Workers’ Compensation Trends to Watch in 2021

Workers’ Compensation Trends to Watch in 2021

Workers’ Compensation Trends to Watch in 2021

Not only is workers’ compensation coverage required in most states, but it also plays a major role in connecting injured employees to the care they need to return to work as quickly and safely as possible. That’s why it’s crucial for your organization to develop an effective workers’ compensation program. The following Workers’ Compensation Trends can guide the development of your worker’s comp program. Of course, GDI Insurance is here to help!

To ensure a successful program, it’s important to stay up to date on the latest workers’ compensation trends. In doing so, your organization will have the information needed to respond appropriately and make any necessary workers’ compensation program adjustments.

Don’t let your organization fall behind in this evolving risk landscape. Review the following guidance to learn more about workers’ compensation trends to watch in 2021.

Workers' Compensation Trends

The Effects of COVID-19 and Workers’ Compensation Trends

As the coronavirus pandemic continues, many employers have had to make a wide range of organizational adjustments—such as going remote, changing employees’ roles, implementing lay-offs or furloughs, or temporarily halting operations.

These adjustments, depending on which state you are in, could be subject to various workers’ compensation-related reporting changes, as well as potentially impact your organization’s premium costs and experience modification factor. This is because your workplace risks and safety exposures have likely changed due to such adjustments. Be sure to consult legal counsel for additional, state-specific guidance on the impact of such adjustments.

Your organization should also prepare for workers’ compensation claims related to COVID-19 exposure. Generally, in terms of COVID-19, claims are evaluated on a case-by-case basis, and coverage may be triggered if both of the following are true:

  • The illness in question arises out of the course and scope of employment.
  • The illness in question arises out of or is caused by job-specific conditions and not an ordinary disease of life (e.g., the common cold) to which the general public is exposed.

Keep in mind that every claim is different. When it comes to compensability, you’ll need to evaluate what jobs or tasks an employee was performing when they were exposed to COVID-19. Additionally, states are going to have different thresholds for COVID-19 compensability. Some states may have more general language regarding workplace illnesses, and communicable and contagious diseases in their statutes, while others have issued specific guidance on COVID-19 claims.

Specifically, a number of states have enacted legislation and issued executive orders that expand workers’ compensation coverage for certain employees (e.g., health care workers and first responders). In particular, some states have created new rules regarding COVID-19 presumptions. A presumption describes the conditions in which an employee’s injury or illness is presumed to have happened on the job and should be compensated. Be sure to track your specific state’s developments regarding the interaction between COVID-19 cases and workers’ compensation claims.

In any case, it’s important for your organization to implement workplace health and safety measures to help protect your staff from COVID-19 exposure and limit the likelihood of related claims. Further, review guidance from your state workers’ compensation board and speak with an insurance professional to learn more about how your coverage may or may not respond to COVID-19 claims.

Workers' Compensation Trends

The Adoption of Telemedicine

The coronavirus pandemic has certainly contributed to an acceleration in the adoption of telemedicine within the workers’ compensation realm. However, workplace health and safety experts anticipate that telemedicine will remain a key offering even after the pandemic subsides.

Telemedicine allows employees to receive medical services virtually after they’ve been injured on the job. Examples of telemedicine in action may include video consultations with care providers following an injury (allowing for a virtual evaluation and diagnosis) and text message alerts that remind the recovering employee of treatment steps or upcoming appointments.

Telemedicine can be useful in situations where medical care isn’t easily accessible to staff, such as:

  • When an injury occurs during an overnight shift and most treatment facilities have closed
  • If your workplace is located in an area where there are limited care facilities nearby
  • If your organization frequently conducts work off-site—making care availability unpredictable

Telemedicine is also an increasingly viable option to help staff avoid the risks of in-person visits or having to navigate adjusted clinic schedules during the coronavirus pandemic.

In addition to providing employees with easy access to medical care following an injury, utilizing telemedicine can offer a variety of key benefits to your workers’ compensation program. This includes transportation and time savings by limiting physical trips to the doctor, simplified access to medical specialists and improved recovery capabilities for injured employees—minimizing treatment delays.

Further, the combination of these benefits can, in turn, help reduce your organization’s overall workers’ compensation claim costs—limiting the need for in-person treatment while still ensuring quality care and a speedy recovery.

