Workers’ Comp Risks N Threats

Q: Which of these risks & threats affect the cost of your workers’ comp and related programs?

  • Appropriate medical treatment protocol – Are your employees getting the right medical treatment & returning to work quickly?
  • Hidden costs – Do you know what is NOT covered by Workers’ Comp?
  • Supervisor’s role – The lack of a positive supervisor response can be the single most harmful influence on the injured employee’s recovery.
  • Experience Modification auditing – How do know if your Experience Modification is free of errors?
  • Lowest possible Experience Modification – Would you like to know what your lowest Experience Modification can be?
  • Over charges at premium audit – Do you have a strategy to prevent over charges?
  • Compliance – Are you in compliance with the Federal W/C Act & California OSHA?
  • Coordination of benefits – What is being done to ensure your Workers’ Comp, Group Medical, FMLA, COBRA, ADA are being properly coordinated to prevent additional liabilities and expenses?

A: All of them.

Contact me today – let’s find an innovative solution to address the risks and threats facing your business.

Are you about to hire your next workers’ comp claim?

In many workers’ compensation claims situations, we learn that the employer has made a bad hiring decision and not matched the right employee to the right job. Of course, once the injury occurs, it’s too late to change that decision. Strictly from a monetary prospective, once you take on an employee, you’re presenting him with a debit card that has an unlimited credit line.

Many prospective employees have mastered the interview process and can paint themselves as being ready, willing, and able to do whatever the employer wants. How can employers get past that facade and make sure they have the right person for the right job?

Start with one of the many tools that provide an employee assessment process. First, use the tool to help determine the unique needs of your business as well as what the position entails. This includes necessary skills, attitudes the employee needs to possess, and the personality characteristics most suited for the job.

For example, an operating engineer needs the skills and experience to properly operate the equipment, but also:

  • The ability to make good judgments for the safety of the equipment, himself, and those around him
  • A personality that allows little tolerance for risk

With a full list of requirements developed, employers can use the hiring process to probe the personality of the applicant and see whether it’s a match for the job and the personalities of those who will supervise him or her. Let’s face it: having personalities that get along and communicate well are the key to success, but that need is often overlooked by those doing the hiring.

Depending on your industry and the type of job you wish to fill, I recommend that you obtain an opinion from a human resources professional. You should also use common verification approaches such as reference checks, background and drug checks, and post-offer medical examinations.

When you don’t go through an employee assessment process, you can wind up with the sort of problem I saw an employer have recently. The employer hired a well-paid technician who had a good work history and positive references from prior employers. He interviewed well, seemed smart, and appeared to have both excellent knowledge of the employer’s industry and an understanding of how the relationships within the industry made a business successful. But, early in his tenure, problems surfaced because of:

  • Poor communication with fellow technicians
  • A lack of a sense of the need to be a team player, causing projects to take longer than necessary
  • Constant complaints about the tasks he was assigned as well as the employer’s process
  • Difficulty consistently following his supervisor’s instructions
  • A tendency to cut corners that endangered others and led him to injure himself

The last injury he sustained at work started in his wrist and “grew” to other body parts. He decided he could no longer work. A sub-rosa investigation found that “the growth” of the injury was exaggerated. The investigation found that he could carry and play with his children, and perform other physical tasks at his home. By the time all the issues were sorted out, the direct and indirect costs for the employer exceeded $100,000.

Had an assessment process been in place, I believe this person could have been identified as a bad fit before he was hired, avoiding such problems.

Why are so many employers failing to use an assessment process to help them improve their batting average when it comes to hiring? Most employers don’t have a realistic idea of the costs involved with hiring and replacing employees. If they really knew how costly the hiring process could be, they’d stop using their gut feelings.

HR consultants who work in a variety of industries tell us that hiring the wrong person can cost employers tens of thousands of dollars. Depending on the required skill level and the position’s place in the company hierarchy, turnover costs can be more than twice an employee’s annual salary, according to the Center for American Progress – and this doesn’t include the costs of any work-related injuries.

An employee can be a valuable asset or a big liability. Let’s use the best approaches available to make sure your employee selection process is as good as it can be.

What are you waiting for? Contact me today to get started!

This article initially appeared on


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