Make the Most of Your Aging Workforce with these Four Tips

Written by on 11/22/2017 1:00 AM in , . It has 0 Comments.

As Boomers have passed retirement age over the past decade, yet continue to stay on the job, cries to adapt to the aging workforce have repeatedly been sounded. Unfortunately, though many small to medium businesses have listened to proposals regarding reform, few have put such plans into action, leading them to lose out on tremendous opportunities.

Retiring Retirement: Ways Your Business Can Adapt
Take action, turning your aging workforce into a fount of opportunity by:

- Putting the Skills of Older Workers to Better Use
Your aging workforce is loyal, has more industry knowledge, and produces more detailed, high-quality work. They also possess higher levels of maturity, respect, communication and networking capabilities than their younger counterparts.

- Creating New Positions – or Adapting Old Ones
Much like return-to-work programs offer modified roles to keep employees on-the-job, adapting existing positions to older workers – or introducing workers to new roles – can reduce the likelihood for error and injury while supporting worker confidence and value.

- Tweaking Ergonomics
Adjustments to workplace ergonomics such as softer flooring, supportive shoes, and easier-to-read computer screens can prevent incidents and injuries. As can ergonomics and health seminars, particularly when paired with wellness programs that keep workers feeling young.

- Looking to “Half-Retirement” Options
Modifying exit schemes to include phased retirement options can help workers adjust, reducing the need for temp help and allowing skilled workers to remain part-time, earning a full salary when paired with retirement benefits.

The aging workforce isn’t going away. Do you have the tools you need to face upcoming challenges? Proactively secure the future of aging workers – and your business – with the help of Minnesota Comp Advisor today.  

Using Data, Technology and Prevention Training Mitigates Workplace Injury Claims

Written by on 11/20/2017 1:00 AM in , , . It has 0 Comments.

At the Workers’ Compensation Institute’s 72nd annual Workers’ Compensation Educational Conference recently, technology was at the forefront of topics surrounding the management of workplace injury claims. Smart technology and predictive analytics are revolutionizing employee treatment, leading to a healthier, more productive workforce.

A Worthy Investment
Remaining proactive, particularly on the technology front, can be a tremendous challenge. However the return on investment on such tech can be substantial, paving the way for less costly, dramatically improved outcomes that incites employers to make it a priority.

What Technology is On the Rise for Preventing & Treating Workplace Injury Claims?

- Post-Offer Employment Testing (POET):
Testing designed to interpret whether a potential candidate is physically capable of the job which they are seeking. Just one hire not physically able to perform a job is at risk of injury, putting the employer at the potential risk of $50,000 or more in lost productivity and other expenses.

- Wearable Tech & Telemedicine
A tremendous resource in ensuring the compliance and correct performance of therapy exercises and activities.

- Advanced Therapy
Newly-developed programs for injured workers similar to work conditioning.

- The Exoskeleton Device for Paralyzed Workers
A cutting-edge device that allows paralyzed or severely injured workers to walk again.

- Resource-Sharing Programs for the Development of Wellness Programs
A means to allow those firms that cannot afford onsite fitness centers to pool community resources to create wellness programs for the betterment of workers.

Positive Pre-Employment Drug Test Leads to Law Suit

Written by on 11/15/2017 1:10 AM in , , , . It has 0 Comments.

One employer now faces a lawsuit after rescinding a job offer following a positive drug test. How could the fallback of the lawsuit affect your future hiring (and firing) practices surrounding marijuana in the workplace?

The Budding Backstory
Katelin Noffsinger, a recreational therapist suffering post-traumatic stress disorder, was prescribed medical cannabis in capsule form by her doctor back in 2015, taking a pill each night to aid her sleep. A legitimate prescription, Connecticut legalized medical marijuana in 2012, adding it to the 29-and-counting states to legalize thus far.

Prior to her drug screening, Noffsinger informed her prospective employer, Niantic Operating Company L.L.C. (DBA: Bride Brook Nursing and Rehabilitation Center) of the prescription. According to the ruling, one day prior to beginning her new position – and after quitting her former job - the rehab center rescinded the job offer citing a positive drug test.