However, keep in mind that telemedicine is not a universal care solution for all workplace injuries. This offering only applies to non-urgent situations. In-person treatment will always be necessary in the event of an emergency. Even in non-urgent situations, telemedicine may still need to be combined with in-person treatment. 

The Impact of Mega Claims

Another trend that has become a costly issue in the realm of workers’ compensation is the surge in mega claims. These are exceptionally large claims—totaling $3 million or more in incurred losses.

In regard to workers’ compensation, these claims typically stem from employees experiencing severe (and possibly permanent) injuries on the job. While the causes of these injuries vary, mega claims are usually attributed to falls, motor vehicle accidents and struck-by incidents. In some cases, however, mega claims can develop slowly—particularly when caused by minor injuries that go untreated.

Mega claims are not only expensive, but often lengthier and more complex in nature. Such claims can leave lasting impacts on your organization by way of hefty costs, lost time and the potential for severe reputational damage.

What’s more, mega claims have become a rising concern in the past decade. In fact, according to a recent study conducted by the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI), these claims have reached a 12-year high—increasing in both frequency and severity. This increase has been attributed to several possible factors, such as changes in mortality patterns, medical advances and a rise in health care costs.

Despite their devastating impact, mega claims may be preventable in some instances. To combat such claims, it’s critical to ramp up your safety efforts—particularly when it comes to preventing falls, motor vehicle accidents and struck-by incidents.

The Rise in Comorbidities

The rising concern of comorbidities has also become a recent workers’ compensation trend. Put simply, a comorbidity is the simultaneous presence of two or more medical diagnoses for an individual.

Comorbid conditions are typically long-term health complications that have the potential to increase the severity of other injuries or illnesses that the affected individual may experience, making it more difficult to fully recover. Common comorbid conditions include obesity, diabetes, hypertension, depression, anxiety and substance abuse.

According to a study conducted by the NCCI, workers’ compensation claims involving comorbidities have nearly tripled since 2000. Further, the average cost of workers’ compensation claims connected to a comorbid condition is almost twice as much as that of comparable claims that don’t involve comorbidities.

This increase in workers’ compensation costs is likely tied to the often complex, long-term nature of claims that involve comorbidities. After all, individuals who have comorbid conditions typically take longer to heal from an injury, are more prone to develop additional complications due to an injury and are even at an increased risk of being left permanently disabled by an injury.

To combat the potential impact of comorbidities, many employers have found success by implementing wellness initiatives. In other words, if your organization takes the time to address chronic health conditions and improve the overall well-being of your staff, you could reduce the severity of workers’ compensation claims and maintain low comorbidity rates overall.

Workers' Compensation Trends

The Concern of Key Labor Trends

In recent years, filling jobs with experienced workers has been a challenge for organizations across industry lines due to ongoing labor shortages. As a result, many employers have begun hiring a larger number of inexperienced workers. However, such a practice comes with workers’ compensation risks.

In fact, according to a recent survey conducted by the Golden Triangle Business Roundtable in Texas, employees with less than five years of experience contribute to 43% of overall workplace injuries. This is likely because inexperienced workers often lack years of safety training and may be more willing to take unnecessary risks.

In addition to a rise in inexperienced employees, the past decade has also brought on an aging workforce. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the share of employees over the age of 55 in the labor force is expected to increase to nearly 25% by 2024 (up from 21.7% in 2014). Such a statistic is notable, as the cost of workers’ compensation claims generally increases as employees age. After all, because health typically diminishes with age, the impact of minor injuries can be more severe for older workers—taking them longer to fully recover.

Furthermore, age-related changes and declines can include a shorter memory, slower reaction times, a decline in vision and hearing, or a poor sense of balance. These limitations can lead to many injuries for older workers, including falls caused by poor vision or a slowed reaction time, sprains and strains due to a loss of strength or balance, and injuries from repetitive tasks.

These trends emphasize how crucial it is for your organization to promote a safe working culture and prioritize injury prevention. Specifically, be sure to conduct routine safety training for all employees and implement effective workplace safety policies.

