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Technology and training reduce insurance rates and improve safety.


The best safety measures are simple and intuitive. Parsons’ Chilmeran, for example, relies on Microsoft Excel for much of his workers’ comp documentation. The spreadsheet features a field where he can enter data each day; this information is then moved to a back-office database that is searchable by field inspectors.

“One problem is that not everyone knows technology,” he says. “If you use state-of-the-art technology, you will scare people away. I take that into account.”

Chilmeran’s inexpensive setup consists of a spreadsheet, wireless connection and notebook. Some sites are too remote for wireless access and, in those cases, the information most likely would be sent via a messenger or shipping firm on a weekly instead of a daily basis.

“At Parsons, everyone’s required to complete training every year, even if they’re not in the field,” he says. “We have different types of safety training: Some programs are geared toward office people. The areas covered go from the ergonomics of your workstation to lifting a heavy weight to defensive driving. And we have even more comprehensive safety training for people working in the field.”

There will, of course, never be a world free of workplace injuries. But combining common sense with technologies that eliminate high-risk or repetitive tasks can improve an organization’s bottom line and, even more important, enhance the quality and length of an employee’s work life.

This article was originally published on 2008-04-30
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