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Simple Ideas for a Complex System

Bulletin Board Notices

by Bill Zachry, SCIF Board Member

Most employers have a bulletin board full of required and desired notices, posters announcements. The pamphlets, posters notices, and leaflets may include company vacation days, elevator inspections, Federal wages and hours, State holidays wages hours, antidiscrimination, County inspector’s visit schedule, City requirements for cleaning the sidewalk, State or Federal OSHA injury reporting requirements, workers compensation medical providers, various insurance coverages, Anti-fraud, the refrigerator and bathroom cleaning schedule, food safety and the local number for the best and fastest pizza parlor.

Many of the notices posted on the bulletin board are required by law and many have important and useful information. Failure to comply in some states can result in fines and penalties.

The company bulletin board is a common space in an office or worksite that no one seems to own. It is also a space where few pay attention. I have seen posters and notices on bulletin boards more than a decade old. I have also seen the required Workers Compensation Reporting poster, three companies out of date, with the recommended Workers

Compensation clinic long closed. In my entire career, I have not seen anyone standing and reading the content of the notices on a bulletin board. I presume that the same people who read the implementation instructions manual about their new refrigerator also read the posted information on the company bulletin board.

However, company bulletin board management is an important “leading indicator” of a company that is on top of its game with regard to safety and compliance. It is also a customer service compliance issue that the insurance company or TPA can perform for the insured.

While working at a startup insurance company, we printed the required workers’ compensation notices and posters on colored stock by accident year. 2015 notices were on light salmon. 2016 was on light green, 2017 was on light yellow stock, and so on. If the employer was a construction outfit, we laminated the notices and posters because we knew that they would be stapled to a large piece of plywood that was outside leaning against the fence.

Every January we sent out new notices with the latest updated information. The most important information was exactly what to do if there was an injury. Which medical facility was the closest as well as the closest emergency room. The importance of notifying the insurance company immediately if there were an injury, and particularly the importance of reporting all OSHA reportable claims.

It was our job to protect the employer to make sure that bulletin board compliance was correct and working. We did not want to have a process where OSHA or any other oversight agency could fault and fine the employer.

The lightly colored posters stood out against the white and black background of all the other posters.

When the underwriters, premium auditors, loss control/safety or claims folks -or even the broker, were visiting the employer they could casually glance at the bulletin board and immediately determine if the employer was up to date on the required posting notices. Out-of-date posters were immediately remedied.

Whenever our underwriters were visiting prospective accounts or our accounts for renewal, they also looked at the bulletin board for compliance. For them, it was a leading indicator of safety compliance.

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