The Results of Marijuana Legalization and Workers’ Compensation Trends

Following the 2020 election results, medical marijuana is now legal in 36 states, and recreational marijuana is now legal in 15 states. In response, your organization will need to review changes to your state’s legislation (if any) and adjust your workers’ compensation program accordingly.

In terms of medical marijuana, very few prescription drugs that are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and contain marijuana exist on the market. And because doctors are only permitted to prescribe FDA-approved drugs, the actual prescription of medical marijuana for treatment is rare. That being said, if your state has legalized medical marijuana, it is best to consult legal counsel to ensure that your workers’ compensation program supports compliant treatment options.

In regard to recreational marijuana, it should be treated similarly to alcohol usage in the workplace. That is, it should be prohibited during work hours, as it can hinder employees’ abilities to perform tasks safely and increase the likelihood of injuries—contributing to workers’ compensation claims.

We’re Here to Help

You don’t have to respond to this changing risk landscape alone. We’re here to help you navigate these trends with ease. For additional workers’ compensation resources, risk management guidance and insurance solutions, contact us today.

California’s Leader in Insurance and Risk Management

As one of the fastest-growing agencies in California, GDI Insurance Agency, Inc. is able to provide its clients with the latest and greatest of what the insurance industry has to offer and much, much more. The GDI team has developed an “insurance cost reduction” quoting plan, that provides you with the best coverage at the best rate!

We are headquartered in Turlock, CA, with locations across the heart of California’s Central Valley, Northern California and beyond to provide a local feel to the solutions and services we provide our clients. We pride ourselves on exceeding our client’s expectations in every interaction to make sure that our client’s know how much we value and appreciate their business.

Contact us today 1-209-634-2929 for your comprehensive worker’s compensation insurance quote!

5 Tips for Reducing Workers’ Compensation Costs

5 Tips for Reducing Workers’ Compensation Costs

5 Tips for Reducing Workers’ Compensation Costs

When a company experiences significant increases in workers’ compensation costs, it usually triggers internal activities aimed at reducing insurance costs and spending. The key to spending fewer dollars is more than just stopping a few accidents; it is having a sound safety program designed to continuously improve. This is where a safety program that, at a minimum, is compliant with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards can yield significant savings for  by reducing injuries and illnesses, reducing workers’ compensation costs.

Reducing Workers’ Compensation Costs by Building a Solid OSHA Program

There are five elementary steps  can take to have a well-rounded safety program that produces a safe work environment, achieves OSHA compliance, reduces accidents and ultimately reducing workers’ compensation costs.

  1. Develop the various programs required by the OSHA standards.
  2. Integrate those programs into the daily operations.
  3. Investigate all injuries and illnesses.
  4. Provide training to develop safety competence in all employees.
  5. Audit your programs and your work areas on a regular basis to stimulate continuous improvement. 
Reducing Workers' Compensation Costs

Develop Programs Required by OSHA Standards

Aside from being a requirement for general industry, the OSHA standards provide a good pathway to incident reductions. A good number of accidents stem from poorly developed or poorly implemented OSHA programs: failure to keep walking and working surfaces clear may result in slips or trips, not using personal protective equipment may result in excessive lacerations, and poor lifting techniques can result in strains.

Many of the OSHA standards require some type of written program be developed and then communicated to employees. Experience shows that companies with thoroughly developed OSHA-compliant programs have fewer accidents, more productive employees and lower workers’ compensation costs.

Integrate Programs into Daily Operations

Policies alone won’t get results; the program must move from paper to practice in order to succeed. Putting a policy into practice requires a strategic plan clearly communicated to key participants, good execution of that plan based on developed competencies and a culture that inspires and rewards people to do their best.

When developing any business initiative, there must be an emphasis on frontline supervisors and helping them succeed. Every good business person knows that any new program—safety, quality or anything else—lives and dies with the frontline supervisor. If the frontline supervisor knows the program and wants to make it happen, the program succeeds; if not, the program is a source of constant struggle and an endless drain on resources and energies. Providing supervisors with knowledge and skills through training is critical to the success of any program. 

A solid OSHA program integrated into the daily operation and led by competent supervisors is just the beginning. Successful safety programs focus on being proactive instead of always reacting to issues. Accident investigations provide an excellent source of information on real or potential issues present in the workplace.

