Part III – 6 Workplace Issues You Need to Know for 2016

Part III – 6 Workplace Issues You Need to Know for 2016


You have waited long enough, so here they are:

The issues the risk and insurance community believe will affect your company’s financial success and employee well-being in 2016 are

1. EMPLOYER HOUSEKEEPING – the role and value of your company’s employees

  1. MEDICAL CLINIC SELECTION – the criteria you use to select a medical clinic to treat injured workers
  1. CALIFORNIA AB 1897 – the additional responsibilities and liabilities faced by California employers who use temporary workers from labor contractors or employment agencies
  1. SUPERVISORS – are they assets or an Achilles Heel?

Let’s investigate this first issue Employer Housekeeping:

In 2016, you need to “get your house in order.” Your commitment to this step conveys the tone, manner, and priority level that you and your organization will give to the discussion and treatment of the issues that follow.

Yes, it’s hard to step back and take an unbiased view of your organization, but it’s important — and necessary — to gain a better understanding of your company’s culture. By culture, I’m talking specifically about the way your company’s management views employees, how those employees are treated, and what their roles are when setting the company’s financial goals.

Understanding the real culture of your company will either encourage involvement, or thwart the necessary steps you need to take to create the best outcomes for employees and the company as a whole.

Here are some specific questions to ask when analyzing your company:

  • ARE EMPLOYEES considered valuable assets, or are they just filling a chair?
  • DO PROFITS override your company’s desire to consistently provide a safe workplace?
  • WHAT ARE the relationships between staff and management?
  • DO YOU really have an “open door” policy, or are these just words that don’t actually improve the organization and employees?

Why Culture Matters 

Your company’s culture affects the direct and indirect costs charged to your bottom line. Indirect costs include the administrative time devoted to these issues as well as other additional expenses created from the incident.

All the workplace injury cost studies I’ve seen conclude that indirect costs are one to four times more than direct costs. 

To show you the financial – personal costs that can arise from a workplace injury, let’s look at a short case study about the way corporate culture affected the life of an employee and his family, as well as the employer’s balance sheet.

 Actual Case Study

NAME: Sunny

  • AGE: 40
  • SUBJECT: Back injury on the job
  • DOCTOR RECOMMENDATION: Partial spinal fusion
  • OUTCOME: Left him in pain; became addicted to pain meds. Health continued to deteriorate.
  • ISSUES: No psychiatric profile completed, no alternative Rx or second opinion provided. Little to no communication about Sunny’s status between the clinic, insurance company, and employer.
  • END RESULT: Sunny was subject to depression and battles with alcohol. After another surgery yielded no results, Sunny, still in great pain, took his own life, leaving behind a wife and two young children.

You may be thinking this is an extreme case—and it is, but situations like this do occur and will continue to occur until employers consistently get involved and hold medical clinics and insurance companies accountable.

This case study is like a “perfect” personal tragedy where all the stakeholders (the employer, medical professional, and insurance company) flunked because:

  • They didn’t communicate.
  • They didn’t screen or monitor the patient.
  • The physicians kept writing Rx’s without caring about the consequences.
  • There was a general lack of conscience and caring about an individual.

Can you imagine how you’d feel even if you were even remotely involved in a situation like this? Would you want to be a member of the management team or the HR Professional at this company? 

In the next session we will get into more workplace issues.  So, stay tuned, or if you wish to jump ahead, go to my website and down load Workplace Issues You Need to Know for 2016.  You may CLICK HERE, to down load your own copy now.


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Tom Bone
Risk Insurance Advisor
ISU Insurance Services
2266 Lava Ridge Court
Roseville, California 95661
Phone 916.960.8758 or 800.823.4852 ext. 8758
Fax 916.773.4484
Mobile 925.285.6790
License #0306692