In a fast-paced, industrial environment where employees frequently claim work-related injuries, smart employers are looking for ways to increase the bottom line and eliminate unnecessary costs. One way of managing workers’ compensation costs is to cut claim severity and frequency, which directly impact the company’s Experience Modification Rate (EMR). The EMR is the sole factor in determining a company’s group eligibility. Group membership, as we know, results in lower workers’ compensation premiums.
The EMR is inextricably tied to your company’s safety reputation. An EMR rating of 1.0 or below indicates that, comparatively speaking, your company has implemented steps to ensure a safe working environment for its employees. It works similar to points on an individual’s driver’s license: the higher your EMR, the more you pay in worker’s compensation premiums. Frequent and/or severe workplace accidents increases a company’s EMR, and may result in an employer being ejected or kicked out of a group.
In some manufacturing environments where repetitive motion is the order of the day, injuries will never be completely eliminated. However, companies can prevent severe injuries with effective workplace policies, including incident reporting, supervisor training, and aggressive claims management. An effective management plan helps to reduce your EMR and your workers’ compensation premiums. This, in turn leads to efficient employees, a safer working environment, and maintaining group membership; all of which will aid in increasing the company’s profitability. Thus, smart business owners should consider a number of factors to prevent group disqualification.
- Do you know how your EMR is calculated? Knowing all the facts and figures that go into calculating your EMR makes it easier to find ways to lower your premium and your rating.
- Do you have a workplace injury policy in place and do you enforce it? This should include providing employees with access to on-site first aid (for minor scrapes and abrasions) or access to a local healthcare provider that is specializes in workplace injuries.
- Are you monitoring how your Third Party Administrator is managing your portfolio and, in particular, sticky claims? A company employee, usually the HR Manager or Safety Director should periodically check claim status, which could result in a quicker resolution.
- Does your company have someone designated to accurately report payroll, confirm positions, and attend discount programs/safety trainings offered by the Ohio Bureau of Worker’s Compensation? This will help ensure your business timely reports, avoids penalties, and is aware of new cost-saving opportunities.
- Do you train supervisors on incident reporting, investigation, and safety compliance?
- Do you have a process for remaining connected with injured workers? If light duty is required due to job limitations, be sure to provide a written job offer that strictly follows those restrictions.
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