Reducing Workers' Compensation Costs

Investigate All Injuries and Illnesses

Workers’ compensation is designed to recompense employees for injuries or illnesses they suffer in the course of their employment. This should not come as a surprise, but increasing numbers of claims drive up workers’ compensation costs. To reduce those costs, you must simply reduce your accidents, and the ability to reduce accidents is significantly enhanced when those accidents are fully investigated instead of simply being reported.

Accident reports are historical records only citing facts, while accident investigations go deeper to find the root cause and make improvements. Businesses that stop rising workers’ compensation costs have an effective accident investigation process that discovers the root cause of the problem. Unless the root cause is discovered, recommendations for improvement will remain fruitless. Again, training proves beneficial because a supervisor skilled in incident analysis is a better problem solver for all types of production-related issues, not just safety.

All accidents should be investigated to find out what went wrong and why. Some may suggest investigating every accident is a bit over the top and only those that incur significant costs are worthy of scrutiny. But ask yourself this question: If you only investigated serious quality concerns instead of every little deviation, would your quality program still be effective? Companies with solid quality programs investigate and resolve every deviation from quality standards.

If your emphasis is only on those incidents that have to be recorded on the OSHA 300 log, you close your eyes to the biggest accident category: first aid-only incidents. Many companies get upset about recordables or lost time accidents because of the significant costs involved, but they don’t realize that the small costs and high numbers of first aid-only incidents really add up.

Statistics show that for every 100 accidents, 10 will be recordable and one a lost-time incident. If you investigate only recordables or lost time accidents, 89 go unnoticed. Would you consider a quality program that allows an 89% failure rate successful? Reducing serious accidents means you must reduce your overall rate of all accidents – including first aid-only incidents. That only happens when every incident is fully investigated to find the root cause, and remedial actions are identified and integrated into the daily operation.

Training and Auditing for Continuous Improvement

The final steps focus on training and auditing your program for continuous improvement. Training plays a significant role in safety and in reducing workers’ compensation costs. The goal of training is to develop competent people who have the knowledge, skill and understanding to perform assigned job responsibilities. Competence, more than anything else, will improve all aspects of your business and drive down costs. Supervisors must have the knowledge and ability to integrate every safety program into their specific areas of responsibility. Every employee must know what is expected of them when it comes to implementing safe work procedures. Once the programs are developed and implemented, they must be reviewed on a regular basis to make sure they are still relevant and effective.

This might require a significant change in how you manage your safety program, but if your workers’ compensation rates are high, it may be time to make this leap.

Tangible Benefits

  1. Studies indicate there is a return on investment and that companies see direct bottom-line benefits with a properly designed, implemented and integrated safety program.
  2. A competency-based safety program is compliant with OSHA requirements and therefore reduces the threat of OSHA fines.
  3. A competency-based safety program lowers accidents, and fewer accidents lower workers’ compensation costs. When incidents do occur, a competency-based safety program fully evaluates the issue and finds the root cause to prevent reoccurrence and provides a workplace that is free from recognized hazards.
  4. A safer workplace creates better morale and improves employee retention. Auditing keeps your programs fresh and effective and drives continuous improvement.
  5. A competency-based program produces people who are fully engaged in every aspect of their job and are satisfied and fulfilled producing high-quality goods and services.

How Can We Assist You?

At GDI Insurance Agency, Inc., we are committed to helping you establish a strong safety program that minimizes your workers’ compensation exposures. Contact us today at 209-634-2929 to learn more about our OSHA compliance, safety program, and accident investigation tools and resources.

California’s Leader in Insurance and Risk Management

GDI Insurance Agency, Inc.

As one of the fastest growing agencies in California, GDI Insurance Agency, Inc. is able to provide its clients with the latest and greatest of what the insurance industry has to offer and much, much more. The GDI team has developed an “insurance cost reduction” quoting plan, that provides you with the best coverage at the best rate!

We are headquartered in Turlock, CA, with locations across the heart of California’s Central Valley, Northern California and beyond to provide a local feel to the solutions and services we provide our clients. We pride ourselves on exceeding our client’s expectations in every interaction to make sure that our client’s know how much we value and appreciate their business.

