The Benefits of Pre-Employment Assessments

Written by on 7/26/2017 2:00 AM in , . It has 0 Comments.

Are you skipping an important part of the interview process? Pre-employment assessments help you ensure that your new hire is a perfect fit for your company. Take it beyond run-of-the-mill resume reviews and stale interview questions to offer an in-depth look into the potential of prospective employees.

You Need a More Reliable, Objective Means of Review
An astounding 78% of resumes are misleading and 46% contain outright lies. Paired with a subjective interview, you could be in for trouble. Luckily, pre-employment assessments offer concrete results backed by thoroughly developed, well-validated tests to help you make more informed, defensible hiring decisions – in far less time than the ‘traditional’ approach.

The Benefits of Pre-Employment Assessments are Far-Reaching:

• A far faster, more streamlined hiring process through the elimination of ‘resume spammers’ and unsuitable candidates cluttering your applicant pool.

• A better ‘fit’ for positions.

Increased productivity via the verification of knowledge, skills, personality and temperament necessary to perform a given job well.

• Defensibility of hiring through objective, validated criteria and standardized testing. Used in accordance with legal guidelines and governed by federal guidelines, pre-employment tests ensure equitable, non-discriminatory hiring practices.

• Decreased voluntary and involuntary turnover due to job incompatibilities. This boosts morale and reputation, allowing for better investment of time and monetary resources in attracting and retaining quality candidates.

• Higher customer satisfaction.

• All of which ultimately strengthen your organization, leading to a boost of your bottom line.

Ready to take your business to a higher level? We’re here to help with the hiring and employee management tips you need to ensure success. Contact Minnesota Comp Advisor to learn more today.

OSHA's Tips for Investigating a Workplace Incident

Written by on 7/24/2017 3:50 AM in , , , , . It has 0 Comments.

Investigating a workplace incident offers insight into job site hazards and identifying potential shortcomings in safety, health, and operational procedures. OSHA strongly encourages these investigations following any incident in which a worker is hurt, as well as ‘close calls’ or ‘near misses.’ Intelligence gathered from these investigations can help in devising and implementing corrective actions integral to preventing future incidents.

Who Should Conduct These Investigations?
Incident investigations are typically performed by a supervisor, but better results are gained when managers and employees work together as a team in dissecting the incident. Each brings a different knowledge and perspective, allowing for a clearer picture.

What Am I Looking For?
Focus on identifying and correcting root causes, rather than immediate causes or placing blame. Looking to simple carelessness or failure to follow procedures is shortsighted – and often misleading. Overlooking the root cause will simply lead to a repeat incident.

Finding the necessary systemic changes also helps maintain morale and productivity, showing your commitment to providing a safe and healthful workplace.

How Do I Make the Best Use of this Information?
Investigating a workplace incident shouldn't end at determining root cause. Start with identifying deficiencies in training, operational procedures, equipment use, or safety and health measures currently in-place. Then, action must be taken to implement effective corrective measures in a timely manner, and understanding why it wasn't previously addressed.

This is key to minimizing or eliminating the potential for similar future incidents, thwarting unnecessary employee injury, and the need for subsequent investigations.

Have the causes of workplace injury left you scratching your head? Minnesota Comp Advisor can help you forge a better path to safety. Learn how today.

Protect Your Employees' Backs with Safe Lifting Training

Written by on 7/19/2017 3:24 AM in , , , . It has 0 Comments.

Proper lifting techniques are extremely effective at reducing the risk of back injuries and downtime. Are you stressing the importance of good lifting habits on-site? If your employees don’t know safe lifting techniques, they can’t use them.

The Art of Safe Lifting

1. With your feet shoulder-width apart, approach the load, placing one foot slightly in front of the other for balance.

2. Squat down, bending at the knees (not at the waist). Be sure to keep your back as vertical as possible through the process, tucking your chin.

3. Grasp of the object firmly before beginning to lift.

4. Slowly straighten your legs. Lift slowly, and avoid twisting your body. If you must turn, use your feet, not your torso.

5. As you move with the object, keep it as close to your body as possible. (As the load is shifted away from your body, stress in the lumbar region is increased.)

