Winning Strategies for Workers’ Compensation Risk Management
This session at WCI’s 2019 Workers’ Compensation Educational Conference highlighted program strategies from the three winners of National Underwriter’s 2019 Excellence in Workers’ Compensation Risk Management Award.
Fred Matthews, Senior Manager of Safety, DHL Express
DHL Express believes that they have a balanced workers’ compensation program. They have worked to strengthen post-offer physical assessments, they have created an industrial athlete program that helps with heavy lifting and fit-for-duty, and have refined their transitional duty program. They use an ERS mobility system to measure and have recently added the ability to build risk profiles within that system. Over the last few years, they have focused on explaining the “why” in their safety programs. By implementing engagement, feedback and coaching, rather than corrective action, they have gained more buy-in from both employees and unions.
Joseph Molloy, Vice President, Workforce Safety, Northwell Health
Northwell Health is the largest health system in the northeast. They found that a lot of organizational divisions that worked with their workers’ comp program were siloed and disconnected. They realigned to take an advocacy approach towards their employees and built their mission, programs and policies accordingly. Employees have begun to recognize this approach and outcomes have been positive. Northwell Health makes it a priority to review each and every case and triage it within 24 hours. They have two advantages of being a health system: 1) if an employee presents as a work comp injury, it’s typically at their facility, so they can treat immediately and 2) they can fast track things like MRIs, that typically take a lot longer and extend the length of care. Finally, they have eliminated the term ‘light-duty’ from their vernacular. Rather, they refer to ‘transitional assignments’, which changes expectations.
Noreen Olson, Manager of Claims, Risk Management, Starbucks
Starbucks just opened their 30,000th store in addition to owning seven additional manufacturing sites. Workers’ compensation is housed in Risk Management and reports up through Finance. Their total cost of risk is annually $90 million and they are primarily self-insured. They are strategically intentional in choosing vendor partners and how they work with them. They expect vendors to create an atmosphere of continual process improvement and communication. They are focused on getting the injury reported quickly, get the best in care, and get the employee back to work as soon as possible. Advocacy, trust and empathy all drive their workers’ compensation program, which has yielded positive outcomes. Starbucks is fully a self-reporting organization for on-the-job injuries. As a result, they’ve enhanced expediency in medical care. Lag time dropped 3.4 days as a result of self reporting and they expect that to continue to drop.