This session at the 2017 National Workers’ Compensation & Disability Conference featured workers’ compensation program concepts from Risk & Insurance’s 2017 Teddy Award winners.
The Valley Health System
Barbara Schultz, Director, Employee Health and Wellness
Establishing Active Shooter Training
Valley Health is a regional healthcare system with over 5,000 employees. One of their largest exposures is workplace violence. About four years ago, they began engaging in highly-realistic active-shooter training to prepare their employees for a potential event. It was critical that the drills had the same feel of a real active-shooter situation, even including SWAT teams and K-9 units. These drills are highly intense – some of which involve hostage situations and law enforcement officers using real guns with blanks so that employees can experience the sounds and smells related to an active-shooter incident. Employees can stop the drills if they get too intense, but the company feels that the real-life feel effectively tests their preparedness. Low-stress drills will not prepare employees for high-stress situations if they occur.
Massachusetts Port Authority
Frank Rivera, Director, Risk Management and Workers’ Comp
Enhancing Modified Duty
This company owns Boston Logan Airport, ship terminals and other real estate. They have 1,500 employees, including public safety employees. Their exposures include hazardous risk environments and an aging workforce. Initially the did not utilize modified duty for return to work, which was driving up lost-work time and costs. To establish a successful modified duty program, they first had to get front-line supervisor buy in. They had to change the entire culture by educating supervisors on the importance of light duty. Another successful change they made to their workers’ compensation program was to begin allowing injured employees to utilize any doctor they chose to use. A combination of their efforts offered staggering results. The company experienced $2 million in medical cost savings in 10 years and average days lost dropped from 236 in 2011 to 107 in 2016.
Rochester Regional Health
Monica Manske, Senior Manager of Workers’ Compensation and Employee Safety
Addressing Slips, Trips and Falls
Rochester Regional Health is an integrated hospital system that has grown substantially in recent years. They have 16,000 employees, five hospitals and six long-term care facilities. One of their major cost drivers was slips, trips and falls. They began surveying employees to uncover problems with their risk control program related to this exposure. They found that supervisors were not properly communicating safety messaging and staff did not like the uniform shoes they were required to wear. They enhanced the program to include brand-names shoes that the employees wanted to wear. Managers were also trained to enhance their safety communications to employees, which cause behavior-based changes that made a significant difference. Lost time claims decreased from 186 in 2013 to 107 in 2016. The company had no slips and falls in 2016.
Susan Emerson, General Manager, Claims Management, Disability, Leave and Workers’ Compensation Claims
Developing an Employee-Centric Workers’ Compensation Program
Delta Airlines serves 180 million customers annually. They have 85,000 employees traveling throughout the world. Jobs are physically demanding and their diverse workforce is dispersed in various locations, therefore, it is difficult to establish consistent risk control programs. A few years ago, they found that injured workers were extremely confused with the workers’ compensation process that included 7-10 touch points. They had to step back and change their approach with a priority of getting the employee the right care and resources to get them back to work. Since Delta decided to make injured worker advocacy a priority, they have significantly reduced program costs and litigation rates. They investigate, but do not outright deny claims any more. In addition, their vendors are highly aware of their employee-centric program and are expected to treat Delta’s employees accordingly. As a result, Delta has achieved one of the best claims closing ratios of 114%.