6. Follow these procedures in reverse to put the object back down.

How Can You Further Protect Workers?

Know Your Worker’s Lifting Habits
Frequency and type of lifting, as well as duration of activities also play a role in lifting-related injuries, as do body size, age, and fitness/health. Carefully selecting and training workers for necessary tasks is key.

Make Work Easier
Via the incorporation of handles/baskets for stability, adjusted storage heights, and the addition of mechanical aids such as pneumatic lifts and conveyors to reduce lifting-related workplace injury.

Not sure how to incorporate the proper administrative, instructional, and engineering controls necessary to enhance worker safety? Minnesota Comp Advisor can help. Contact us today.

July 27, 2017 Seminar - Leveraging Your Employee Benefits: How to Make the Most of Your Healthcare and Work Comp

Written by on 7/17/2017 2:29 AM in , , . It has 0 Comments.

Looking for a better return on investment for you healthcare and work comp dollars? Let us help you cut through the confusion, stretching your benefits and budget to the boon of your bottom line.

Please Join Us for Our July 27, 2017 Seminar
It will be held at the Southview Country Club, 239 Mendota Road East in West St. Paul. As part of our Navigating New Challenges in Workers Compensation Series, this seminar will take a deeper look at opportunities to optimize benefits and make the most out of both your employee healthcare and workers comp plans. Topics of discussion include:

Breaking Down Healthcare Costs & Efficient Health Plan Funding

Dissecting Your Experience Mod

Please join us for registration and a complimentary breakfast beginning at 7:30 am, followed by the presentation from 8 am-11 am.


  • Al Hofstede, Managing Principal

    With a decade of experience in the insurance industry and a degree in Political Science and Business from the University of St. Thomas, Mr. Hofstede has excelled in helping employers and individuals gain clarity, confidence, and control over the healthcare decision making process.
  • Mark Kraemer, CIC, CWCA, CSRM, Certified Work Comp Advisor
    Minnesota Comp Advisor

    Named the first agency advisor council for one of the largest self-insured funds in Minnesota, Mark excels at educating clients in ways to reduce experience mods, minimizing claims impact, and is a long time speaker and educator in the workers comp arena.

As always, the cost of this seminar is F-R-E-E! Contact Minnesota Comp Advisor and reserve your seat for this much-anticipated healthcare and work comp seminar. Email, or call 612-236-1771 today. Hurry – space is limited.

July 19, 2017 Webinar - Too Hot to Handle: Help Your Employees Avoid Heat Stress

Written by on 7/12/2017 3:21 AM in , , . It has 0 Comments.

Are your employees frequently exposed to hot weather or environments? We’ve got the webinar you need to help you put heat exposure-induced workers’ comp claims on ice.

Chill Out with Us July 19, 2017, from 1:30-2:30pm CST
This FREE Go to Webinar will feature speaker Brian Plautz, Loss Control and Fraud Prevention Director for Minnesota Comp Advisor. Brian has over 20 years in the industry working with clients in developing better loss control and prevention solutions.

This informative session will be packed with useful information you’ll be able to put to use in better helping employees understand the dangers of working in hot environments and how to stay safe.

Are Your Employees Working in an Environment that’s Too Hot to Handle?
Many employees are exposed to overly warm environments on the job. Thousands become sick from these exposures annually – and sadly, some even die. Are your workers at risk of heat stress? Common risk factors include:

• Age: The younger are at greater risk

• Direct sun exposure

• High temperature, high humidity environments

• Areas with limited breeze or ventilation

• Exposure to sources of radiant heat

• Contact with hot objects

• Jobs requiring physical exertion

• The need for bulky, stifling protective clothes or safety equipment

• Those with no tolerance for heat, or workers with health conditions that put them at increased risk of heat-induced illness

Sign-Up Before this Free Webinar Goes Up in Smoke!
Register online through Go to Webinar and add this amazing event to your calendar.

Join us in learning more about this preventable risk. Reserve your spot for this free webinar from Minnesota Comp Advisor today.

