July 3, 2018

Using industry-specific safety tips is smart business

Like the Colorado landscape that features jagged mountain peaks, red-rock mesas and endless prairie, the state’s industries are diverse and impressive in their own ways. From construction to coffee, healthcare to manufacturing, tech to mining, Colorado’s businesses do it all – while facing uniquely challenging workplace hazards.            

Understanding these industries is essential for insurers to provide the right kind of workers’ comp coverage to Colorado businesses. It’s also key to giving effective safety counsel. Like selecting a contractor for a home improvement project, you want someone who knows the best practices and the likely pitfalls of your specific job.

“Most construction companies do their best to keep their workers safe, but it’s not easy,” said Xavier Gonzalez, safety consultant and a construction specialist. “Because I’ve witnessed many of the challenges they face, I can provide realistic, useful recommendations that will help them protect their employees and achieve regulatory compliance.”

Pinnacol safety consultants are first and foremost safety pros. They are skilled at tapping a deep knowledge of safety methods and applying them to the trades they support. Oftentimes, these trades aren’t as black and white as you would expect.

“Supporting healthcare employers means working not only with hospitals, clinics, and nursing homes, but with professionals who provide behavioral and healthcare services to clients in their homes,” said Gloria Martinez, safety consultant and a healthcare specialist. “These fast-paced and mobile work environments present new hazards not present in traditional settings, and we have to account for all of them.”

Safety professionals’ expertise affects more than workplace safety. Because they spend every day with employers in the industry, other Pinnacol employees benefit from the team’s insights. For example, underwriters frequently call safety consultants to gain a better understanding of an employer’s industry when it’s policy renewal time. This produces better, more accurate coverage for the employer.

Colorado companies are bold and ambitious, and they’ll continue to face new and unique hazards. Having a partner that understands their work and challenges will help them stay safe as they grow.

Bonus: Here are a few industry-specific safety tips for Colorado employers:

Construction: OSHA’s Focus Four Hazards account for most deaths in the construction trades. One way to prevent them is with regular safety training, which could take the form of a short meeting every morning to address specific hazards you anticipate on the jobsite.

Healthcare: While most health care pros are hyper aware of preventing contact with bloodborne pathogens, they sometimes neglect to protect themselves against the most frequent causes of injury: slip/fall injuries and strains. Conducting a Job Hazard Analysis of employee tasks helps identify and mitigate these risks.

Public Sector (Schools): From moving furniture to snow removal, working in a school can be strenuous. After making an offer to a job candidate, your designated medical provider can conduct a physical ability test to ensure the applicant is up to the task, which could go a long way to preventing injuries down the road.