David Rodeck

Common Health Care Costs By Sector and Their Solutions

Every industry faces its own unique medical challenges. By understanding what your employees are dealing with, you can figure out how to keep them healthy, which will lower your insurance costs. We’ve covered some of the common health care costs by sector and different ways to prevent them.

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Transportation

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), driving is the number two cause of accidental death, behind only poisonings/overdoses. It’s arguably the most dangerous workplace activity. When your employees are on the road all day, they’re constantly risking a serious crash that can lead to long-term injuries.

While you can’t prevent every accident, you can ask your employees to take defensive driving classes so they’re safer drivers. You can also limit the number of hours they drive each day so they stay alert on the road.

Beyond that, employees in transportation are also at a higher risk for heart disease, diabetes and high cholesterol because of all the hours they spend sitting and an unhealthy diet, according to the CDC. You should offer wellness classes to teach employees to eat healthy and exercise, even during long trips.

You should also make sure employees have enough time to sleep at night during their trips because sleep exhaustion contributes to these health problems.

Office Workers

Office and service workers don’t have to worry quite as much about getting injured as in other sectors. However, they have a higher risk of getting hit with infectious diseases like colds and the flu because they’re in such close quarters. To prevent an outbreak, create a sick leave policy and encourage employees to use it. It’s better for one sick employee to take a few days off than to have your entire office fall ill.

Office workers also spend most of their time sitting at their desks, which is more dangerous than it sounds. Bad posture leads to ergonomic issues such as back pain and arthritis. These problems account for roughly a third of workers’ compensation claims, according to Ergonomics Plus.

A lack of movement may also lead to weight gain, high blood pressure and heart disease. To prevent these issues, teach employees to have good posture and encourage them to move at least once per hour.

Manufacturing

Hearing and vision loss are common problems in plants with heavy machinery but can be prevented if employees wear ear plugs and goggles at all times. Whenever employees carry something heavy, they should also wear gloves and safety boots.

If you work with any dangerous chemicals or materials, employees should always have the appropriate safety gear like masks and gloves to prevent illnesses and chemical burns. Finally, you should have guardrails around dangerous pieces of machinery to prevent dangerous accidents.

Construction

In the construction sector, falls are the leading cause of accidental death, according to OSHA. One slip could permanently injure an employee, which would drive up your health care and your worker’s comp premiums. You should train employees to watch out for fall hazards, such as a hole in a roof. Employees should also have the right equipment for the job, including appropriately-sized ladders and guardrails.

Whenever employees use potentially dangerous equipment like drills and saws, they should follow all safety procedures to prevent injuries. Finally, employees should take regular breaks, especially when the weather is hot, to avoid heat stroke and injuries from overexertion.

While it’s impossible to prevent every illness and injury, you can do a better job keeping your employees safe and your insurance premiums under control by planning for the most common health care costs by sector.

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