What to Know about Multi State Work Comp Insurance Coverage

Written by on 7/10/2017 2:00 AM in , , . It has 0 Comments.

Workers comp is confusing enough, but multi-state work comp can be a mind-numbing web of headaches. Get to know these basics to avoid the most common multi-state pitfalls…

There are 3 Key Facts for Multi State Coverage:

1. These 4 States Typically Require Coverage from Day 1
These monopolistic jurisdictions require workers’ comp insurance from a compulsory state fund (or proof of qualification for self-insurance) from the onset of business…

  • North Dakota
  • Wyoming
  • Ohio
    *Several requirements for self-insurance.
  • Washington
    *$25 million in assets allows you to self-insure here.

2. Payroll Should Be Broken Down State by State
It's critical to track how much is earned in each state. Regardless of home office, a payroll breakdown for every state in which you operate is required. Otherwise, insurance is unlikely to pay claims from unreported states. Accurate and up-to-date payroll at all times is key to avoiding huge workcomp headaches in the event of an unexpected accident.

3. Length of Stay Should Be Known In Advance
Each state differs in terms of the length of time required before state-specific workers’ comp is necessitated, varying anywhere between 5 and 30 days before an in-state plan must be in place. Because of this, you should always know in advance the time frame you’re dealing with when you have an employee traveling to another state.

Luckily, there are multi-state work comp resources available to help you plan for your coverage needs. Some forethought and research could protect your business against significant liability in the event of an incident.

Multi-state headache? Minnesota Comp Advisor has the cure. Contact us for relief today.

What to Know About Your Experience Modification Rate

Written by on 7/5/2017 2:00 AM in , , . It has 0 Comments.

Your experience modification rate, or EMR, is about more than your company’s annual insurance costs. Most don’t even know what their EMR is…. But coming to know EMRs a bit better could protect your reputation, and will definitely protect your bottom line.

What does your EMR really mean?
Your EMR is a numeric representation of your business’ claims history and safety record compared to others in your industry, within the same state of operation.

Breaking down the numbers:

  • >1 – Your company is riskier than average.
  • =1 – Your company is no more/less risky than others.
  • <1 – Your company is safer than average.

How is EMR calculated?
The most basic breakdown of your EMR is ACTUAL CLAIMS ÷ EXPECTED CLAIMS. But true calculations are much more complex. Agencies also factor in past data reported to the National Council on Compensation Insurance, as well as additional data from NCCI’s EMR worksheet. Most important are amount(s) and type(s) of incident(s), and money paid out as a result.

How This Affects Your Premium
Combined with other factors such as job code and payroll, if your calculated EMR was 1.25, you’d pay 25% more for workers comp premiums than other companies in your sector. If it’s lower, 0.80, you’d pay 20% less on average.

How Can I Lower it?
In a word: Safety. Instilling a ‘culture of safety,’ beginning with a realistic safety plan containing actionable steps for improvement, such as on-the-job safety training and PPE, is necessary to reduce incidents, thus lowering your EMR over time.

Ready to lower those experience modification rates? The workers comp insurance consultants at Minnesota Comp Advisor are here to help.

The Thirteen Steps to Workplace Safety

Written by on 7/3/2017 2:00 AM in , , . It has 0 Comments.

The Number 1 way to reduce workers’ comp costs, workplace safety pays an amazing return on investment. Most employers understand how their business’ safety culture affects premiums, but many fail to realize the true payback for an investment in workplace safety.

You Could Reap $3-10 Per $1 Invested with a Winning Approach to Workplace Safety
Integrate safety into every facet of your business – simply telling workers to ‘be safe’ is not enough!

