Build stronger relationships with your clients by talking about employee safety

The good news is that statistically, work environments in the US are getting safer. Between 2010 and 2017 according to the BLS, there were 15% fewer non-fatal work related injuries per year.

Here are some activities that you can do together with your client to help ensure a safe work environment for your temporary associates and build a further bond with your clients.

  • Help your clients communicate their safety expectations to their employees by assisting them to organize safety meetings, post safety signs around machinery, and make sure all employees have the right training for their jobs.
  • Make sure the client is using machines that have been inspected and are in 100% top quality working order.
  • Help your client establish safety guidelines and objectives for all the employees and temporary staff at their facility.
  • Encourage your clients to clearly state the employees rewards (and consequences) to maintaining a safe work environment.
  • Regularly brainstorm with your client how best to highlight safety programs in the facility.

These are just a few suggestions that can help cement your relationship with your clients.

Visit our web site at www.StaffingCompSolutions.com, call us at 202-302-1212, or email us at david@StaffingCompSolutions.com for more information about all our staffing and workers’ comp offerings.

Sincerely
David Schek
President
StaffingCompSolutions.com

Must See ASA video on Worker Safety

Below is a link to a short 3 min video on workplace safety, that addresses why making sure providing a safe working environment is a huge competitive advantage for all staffing companies.

Visit our web site at www.StaffingCompSolutions.com, call us at 202-302-1212, or email us at david@StaffingCompSolutions.com for more information about all our staffing and workers’ comp offerings.

Sincerely
David Schek
President
StaffingCompSolutions.com

Social Media: A Potent Weapon against Fraud

You can tell a lot about your employees based on what they post on their social media pages. These include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and any number of other sites that have come on-line. This is a crucial part of information gathering during a workers’ comp claim investigation. Not only can it confirm if an employee was actually injured at work, but it can determine how severe their work injuries are.

People don’t realize that the information is public and can be seen by everybody. For those few who try to commit fraud, social media can be their undoing. The most common indication of fraud is the injured worker who can’t work due to limited mobility, but posts a photo of himself on Facebook kickboxing.

Make social media a part of your surveillance toolkit. Your workers’ comp carrier including a professional employer organization (PEO) can help you maximize the use of social media. Work Comp Staffing Solutions can help introduce you to the best PEO’s and work comp specialists.

Visit our web site at www.StaffingCompSolutions.com, call us at 202-302-1212, or email us at david@StaffingCompSolutions.com for more information about all our staffing and workers’ comp offerings.

Sincerely
David Schek
President
StaffingCompSolutions.com

Putting Out A Workers Compensation “Fire” Before It Burns Down Your Staffing Company

Very often, staffing company owners  are so busy putting out daily staffing fires, that they do not have time to thoroughly investigate workers compensation claims. Unfortunately these claims, that start out as smoldering tinders-  when not managed properly, can turn in to a financial firestorm for the company down the road.

As Ben Franklin would say: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. The time it takes investigating all work comp accidents, can pay huge dividends for the staffing company.

Below is a great article  about how to best investigate  and manage work comp accidents  so that “small fires” do not grow into huge financial disasters  for your company.   The author  is Author Michael B. Stack, CPA, who is a Principal, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. which is an expert in this field.

Why Should I Investigate?

Before a claim handler begins the investigative process, it is important to understand there are reasons why they are looking into the claim.  Determining where you are procedurally can make the investigation more cost effective.

  1. Mitigating an accepted claim
  2. Defending a Potential Claim;
  3. Identifying Fraud; and
  4. Determining Other Necessary Parties to an Action

Determining Witnesses

Basic claims investigation will also allow you to determine witnesses.  This will include fact or lay witnesses, as well as expert witnesses that may be necessary.  Types of fact or lay witnesses include the following: managers or other supervisors, co-workers, on-site medical personnel, human resources staff, risk and safety managers and witnesses to the incident or injury.

Expert witnesses should be used at the discretion of a claims handler.  Expert witnesses charge a fee for their services and may not be needed in all cases.  Types of expert witnesses in a workers’ compensation claim include IME doctors, vocational experts and labor market surveys.

