5 Steps To Save On Workers Comp Insurance Premiums

How Do You Deal With Workers Compensation Insurance Premium Increases?

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 your company by reducing injuries and illnesses, save on Workers Comp dollars. A broker from GDI Insurance Agency will do this for you, and can offer additional Money Saving Workers Compensation Tips.

We also have a one step program: Just call 888-991-2929 and we will do this and everything else you see on our site for you!

Building A Solid California OSHA Program

OSHA penalties

There are five entry-level steps a company can take to have a well-rounded safety program that produces a safe work environment, achieves OSHA compliance, reduces accidents and ultimately you will save on Workers Comp 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.

Social Landing Page Graphic (6)

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, trained or implemented OSHA programs: slips or trips may come from poor housekeeping efforts or not keeping walking and working surfaces clear, 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 save on Workers Comp costs.

Contact GDI Insurance Agency, Inc. at 1-888-991-2929 for help to develop your workers compensation insurance program and save on workers comp.

Setting Safety Program Goals.  Five Things Every Safety Program Must Address To Cut The Cost Of California Workers Compensation Insurance!

  1. Investigate near-miss incidents to prevent future accidents.  Seventy-five percent of accidents are preceded by a near miss.
  2. Create a risk control service plan based on your workers’ compensation losses. Pay particular attention to frequency and severity of claims to craft an appropriate plan.
  3. Justify your risk control expenditures strategically to senior management so you receive the budget you need. Be sure they understand the importance of your company’s safety program and the money it saves in the long run.
  4. Based on your experience with prior claims, create a workers’ compensation cost allocation program. Budget money by examining what types of claims you’ve had over the past several years and their cost.
  5. Benchmark your company’s workers’ compensation performance against other comparable companies in your industry. This will help you identify areas to improve upon.

Integrate Programs into Your Business’ Daily Operations

save on workers comp

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 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 front line supervisors and helping them succeed. Every good business person knows that any new program – safety, quality or anything else – lives and dies with the front line supervisor. If the front line 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. 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. This will help save on workers comp.

Contact GDI Insurance Agency, Inc. at 1-888-991-2929 for help to develop your workers compensation insurance program.

Investigate All Injuries and Illnesses

Social Landing Page Graphic

Workers Compensation insurance is designed to recompense employees for injuries or illnesses that arise from or out of the course of employment. This should not come as a surprise, but increasing claims drive up Workers Comp 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 Comp costs have an effective accident investigation process that ferrets 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 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 recordable 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 recordable 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 remedial actions are identified and integrated into the daily operation.

Contact GDI Insurance Agency, Inc. at 1-888-991-2929 for help to develop your workers compensation insurance program.

Training And Auditing For Continuous Improvement

save on workers comp

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 is just part of what GDI Insurance Agency does for its clients!

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 Comp 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.

As you are seeing on our website there are hundreds of things that should be done to make sure your company gets the best deal on their California Workers Comp Policy! By doing things right, you will keep your employees safe, your business will be complaint, and you will save enough money on your Workers Compensation policy to put a smile on your face.

Nine General Safety Procedures that Help Save on Workers Comp Insurance.

  1. Protect your employees by minimizing any job hazards. You should always be evaluating every aspects of your workplace to ensure the safest environment possible.
  2. Prepare emergency announcements, and do test runs of emergency response systems to familiarize employees.
  3. Choose a practical flooring surface, not just one that looks nice. Often, the best looking floors can be the most dangerous and will be slippery when wet.
  4. Customize work spaces to fit each employee’s needs through ergonomic adjustments. By ensuring that an employee’s work space is tailored, you create a safer environment less prone to bodily stress or injury, and thus, less prone to workers’ compensation claims.
  5. Educate your employees on the safest way to lift objects. Squatting with bent knees minimizes the stress to the back, regardless of what is being lifted.
  6. Create a policy on distracted driving. Motor vehicle accidents account for a large percentage of work-related fatalities. Eating and drinking, cell phone use and music devices are all possible sources of distraction behind the wheel. The use of such devices could also be illegal, as more state and federal agencies crack down on distracted driving. A good policy can help prevent fatalities and limit liability for your company.
  7. Along the same lines, prohibit texting while driving regardless of whether or not your state specifically prohibits the practice. Texting while driving makes an employee 23 times more likely to have an accident. A federal ban prohibiting divers of commercial vehicles from texting has also been recently enacted. Create a written policy for both distracted driving and texting while driving, and have all employees sign off on it.
  8. Establish and enforce disciplinary measures for safety violations. There should be some type of corrective action for any employee who doesn’t abide by safety requirements.
  9. Train your supervisors in-house. They may have previously been trained as supervisors in general, but they need to also be trained in your particular work environment.

