What a professional employer organization can do for your business, Pt. 4: safety and risk managementArticle added by Eric Snethkamp on March 28, 2011
EricSnethkamp

Eric Snethkamp

Austin , TX

Joined: November 28, 2005

My Company

Expert PEO

A good PEO can help protect employers with a proactive approach to risk management. The comprehensive solutions they offer can maximize a company’s sizable investment in people by minimizing the associated risks and liabilities.

Part 4: Safety and Risk Management

In part one of this six-part series of articles, we discussed the basics of what a professional employer organization (PEO) is and its main benefits. Part two discussed payroll and tax administration. Part three discussed human resources services. This article discusses safety and risk management services offered by a PEO.

Controlling the costs of workers’ compensation or occupational accident insurance are concerns for a business whether they employ tens or hundreds of employees. In some states, workers' comp is optional, but opting out can leave a business open to costly law suits. In today’s litigious society, businesses need to protect themselves from expensive and time consuming claims. A good PEO can help protect employers with a proactive approach to risk management. The comprehensive solutions they offer can maximize a company’s sizable investment in people by minimizing the associated risks and liabilities.

Below are some of the safety and risk management services that can be handled by a good PEO in addition to those listed in other articles in this series.
  • Workers’ compensation insurance

  • Occupational injury insurance

  • On-site safety training

  • Safety training library and DVDs

  • Claims management

  • Fraud investigations

  • OSHA training

  • 300 logs

  • OSHA safety walk-through

  • DOT compliance
A competent PEO can offer reduced workers' comp rates by using its buying power to buy down the cost of the insurance or offering comparable alternatives. It can also issue workers' comp coverage faster than an employer can get it on their own because the PEO simply adds the employees to its already existing policy. This also means that you can avoid paying a deposit on workers' comp and any audits that may be required can be handled by the PEO and not you. Sometimes, occupational injury insurance is used as a lower cost alternative to workers' comp in states where this is allowed saving an employer even more.

The PEO also becomes your first line of defense in the prevention of and defense against workers' comp and occupational accident claims. Compliance with safety regulations can be tricky and time consuming for the average business.

Many businesses' HR staff consists of employees who only perform HR duties as an aside to their normal job duties or who have been only minimally trained in these areas. This often leads to a business being left vulnerable to mistakes or oversights made by staff who are not experienced professionals or who are overloaded, allowing some things to fall through the cracks. Safety training, OSHA training and DOT compliance are a few of the first lines of defense handled by the experienced team that comes along with a PEO. And, if something does go wrong, a good PEO will act as your first line of defense with fraud investigations and claims management.

As you can see, this single part of this series of articles highlights a very complex, time consuming and potentially costly area of concern for many employers. It should be quite evident that the on-staff professionals who become part of your HR department by partnering with a good PEO can handle far more, and with increased skill, than the average inexperience and overworked HR employee. Partnership with a good PEO should equate to you sleeping better at night.
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