Magazine article Risk Management

Seven Steps to Building a Workers Comp Program

Magazine article Risk Management

Seven Steps to Building a Workers Comp Program

Article excerpt

Regardless of industry, running a well-managed workers compensation program is becoming more critical than ever. When highly trained, experienced employees remain on the job, productivity rises, employee morale increases and workers comp costs fall. Here are seven steps to follow to ensure that your program is delivering.

1. PROGRAM COORDINATION

At the outset, the organization needs to designate a qualified person as program coordinator. This person must be motivated, knowledgeable, highly regarded by colleagues and possess powerful communication skills. The workers comp coordinator will become responsible for managing both frequency and severity of claims and ultimately the organization's total cost of risk. For best results, the person should be empowered to make staffing and financial decisions that impact program performance.

2. EMPLOYEE HEALTH AND WELLNESS

Employers have an obligation to ensure that workers' physical abilities are commensurate with the duties they are expected to perform. This process should begin before employees are even hired and continue throughout their employment. Businesses should also encourage employees to protect and improve their health and well-being-healthy workers are less likely to become injured and more likely to return to work promptly should an injury or illness occur.

3. SAFETY AND LOSS PREVENTION

An organizational culture in which safety is a priority is essential. Creating such an environment begins with a commitment to safety from the top. Senior executives must take on a very visible role and support the program through communication, examples and financial support. Creating a diverse safety committee able to effect change can also play a significant role in accident reduction efforts. All employees should be held accountable for safety and loss prevention at the workplace as a condition of employment.

4. CLAIMS ADMINISTRATION

One easy way to lower claims costs is to ensure all workplace incidents are reported immediately. The sooner a claim is reported to the third party administrator, the sooner the adjuster can begin the claims management process. Industry studies have shown the more time that elapses between the time an accident occurs and the time it is reported to the claims administrator, the more costly the claim becomes. Additionally, employers need to maintain an active role in monitoring the services provided by the third party administrator. …

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