A significant percentage of a casino’s operating expenses are attributed to payroll and employee benefits. Therefore,reducing the total cost of risk is critical for gaming entities. Re-evaluate your casino’s safety strategy and stay cost-conscious by following these 10 tips to prevent workers’ compensation and liability incidents:
1) Perform regular property inspections.Complete routine and frequent safety inspections of your facility. Document any safety concerns and follow up. Personnel should walk your entire property, inside and outside,daily (at minimum) to look for hazards and correct them.
2) Request an annual audit.Ensure your insurance company performs an annual audit of your property and equipment. This process of evaluation allows a casino to narrow down potential issues before they become serious threats that could endanger employee and patron safety.
3) Focus on guest safety.Focus on eliminating common hazards for guests, such as slips, trips and falls, by making housekeeping an organization-wide priority. Basic safety protocol, such as closing off restrooms during cleaning and using signage for wet floors, can prevent a liability dispute.
4) Demonstrate care for guests using wheelchairs or scooters.Those who lack mobility are more vulnerable to fall hazards,particularly when the equipment is borrowed from the casino.This greatly increases a business’ risk and liability. Get all equipment from a reputable vendor, and ensure you have an excellent inspection and maintenance program.
5) Ensure safety of guest transportation and valet service.Shuttle bus or golf cart services are a great guest amenity.But their safety and reliability is dependent on many factors,including guest mobility, eye sight, height of step or seat, and hand or grab-rail availability. It is critical that drivers don’t drive too fast, jam on their brakes, or take off without passengers securely seated. Training staff to control hazards associated with guest transportation goes a long way toward reducing risk.Valet service is one of the leading liability issues for a casino.Train staff on proper check-in and check-out procedures,including inspecting vehicles for damage.
6) Be mindful of ergonomic concerns for staff and contract workers.It is essential to train staff on proper lifting techniques and use of machinery to avoid injuries such as back and shoulder strains. Adhere to beneficial ergonomic practices, such as job rotation, and utilize ergonomic tools, such as anti-fatigue mats,ergonomic computer equipment, etc.
7) Followup with accident or incident investigation.If your casino is not identifying risks that have caused accidents, they are bound to occur again. Ensure accident investigation is completed for all incidents affecting guests as well as employees. Confirm that the root cause is determined and changes are implemented to correct the deficiency.
8) Take advantage of free safety education opportunities.Every year, human error while completing mundane tasks costs businesses hundreds of thousands of dollars in workers’compensation claims. From workplace violence to fire safety to emergency preparedness, take advantage of any free safety training opportunities offered by your insurance provider.
9) Adopt an employee wellness program.Offering effective wellness programs will help reduce accidents and medical claims. For example, a nine-year study by the National Council on Compensation Insurance found that obese employees filed twice the number of claims, had twice the amount of medical costs, and spent five times more days away from work following an injury than non-obese employees.
10) Implement a return to work program. A return-to-work program aids an employee’s rehabilitation and recovery, while lowering or eliminating the indemnity cost of a claim by promoting a prompt return to work in a modified role. Creating a return-to-work program that includes clear goals, communication and empathy from supervisors will also increase work efficiency, prevent the likelihood of turnover, and reduce indirect costs.
Robert Dahl, AMERIND Risk Program Manager, has been serving Tribes for more than 27 years. He can be reached by calling (505) 404-5014 or email [email protected]drisk.org.