Do You Want To Know Amazon Warehouse’s Work Comp Injury Rates?

Amazon hires many contract workers during the holiday season. That can be great news for your staffing firm if you are an Amazon staffing partner. But in order to keep your work comp rates low, you need to know about the work comp histories of your clients–including Amazon. Using this information can help reduce workplace accidents.

Below is a link to all Amazon warehouse sites with related work comp injury rates. Hopefully this information will help you, as you develop your working relationship with Amazon (and other warehouse facilities) this holiday season.

The LeastStaff Work Comp Solutions team of Licensed Agents are glad to secure Workers Comp policies to cover these warehouse codes as well as all other staffing positions. Same day indications, with binding of coverage typically in 3-5 business days. Our Agents can also make sure your G/L and P/L policies are appropriate for these risks as well

3 Steps For A Successful OSHA Audit

OSHA audits can impact your clients at any time. Whether your client is a manufacturing facility, a warehouse, or a food plant, OSHA audits effect all levels of labor and management.  Helping your client survive an OSHA audit can be a great way to demonstrate extra value of your service, and build stronger relationships with your client.

If you own a facility that employees many workers, maintaining  a positive relationship with OSHA is always in your best economic interest. It can also be a perfect opportunity to identify a premium staffing partner in your market to help you in this area.
Below is an article by Stephanie Casstevens who specializes in OSHA  inspections in the medical industry.

Here are  3 easy steps to stay on top of your OSHA Audit.

Step 1: Training is Everything

In a recent interview HIPAA lawyer Scot Granow gave some insight on this. “Training programs are one of the easiest, cost-effective ways to reduce risk, yet I see so many organizations fail to implement them, implement them poorly, or if they do implement them, they do not maintain them and keep them current as part of an ongoing awareness program.”

Scot is right, many companies are simply not properly and fully training their employees. It’s not just about having access to compliance materials. Simply enrolling in a program is not enough. Employees need to keep their certifications up to date, Safety Data Sheets must be in order, and so on. Plus, there are often updates to regulations such as the recent Hazard Communication update or the upcoming ICD-10 transition. Facilities need to be sure they are aware of changes and updates and adjust their staff training accordingly. Periodic inservices to remind employees of regulations are always helpful as well.

Step 2: Have a System in Place

Do you have a plan for making sure each new employee is properly trained when they begin working at your facility? Is there an annual date where you review when everyone’s certifications expire so you can address the next round of training? In addition, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you have a method for getting up to date compliance information?
  • Are you subscribed to related blogs or journals?
  • Do employees know their roles when it comes to managing compliance at your facility?
  • Have you assigned a compliance officer?
  • Have you done a mock audit to see if you’re prepared?

Step 3: Prepare for Inspections

So OSHA arrives and decides they’re going to do an inspection. What happens now? It’s important to think about how your facility will respond to an unannounced OSHA inspection. Who should be involved in this process? What will happen? Some advanced planning can make for a much less frantic day.

Do some advanced planning. Just like you have an emergency action plan for a real emergency, it’s good to have an inspection plan as well. Designate someone who will be responsible for greeting the inspector and accompanying them during the inspection. Make sure you have notepads, pens and a camera on hand. This way, staff involved can take notes during the inspection and if an inspector takes photos, staff can do the same.

Have a document controller designated as well. This should be someone who knows where important documents are and has access to them. This person should only provide documents an inspector requests and should be the only person to present these requested materials. Never leave these documents in plain sight or in a place easily accessible by the wrong hands. Once documents are no longer in use they should be documented and put away in the proper place right away.

Train your staff to act appropriately during an inspection. Make sure they know to answer questions truthfully and specifically to the question that was asked. Encourage them to avoid speculating and if they are unsure to say they will find out. Remind them to be courteous and professional.

Remember OSHA visits are getting more frequent. One of the things OSHA visits can do is alert you to potential workers compensation risks and challenges  that may effect your work comp rates. Please feel free to contact me if you would like talk about your workers compensation rates and discuss more cost effective  workers compensation programs. You can reach me at or

All the best
David Schek
American Staffing Association Member
ASA Exhibitor  2014 Conference Booth 1123
California Staffing Association Member—-  Workers  Compensation  Specialists and Staffing Business Consultants For Over 25 Years.

Did They Get The Safety Memo?… Did They Read The Safety Memo?… Do They Understand The Safety Memo?

Having a successful safety policy for your high turnover hourly workers is only as good as your ability to successfully communicate your policy to these workers.  These hourly workers often make up the line staff in many manufacturing and warehouse facilities as well as in temporary staffing companies that service these companies.  Communicating these important safety policies is often easier said than done. These folks can be like moving targets when it comes to communicating and implementing company policies.

