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May 29, 2009
In 2001, a large consumer electronics manufacturer and distributor hired Parker, Smith & Feek as their insurance broker. As part of our initial engagement was a thorough review of this corporation’s workers’ compensation insurance program and their safety and risk prevention activities. We immediately noticed that their workers’ compensation experience modification factor was 54% higher than other consumer electronics manufacturers nationwide. Employee absenteeism due to injuries also seemed abnormally high.
The company’s senior management was adamant that a solution to the issue be found, and that a plan be developed and implemented in order to reduce the number of injuries and ultimately improve productivity and reduce their experience modification.
Parker, Smith & Feek did a complete review of the company’s safety practices and researched the company’s insurance claims for the previous few years. During the review several types of injuries were more prevalent than others, as would be typical to warehouse operations: back strains due to heavy lifting and finger cuts from working with packaging materials.
At our urging, our client hired a Certified Professional Ergonomist (CPE) to identify the correct procedure for lifting boxes, and provided training to their employees to correct their lifting techniques. Gloves were also provided to overcome the finger cuts. Changes to the standard operating procedures were implemented as part of the review to reduce potential risk from other injuries.
Within five years, our client’s workers’ compensation experience factor dropped from 1.54 to 0.75 resulting in substantial saving in workers’ compensation costs and boosting productivity at the same time.