Used to calculate your annual workers comp premium, experience modification (X-mod) factoring often frustrates employers. This is particularly true when experience mod consulting with a workers comp insurance agent during valuation leads to higher rates. How can you seek out ways to better understand this data and take control of this important cost driver?
Digging Deeper into X-Mods Can Pay Huge Dividends
It doesn’t require a ton of work. But it does require consistent effort and attention to detail to get the results you’re looking for from your experience mod consulting agent. What’s the trick?
The right data
Accurate payroll is essential. Understated payroll inflates X-mods, as term losses (the numerator) will apply less payroll (the denominator).
Getting copies of loss runs from your agent can help you weed out claims impacting your X-mod that may not be yours, as well as those that may have been subrogated, settled or returned to work, greatly affecting your X-mod calculation.
If your X-mod is high, tell your agent what you’re doing to make improvements, being as detailed as possible. This could earn you credits to offset X-mod impact.
A team mindset
Strive for contact within 24 hours of injury. Starting out on the right foot with injured workers, showing you care about their care and well-being, builds a positive foundation and can drive return-to-work motivation.
Businesses that bring employees back to work more quickly via modified work positions benefit from reduced claims impacts.
A culture of safety
Employees appreciate a business that cares about their well-being, and respond in-kind.
Painful experience mod consulting experience? Minnesota Comp Advisor can help. Contact us today.
As the healthcare industry makes changes and modifications regarding standards of injury treatment, state regulatory agencies work to keep pace with current developments. One such update took place with California's Department of Industrial Relations on December 1.
Updating Workplace Injury Treatment Guidelines
The California DIR's Division of Workers' Compensation publishes a Medical Treatment Utilization Schedule, also known as MTUS, which mandates workplace injury treatment guidelines. MTUS covers specific injuries as well as chronic pain and post-surgery therapies.
Changes to be incorporated affect 16 sections of MTUS. Topics include injuries to the spine, shoulder, elbow, wrist and knees along with stress and lung diseases, chronic pain, and opioid treatment.
These modifications are based on current standards from the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. ACOEM is a society composed of more than 4,500 physicians and healthcare specialists with a mission to "promote optimal health and safety of workers, workplaces and environments."
Maintaining "Evidence-Based Standards of Care"
George Parisotto, administrative director of the Division of Workers' Compensation, officially signed off on the changes November 1. In a notice issued to announce the modifications, the division stated that they were implemented to conform with "current evidence-based standards of care."
According to the notice, MTUS has seen few changes since it was created in 2007, despite numerous medical and scientific developments during the succeeding years. It also noted the need for MTUS to keep pace with the "evolving nature of scientific evidence."
Are you looking for the latest news and updates on workplace injury treatment guidelines? Turn to Minnesota Comp Advisor for timely and accurate information and support.
Employees injured on the jobsite expect workers’ comp insurance coverage. But what about when employees are injured in an automobile? Here, work comp management can quickly become confusing.
Workers’ Comp Coverage Hinges on the Circumstances of the Collision
Vehicles are increasingly taking to the roadways, many used for work-related use. Here, the legal doctrine of respondeat superior applies. If employees are “acting within the scope of their employment,” employers may be legally responsible their actions, including injuries and property damage resulting from an employee driving a company vehicle.
What Situations May Be Covered?
- Employees making deliveries.
- Work-related errands.
- Transporting a fellow employee for work purposes.
- Driving to and from site jobs.
- Travel in which the employee is compensated by the employer.
- Using the company vehicle to accomplish other job duties.
What if an Employee Causes an At-Fault Accident
If the employee was driving a company vehicle, respondeat superior again applies. A no-fault insurance, he/she is still awarded workers’ comp benefits. Your business is also responsible for third-party injuries and property damage under civil claims. Employer liability insurance additionally protects the employee from third party actions/suits.
What Situations are Typically Not Covered?
A broad generalization, variances in state law and individual circumstances can toss a wrench in the works of coverage. Generally not covered:
- Employees on their own time, such as travel to/from work or on lunch break.
- Employees stopping for a personal errand at the time of incident.
- The employee committed a crime or was under the influence of drugs/alcohol at the time of the accident.
Don’t let work comp management woes pile-up. Get the help you need with Minnesota Comp Advisor today.
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.
Just as young children beginning their educational journey, the implementation of a successful safety program as part of your integrative workers comp management practices involves a thorough foundation in the basics of workplace injury prevention. Do you know your workplace injury prevention ABCs?
There are 3 Main Ways to Prevent Workplace Injury
Are you using these building blocks to create a stable foundation within your company?