Other Sources of Documentary Evidence

Obtaining additional information about a claim is typically crucial in the early stages of a claim investigation.  It is also important to know the law of the jurisdiction you are in as this will govern your ability to obtain information.  For example, if an employee reports a work injury, claims management professionals are able to request authorizations for medical records.  On the other hand, when a denial is made, the ability to access that same information may sometimes be only made once after a claim is put into litigation.  State workers’ compensation acts and rules also govern employee statements, and access to other information.

Here is a list that claims handlers might want to access during a claims investigation:

  1. Authorization to obtain various records: medical, workers’ compensation division records, vocational reports, tax records (self-employment or multiple job wage earners), school records and unemployment records
  2. ISO Claims Bureau Search
  3. Maps and charts
  4. Police records
  5. Court records
  6. Medical records, bills and other expenses
  7. Child support obligations
  8. Internet or Social Media research
  9. Unemployment records

Other Sources of Information

It is also essential that the claims professional learns as much as they can about the employee’s work activities with the employer.  In some cases it may be important to do the following:

  1. Videotape job site
  2. Videotape employee’s job (common in repetitive movement-type injuries)
  3. Security camera video

Questions of Admissibility

Just because you are able to find information, does not mean that it will be admissible at a workers’ compensation hearing.  In order for a court to review evidence, it must be admissible.  Rules regarding admissibility vary from state to state.  The basic question most courts will ask is whether the evidence has probative value and is not overly prejudicial.  Most states have relaxed rules of evidence in administrative settings.  It is important to consult with an attorney on issues of evidence and admissibility.

Conclusions

Claims management teams are on the front lines when it comes to investigating a claim.  Before handling any claim, it is important for a claims handler to understand what goals they are trying to accomplish and how to complete the task in an effective and timely manner.

I hope you found this article as useful  and had a restful Labor Day.  Please feel free to give me a call to discuss difficult workers  compensation issues you have and  together we determine  economical ways to solve them.   Also let me know if I can provide you with a FREE quote- just contact me at david@StaffingCompSolutions.com and visit our web site at www.StaffingCompSolutions.com

All the best
David Schek
President
StaffingCompSolutions.com
American Staffing Association Member
ASA Exhibitor  2014 Conference Booth 1123
California Staffing Association Member

StaffingCompSolutions.com—-  Workers  Compensation  Specialists and Staffing Business Consultants For Over 25 Years.

Did They Get The Safety Memo?… Did They Read The Safety Memo?… Do They Understand The Safety Memo?

Having a successful safety policy for your high turnover hourly workers is only as good as your ability to successfully communicate your policy to these workers.  These hourly workers often make up the line staff in many manufacturing and warehouse facilities as well as in temporary staffing companies that service these companies.  Communicating these important safety policies is often easier said than done. These folks can be like moving targets when it comes to communicating and implementing company policies.

Below is an excellent article by Rebecca Schafer which discusses this vexing problem and offer concrete solutions.  Ms. Schafer is  President of Amaxx Risk Solutions, which is a national expert in the field of workers compensation:

“Having a great workers’ comp program is meaningless if your employees don’t know about it and use it. To get your employees to know about the program, you have to tell them about it, not just once. After initially delivering the information about your workers’ comp program, you need to reinforce and remind them of its importance. And it is not enough that the employees know about it, they have to be willing and able to use the program you have in place. All necessary information must be readily and easily accessible to all your employees and so familiar to them that they instantly know where to find all necessary information.

Make the Message Fit the Environment

Design your workers’ comp materials to fit the environment. A printed brochure may work for clerical employees who work at a desk and can put them in a file folder. But will a brochure work for a factory floor worker without file space? Probably not. A brochure handed to that worker will likely end up in the round filing cabinet, i.e. a waste receptacle after being piled somewhere with other papers.

Think about where your employees work, take breaks, gather and socialize when thinking about how and where to communicate your workers’ comp messages. The delivery of information must take into consideration the location where the communication is occurring. An auto visor packet might be good in a company vehicle. Wallet cards might be good for employees who go into the field. Signs near water coolers and restrooms are good reinforces. Lamination of the materials is important where there is the potential for dirt or moisture in an environment that can ruin plain paper.

