Survey: Most Small Businesses Provide Regular Safety Training to Employees

A new report on small business owners’ workers’ compensation insurance-buying habits and risk exposures found that 95% offer regular safety training to their employees, according to The Hanover Insurance Group.

Training for employees was ranked as the top service used as part of the business owner’s insurance programs and usage was higher among business owners where workers’ compensation claims had been filed.

The fifth edition of the report, “2024 Small Business Risk Report: A Focus on Workers’ Compensation,” highlights how small business owners select their workers’ compensation program, the value placed on risk management services and how claims impact how business owners view their workers’ compensation programs.

The insurer partnered with data analytics firm Statista to survey 300 small business owners throughout the United States.

The report found 60 percent of small business owners who have not experienced a claim rank price as one of the two most important factors in their workers’ compensation purchase, while only 40 percent of business owners who have had more than one claim rank price as one of the top two factors in their purchase decision.

The survey found that the more claims that a small business owner has experienced, the greater value they place on risk management and claim handling, with 45% of small business owners who experienced more than one claim rating risk management services as a top consideration.

Small business owners become more focused on keeping their employees safe and preventing future claims once a workers’ compensation claim is made.

Insurance priorities transition from price to safety, emphasizing risk management services and claims handling, the survey found.

More than two-thirds of small business owners reported that they consider a recommendation from their insurance agent to be a very important factor when purchasing workers’ compensation insurance. “This presents agents with an opportunity to engage proactively with customers on value-driven considerations before claim occurrences, the report stated.

Businesses that have experienced a workers’ compensation claim feel less secure .

Of those surveyed, 70% who had not experienced a claim in the last five years rate their safety culture as “excellent,” yet of the business owners that had experienced workers’ compensation claims, less than half rated the safety culture within their company “excellent.”

Of those that had not faced a claim:

The report also found the majority of small businesses (67%) faced a workers’ compensation claim in the past five years.

Despite this, half of small business owners reported being “very confident” that their company is adequately insured.

Of those surveyed that had experienced a workers’ compensation claim:

The survey revealed a couple of resources small businesses are not taking advantage of, like workplace hazard assessments and business continuity planning resources.

“With most business costs rising, small business owners continue to look for ways to reduce risk exposures,” said Charles F. Hamann, president of small commercial at The Hanover. “The report data indicates small businesses value support from their independent agents. Additionally, the risk management services carriers offer today are critical to their success. While such services are ranked highly, there is an opportunity for agents and business owners to take a more proactive and holistic approach to worker safety.”

While most small businesses felt they were adequately insured, a number of factors could impact their workers’ compensation insurance program: technology, premium cost, the state of the economy and mental health/stress claims.

The report indicates independent agents have an opportunity to discuss emerging risks and value-added risk management services.