The State’s Position
The defendant sought dismissal, citing federal laws including the Controlled Substances Act, categorizing the marijuana as illegal. This put the U.S. District Court of Connecticut in a sticky situation: Deciding if the federal law trumped Connecticut law in prohibiting employers from hiring/firing subsequent to medical marijuana use.

Judge Jeffrey Alker Meyer concluded that answer was ‘no’ – and those using medical marijuana in compliance with state law can seek action against an employer who refuses employment for this reason. A Supreme Judicial Court in Maine reached the same conclusion in a similar case last month, adding further to the maze of complications surrounding marijuana in the workplace.

Struggling to solve dilemmas involving marijuana in the workplace? Navigate this continually perplexing issue with the help of MinnesotaComp Advisor today.

Catastrophic Injuries Need Serious Care Management from Your Work Comp Management Team

Written by on 11/13/2017 1:00 AM in , , , . It has 0 Comments.

Your work comp management team is fantastic at ensuring early intervention for critically injured workers, but are they dropping the ball post-stabilization? Too often the fragmented nature of healthcare delivery falls short of meeting the long-term care needs of catastrophically injured workers.

Myopic Focus
injured workers and their caregivers often find themselves unable to cope with the consequences of injuries when they're discharged too soon or into the wrong environment. This is particularly true if they don't have the knowledge to navigate the challenges of a permanently changed life. This can quickly lead patients down a costly and calamitous path to the ‘vortex of failure.’

How Can Your Work Comp Management Team Prevent Such Catastrophic Consequences?

  • Challenge the System
    Specialized care and rehabilitative service is where the traditional care model often misses the boat. Medically-stable, catastrophically injured patients may fare better in a skilled nursing or residential rehab facility before going home.

  • Understand the Step-Down Process for Catastrophic Claims is Different
    This is not a sprained wrist or rotator cuff injury, catastrophic claims managers need to answer these critical questions before recommending the next step-down:
    • What additional services will the injured worker need to function independently?
    • How will the injured worker re-adapt to life in their ‘normal’ home/community setting?
    • Do they have a close family member/caregiver that can help them cope with the after-effects of the injury?
    • Can the employee return to work?

  • Get the Injured Worker’s Family Involved
    Ensure the long-term knowledge, skills and compassion necessary to support the injured worker are in place.

See the bigger picture. Help your work comp management team prevent creeping catastrophic claims with the help of Minnesota Comp Advisor today.

Are You Using Antiquated Methods to Promote Safety in Your Workplace?

Written by on 11/8/2017 2:00 AM in , , , . It has 0 Comments.

The concept of behavior-based safety developed by H.W. Heinrich in the 1930-40s looked to employee behavior or ‘man failure’ as the cause of most industrial accidents. Today, industry professionals identify this as an outdated safety approach, yet many employers remain stuck in this old mentality, leaving gaps in safety in your workplace.

Why Behavior-Based Safety Alone is Not Effective
When direct blame is assigned to workers, external factors, the second part of the safety equation, are overlooked. This thwarts improvement in engineering controls, best practices, safety program management and communication.

Incentive programs rewarding safety quotas likewise discourage the reporting of near misses and injury incidents. And the anonymous observation and reporting of peers can create a culture of fear and negative consequences, discouraging the sharing of ideas for improvement.

Building a Culture of Safety in Your Workplace
An organization-wide approach to safety management, the end result of combined individual and group efforts of all levels of staff, starts with management to trickle down to every worker. Replacing antiquated methods, the blame-based behavioral model is replaced with true care and concern for employee well-being in all levels/departments.

Anonymous observation is replaced with management monitoring over peer control. And positive reinforcement applies to the reporting of good and bad incidents: Accidents and near-misses, and the contribution of feedback leading to increased safety. This improved safety culture gleans knowledge from all segments of the organization, with all levels taking responsibility for worker safety.