Contact us today 1-209-634-2929 for your comprehensive workers’ compensation insurance quote! We can help with reducing workers’ compensation costs!

Workers’ Compensation Changes for COVID-19

Workers’ Compensation Changes for COVID-19

Workers’ Compensation Changes for COVID-19

Understanding Workers’ Compensation changes for COVID-19. Under most state workers’ compensation (WC) laws, COVID-19 may be a compensable, work-related condition only if an employee can show that:

  • He or she contracted the coronavirus while performing services growing out of and incidental to his or her employment; and
  • The disease arose out of that employment (work relatedness).

As of June 30, 2020, however, several states have made—or are in the process of making—changes that reverse this burden for certain employees. In general, these changes mean that it would be an employer’s burden to prove that an employee did not contract COVID-19 on the job, rather than the employee’s burden of proving that he or she did contract it on the job. While most of these changes apply only to certain types of workers—such as first responders, health care providers or those who are otherwise deemed “essential”—some changes apply the new presumption more broadly.

Many states have also taken actions that aim to reduce the impact of COVID-19-related claims on an employer’s WC premium rates.   

This Compliance Bulletin provides general information about the COVID-19-related changes made to state WC laws and policies.

Employers should follow all workplace safety guidance from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and local health authorities to minimize the risk of employees contracting COVID-19 on the job.

Employers should also familiarize themselves with state laws that may impact their workers’ compensation COVID-19 obligations and premiums.

Workers' compensation changes for COVID-19

Workers’ Compensation Law Background

Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system that provides medical expenses and lost-income replacement for employees who sustain injuries or illnesses that arise out of and in the course and scope of their employment.

Each state has its own workers’ compensation law that governs of the process of determining whether an injury or illness is work related and therefore compensable.  Although workers’ compensation benefits are usually the exclusive remedy against an employer for any compensable condition, employers may also be subject to private lawsuits if they intentionally cause harm to an employee or fail to have workers’ compensation coverage as required.

Workers’ Compensation Changes for COVID-19 Compensability Presumptions 

The table below provides a general overview of the changes to state workers’ compensation laws that have been enacted to provide a presumption that COVID-19 is a compensable, work-related condition for certain employees. Similar changes remain pending in other states. Employers should become familiar with (and regularly check for updates to) the detailed requirements that may affect them under all applicable laws.  

Workers' compensation changes for COVID-19

Premium Calculations

The premiums an employer must pay for coverage under a workers’ compensation insurance policy is usually determined based on payroll, measures of risk associated with the jobs that workers perform and the number and type of WC claims that have been made against the employer in the past. Due to the effects the COVID-19 pandemic may have on these factors, some states (including California, for example) allow employers to reclassify employees or exclude COVID-19-related claims from their calculations.

GDI Insurance Agency, Inc.

California’s Leader in Insurance and Risk Management

As one of the fastest growing agencies in California, GDI Insurance Agency, Inc. is able to provide its clients with the latest and greatest of what the insurance industry has to offer and much, much more. The GDI team has developed an “insurance cost reduction” quoting plan, that provides you with the best coverage at the best rate!

We are headquartered in Turlock, CA, with locations across the heart of California’s Central Valley, Northern California and beyond to provide a local feel to the solutions and services we provide our clients. We pride ourselves on exceeding our client’s expectations in every interaction to make sure that our client’s know how much we value and appreciate their business. Contact us today 1-209-634-2929 for your comprehensive workers’ compensation insurance quote!

OSHA Inspection Changes

OSHA Inspection Changes

OSHA Inspection Changes

On Oct. 1, 2019, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration began using a new OSHA Weighting System (OWS) for the 2020 fiscal year, creating OSHA inspection changes. The administration had used its previous weighting system since the 2015 fiscal year.

OSHA hopes that the OWS will encourage the appropriate allocation of resources to support its approach of balancing safety and health in the workplace. The new system is intended to develop and support a management system that focuses enforcement activities on areas where OSHA’s efforts can be most impactful.

OSHA Inspection

OSHA Inspection Changes and Adjustments

The OWS comes with several adjustments and adaptions compared with its predecessor, including additional enforcement initiatives, such as site-specific targeting. The new system also encourages the agency’s field staff to conduct compliance-assistance activities.

