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Human Resources and Safety

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Human Resources and Safety

So what is the big deal about Human Resources ?   One may ask, “ you said you were going to address safety, yet you start with some Human Resources articles, why ? “   Simple, because good Human Resources is the platform for smart safety.  Think of it like a triangle, the base of the triangle is Human Resources, the next side is safety and the final side to our Risk Management Triangle is Workers’ Comp. administration.

by Glen DuLac, Safety Consultant

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Several years ago, while working as a Regional Risk Manager, for a large staffing company, my V.P. made  the following statement;  “  We hire our own work comp claims.”   This simple concept had a profound influence on my professional career.

At the time I had one last class to finish, the CPCU designation, with that completed, I decided to become certified in Human Resources, so I passed the PHR exam.   A number of years later,  I finished a graduate degree in Human Resources.

Controlled studies have proven that good employees will have fewer injuries and fewer claims.  And of greater importance for Senior Managers, is that these employees are more productive.  Greater productivity becomes greater profits.  It has been shown that workers who score high on conscientiousness have only half of the injuries as employees with low scores on conscientiousness.

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Here are four steps to a stellar safety program.  Here is a mnemonic device for remembering the four, STIR.  This stands for the following:  Science, Training, IIPP and Recognition or rewards.  First we use the available science for all employee selection.  There are a number of reliable personality tests for selecting employees, but the best will focus on conscientiousness and or honesty.  Use science, not interviews.

Next, it is vitally important to have a bullet proof Injury and Illness Prevention Plan ( IIPP) .  Many companies have poorly crafted IIPPs.  Or they had a good plan but their operation has changed but the plan was never updated.  In many states, an IIPP  that is deficient,  is OSHA’s most common employer violation.   An important subpart of the IIPP is employee safety training.  Lack of regular safety training is another common violation.

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One safety training annually is an accident waiting to happen.  Safety training that is regular and hazard specific will reduce accidents and save money in several different ways.  Also, you must have written records of the training.  Finally, rewards and or recognition help reinforce the safety culture.  There are dozens of ways to approach rewards and recognition plans, for brevity,  I will only suggest one.

Make safety part of the employees annual review process. No employee with a poor safety record shall be promoted or receive raises or bonuses.  It is good business to reward the behaviors that management wants, and not to reward behaviors that are undesirable.

In closing, there are companies with good safety records that do not integrate safety and human resources, but if you want a superlative safety program and a distinct competitive advantage, which can translate into greater profits, it will only happen by using the science which is found in Human Resources.

SOME Initials

CPCU,  Charter Property and Casualty Underwriter  ( a Risk Management and Insurance credential )

PHR,    Professional in Human Resources

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James Moore

Raleigh, NC, United States

About The Author...

James founded a Workers’ Compensation consulting firm, J&L Risk Mgmt Consultants, Inc. in 1996. J&L’s mission is to reduce our clients’ Workers Compensation premiums by using time-tested techniques. J&L’s claims, premium, reserve and Experience Mod reviews have saved employers over $9.8 million in earned premiums over the last three years. J&L has saved numerous companies from bankruptcy proceedings as a result of insurance overpayments.

James has over 27 years of experience in insurance claims, audit, and underwriting, specializing in Workers’ Compensation. He has supervised, and managed the administration of Workers’ Compensation claims, and underwriting in over 45 states. His professional experience includes being the Director of Risk Management for the North Carolina School Boards Association. He created a very successful Workers’ Compensation Injury Rehabilitation Unit for school personnel.

James’s educational background, which centered on computer technology, culminated in earning a Masters of Business Administration (MBA); an Associate in Claims designation (AIC); and an Associate in Risk Management designation (ARM). He is a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) and a licensed financial advisor. The NC Department of Insurance has certified him as an insurance instructor. He also possesses a Bachelors’ Degree in Actuarial Science.

LexisNexis has twice recognized his blog as one of the Top 25 Blogs on Workers’ Compensation. J&L has been listed in AM Best’s Preferred Providers Directory for Insurance Experts – Workers Compensation for over eight years. He recently won the prestigious Baucom Shine Lifetime Achievement Award for his volunteer contributions to the area of risk management and safety. James was recently named as an instructor for the prestigious Insurance Academy.

James is on the Board of Directors and Treasurer of the North Carolina Mid-State Safety Council. He has published two manuals on Workers’ Compensation and three different claims processing manuals. He has also written and has been quoted in numerous articles on reducing Workers’ Compensation costs for public and private employers. James publishes a weekly newsletter with 7,000 readers.

He currently possess press credentials and am invited to various national Workers Compensation conferences as a reporter.

James’s articles or interviews on Workers’ Compensation have appeared in the following publications or websites:

  • Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS)
  • Entrepreneur Magazine
  • Bloomberg Business News
  • WorkCompCentral.com
  • Claims Magazine
  • Risk & Insurance Magazine
  • Insurance Journal
  • Workers Compensation.com
  • LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites
  • Various trade publications

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