Below is an excellent article by Rebecca Schafer which discusses this vexing problem and offer concrete solutions.  Ms. Schafer is  President of Amaxx Risk Solutions, which is a national expert in the field of workers compensation:

“Having a great workers’ comp program is meaningless if your employees don’t know about it and use it. To get your employees to know about the program, you have to tell them about it, not just once. After initially delivering the information about your workers’ comp program, you need to reinforce and remind them of its importance. And it is not enough that the employees know about it, they have to be willing and able to use the program you have in place. All necessary information must be readily and easily accessible to all your employees and so familiar to them that they instantly know where to find all necessary information.

Make the Message Fit the Environment

Design your workers’ comp materials to fit the environment. A printed brochure may work for clerical employees who work at a desk and can put them in a file folder. But will a brochure work for a factory floor worker without file space? Probably not. A brochure handed to that worker will likely end up in the round filing cabinet, i.e. a waste receptacle after being piled somewhere with other papers.

Think about where your employees work, take breaks, gather and socialize when thinking about how and where to communicate your workers’ comp messages. The delivery of information must take into consideration the location where the communication is occurring. An auto visor packet might be good in a company vehicle. Wallet cards might be good for employees who go into the field. Signs near water coolers and restrooms are good reinforces. Lamination of the materials is important where there is the potential for dirt or moisture in an environment that can ruin plain paper.

Combine Methods to Maximize Impact

Think about how you want to deliver your message. Using a combination of methods may be the best way to continually drive home your messages. For example, you may want to hand out or mail brochures to new employees with an annual update. Then you can also put up posters throughout the work area and in break rooms, give employees wallet or lanyard cards, and put a zippered three-ring mobile folder in all vehicles and toolboxes.

Another constant reminder is a sticker label to be put on telephones. This way the name and numbers of who to call when there is an injury or a claim is called in are immediately accessible to those making the calls.

Tailor the Message to the Audience

Think about your audience when designing your message materials. Do you have non-English speaking workers? Then your materials should also be translated into their first language. Are your employees eighth grade or college graduates? Make sure that your messages are clearly communicated in the simplest language possible. Don’t use several ten-dollar words where one ten-cent one will work. Your materials for your supervisors and upper management can be more in depth than is needed for your line workers. Also, the materials in your employee handbooks and safety plans can have much more detail than is needed in your program posters and wallet cards.

Make the Messages Easy to Read

Are your materials well lit and in big and dark enough font to be easily readable? As any middle aged worker in desperate need of reading glasses will tell you, they cannot see the same font size in a lighter color or that is against a non-contrasting background. Test their readability before their final printing. A clearly worded message won’t be read by employees who can’t easily see it.


Please feel free to contact me about your workers compensation safety challenges to discuss solutions that fit your unique work environment.  Also lets talk about a your workers compensation insurance program and determine if  there are lower cost options for you in the market.

You can reach me at and visit us at

All the best
David Schek
American Staffing Association Member
ASA Exhibitor  2014 Conference Booth 1123
California Staffing Association Member—-  Workers  Compensation  Specialists and Staffing Business Consultants For Over 25 Years.

Warehouse Safety Is No Accident

Careful planning and a dedication to safety are top priorities for keeping warehouse workers injury-free. Here is your no-slip, no-trip, ergonomically correct guide to warehouse safety.

Where most warehouse visitors simply see shelves, pallets, and boxes, Dixie Brock sees danger. In fact, Brock glimpses danger wherever she looks.

It’s not that she is easily frightened or overly cautious. Brock sees danger because it is a key part of her job as national safety and workers compensation manager for APL Logistics, an Oakland, Calif.-based transportation services provider that manages more than 100 warehouses worldwide.

“I constantly analyze accidents,” Brock says. “I study them, search for causes, and try to find ways to prevent them.”

More warehouse operators need to think like Brock, says Gary Gagliardi, vice president of Safety Resources, a safety consulting firm located in Indianapolis. While companies tend to focus their safety efforts on manufacturing sites and transport vehicles, warehouses also require attention, he says.

Yet, when it comes to warehouse safety, employees and management often tug in different directions. “Workers concentrate on going home with their fingers and toes intact,” Gagliardi says.

“Managers are also concerned about safety, but they focus more on where the company is headed, and how profitable it can be.”

To make sure that a warehouse is both safe and efficient, managers and workers need to pull together to spot dangerous practices and plan ways to eliminate threats.

“Companies need a culture of safety,” says Gagliardi. “Creating a safe work environment requires a good deal of effort, but it brings benefits to both workers and management.”


