This session at WCI’s 2016 Workers’ Compensation Educational Conference highlighted program strategies from the three winners of the 2016 Excellence in Workers’ Compensation Risk Management Award.
SMS Holdings Corporation
SMS Holdings provides full housekeeping services for large locations like airports, stadiums and malls. They created a nationwide safety program called Stop. Think. Act. They specifically chose a relatable term for employees, rather than a confusing insurance term, and branded items like posters and wristbands to distribute company wide. They have a multilingual workforce, so it was important to translate the safety message for all employees and relied on direct supervisors to drive the program.
In addition, they found that some of the best safety ideas came from their employees, themselves. The employees came up with the idea of creating a Safety Lead position to inspect locations and identify potential hazards. Recognizing that no one knows these locations like the actual employees that work in them everyday was critical to successfully implementing these positions.
They put a lot of energy into communicating to their injured employees. They have their known manager reach out to the injured employee and help them through the process, rather than someone from corporate who the employee doesn’t know.
Stater Brothers Markets
Stater Brothers Markets owns 169 grocery stores and maintains a family-like culture with their employees. Upon reviewing their program, they realized that their injured employees were being over-prescribed opioid medications and it was the number one cost driver of their claims. The first step was intervention, then they placed these employees on a program to help overcome the drug dependency and get back to work.
Another problem they recognized was finding ways to translate their safety message to a multilingual workforce. Once they were able to translate their safety training into their employees’ native languages, they saw improvement in safety training results.
Stater Brothers prides themselves on a quick response system to reply to injured employees’ workers’ compensation needs, including replying on nights and weekends to address questions and concerns. They also recognize that many psychosocial issues start with how the employees are treated from the moment of injury. They have taken many measures to improve the workers’ compensation experience, including hand picking each medical clinic that they send their employees to so they could determine their condition and level of customer service.
Seaboard Foods LLC
Seaboard Foods has 500 pork production operation sites across eight states. Upon review, they recognized that the data that they were relying on to run their workers’ compensation program was untimely and inaccurate. By selecting a new TPA, they were able to utilize their timely and accurate data to produce better results.
A majority of their employees are working in rural areas, so finding medical specialists was also a challenge. Once they did find specialized physicians to refer employees to, they realized that these doctors still did not fully understand the job functions of their employees. They created video clips to educate the doctors, which has helped tremendously.
Each plant also has designated trainers in which workers can voice concerns to on a daily basis. Having these easily-accessible, front-line employees are important to their safety culture.
They looked within to determine how they communicate to injured employees by asking themselves, “What would I want to know if I was injured?” This was the basis to help them develop their lines of communication with injured workers.