When it comes to lost productivity and workers’ compensation costs, how much can your employees cost you? A study published by The American Journal of Health Promotion found employees of normal weight cost an average of $3,830 per year in medical costs, time away from work, short-term disability, and workers’ compensation claims. Employees classified as morbidly obese (Body Mass Index of 40+) cost an average of $8,067.
A 2007 Duke University study found similar results – as BMI increased, the incident rate of workplace injuries increased, workers’ compensation costs increased, and obese claimants experienced longer recovery periods and a wider range of medical treatments, compared to employees of recommended weight (BMI of 18.6 – 24.9) with similar injuries.
What can employers do to control workers’ compensation costs and maximize productivity?
- Make safety a priority in the workplace
- Implement an Early Return to Work program, which can also help injured employees experience more successful medical outcomes
- Utilize fit-for-duty assessments in your company’s hiring practices to minimize the risk of inappropriate hires that are not suitable for the physical duties of the job
- Emphasize employee health and wellness in your company culture (i.e., health membership reimbursements, group fitness classes, wellness participation incentives, biometric screenings, health education & training)
Interested in learning more? Contact your Loss Prevention Consultant or visit our website, www.synergyinsurance.net.