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Top 10 Risk Management Techniques For Workers Comp

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Top 10 Risk Management Techniques

The Risk Management Techniques for Workers Comp can vary by state. One technique may not work in a certain state.

Hand Hold Marker Pen Risk Management Techniques Concept
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The following is a list of great risk management techniques for Workers Comp.  The list is generic.  Most should work in every state.   These are not just beneficial to cost-savings for employers.   The techniques are also benefit the injured employee in the long run.

  1.   Rehabilitation nurses – For many years, I have recommended rehab nurses on workers compensation files.   The nurses can provide such info/services as:
    • Initial Intake – one of the most important parts of the initial interview is the surroundings in the home.   A good rehab nurse can identify an concerns that he/she sees in the home or family life.   As most workers comp adjusters will tell you, the home life makes a huge difference on the return to work.
    • Obtaining medical information – accompanying the injured employee to the provider appointment can save many headaches later in the file.
    • Return to work – rehab nurses are invaluable in assisting with a return to work situation.   They can often become the communication hub between the employer, physician, and employee.
  2. Medical networks –  Having a documented medical network can be priceless to a WC claim.   Keeping control of the claim is one of the most important considerations.  Employers usually request no sacrifice in the care of the injured employee.  The flow of information to the adjuster is very important.   The 15% network reductions are somewhat important but not as important as a high level of care.
  3. .Wikimedia Commons – Indian NavyJob banks – this is one of the “golden oldies”  of risk management techniques.   Employers and organizations that have full job banks can make an adjuster’s initial investigation much easier.   The treating physicians and medical providers can easily see what the job entails with a full description and/or a video.  The return to work release -especially with modified duty – can be more easily obtained from the physician.
  4. Ergonomicist visit –  This may seem like a very expensive technique.   However, a visit to a worksite by an ergonomicist can enhance small tweaks in employees’ duties that will result in lower injury rates.   Ergonomics was partially responsible for the 50% reduction in Carpal Tunnel Syndrome over the last 10 years -amazing.
  5. Hiring –  One of the best ways to avoid injuries is before the employee is hired.  Happy, well adjusted employees are more rarely injured and return back to work much more quickly after an injury.    One plant nurse used to keep track of new hires by giving them a 1 star to 5 star for a great potential employee.   90% of the employees injured were 1 star hires.   There are stacks of legal ramifications in the hiring process.   This suggestion may be more state-specific.
  6. Know your adjuster’s name and email address – One of the easiest ways to reduce your Workers Comp costs is to be in contact with your adjuster and vice-versa.   Always inform the adjuster of any file developments, good or bad.   Facilitating the adjuster’s job will always reap cost savings.
    Picture of Man Hand Stop Workers Comp Risk Management Wood Domino
    123RF

    7.   Plant or facility nurses – This is an expensive option unless you have centralized employee facilities.  Plant nurses are one of the best cost-cutters as many minor claims can be handled in-house.    Spending $400 on a deep splinter may not be the best use of funds.   Plant nurses can also cover a few facilities if they are centrally located.

    8.   Walk-in or industrial clinics  – This is comparable to one of the Six Keys To Workers Compensation – Medical Networks.    If you have an industrial medicine clinic near your facilities and are not using them, most industrial clinics will greet you with open arms.   The clinics usually have a marketing person that would love to give you a tour of the facilities.  Walk-in clinics are the same if they handle WC files.    I recently discussed this technique with a group of safety officers.   They were in a remote area and had no walk-in clinics.   A local family Doctor may suffice as long as they know you have a return to work program.

    9.  Second level physicians – The physicians in this group consist of orthopedic surgeons, neurosurgeons, and the more specialized medical facilities.  The first level physicians (see #8) need to know your preference for physicians in this level.   Directing medical care is possibly the largest cost saver as the medical treatment costs are kept in check.   The indemnity cost reductions follow the medical treatment recommendations.   I always recommend that the employees receive the best care possible while these cost-cutting measures are put into place.

    Physical health Risk Management Techniques Assessment
    Wikimedia Commons – Andrew Skipworth

    10.  Safety continues after accident. –  I have been told by safety consultants and safety personnel in companies that their job stops at the time of the accident.    Nothing could be further from the truth.   Loss reduction continues after the accident.  Making sure the adjuster gets the 1st report of injury and quick medical treatment should still be tracked or facilitated by the safety department.   Your job performance is based on injury severity and repetition.    The E-Mod is the safety score (of sorts).

    There are many more recommendations than just these 10 Workers Comp Risk Management Techniques.    Feel free to use the search box above in the top right corner.

 

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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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