Category Archives: Worker’s Compensation Insurance Costs

The benefits of treating musculoskeletal discomfort before it becomes injury.

The Benefits of Reducing Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs) Through Better Movements, Postures and Tools

The Benefits of Treating musculoskeletal discomfort before it becomes injury.
Let’s be realistic: many organizations’ production/manufacturing processes and equipment will not be changing to “fit” the worker any time soon. And even if they were, workers will still become injured. Why? Soft tissue adhesions will continue to happen due to work station alignments that can’t be customized to individual workers. MSDs will result in individuals due to historical injuries that are difficult to record, track or know about. “Proactive” ergonomic changes such as reducing steps or reducing how many times someone handles materials can inadvertently cause other worker injury risks. For example, changing the work requirement from walking to static standing can be absolutely debilitating.

What’s left out of so many employee health and safety or ergonomic programs is a a focus on the individual. A blanket ergonomic program can correct many problems, but ultimately one size fits one. A proactive program to analyze and correct poor movements for individuals as well as overall has many benefits.

Such as:

  • Focusing on and correcting poor movements ultimately reduces costs. By proactively preventing and reducing MSDs, companies save approximately $1 out of every $3 in workers’ compensation costs. By continuing to focus on and correcting poor movements everywhere in the company and reducing the MSDs, indirect costs also go down, which can be up to 20 times the cost of one reported injury. If an average cost of an MSD episode without surgery costs $12,000.00, indirect costs will be dramatically higher!
  • Correct human movements boost productivity. Posture and movement solutions improve productivity by reducing muscle fatigue, especially towards the latter half of the work day. Optimal movement patterns need less muscle exertion, resulting in better efficiency of movement and a better quality product produced.
  • To emphasize, correct human movements improve product quality. Non-efficient movements lead to fatigued workers. This creates two issues: 1), increased risk for an injury due to lack of concentration, and 2), decreased quality of product made. The latter now delves into indirect costs rising.
  • Proactive programs to resolve movement-related discomforts create better employee/employer relations. Employees do notice when their employer takes action to foster their health and safety. And they certainly know when they feel better! And feeling better directly as a result of an employer-sponsored, employee-centric program builds a sense of satisfaction, loyalty and commitment of the company as a whole to build better products and to stay happily engaged in the process. Less employee turnover means less dollars spent on the hiring process and re-training. Less job-related fatigue and discomfort means less time away from work, less shifts that have to be covered, less disruption overall.
  • Early symptom intervention programs cultivate better safety practices. Safety is obviously a core value these days. As proactive care programs permeate a company’s culture, they increase all employees’ education on health and safety, demonstrate the value the company places on its employees, and improve employee self-esteem. It’s not the product or your customers that is your most important asset. It’s your employees. And caring for them in this way has an exceptional ROI.

Reducing Workers’ Comp Claims: A Radio Interview

Mike Switzer of the SC Business Review interviews Lori Peacock, CEO of Physical Performance Solutions, on the often overlooked and unique contributors to employee discomfort—including physical fitness—and how to optimize management of and provide relief for those factors.

As Corporate Counsel, the Best Way to Lower Workers’ Comp Costs

There’s a fantastic podcast out there called Workers Comp Matters, hosted by attorneys Alan and Judson Pierce as part of the Legal Talk Network.  The podcast covers legal issues surrounding worker’s compensation claims, shares recent rulings, and discusses broad areas of the applicable law, including contracts, constitutional issues, changes brought on by the current administration, and more.  I highly recommend it.

Staying abreast of all the legal ins and outs of worker’s compensation claims is mandatory in today’s business environment.  Of course the best strategy of all is to forestall claims before they’re filed. As corporate counsel, part of your job is to advise your executive team on ways to avoid these sorts of legal entanglements.  What should be posted?  What should leadership say and not say to employees?  What are the company’s record keeping requirements, which are designed to protect both the employer and the employee? Are they being followed?  Should a work injury occur, what are the exact steps managers should take?

As you know, some of these measures are designed to prevent workplace injuries before they happen, which is the best form of protection.  Inadequate training, supervision, or communication can all result in poor outcomes, and those areas are the employer’s responsibility to design well, oversee and correct.

What can an employer do to mitigate employee discomfort before it turns into a worker’s compensation claim?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2016, a significant percentage of workers in private industry had multiple days out of work due to soreness and pain.  What if employers could use this statistic to catch worker’s comp cases before they were actually filed?

By providing on-site discomfort mitigation services to employees, employers can help employees manage their discomfort or even eliminate it completely, keep them safer and focused on their jobs, and reduce not just the costs associated with worker’s compensation claims, but all the other costs associated with poor employee health.

Take, for example, the case of Monmouth Medical Center in Lakewood, NJ, where a change in internal employee healthcare—something you’d think a hospital would be especially good at—resulted in a significant reduction in cases, days out of work, and all of the associated costs.  In fact, costs were reduced by a factor of almost ten.

What was the change?  A “gatekeeper” team of an occupational physician and a worker’s comp specialist was put in place to track every injury that took place and run it to ground.  With intense focus on detail and data tracking and analysis, Monmouth was able to make giant strides in its battle to care for employees in a meaningful way and reduce the costs of injury to both the hospital and its employees.

Could your organization benefit from a more fully featured employee care program? Physical Performance Solutions can provide a free, on-site analysis to explore the possibilities.