Previously, OSHA inspections were weighted heavily based on the amount of time that they took to conduct. With the OWS, OSHA is hoping to make time less of a factor when weighting the potential impact of an inspection while emphasizing other factors that have an effect on overall workplace safety and health.

The new OSHA Inspection Changes have been formulated based on a working group’s recommendations and evaluation of existing criteria.

OSHA Inspection

What has Changed?

The previous weighting system measured inspections using enforcement units. The OWS will continue to tally enforcement units, but will do so based on different factors, such as agency priorities and the impact of inspections. OSHA hopes that the OWS will further its goal of taking a balanced approach toward workplace health and safety and will properly incorporate the three major work elements performed by its field agents: enforcement activity, essential enforcement support functions and compliance-assistance efforts.

“Moving forward, inspections will be weighted based on a combination of factors, such as if the inspection targets a highly hazardous workplace, if it is conducted as part of a strategic hazard emphasis program or by the complexity of the inspection.”

According to OSHA, the changes in how inspections will be weighted under the OWS will make it impossible to fairly compare total enforcement units moving forward to numbers from past years. For example, the new system gives additional weight to programmed inspections targeting what the agency calls the “fatal four/focus four,” which refers to the leading causes of workplace fatalities: Falls, struck-by object, electrocutions and caught-in/between.

Under the previous system, the 2016-18 fiscal years consisted of 40,199, 38,692 and 38,760 total enforcement units respectively. If applied to the new system, those numbers would have all been over 60,000. OSHA does plan to apply the OWS retroactively for past years and compare both methods in order to assess the performance and appropriateness of the new system.

OSHA Inspection Changes Moving Forward

Moving forward, OSHA inspections will be weighted based on a combination of factors, such as if the inspection targets a highly hazardous workplace, if it is conducted as part of a strategic hazard emphasis program or by the complexity of the inspection.

Overall, OSHA’s goal for the OWS is to put an emphasis on enforcement and compliance assistance in order for the agency and its agents to be able to be proactive in promoting safety and health in the workplace, rather than being reactive to incidents after they have occurred.

Click here to read OSHA’s official press release regarding the OWS. For additional information from the agency, click here.

GDI Insurance Agency, Inc.

California’s Leader in Insurance and Risk Management

As one of the fastest growing agencies in California, GDI Insurance Agency, Inc. is able to provide its clients with the latest and greatest of what the insurance industry has to offer and much, much more.

We are headquartered in Turlock, CA, with locations across the heart of California’s Central Valley, Northern California and beyond to provide a local feel to the solutions and services we provide our clients. We pride ourselves on exceeding our client’s expectations in every interaction to make sure that our client’s know how much we value and appreciate their business. Contact us today 1-209-634-2929 for your comprehensive insurance quote!

The Employers’ Liability Component of Workers’ Compensation Insurance

The Employers’ Liability Component of Workers’ Compensation Insurance

The Employers’ Liability Component of Workers’ Compensation Insurance

As an employer, it’s your responsibility to ensure your workers remain both safe and healthy on the job. However, accidents are common even in otherwise safe industries, making workers’ compensation insurance coverage a must. These policies have two main parts—Part One: Workers’ Compensation Insurance and Part Two: Employers’ Liability Insurance.

GDI Insurance Agency, Inc. will examine Part Two, giving you a better sense of what’s covered under your policy.

Safety Plan

Employers’ Liability Insurance and What It Covers

The main purpose of workers’ compensation insurance is to ensure that injured workers receive medical care and benefits when they are injured on the job and unable to work (Part One). However, employees may still sue your organization for damages if they feel your negligence caused the injury in the first place. That’s where Part Two of workers’ compensation insurance comes in.