Developing and implementing proper rules and procedures protects workers. Typically put into effect by owners or supervisors, these include:
- Chemical/cleaning product storage procedures.
- Limits on repetitive motion tasks/job rotation.
- Age limits for dangerous equipment operation.
- Protective equipment requirements (goggles, earplugs).
- Controls for reducing exposure to hazards (time limits for pesticide application, distance for x-rays).
B uilding Barriers
Mechanical controls such as shields or guards are the best way to prevent injuries in the workplace. Circumventing the need to rely on employees to make safe choices every time, these environmental changes make it easier to reliably control/prevent injuries. Examples include:
- Non-slip surfaces.
- Guards (on hot/sharp/dangerous equipment).
- Ventilation to preserve air quality.
- Personal protective equipment (safety clothing, respirators, gloves).
Communication with employees, including proper training, is essential to encouraging a safety culture and ensuring compliance. After all, a worker cannot apply knowledge he himself has not learned, such as the dangers of improperly stored chemicals or exposure to blood. Necessary communication can be implemented many ways:
- Hands-on/In-person training.
- Online training.
- Reminders on bulletin boards, hallways, and break areas.
Now you know your ABCs! Build a strong foundation and achieve workers comp management goals. Learn more with the help of Minnesota Comp Advisor today.
No matter how small your business, it's possible to minimize the health and financial impacts of workplace injuries. This can be accomplished with a team approach to workers comp management geared toward preventing injuries before they occur.
Integrating a Team Approach
What steps should you take to create a safer, more positive work environment for employees?
1. Engage E-V-E-R-Y-O-N-E.
The most successful safety programs involve management and employee collaboration. Safety is everyone’s job. Encouraging employees to identify and report hazards and incidents here is key.
2. Ensure a Smooth Transition.
Tasking specific employees and managers with the implementation, maintenance and improvement portions of safety program components.
3. Honestly Assess.
Perform a top-to-bottom evaluation of your business, from equipment to activities, engaging with employees to learn their safety concerns. (And performing an evaluation again each time new operations, equipment or facilities are added.)
4. Take Action.
Identification and awareness are not enough. When hazards are identified, they must be quickly and safely controlled or removed. This includes fixing or replacing broken equipment, as well as adding new safety measures or changing operations – no matter how longstanding. Preventing even a single incident will likely cover associated costs – and then some!
5. Don’t Forego Formal Training.
Go beyond easily ignored reading materials to include live demonstrations, hazard identification and reporting procedures – even first-aid training - to ensure not only immersion and involvement, but also rapid response to incidents.
6. Earn ROI from RRI:
- Review your program regularly.
- Respond quickly to incidents and near-misses.
- Improve programs to correct dangerous situations.
Feeling alone? Join a team that can help you excel at meeting your workers comp management needs. Contact Minnesota Comp Advisor today.
Lost-time workplace injuries, those in which employees miss 6 or more days of work, cost American businesses big. Did your workers comp management shortcomings contribute to the terrifying total of nearly $62 billion in 2013?
Accounting for 82.5%, or more than $51 billion of payouts, the 10 leading causes of the over $1-billion-per-week spent on disabling, non-fatal injuries include:
- Overexertion – nearly 25% ($15.08 billion)
- Falls on same level – 16.4% ($10.17 billion)
- Falls to lower level – 8.7% ($5.4 billion)
- Struck by object/equipment – 8.6% ($5.31 billion)
- Other exertions of bodily reactions – 6.7% ($4.15 billion)
- Roadway incidents (with land motor vehicles) – 4.8% ($2.96 billion)
- Slip or trip (without fall) – 3.8% ($2.35 billion)
- Caught in/compressed by equipment/objects – 3.2% ($1.97 billion)
- Struck against object/equipment – 3% ($1.85 billion)
- Repetitive motion injuries involving micro-tasks – 2.9% ($1.82 billion)
High costs all-around
In addition to costing the workers’ comp industry and employers billions in medical costs, workplace injury takes a tremendous toll on the affected employee’s physical, emotional, and financial well-being. And the costs don’t stop piling-up there. The indirect toll to employers is likewise massive, including the training of new or hiring of temporary employees, lost productivity, and damages to quality and company reputation.
Pushing for change
By highlighting these direct costs, the 2016 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index aims to shed light on the most serious workplace accidents, providing these statistics as a benchmark for safety performance and to better highlight the need for safety improvements and tools.
Workers comp management issues stacking up? Get the help you need from Minnesota Comp Advisor today.