Warehouse mishaps tend to be less severe than most manufacturing- and transportation-related accidents. Yet a series of relatively minor incidents can still seriously injure employees and lead to lost productivity, higher insurance bills, and government fines.

“The primary injuries occurring in a warehouse stem from lifting, straining, and turning,” says Joel Anderson, president and CEO of the International Warehouse Logistics Association, a non-profit organization based in Des Plaines, Ill., that represents more than 500 third-party warehouse and logistics service providers.

Similarly, APL reports these top three injury categories at its warehouses:

  1. Slips, trips, and falls.
  2. Ergonomic-related pains such as lifting, reaching, pulling, and pushing.
  3. Material handling incidents such as dropped boxes and forklift accidents.

Although not particularly severe, warehouse accidents are numerous—the warehousing and storage industry experiences nearly 15,000 injuries and illnesses each year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

To keep a lid on accidents, warehouse operators should stress worker training and establish safety best practices, says Bob Shaunnessey, executive director of the Warehousing Education and Research Council (WERC), an Oak Brook, Ill.-based organization dedicated to warehouse management and its role in the supply chain.

For most warehouses, forming a safety committee is the first step toward implementing enhanced safety procedures.

A safety committee’s members are usually selected from specific organizational groups—including warehouse floor workers, shift supervisors, and department managers. This approach gives everyone a voice, but keeps the committee’s size to an effective number of participants.

“Safety committees are a common practice,” says Shaunnessey. “In most cases, when management supports the committee, workers are likely to gain a safe work environment.”

Safety committees should not be confused with safety meetings. A safety meeting usually includes all floor employees, as well as a management representative, to ensure that key issues are addressed.

“Typically, a safety committee is an effective safety management tool for large employers, and safety meetings are effective for small employers,” notes Shaunnessey.


One pivotal player in warehouse safety is the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the federal agency responsible for ensuring safe workplaces.

OSHA exists to make sure businesses that do not take safety seriously won’t imperil their employees. Many warehouse operators take a skeptical view of OSHA, believing they can maintain a safe working environment without government oversight.

Warehouse operators that maintain a safe workplace generally have little to fear from OSHA, says Alex Sierra, health, safety, and environmental manager for Fluor Constructors, the construction arm of Irving, Texas-based engineering, procurement, construction, and maintenance service company Fluor.

“Warehouse managers need to realize that investing in OSHA compliance, and safety in general, is a smart move,” says Sierra. “The average cost of a recordable injury in the United States is $35,000, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. This expense directly impacts a company’s bottom line, as well as workers’ compensation and productivity costs.”

The best way to avoid becoming entangled with OSHA is by not attracting attention to your organization.

“If companies report recurring accidents, or other problems that attract OSHA’s attention, they are usually inspected,” Shaunnessey says. “During an inspection, OSHA may find unsafe practices and require the employer to correct them. If inspectors find egregious safety violations, they often impose fines.”

Warehouse operators who comply with OSHA safety guidelines don’t have much to worry about, says Gagliardi of Safety Resources.

“Generally, unless a ‘red flag’ pops up, OSHA does not have the manpower or the time to inspect a lot of warehouses,” he explains.


An emphasis on safety can generate cost savings—both direct and indirect. Warehouse operators who take the time to analyze their safety training and practices can reap financial benefits, says Patrick Floyd, senior executive vice president of operations for Total Logistic Control (TLC), a third-party logistics provider headquartered in Zeeland, Mich.

TLC, which operates 83 distribution centers nationwide, implemented a comprehensive safety plan that generated fast and measurable results.

“TLC reduced its recordable incident rate from 11.5 in 2000 to 3.63 in 2006,” notes Floyd. “This helped reduce workers’ compensation costs from $2.53 per man-hour to 30 cents per man-hour.”

The 3PL also makes safety an essential responsibility of its facility managers, office managers, and other supervisory personnel.

“Our managers’ annual key performance indicators are based upon how well their facilities comply with OSHA, safety, and process improvement,” Floyd says. “They cannot ignore safety concerns. If they do, it affects their performance as a leader and it affects their compensation.”

To keep safety top of mind for employees, training needs to touch on all key areas that affect warehouse safety, notes Brock. APL, for instance, offers separate programs on topics including slips and falls, forklift operation, heat exhaustion, ergonomics, and hazardous materials.

“Safety is not separate from what warehouse employees do every day,” she says. “Safety is a key aspect of how they do their job, and that’s the mindset they must have.

Please contact me at for a workers compensation quote and visit us at

All the best
David Schek
American Staffing Association Member
ASA Exhibitor for Annual 2014 Conference
California Staffing Association Member