Part Two, which is often referred to as employers’ liability insurance, protects your organization should employees file a lawsuit following an on-the-job accident that isn’t subject to state statutory benefits. This component of workers’ compensation insurance pays for attorney’s fees, court costs, and settlements or judgments.

cyber security for medical office

Employers’ liability coverage can be especially useful following a variety of claims, including:

  1. Third-party action—If an employee is injured at work, they may not sue you directly. However, they could sue a third party who could then file their own lawsuit against you. For instance, if an employee hurts themselves on a piece of machinery, they could sue the equipment manufacturer. That manufacturer could then sue you if they feel your negligence led to the accident.
  2. Loss of consortium—In the event that an employee is injured, a spouse may file a lawsuit for injuries that result in a loss of a family relationship. For instance, should an employee be severely injured or killed on the job, employers’ liability coverage can provide a level of protection.
  3. Dual-capacity suit—These types of lawsuits occur when an employer and employee have more than one relationship. One common example of this is when an employee is injured by a product that the employer manufacturers. In this case, the organization could be held liable as both an employer and a manufacturer.
  4. Consequential body injury—These types of claims refer to consequential damages linked to the initial accident. For instance, a spouse may sue your organization should the injury to their loved one negatively impact their own health (e.g., elevated blood pressure).

Not all workers’ compensation policies include employers’ liability coverage automatically. As such, it’s important to speak with a qualified insurance broker who can help you better understand your coverage and identify any gaps.

GDI Insurance Agency, Inc.

California’s Leader in Insurance and Risk Management

As one of the fastest growing agencies in California, GDI Insurance Agency, Inc. is able to provide its clients with the latest and greatest of what the insurance industry has to offer and much, much more.

We are headquartered in Turlock, CA, with locations across the heart of California’s Central Valley, Northern California and beyond to provide a local feel to the solutions and services we provide our clients. We pride ourselves on exceeding our client’s expectations in every interaction to make sure that our client’s know how much we value and appreciate their business. Contact us today 1-209-634-2929 for your comprehensive employers’ liability insurance quote!

Control Hotel Workers Compensation Insurance Costs

Control Hotel Workers Compensation Insurance Costs

Control Hotel Workers Compensation Insurance Costs

Has your hospitality business had an increase in hotel workers compensation insurance costs as a result of workplace accidents? If so, it’s time to take a closer look at your safety program.

The key to spending fewer dollars is more than just stopping a few accidents; it is having a sound safety program designed to continuously improve. A safety program that is compliant with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards for those in the hospitality, entertainment and recreation industry can yield significant savings for  by reducing injuries and illnesses, saving workers’ compensation dollars over the long run.

Contact GDI Insurance Agency, Inc. for your comprehensive hotel insurance quote. We provide a full range of tools to reduce your hotel workers compensation insurance costs. 209-634-2929

Hotel Insurance

Building a Solid OSHA Program for Hotels

There are five entry-level steps  can take to have a well-rounded safety program that produces a safe work environment, achieves OSHA compliance, reduces accidents and ultimately reduces hotel workers compensation insurance costs.

  1. Develop the various programs required by the OSHA standards.
  2. Integrate those programs into daily operations.
  3. Investigate all injuries and illnesses.
  4. Provide training to develop safety competence in all employees.
  5. Audit your programs and your work areas on a regular basis to stimulate continuous improvement. 
Hotel Safety Manual Download

Develop Hotel Workers Compensation Programs Required by OSHA Standards

Aside from being a requirement for businesses engaged in hospitality services or the entertainment and recreation industry, OSHA standards provide a good pathway to incident reductions. A hefty number of accidents stem from poorly developed, trained or implemented OSHA programs: slips or trips may come from poor housekeeping standards, burns and scalds from lax kitchen safety guidelines, and not following proper use of hazardous materials, such as cleaning products, can result in preventable illness and injury.

Many of the OSHA standards require some type of written program be developed and then communicated to all employees. Experience shows that companies with thoroughly developed, OSHA-compliant programs have fewer accidents, more productive employees and lower workers’ compensation costs.

Hotel Insurance

Integrate Programs into Daily Operations

Policies alone won’t get results; the program must move from paper to practice to succeed. Putting a policy into practice requires a strategic plan clearly communicated to everyone, good execution of that plan based on developed competencies, and a culture that inspires and rewards people to do their best.

When developing your safety initiative, there must be an emphasis on your supervisors and helping them succeed. If your management team knows the safety program and wants to make it happen, the program succeeds; if not, it will be an endless drain on resources and energies. Providing supervisors with knowledge and skills through training is critical to the success of your safety program.

A solid OSHA program integrated into the daily operation and led by competent supervisors is just the beginning. Successful safety programs focus on being proactive instead of being reactive. Accident investigations provide an excellent source of information on real or potential issues present in the workplace.