Combine Methods to Maximize Impact

Think about how you want to deliver your message. Using a combination of methods may be the best way to continually drive home your messages. For example, you may want to hand out or mail brochures to new employees with an annual update. Then you can also put up posters throughout the work area and in break rooms, give employees wallet or lanyard cards, and put a zippered three-ring mobile folder in all vehicles and toolboxes.

Another constant reminder is a sticker label to be put on telephones. This way the name and numbers of who to call when there is an injury or a claim is called in are immediately accessible to those making the calls.

Tailor the Message to the Audience

Think about your audience when designing your message materials. Do you have non-English speaking workers? Then your materials should also be translated into their first language. Are your employees eighth grade or college graduates? Make sure that your messages are clearly communicated in the simplest language possible. Don’t use several ten-dollar words where one ten-cent one will work. Your materials for your supervisors and upper management can be more in depth than is needed for your line workers. Also, the materials in your employee handbooks and safety plans can have much more detail than is needed in your program posters and wallet cards.

Make the Messages Easy to Read

Are your materials well lit and in big and dark enough font to be easily readable? As any middle aged worker in desperate need of reading glasses will tell you, they cannot see the same font size in a lighter color or that is against a non-contrasting background. Test their readability before their final printing. A clearly worded message won’t be read by employees who can’t easily see it.

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Please feel free to contact me about your workers compensation safety challenges to discuss solutions that fit your unique work environment.  Also lets talk about a your workers compensation insurance program and determine if  there are lower cost options for you in the market.

You can reach me at david@StaffingCompSolutions.com and visit us at www.StaffingCompSolutions.com

All the best
David Schek
President
StaffingCompSolutions.com
American Staffing Association Member
ASA Exhibitor  2014 Conference Booth 1123
California Staffing Association Member

StaffingCompSolutions.com—-  Workers  Compensation  Specialists and Staffing Business Consultants For Over 25 Years.

Safety Training For All Employees is a Great Investment — Even Part Time and Temporaries

Workers Compensation accidents do not differentiate between part time workers and full time workers. In fact some studies point to part timers as more accident prone on many jobs.

Interestingly.  in a   recent  poll, 27% of small business owners said that they do not offer workplace safety training for new student workers they employ, and among those who do offer workplace safety training, only 52% make it a requirement.

Below are 4 Tips to better work place safety for all employees.

1.  Provide education and training

Business owners should provide employees with information and training on their injury and illness prevention programs. These training sessions should especially be held whenever new substances, processes, procedures or equipment are introduced into the workplace.

Proper training includes the identification of potential hazards, preventative measures for common accidents, as well as what to do if an accident occurs. EMPLOYERS also suggests that business owners train employees in a language they understand, especially in a bilingual environment

2.  Identify and assess potential hazards

Business owners and managers should identify and document potential hazards, as well as put proper safety procedures in place before employees use equipment or materials in the workplace.

By establishing simple safety procedures, such as requiring rubber-soled shoes to be worn by all employees in restaurants and warehouses, employers can help prevent accidents. However, it is not enough to establish a protocol. Employers must document these procedures because it establishes a record that can be referenced in the event of an OSHA inspection or insurance audit.

3. Enlist management and employee participation

Employers should encourage employees to provide feedback regarding the safety situation in the workplace environment. At all levels, employees should be involved in establishing, implementing and evaluating safety programs.

This also means that managers are not exempt from safety procedures. Employees in authoritative positions are responsible to lead by example and should be held accountable for workplace safety

4.  Evaluate program effectiveness 

Business owners should routinely evaluate their workplace safety programs. An annual review is a great way to routinely assess the program, but employers should also consider reviewing their workplace safety program whenever new or previously unknown hazards are discovered.

I hope these tips help you control workers compensation costs. Please feel free to contact me at 202-302-1212 or E mail me  at david@StaffingCompSolutions.com for a FREE workers compensation  quote that can  reduce and contain your costs.

All the best
David Schek
President
StaffingCompSolutions.com
American Staffing Association Member
ASA Exhibitor  2014 Conference Booth 1123
California Staffing Association Member

StaffingCompSolutions.com—- Workers Compensation Specialists and Staffing Business Consultants For Over 25 Years.