Interested in learning more about creating a culture of safety in your workplace? Learn how in our upcoming installment on ‘Safety Culture Building Tips,’ or contact Minnesota Comp Advisor today.


Tips for Keeping Your Aging Workforce on the Job Fit and Safe

Written by on 11/6/2017 1:00 AM in , , . It has 0 Comments.

Bringing wisdom and expertise to the workforce, the Baby Boomer generation is a significant factor in the workcomp arena, affecting claims costs and outcomes. How can you protect yourself against the safety implications of this aging workforce while reaping the benefits of this enormous sector of the employment pool?

Proactivity is Key
Though occupational injuries tend to decrease with age, those that do occur are typically more costly, requiring significant recovery time as well as 50% higher medical and 25% higher indemnity costs on average compared to younger generations. Recognizing common injury patterns is key to prevention.

Helping Your Aging Workforce Work Smarter
With the help of HR – and your elder employees – identify areas for improvement in…

Decreased reaction times, memory problems, and declining vision, hearing and coordination can lead to slips, falls and strains. Look to opportunities in ergonomics, analyzing tasks step-by-step to match workers to positions based on needs and limitations.


• Comorbidities
A key cost-driver, comorbidities including diabetes, hypertension and obesity increase in likelihood with age, complicating and lengthening claims recovery. Associated with a 341% increase in total incurred cost and 285% additional temporary total disability, regular assessments comparing employee health conditions to capacity to safely perform tasks are key to avoiding injuries.


Wellness & Prevention
Gym membership reimbursement, nutritional counseling, and weight-management initiatives can reduce comorbidities, promoting health in aging workers to boost performance quality, safety, and longevity. Studies show such benefits reduce absenteeism, returning $3 in healthcare savings for each $1 invested.


Looking for more tips on workplace adjustments to better accommodate your aging workforce and control claims costs? Get proactive with the help of Minnesota Comp Advisor today.

Tips for Preventing Slip and Fall Accidents in the Workplace - Bonus November 8th Webinar

Written by on 11/1/2017 1:45 AM in , , . It has 0 Comments.

Slip and fall prevention is serious business, the leading cause of all reported injury claims annually. Unfortunately many businesses overlook this common threat, likening it to a simple stumble and minor injuries like a bruise or stubbed toe. But accounting for 25% of claims and 65% of work days lost per year – a staggering 95 million – slips, trips and falls are more serious than most realize. They're the second leading cause of accidental deaths annually behind motor vehicle incidents. Is your business taking this threat to heart?

Send Employees Home Safely for the Holidays: Attend this FREE Webinar

To help ensure a safe season for your employees, Minnesota Comp Advisor is holding a FREE GoTo Webinar: ‘Winter Slips & Falls Prevention.’ Come join us Wednesday, November 8, 2017, from 10 to 11 am CST, with loss control and safety expert Brian Plautz ARM, AIC, SCLA to learn more about identifying workplace slip and fall risk factors, and ways you can gift your employees with winter slip and fall prevention tools and tips. With 20 years’ experience in the commercial claims investigation, fraud prevention and loss mitigation sector, Brian offers a host of loss control and prevention expertise.

Don’t Stumble on Your Path to Workplace Safety – Sign Up Today!

Register online for this FREE GoTo Webinar at: There is no cost whatsoever to attend, and the webinar is open to all Minnesota employers.

Wish you had the gift of lower workers’ comp insurance rates next year? Learn more safety and loss prevention tips and tricks, including slip and fall prevention tactics, with the help of Minnesota Comp Advisor today.

President Trump Makes the Opioid Crisis a National Emergency

Written by on 10/30/2017 1:40 AM in , . It has 0 Comments.

Again this month, it was reported that President Trump released a statement regarding the country’s growing opioid crisis, "The opioid addiction crisis is an emergency, and I am saying, officially, right now, it is an emergency. It's a national emergency… It is a serious problem the likes of which we have never had."