Return to Work Strategies:  Let GDI put your return to work program together for you and show you how our 12 step Return To Work Program will save on workers comp insurance.

  1. Job offers should always be made in writing and should thoroughly describe the offered position to ensure the hire is fit for all duties.
  2. When the job is offered, send a formal job offer package along with the offer letter. Make sure it includes all the benefits the potential employee is eligible for, including return to work policies and procedures, so there is no confusion later.
  3. When developing a temporary assignment for someone returning to work, find useful tasks that are not covered by other areas of the company – the goal is not to take work away from another employee.
  4. Create a written job description and job analysis for all transitional duty jobs. These jobs should match physical capabilities with the work that needs to be done so that they are both useful and appropriate.
  5. Hold employees working temporary assignments or transitional duty jobs to the same work rules as other employees. This prevents devaluation of the job by employees and sends the message that they are still contributing to the company.
  6. Develop and maintain a close working relationship with medical providers. Make sure they understand your business so they can help you evaluate return to work policies, procedures and cases.
  7. For all employees assigned to temporary work, monitor their medical health regularly. Make sure they are doing well physically and, if they are making progress, find out from their physician if they can move forward to more demanding tasks.
  8. Develop and maintain a close working relationship with claims adjusters. Make sure they know your return to work program, and ask them for advice and suggestions to improve it.
  9. Resist the temptation to turn temporary job assignments into indirect punishment.Understand that the work is therapy for the returning employee; make sure to stay positive and keep the work meaningful.
  10. Consider establishing a transitional duty pay rate. It will be less than what the employee would earn working their normal job, but make sure it is consistent among all employees on transitional duty.
  11. For return to work program employees, stay in frequent touch from the time of the return to work offer letter until they return to full working status. You should be accessible for them to be sure their return to work is progressing smoothly.
  12. Develop a return to work plan for every injury that results in lost time. Communicate with the employee’s doctor so you understand when and how they can progress to various work tasks.

Worker Compensation Claims Management

  1. Contact your injured workers early and often. This will let them know that you care about them, which can help keep morale up and encourage their return to full, regular duty.
  2. Consider unconventional or outside-the-box treatment if it will help an employee recover and return faster.
  3. If your state allows you to direct or encourage employees to use certain doctors, use doctors who understand your business whenever possible. This will help ensure the best treatment for your employees and hopefully aid in return to work scenarios, keeping claims costs down.
  4. Integrate strategic wellness programs into your company to help reduce injuries. Understand how chronic conditions, like obesity and diabetes, can affect or cause other injuries. Managing such diseases properly can reduce workers’ compensation claims costs.
  5. Explain workers’ compensation benefits, programs and expectations during new employee orientation to keep future claims costs down. Make sure employees understand that they will not be punished in any way for making a claim or reporting an injury, and explain the importance of promptly reporting any injury or incident.
  6. Make return to work a priority across your entire organization – every job should have a return to work provision, and every employee should know about it. Return to work program awareness should not just be the job of human resources or your claims adjuster.
  7. Keep up to date on laws that impact your workers’ compensation claims. Be sure to know your requirements and responsibilities as an employer and how to address any possible or suspected fraud.
  8. Keep tabs on what your claims administrator is doing; you should always know what is happening with a claim.

Claims Investigation

  1. Exercise due diligence when investigating a claim. Beyond speaking to the direct supervisor and the injured employee, interview other witnesses or co-workers that could shed light on the situation.
  2. After an incident or claim, be sure to investigate early and keep all the information organized. Make sure you gather all appropriate evidence and information so it can be verified later.
  3. Determine whether the employee was actually working on the date that they claim to have been injured. Discrepancies or falsities happen often, particularly with late claims.

