Sorting It OutBy Baselinemag | Posted 2008-04-30 Print
Technology and training reduce insurance rates and improve safety.
Sorting It Out
Companies also can use search technology to make sure they are filed under the correct industry code, says Jim Moore, founder and president of J&L Insurance Consultants, which specializes in reducing businesses’ comp insurance rates. The Raleigh, N.C.-based firm claims to have saved its clients more than $3 million in premiums over four years.
One way it achieves those savings is by researching a company’s SIC code. Often, a number has been switched, meaning that a relatively safe industry is filed as a more dangerous business, which ups the comp rates, Moore explains.
The consultant also reviews companies’ experience modification factor (EMF), in which a review board considers all the steps a business has taken to enhance its safety, with the goal of reducing comp rates. One meat processing client cut its workers’ comp insurance in half over two years because of this review, says Moore.
By documenting their technological implementations, increased security awareness and other factors, businesses of all sizes can save dramatically on comp insurance costs. Larger enterprises frequently have departments—or an individual—responsible for overseeing safety, providing training and working with the IT department on technological solutions. Small and medium businesses typically don’t have these resources. But if an SMB provided training and got that process reviewed by an advisory council or rating bureau, it would see almost instant savings, Moore says.
In fact, educating employees about the correct ways to use equipment, pick up heavy items and prevent injury is a critical component of any safety initiative. A number of safety, insurance and government groups have provided grants to fund technologies used to create bilingual training materials.
In 2005, for example, a construction-industry advisory committee awarded $200,000 in Susan Harwood Training Grants to an organization of Hispanic contractors in Irving, Texas. The organization used the training grants to develop bilingual materials for the construction industry to address hazards and falls, electrocution caught-in hazards and struck-by hazards, says Jonathan Snare, assistant secretary of OSHA.
The federal agency has an array of grants, training materials and other resources available to encourage SMBs to reduce their risks, cut their workers’ compensation rates and improve the quality of their workers’ lives—while helping them become more profitable and efficient.
Corporate executives also can avail themselves of OSHA-generated case studies that detail various organizations’ successful implementations of training and technology to reduce workers’ compensation incident rates and costs. According to OSHA, such education efforts have led to a steady decline in the number of ergonomic-related injuries.
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