May 12, 2010

Workers’ Compensation in a ‘Precarious' Market – Employers Look For Ways to Reduce Costs and Increase Productivity

by David W. Willis, Esq. and Melissa B. Whitman, Esq.

On May 6, 2010, NCCI Holdings, Inc. released its annual State of the Line workers’ compensation market analysis. The report noted the workers’ compensation insurance industry had a “trying year in 2009” and a “series of unknown factors – from the pace of economic recovery to the long-term impact of the new federal healthcare law – leaves the line in a precarious position and facing a host of challenges.”[1]

In light of this outlook employers and insurers continue looking for new ways to reduce costs and improve safety in the workplace. Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, INTEGRIS Health, Inc., and Snap-on, Inc. recently addressed these issues at the Risk & Insurance Management Society Annual Conference & Exhibit. Due to ongoing workers’ compensation losses Starwood was forced to revamp its claims management and safety programs to reduce accident frequency and severity. Starwood began providing incentive programs and safety training to managers to accomplish these goals. INTEGRIS, a 14-hospital system with 9,000 employees improved a “very bad” loss scenario among its nurses by focusing on the practices of its nurses that regularly led to worker injuries, particularly moving patients out of hospital beds. To reduce those injuries, INTEGRIS hired a nurse to assess the physical demands of the job and teach peers how to better protect themselves from injury. The company also purchased equipment to assist nurses in lifting patients from beds. These measures helped create a “safety culture” which have reduced the company’s losses. Wisconsin-based Snap-on, a manufacturer of tools and equipment now treats workers’ compensation training as an employee benefit. At the time of hire employees are handed a DVD explaining their rights and responsibilities, and the responsibilities of doctors, claims administrators and other participants. The video includes testimonials from other injured workers who returned to work. Collectively, these companies have all taken pro-active measures resulting in savings on claims and increased productivity.[2]

If you have questions or comments, please contact your David & Rosetti attorney at 404-446-4488 or by visiting our website at Nothing contained in this blog should be construed as legal advice or opinion on specific facts. For editorial comments or suggestions, please contact David W. Willis at (404) 446-4491 or by email at


[1] NCCI News release, located at:

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.