  1. Hire
    Top-notch help. Smart employees are safe employees.
  2. Assess
    Define the necessary skills for each job.
  3. Place
    Workers in jobs only if they possess necessary physical/mental skills.
  4. Educate
    Workers when they are hired. Remind all staff regularly thereafter regarding safety measures and the importance of safety rules.
  5. Train
    Workers properly and thoroughly for all job duties.
  6. Enforce
    Impose consequences for failure to follow safety protocols.
  7. Discuss
    Frequently discuss safety status and measures regularly at meetings, performance evaluations, etc.
  8. Provide
    Personal protective equipment (gloves, safety glasses, respirators), providing education on proper use. Likewise, be a model for its use.
  9. Moderate
    Understand overtime and unsafe staffing practices increase risks.
  10. Review
    And report any incidents that occur, including near-misses, noting what went wrong and discussing ways to address it to prevent future issues.
  11. Identify
    The most frequent injuries at your business – and develop ways to prevent them.
  12. Reward
    Shifts, teams, and workers who help identify and prevent hazards on the job.
  13. Evolve
    Keep a running list of risks, and create warning posters, displaying them prominently in shared areas, such as break rooms.

Integrate workplace safety into every aspect of your business. Ensure a path to success with the help of Minnesota Comp Advisor today.

Safe Work Practice Keep Staff Safe and Lower Experience Mods

Written by on 6/28/2017 2:37 AM in , , , , . It has 0 Comments.

Do your employees know the safest way to do their work? Workers in-the-know on job site hazards and control measures can make your workers comp management path far easier.

Arm Employees with Knowledge
Written safe work practices and procedures are the first step toward job site safety and an integral component of any occupational health and safety program. These include guidelines for helping workers perform their tasks safely, and may not require step-by-step procedural instructions.

Written practices should note necessary safety controls (ventilation, personal protective equipment, etc.), and be used alongside in-person training on these protocols, including how to use equipment. Protocols should be constantly evolving and under continuous review.

When developing a new plan, allowing management and existing employees to review procedures ensures all bases are covered. The plan should outline who needs training, including new workers, returning workers, and those changing jobs, and training time required.

A checklist for each worker can help track training practices and compliance, ensuring their readiness in multiple areas such as first aid, emergency response procedures, personal protective equipment use, lockout/tagout programs, WHIMIS, TDG, etc. Some industries/hazards require more, so ensure all essential training needs are covered.

Special Youth Safety Concerns
Additional training for younger workers is required, as they are at greater risk of workplace accidents. Employers must ensure a plan is in place, and workplace plans and procedures are clearly communicated and well-understood. This includes the supervision of younger employees safely completing tasks before they embark on solo work.

Ready to implement a safety program at your business? The workers comp management experts at Minnesota Comp Advisor can help. Contact us today and learn how.

Costs Escalate - the True Cost of Workplace Injuries

Written by on 6/26/2017 2:34 AM in , , . It has 0 Comments.

To reinforce the importance of workers comp management safety strategies, the National Safety Council maintains records of the average costs of fatal and nonfatal unintentional injuries to better illustrate their impact on the economy.

The Costs of Occupational Deaths & Injuries are Mind-Numbingly High
Total costs in 2013, as a measure of dollars spent and income not received subsequent to accidents, injuries, and fatalities, adds-up to a whopping $206.1 billion. They include:

  • $91.0 billion –wage and productivity losses
  • $57.9 billion –medical costs
  • $40.6 billion –medical expenses
  • $11.5 billion –employers’ uninsured costs (money value of time lost by workers, cost of time to investigate injuries, file reports, etc.)
  • $2.3 billion –damage to motor vehicles involved in work-related injuries
  • $2.8 billion –fire losses

A Closer Look
As if these numbers aren’t painful enough, a closer look at expenses revealed an average cost per worker of $1,400, including the value of goods or services each employee must produce to offset the cost of workplace injuries.

When injuries required medical consultation, costs soared, coming in at an average of $42,000 per worker, including wage losses, medical expenses, administrative and employer costs, and a work-related cost per death of $1,450,000.

Unless a motor vehicle was involved, these estimates do not include property damage. In 2012, the latest year data was available, $61.9 billion was paid-out under workers’ comp:

  • $31.0 billion –income benefits
  • $30.8 billion –medical and hospitalization
  • Plus an additional $33.4 billion by private insurance carriers

Setting workers comp management goals to prevent the devastating impact of workplace accidents pays huge dividends. Head costly accidents off at the pass and set yourself up for success with the help of MinnesotaCompAdvisor today.

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