We’re Serious About Safety Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) Win-Win for Employers & Employees Most of us assume that employees come to work ready to do the job. Factually, that is simply not true. Employees may come to work with the intent of doing a good job, but problems on and off the job may distract them and subsequently affect their performance. An effective way to address such situations is an employee assistance program (EAP). An EAP is a “worksite-based program designed to assist in the identification and resolution of productivity problems associated with employees impaired by personal concerns.” The problems may be related to a wide range of issues, including health, marriage, child care and parenting concerns, finances, drugs and alcohol. EAPs sometimes provide some short-term counseling, but more often they serve as a screening and referral service. They usually are located at a different location from the place of employment. While EAPs may vary somewhat in the services that they include, according to an article in Workers’ Compensation Outlook, good EAPs generally after the following: - - - - - Confidentiality: An employee will be highly resistant to contacting an EAP if any information is ever leaked back to co-workers. Management Training: Managers and supervisors need to know the warning signs that an employee has a problem. They should not try to diagnose the problem themselves. Counseling: The EAP counselor needs to know the warning signs that an employee has a problem. They should not try to diagnose the problem themselves. Timeliness: Sometimes it is critical to respond immediately. Therefore, there should be 24-hour access. Monitoring/Follow-Up: Once the counselor has made a referral, he or she should review progress to be certain the employee is being assisted and goals are being met. SA.08.04.01 - Evaluation: After six months or a year, an EAP should be evaluated in terms of health-care costs, workers’ compensation claims, frequency, productivity, etc. The evaluation should be repeated at regular intervals. The cost of utilizing an EAP is reasonable. An article featured in the 2000 issue of AASCIF News, the newsletter of the American Association of State Compensation Insurance Funds, featured a survey conducted by William A. Mercer, Inc. of Philadelphia. Of the 252 companies surveyed, EAP’s were found to cost an average of only $24.70 per employee per year. The return is even more impressive than the low costs. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, a small company (70 employees) reduced its workers’ compensation and vehicular accident cost by $75,000 by establishing an EAP program with an emphasis on safety awareness. Additional studies done by Crestar Bank illustrated that average psychiatric costs were 58 percent less for EAP participants compared with those who did not use an EAP. One Beacon Centre Warwick, RI 02886-1378 401-825-COMP (2667) For more information, contact Beacon’s Loss Prevention Division at 401-825-2732 or visit our website at: www.beaconmutual.com This material is being provided to you as a service of The Beacon Mutual Insurance Company for informational purposes only and is not intended, nor shall it be relied upon, as a comprehensive statement of all possible work related hazards to your employees or of the federal, state or local laws as which may be applicable to your business. It is your responsibility to develop and implement your loss prevention policies. You should direct questions concerning specific situations to informed and appropriate advisors.