Contact GDI Insurance Agency, Inc. for your comprehensive hotel insurance quote. We provide a full range of tools to reduce your hotel workers compensation insurance costs. 209-634-2929

Hotel Insurance

Investigate All Injuries and Illnesses

Hotel workers compensation insurance is designed to recompense employees for injuries or illnesses that arise from or out of the course of employment – the more injuries you have, the higher your workers’ compensation costs. To reduce those costs, you must reduce your accidents. And the ability to reduce accidents is significantly enhanced when accidents are fully investigated instead of simply being reported.

Accident reports are historical records only citing facts, while accident investigations go deeper to find the root cause and make improvements. Businesses that stop rising workers’ compensation costs have an effective accident investigation process that flushes out the root cause of the problem. Unless the root cause is discovered, recommendations for improvement will remain fruitless. Again, training proves beneficial because a supervisor skilled in incident analysis is a better problem solver for all types of production-related issues, not just safety.

All accidents should be investigated to find out what went wrong and why. Some may suggest investigating every accident is a bit over the top and that only those that incur significant costs are worthy of scrutiny. But if your emphasis is only on those incidents that have to be recorded on the OSHA 300 log, you close your eyes to the biggest accident category: first aid-only incidents. Many companies focus on recordables or lost time accidents because of the significant costs involved, but they don’t realize that the small costs and high numbers of first aid-only incidents really add up.

Statistics show that for every 100 accidents, 10 will be recordable and one a lost-time incident. If you investigate only recordables or lost time accidents, 89 go unnoticed. Would you consider a quality program that allows an 89 percent failure rate successful? Reducing serious accidents means you must reduce your overall rate of all accidents – including first aid-only incidents. That only happens when every incident is fully investigated to find the root cause, and corrective actions are identified and integrated into your daily operations.

Training and Auditing for Continuous Improvement

The final steps focus on training and auditing your program for continuous improvement. Training plays a significant role in safety and in reducing hotel workers’ compensation insurance costs. The goal of training is to develop competent people who have the knowledge, skill and understanding to perform assigned job responsibilities. Competence, more than anything else, will improve all aspects of your business and drive down costs. Supervisors must have the knowledge and ability to integrate every safety program into their specific areas of responsibility. Every employee must know what is expected of them when it comes to implementing safe work procedures. Once the programs are developed and implemented, they must be reviewed on a regular basis to make sure they are still relevant and effective.

This might require a significant change in how you manage your safety program, but if your workers’ compensation rates are high, it may be time to make this leap.

Safety Plan

Tangible Benefits

  1. Studies indicate there is a return on investment and that companies see direct bottom-line benefits with a properly designed, implemented and integrated safety program.
  2. A competency-based safety program is compliant with OSHA requirements and therefore reduces the threat of OSHA fines.
  3. A competency-based safety program lowers accidents, and fewer accidents lower workers’ compensation costs. When incidents do occur, a competency-based safety program fully evaluates the issue and finds the root cause to prevent reoccurrence and provides a workplace that is free from recognized hazards.
  4. A safer workplace creates better morale and improves employee retention. Auditing keeps your programs fresh and effective, and drives continuous improvement.
  5. A competency-based program produces people who are fully engaged in every aspect of their job and are satisfied and fulfilled producing high-quality goods and services.

How Can We Assist You?

At GDI Insurance Agency, Inc., we are committed to helping you establish a strong safety program that minimizes your workers’ compensation exposures. Contact us today at 209-634-2929 to learn more about our OSHA compliance and safety program resources.

GDI Insurance Agency, Inc.

California’s Leader in Insurance and Risk Management

As one of the fastest growing agencies in California, GDI Insurance Agency, Inc. is able to provide its clients with the latest and greatest of what the insurance industry has to offer and much, much more.

We are headquartered in Turlock, CA, with locations across the heart of California’s Central Valley, Northern California and beyond to provide a local feel to the solutions and services we provide our clients. We pride ourselves on exceeding our client’s expectations in every interaction to make sure that our client’s know how much we value and appreciate their business. Contact us today 1-209-634-2929 for your comprehensive hotel insurance quote!