries. 

Using Syndeo specifically for workers' compensation yields considerable cost savings for our clients. We can offer these savings due to our large pool of employees enabling Syndeo to secure more competitive workers' compensation insurance rates than individual businesses could typically negotiate on their own. Spreading the risk in this way effectively reduces the overall cost of workers' compensation for all of our clients.

2. Preventative Onsite Inspections

When you enter a co-employment agreement with Syndeo, you automatically get access to our safety and risk management experts. Their expertise is highly beneficial for some industries, such as construction, manufacturing, and healthcare, among many others, that are more prone to OSHA inspections due to the inherent risks associated with their operations. Upon request, Syndeo provides onsite audits aimed at uncovering potential hazards. Following the audit, a comprehensive report is generated, detailing findings and suggesting corrective measures to establish a safety-compliant worksite.

3. Updating Safety Manuals

An often overlooked process, Syndeo can also review and advise your company’s safety training manual, updating procedures, guidelines, and protocols with various applications for your specific industry. Keeping safety manuals up to date as job descriptions or worksite procedures change can help your business avoid costly and unnecessary fines. Furthermore, our experts can conduct tailored safety training sessions to ensure that employees are well-prepared to adhere to updated protocols and procedures, fostering a culture of safety and compliance within your organization.

4. Provide OSHA Safety Training

Our safety experts offer customized OSHA training sessions designed to meet the specific needs of your industry. Led by our OSHA-authorized instructors, these sessions enhance awareness of workplace hazards, reinforce proper safety protocols, and impart accident prevention techniques. Our broad range of training options includes 10-hour OSHA courses for entry-level personnel and 30-hour OSHA programs tailored for supervisors and employees with safety oversight duties. Syndeo simplifies the tracking of each employee’s training using the online HRIS platform, alleviating busy business owners of one less task to manage.

Practical Application: One Syndeo Client Story

One Syndeo client received an OSHA visit resulting in costly fines and requiring their company to provide employees with OSHA 10-hour training. Through their partnership with Syndeo, the client was able to easily provide that through our OSHA-authorized instructors. A year later, when the company received another visit from OSHA, our team successfully appealed to the inspector, showcasing the improvements made in procedures, including hiring Syndeo as an outside consultant to build their safety program. As a result, fines were reduced by over 25 percent during the second visit, thanks to the client's partnership with Syndeo and the provision of the beginner’s 10-hour training the previous year!

5. Assistance with OSHA Inspections

One of the most important ways we support our clients is during an actual OSHA inspection. When an OSHA inspector walks through your door, it can be nerve-wracking if you aren’t prepared for their visit. High-hazard industries face OSHA visits more often than others. Construction, agricultural, manufacturing, as mentioned before, but also wholesale or retail trade, transportation and warehousing, food production, and retail establishments fill this category. 

Fortunately, if you are a Syndeo client, help is just a phone call away. Our team can come to your job site, meet with the inspector, and guide their assessment and documentation of your workplace. If the inspection was triggered by an employee complaint, Syndeo works to determine the scope of the inspection to ensure that the inspection is limited to that scope as much as possible. 

Practical Application: Another Syndeo Client Story

Recently, a different Syndeo client underwent an OSHA visit. Upon notification, one of our experts promptly arrived on-site within the hour. Using his knowledge and expertise, he adeptly posed the necessary inquiries to ascertain the inspection's scope and purpose. Throughout the entire ordeal, the client maintained confidence due to our team's ability to assume command of the situation and advocate on their behalf, and they were impressed with the attention to detail used to keep the situation under control.

Finding the delicate balance between all that should be done and all that realistically can be. 

Proper safety training for employees and comprehensive risk management strategies require resources and time to implement. Our experts draw from personal experience working across various industries, enabling them to grasp what should be addressed immediately and what can be planned in the future. Their wealth of knowledge and understanding helps our clients formulate a bespoke plan to bridge the priorities of workplace safety and profitability.

Planning and preparing for unforeseen risks and taking necessary safety precautions should be a priority for every busy business owner to prevent emergencies that risk could cripple your operations. By proactively making a plan for handling potential hazards, you prepare both yourself and your employees to overcome unexpected problems that arise and can spur your business to even greater success. With help from an experienced PEO partner like Syndeo, you can certainly be confident that you are prepared to conquer challenges and uncertainties that come your way.

To see how Syndeo can help you recognize latent risks and potential hazards in your business, contact our Risk Management team today at 316-440-9902.

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