Fall injuries are a significant workers comp management burden, adding an estimated $70 billion annually to workers’ comp and medical costs in the U.S. Published data from the BLS points to 261,930 privately employed and government workers missing a day or more of work, and 798 workers dying annually from fall-related injuries. Is your workplace harboring fall hazards?
Industries experiencing the highest frequency of fall-related injuries and deaths include:
- Construction, which holds the highest frequency of fall-related mortality.
- Extraction occupations.
- Health services, wholesale and retail, who hold the highest counts of nonfatal injuries.
- Transportation and material moving.
- Building cleaning and maintenance.
Developing strategies to reduce the toll of fall injuries
Both federal regulations and industry standards exist to aid in the prevention of falls in the workplace, including specific measures and performance-based recommendations. Unfortunately, the perpetuity of unsafe practices alongside a lackluster (or absent) safety culture across many industries continue to contribute to steady fall injury rates year after year.
Only continued, concerted efforts on the part of all involved parties, from regulators to industry leaders, unions and professional associations, safety professionals, employers and employees will bring about change. This will require knowledge, the implementation of essential safety tools and procedures, employee education, and the upholding of a safety culture in the workplace.
Do you know what causes falls?
Fall incidents in the work environment frequently involve:
- Slippery surfaces
- Cluttered or unstable walking/working surfaces
- Edges that have not been identified/protected
- Wall openings
- Floor holes
- Poor/unsafe ladder positioning
- Misused fall protection
Proper workers comp management means you can’t fall into bad habits. Learn how to make better ones with the help of Minnesota Comp Advisor today.
Workers comp insurance consultants know the causes of on-the-job injury often involve more than obvious answers, and are rooted in deeper, underlying workplace situations. Are you neglecting to uncover them?
Many factors can contribute to workplace incidents:
- Task-related factors
The physical and mental demands of a task, task pace, total workload, clarity of procedures, and conflicts between policy and practices (shortcuts) often contribute to worksite incidents.
- Environmental factors
Access to safety gear, work area layout and space, equipment/tools used (including design and maintenance), as well as seemingly common factors like lighting, noise, air quality, and temperature are all part-and-parcel of the workplace safety puzzle.
- Organizational issues
The business’ culture of safety (inspections, maintenance, safety programs), staffing/scheduling practices, communication and reporting all drive success (or failure).
- Workforce complications
Experience and training, employee attitudes and perception of risks, fatigue and stress can all play a role.
How can these underlying causes be detected?
In-depth analysis is essential to inspiring meaningful change – analysis that goes beyond the human error, to ask and uncover why an error was made. Fact-finding and not fault-finding, or a ‘systemic approach’ is essential to preventing a hostile environment.
How can this be accomplished? Incident investigation, worksite inspections, job task analysis, surveys, and more can help root out and identify actual and potential injury and illness catalysts. However, across-the-board cooperation is key, including health and safety professionals, committee members, supervisors, and especially employees.
Workers comp insurance consultants have the skills it takes to detect patterns of injury and prevent needless claims. Do you have a skilled consultant on your side? Head-off injuries at the pass with the help of Minnesota Comp Advisor today.
The Injury Impact Report, recently released by the country’s largest workers compensation carrier The Travelers Companies, is shedding light on the most recent causes of workplace injuries. In a review of more than 1.5 million workers comp claims filed between 2010 and 2014 by businesses spanning different industries and sizes…
The top five injuries as a percentage of total claim include:
- Sprains and strains – 30%.
Cuts or punctures – 19%.
- Topped all lists, except small businesses.
- Resulted in 57 missed workdays on average.
Contusions (bruises) – 12%.
Inflammation – 5%.
- Topped the list for small businesses.
- 24 missed workdays on average.
Fractures – 5%.
- 91 missed workdays on average.
- 78 missed workdays on average.
The top five most frequent causes of injuries are:
- Material handling – 32%.
- Trips, slips, and falls – 16%.
- Collisions/struck by object – 10%.
- Accidents related to tools – 7%.
- Traumas that occur overtime (such as overuse/strain) – 4%.
Injuries with the highest average incurred costs
Typically occurring less frequently overall, these included:
- Multiple trauma injuries (simultaneous breakage of multiple bones.)
Data analysis also revealed injuries were more prevalent in some industries than others, specifically:
- Materials handling, the top cause of injuries overall, is most common in the retail and manufacturing industries, equating to 40% of injuries in both sectors.
- Falls from height were the leading cause of injury in both construction and retail.
- Eye injuries are one of the most frequent types in construction and manufacturing.
Workplace injuries taking a toll on your workers comp costs? Stack the odds in your favor. Enlist the help of Minnesota Comp Advisor today.
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