Medical Considerations

  1. Make sure that your occupational medical practitioner does a thorough and proper examination when an employee first goes to see them; this way, you will not be surprised when the independent medical examiner (IME) tells you that you have a problem claimant. This includes performing Waddell’s tests when there is a lower back injury involved.
  2. A diagnosis should be supported by the conditions of the accident. If the two don’t match up, then the diagnosed injury could be a result of something not directly related to work functions. In these situations, be very careful of what you pay for.
  3. Don’t pay a bill for a surgery or procedure without reading the operative report.Sometimes it can contain things that had nothing to do with the incident that should not be your financial responsibility.
  4. Don’t let diagnostic tests dictate your case management; tests only proves that there is an injury, not whether it happened at your workplace.
  5. For a quick and easy way to save money, refer employees to physicians that you trust to provide legitimate findings and diagnoses.
  6. Before a surgery takes place, establish whether it was caused by a work-related condition.Doctors may suggest surgery a bit more readily when they know it is a workers’ compensation claim.
  7. Make sure that diagnoses are legitimate and universally accepted before you pay a claim. For instance, don’t list “pain” as your work-related diagnosis. Pain is a subjective finding – you cannot qualify it or quantify it.
  8. Know the basics about common medical terms that you may encounter. For example, fibromyalgia is not a diagnosis; it is a symptom. The word itself means “pain in the fibrous tissue” (the suffix “algia” always indicates a symptom).
  9. Be wary of paying for surgeries or operations caused by arthritis. Arthritis is not caused by trauma and thus cannot result from an on-the-job injury; therefore, in most cases, it should not be considered a workers’ compensation claim. The only exception is arthritis caused by repetitive trauma, found in employees who do a lot of squatting, kneeling or repetitive hand and finger movements.
  10. Be wary of other common claims that may be masked as workers’ compensation injuries.For example, in general, trauma does not affect an existing replaced knee, making it rare for necessary loose knee replacement to be work-related.

Legal Considerations

  1. Know and understand the interplay between your state workers’ compensation laws, the American with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
  2. Keep your legal counsel in the loop on workplace injuries right from the beginning. The first 24 hours after an incident are crucial, and your lawyer needs to be informed about conditions, investigations and any updates.
  3. When hiring, provide detailed job descriptions that include an accurate percentage of the amount of work that is physical. This may prevent later legal disputes.
  4. Document and file everything throughout the workers’ compensation and return to work process, as it may become relevant information if there is a claim or later dispute.
  5. After an incident, review the employee’s personnel file. This will help you understand the employee better, and it may offer clues or tendencies for potential fraud or a vendetta against a co-worker or manager.
  6. After an incident, your legal team or representative should do an on-site inspection where the injury occurred. Be sure that they interview others who do a similar job in addition to any witnesses.
  7. If there are changes in the diagnosis, the accident needs to be re-evaluated. It may not have happened as reported.
  8. Keep an organized case chronology, documenting everything from initial claim to the close of a case. This includes previous history of the employee that may be relevant (past disputes with co-workers, claims history, problems at home, etc).
  9. Make sure to provide the IME with everything you have, including your chronology.
  10. Before a trial, make sure your witnesses are prepared. Someone from the company should be present at every hearing; it’s important to make sure that everyone is always on the same page.

GDI Insurance Agency, Inc. provides our client with the following key services to help save on workers comp premiums.

  1. 3 year look back.  We can have your current workers compensation policy reviewed for proper classifications and review your last 3 audits to assure you didn’t pay more than you should have.  The best part is getting a check back for any over payment you may have made!
  2. Modification Factor review.  I bet you didn’t know that many workers compensation modification factors are not correct and more errors are not in your favor!  As we have these corrected we also secure the refunds from any over payments you may have made.  We can go back a full 3 years!
  3. Illness and Injury Prevention Plan!
  4. OSHA compliant training.
  5. Return to work programs.
  6. First Aid program.
  7. Premium forecasting.
  8. Modification factor forecasting.  Know what next years modification factor will be now!  Know you trend and where you are heading and what can be done to reduce your modification factor!
  9. This year and every year we shop your workers compensation policy for the lowest rates available and report to you our findings.  Giving you the power to reduce the cost of your workman’s compensation policy!

GDI Insurance Agency, Inc. Your California Workers Compensation Insurance Experts!

GDI Insurance Agency promises you will know what should be done, you will see it done, and be able to reap the benefits and savings from having it done for you! Just give us a call! Grant Davis, GDI Insurance Agency, Turlock, CA 1-888-991-2929! Save on your workers comp today!

There is a lot to do if you want to save money on your Workers Compensation insurance. The good news is you don’t have to do it yourself. GDI Insurance Agency is here to help you cut the cost of your CA Workers Comp.

GDI Insurance Agency, Inc. Your Trusted Insurance Broker

I am asked why GDI Insurance Agency, Inc. numbers each step to help save you money on your workers compensation insurance?  Very simply the best way to save money on your insurance is to look for the one percent solution.  In other words if we are trying to cut your workers compensation rates by 30% it is very hard to find one thing that will save you 30% on your workers comp.  On the other hand, if you look at each one of these activities you will see we have 57 activities each of which will help save you money on your workers compensation.  Combine this with our OSHA Safety programs and it is all of a sudden very easy to find ways to cut the cost of your workers compensation insurance by 30%.

Contact GDI Insurance Agency, Inc. at 1-888-991-2929 for help to develop your workers compensation insurance program.