An Enormous Epidemic
Since 1999, the CDC reported the number of opioid overdose deaths across the U.S. has quadrupled. From 2000-2015, more than 500,000 drug overdoses were reported – the majority from opioids. Recent government data further points to an increase in deaths during the first three-quarters of last year, pointing to current efforts to thwart the epidemic as lacking.

What the Declaration Could Mean
Public health emergencies are typically declared for natural disasters, making Trump’s statement unique. However declaring it such would make addressing opioid addiction a top government priority. This will draw attention to the issue, getting politicians and public leaders on the same page, and bolstering resources to the hardest-hit areas.

Four-Weeks Later, However, President Trump Has Yet to Make it Official
Leaving the public to ponder on the delay - and if Trump will follow-through on promises to boost funding, expand access to treatment and increase the availability of overdose reversal drugs. A White House spokesperson stated the official declaration is still in the works, with advisors working through details with relevant agencies and undergoing legal review.

Opioid addiction taking a toll on your workforce? You are not alone. Join us in fighting this rising epidemic. Learn how you can do your part with the help of Minnesota Comp Advisor today.

Opioid Use in Work Comp Injuries Drops 30% Since 2015

Written by on 10/25/2017 1:37 AM in , , , . It has 0 Comments.

In a recent review, The Travelers Companies reported opioid use among more than 500,000 injured workers treated since 2015 has dropped a staggering 30%. How is the insurer forging a new path to successful outcomes without opioids?

The Early Severity Predictor Model
The company’s Early Severity Predictor identifies the probability of an injured worker developing chronic pain, a key cause of opioid dependency. By sharing these results with the injured employee’s physician, other effective treatment alternatives can be sought, such as surgery followed by physical therapy (in lieu of opioids for pain). Such regimens limit exposure to opioids, offering a safer recovery and often producing better long-term medical outcomes.

Impressive Numbers
In addition to the 30% reduction in opioid use, since January 2016 the company’s workers comp cases also saw:
• Surgeries fell by 25%.
• Injured employees receiving alternative treatments recovered and returned to work 10% faster than employees who did not.

Thorough Reviews
The nation’s largest workcomp carrier, Travelers, handles around 250,000 workers comp claims annually. Since the implementation of its Early Severity Predictor model in 2015, in combination with its in-house pharmacy management program, the company has aided employers in reducing medical expenses on identified claims by as much as 50%.

Claims professionals train with on-staff pharmacists, assessing the merits of requests for pharmaceutical reimbursement, ferreting out the potential for overuse and preventing dangerous drug interactions.

Concerned about opioid use affecting the recovery of stellar employees? Opioid use, addiction and overdose cross all ages, genders, and income levels. Do your part in protecting injured workers in light of the nationwide epidemic of opioid overuse and abuse. Learn more from MinnesotaComp Advisor today.

Unveiling the Experience Mod Mystery: How Controlling Your Mod Controls How Much You Pay for Work Comp

Written by on 10/23/2017 9:09 AM in , , . It has 0 Comments.

Join us Thursday, October 26, 2017 for a special seminar presented by Peoples Bank Midwest, Featuring Special Guest Speaker Mark Kraemer, CIC, CWCA, CSRM About Mark Kraemer Certified Work Comp Advisor, Minnesota Comp Advisor and White Bear Lake native, Mark Kraemer, got his start as the owner/operator of his own limo company at the age of 19, and has since turned that success into a profitable career as a top insurance sales producer in the state. Mark is one of Minnesota’s first Certified Work Comp Advisors and is a member of the first agency advisor council for one of Minnesota’s largest self-insured funds. Mark is a long-time speaker and educator on workers’ compensation, working tirelessly with the Minnesota Comp Advisor team to control and minimize the impact of claims, drive down experience mods, and save money on premiums. Mark lives with his wife and two teenage sons in Lino Lakes. Event Time: Registration & Breakfast  7:30am Presentation 8:00am - 9:00am Ev ...

Read More

Pages: Previous1234567...20NextReturn Top