10 Elements to Design, Implement and Control Workers Compensation Costs


Due to the unique and complex nature of the workers compensation system, only a holistic approach - one considering all elements within context – can succeed in reducing an employer's workers comp costs.

1. Work Together
Employers, insurers and brokers working together have strong incentives to attack the costs of workers compensation.(WCxKit)
Human resources, industrial relations, workers compensation, employee benefits and other internal departments should be on the same page. Having a workers compensation director can help coordinate these departments and keep your costs low.
2. Educate your Employees
An effective program begins with education. Those working on WC management need to understand the program. Further, your employees need to understand how to file workers compensation should the need arise.
Wallet cards explaining how to respond after an injury can help workers follow a direct timeline leaving nothing out. This makes a sooth injury report and allows your employee to get the best benefits for themselves, without loosing time or money to the employer.
3. Conduct a Needs Assessment
First, a needs assessment must be conducted to determine what knowledge gaps exist. The risk manager must gain the support of senior management, employees and physicians to implement a holistic program.
If there is resistance from senior management it's important to find out why the costs are high.
4. Score Yourself
Getting your National Workers Compensation Score™ is an excellent starting point. Much like a credit score, the employer knows how many best practices they have implemented.
Employers Benefit From the Holistic Approach By:
Seeing major improvements in workers compensation costs.
Taking control of the entire workers compensation process, potentially cutting costs by 20% to 50%.
Providing aggressive and comprehensive pre-loss and post-loss management initiatives affecting all areas of workers compensation.
Pre-loss: Includes safety programs and extensive communication with senior management, supervisors and rank-and-file employees.
Post-loss: Centers on internal procedures to better manage claims, provide appropriate medical treatment and run an effective return-to-work program.
Ten Blueprint Elements:  Include these ten elements in your program!
1. Examine the organizational structure. Look for areas encouraging employee disincentives to return to work. Form a corporate workers compensation team under one director.
2. Produce simple usable data to effectively monitor the post-injury response and judge its success.
3. Communication is vital between the employer, employees, the insurance company and the physician. Show how cost cutting benefits the workers. Use simple, well-designed written, audio and visual tools to convey the companys message.
4. Employment interviewing focuses on selecting employees with behaviors consistent with injury prevention and return-to-work success. Consider pre-employment placement screening.
5. Return-to-Work program's goal is zero lost workdays returning all employees to work regardless of their status, tailored to meet the needs of each employee.
6. Coordinate the companys workers compensation program, the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act. Despite the challenges do not allow these laws to become a return-to-work barrier.
7. Transitional Duty Jobs require a team effort on the part of the employer, insurance carrier, claims administrator and broker. Be aware of the three types of transitional duty programs.
8. Modified Duty:The employee returns to the original job with job modifications designed to allow easier performance of the required tasks. The employee returns to the original job with reduced hours and follows prescribed exercises and strengthening routines.
9. Alternate Duty: The employee returns to a different job, one physically less demanding than the previous job. The employer must be creative in job placement. (WCxKit)
10. The Goal: Ideally 95% of employees return to work within four days. Best practice is 95% of employees never leave the workplace, receiving treatment on- or off-site and returning to a transitional duty job as soon as they are medically able to do so.
Ten elements of your workers compensation blueprint and why you need them #WorkersComp.

Author Rebecca Shafer, JD, President of Amaxx Risks Solutions, Inc. is a national expert in the field of workers compensation. She is a writer, speaker and website publisher. Her expertise is working with employers to reduce workers compensation costs, and her clients include airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing.  See www.LowerWC.com for more information. Contact:  RShafer@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com or 860-553-6604.

WORK COMP CALCULATOR:   http://www.LowerWC.com/calculator.php
WC GROUP:  http://www.linkedin.com/groups?homeNewMember=&gid=1922050/
Workers Comp Resource Center Newsletter

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.

©2010 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact

Read More

Request a Demo

To request a free demo of one of our products, please fill in this form. Our sales team will get back to you shortly.