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Conference Session Highlights Strategies to Reduce Costs, Claims through Loss Trend Analysis, Injury Investigations, Training

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Denver, CO (WorkersCompensation.com) -- The 2023 National Council of Self-Insurers Annual Meeting and Conference kicked off day two with an insightful session titled "How to Leverage Loss Trend Analysis, Injury Investigations, and Training to Reduce Costs and Keep Claims Down." The session at the Grand Hyatt Denver featured prominent speakers Dr. Claire Muselman and Adam Lopez.

The conference room was excited as attendees settled into their seats, eager to gain valuable insights and strategies to enhance their organizations' safety programs. Dr. Claire Muselman, a highly respected expert in data analytics and risk management, took the stage, accompanied by Adam Lopez, a seasoned professional with extensive experience in injury investigations.

The session's learning objectives encompassed the use of analytics and data to identify trends, measure the success of existing safety programs, identify key performance indicators, determine the factual causation of injuries and incidents, and leverage opportunities for improvement.

Dr. Muselman initiated the session by emphasizing the importance of leveraging analytics and data in understanding loss trends. She highlighted that practical data analysis is the cornerstone of any successful risk management strategy. By examining historical loss data, organizations can identify patterns and trends, allowing them to address potential risks and reduce claims proactively.

"Using analytics and data to identify trends is not just about looking at numbers," Dr. Muselman emphasized. "It's about extracting meaningful insights from the data to make informed decisions and take preventive actions."

She explained various analytical techniques that can be applied, such as trend analysis, predictive modeling, and benchmarking. These methods enable organizations to identify areas of concern, track performance metrics, and compare their safety outcomes with industry standards.

Adam Lopez then took the stage to discuss the crucial role of injury investigations in understanding the root causes of incidents. He stressed that injury investigations should go beyond simply documenting the incident. Instead, they should aim to identify the underlying factors that contributed to the event, enabling organizations to develop effective preventive measures.

"An effective injury investigation process is like peeling back the layers of an onion," Lopez remarked. "We need to dig deeper and uncover the true causation of the incident to implement targeted interventions."

He outlined a comprehensive investigation process that includes gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses, analyzing work procedures, and examining the physical environment. By understanding the sequence of events leading up to an incident, organizations can identify any unsafe conditions, acts, or procedures that contributed to it.

Lopez also highlighted the benefits of utilizing root cause analysis techniques, such as the "5 Whys" methodology, to uncover the underlying causes of incidents. This approach repeatedly asks "why" until the fundamental reason is identified. By addressing the root causes, organizations can implement corrective actions that address the core issues, thereby preventing future occurrences.

In addition to understanding the causation of incidents, injury investigations serve several other crucial purposes. Lopez emphasized that investigations facilitate various aspects of claims management, including potential subrogation, reserving of files, nurse case management, and gathering evidence for possible litigation.

"The insights gained from injury investigations can significantly impact the financial aspects of workers' compensation programs," Lopez stated. "By reducing direct and indirect costs and preventing future incidents, organizations can achieve substantial savings."

The speakers also discussed the importance of various opportunities for improvement that organizations should focus on. These opportunities encompassed onboarding and orientation, training and refresher courses, combating complacency, effective leadership, ergonomics, machinery and equipment safety, supervision, attitude, and behavior-based safety.

Dr. Muselman highlighted the role of training in creating a safety culture within organizations. "Providing employees with the necessary knowledge and skills to identify and mitigate hazards is crucial in reducing work injuries and creating a safe work environment," she stated.

She presented compelling evidence from studies that demonstrated the effectiveness of safety training in decreasing injuries, illnesses, and fatalities. Furthermore, she emphasized that safety training reduces costs and boosts employee morale and performance.

The session delved into the benefits of safety training, emphasizing that it provides employees with the knowledge, awareness, and skills needed to perform their work safely. It equips them with the ability to identify workplace hazards, report them promptly, and implement control measures to mitigate risks. By empowering employees through training, organizations can foster a proactive safety culture where everyone is actively involved in identifying and preventing hazards.

Moreover, the speakers emphasized that safety training enables employers to identify and assess risks in the workplace. Organizations can tap into their expertise by providing employees with the necessary knowledge and education and encouraging them to participate actively in hazard identification and risk assessment processes. This proactive approach reduces the likelihood of accidents and injuries and creates a safer work environment.

During the discussion on safety training, Dr. Muselman presented a framework for achieving optimal training outcomes, which she referred to as the "3 Golden Rules of Training." These rules encompass comprehension, retention, and applicability.

"Comprehension ensures that employees understand the training content, retention ensures that the knowledge is retained over time, and applicability ensures that employees can apply what they have learned in their day-to-day work," Dr. Muselman explained.

She stressed the need for organizations to follow through with responsibility and accountability, ensuring that the training outcomes are effectively implemented in the workplace. By integrating the "3 Golden Rules" with a culture of responsibility and accountability, organizations can maximize the impact of their training programs.

The speakers shared the top 10 OSHA citations for 2022 to provide practical context. The citations included fall protection (general), hazard communication, respiratory protection, ladders, scaffolding, lockout/tagout, powered industrial trucks, fall protection training, PPE (eye and face protection), and machine guarding. This list highlights the most common workplace violations, prompting organizations to address these issues proactively.

As the session drew close, Dr. Muselman and Adam Lopez reiterated the importance of data-driven decision-making, thorough injury investigations, and comprehensive training programs. They emphasized that a holistic approach that combines loss trend analysis, injury investigations, and training is crucial in reducing costs, preventing claims, and fostering a safe work environment.

The attendees left the session with a renewed sense of purpose and a wealth of practical strategies to implement within their organizations. The insights shared by Dr. Muselman and Adam Lopez were set to impact the attendees' approach to risk management and safety, ensuring a brighter and safer future for self-insurers nationwide.

The 2023 National Council of Self-Insurers Annual Meeting and Conference promised to be a platform for further discussions, collaborations, and knowledge-sharing, as professionals in the industry come together to strive for safer work environments and reduce the burden of claims on self-insurers across the country.


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