HVACR Business

JUN 2015

Help hvacr contractors master the critical components of business management.

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HVACRBUSINESS.Com HVACR Business J U N E 2 0 1 5 21 items that can help reduce or eliminate accidents. employee satisfaction It's a fact that employee satisfaction is directly linked to fewer accidents and claims. If employee morale is good and workers have a vested interest in the company, they will be more careful. Studies found that morale was based on four factors: • How well an employee likes his or her job • The perception of the company • The employees feeling about his or her direct supervisor • Whether or not the employee feels cared about at work There is a direct correlation between improving morale and fewer losses on the job. If employees feel like manage- ment cares about them, they're more careful. More careful employees mean fewer accidents and fewer claims. Potential Hazards You know exactly where the poten- tial hazards lie within your company or industry. It could be areas around your facility that are prone to ice, snow or moisture that can become slippery and cause falls, or possible driving offenses by technicians who are constantly on the road. It could be back strain from lifting heavy air conditioning units or accidents with ladders while installing a solar heating system. According to the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the top 10 most frequently cited standards where injuries were reported in fscal year 2014 were in construction and general indus- try and included fall protection, hazard communication, scaffolding, respiratory protection, powered industry trucks, control of hazardous energy, ladders, electrical wiring and systems design and machinery and machine guarding. If any one of these is even a remote possibility with your company, address it proactively, not reactively. Put a safety program in place. Educate your workforce on proper lift- ing of heavy objects. Provide incentives to workers who meet safety criteria com- municated to them through safety meet- ings or programs. Positive environment Attention to the areas where you are already doing something right, as well as to those areas that you can easily imple- ment a program, helps you to create a positive environment for employees. These programs make smart busi- ness sense and make employees feel like you care about them. For you, it results in both happy employees and solid rea- sons to save money on your insurance premiums. Tell your agent about the programs you have in place, or ask your agent for help in implementing programs. Then ask your agent to communicate the re- sults to your insurance carrier. If an in- surance carrier sees that you are imple- menting programs to minimize claims and save them money, they will be more likely to give you a better rate. Positive business practices, such as employee retention programs, safety programs and new hire orientations show you're making the effort to keep employees happy, which in turn, makes them more careful on the job. Programs that communicate the rules of the work place and enforce strict con- sequences also make employees more careful. For example, if you have a well- communicated policy that drug testing is automatic after a workplace accident, and this policy is cited in the employee handbook, then this program is an effec- tive deterrent to drugs in the workplace. If you provide education and certi- fcation training to your employees at all levels, it shows you want to develop them for long-term employment and possible promotions. The certifcation or continuing education is an invest- ment in them that will not only give them necessary skills to improve on the job, but it will also show insurance car- riers that you have a vested interest in your team and their success. Another good business practice that ultimately results in better morale for employees is a supervisor training pro- gram. It helps managers to be more ef- fective, thus making their direct reports happier in the workplace. All these business practices lead to satisfed employees. If a happy employee equals a careful employee, the business of risk management becomes less risky. n Matthew Stangle is a managing partner at Insurance Force and a member of the Heating & Air Conditioning Contractors Association of Maryland. Matthew teaches safety classes for new HVAC employees. Insurance Force provides business insurance such as liability and workers' compensation, as well as employee benefts such as group health. Visit www.HVACinsurance.net for additional information. Programs that communicate the rules of the work place and enforce strict consequences also make employees more careful. 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