A paper cut out of an umbrella and person with 'workers compensation' as a puddle under the umbrella.
Property Casualty

Avoiding the ER to Minimize Your EMR and Workers Compensation

Kevin Sidwell
Kevin Sidwell
Senior Claims Consultant, Property Casualty

Would you believe 50 percent of all workers’ compensation claims occur within the first year of employment? You’re probably thinking, “No…that can’t be true.” Unfortunately, it is, and it is impacting your EMR (experience modification rating).

It’s well known the construction industry, as a whole, requires a lot of repetitive and strenuous lifting. Take that and add inadequate training and ineffective hiring practices into the equation…and there’s where you hit 50 percent.

How To Minimize Your Worker’s Compensation

Step 1: Consider Your Pre-Employment Practices

Consider developing a pre-employment screening, where allowable, that includes a Functional Capacity Exam. This will not only allow you to have a baseline for monitoring any exposures but can also help provide immediate feedback on the physical limitations of the potential employee. Ultimately, knowing these limitations before hiring the employee can save on any future workers’ compensation claims in the immediate future.

Step 2: Add to Your Post-Employment Practices

Control your workers’ compensation costs so you can minimize your experience modification rate (EMR). Note, most jobs can’t be bid unless your company’s EMR is less than 1.0. You can accomplish this by:

  1. Developing safety programs required by the OSHA standards
  2. Integrating those programs into daily operations
  3. Investigating all injuries and illnesses
  4. Providing training to develop safety competence in all employees
  5. Auditing your programs and your worksite on a regular basis to stimulate continuous improvement.
  6. Determining your cost driver

Step 3: Think about ART

I’m not talking pictures and sculptures. What we do at Holmes Murphy is focus specifically on the ‘A’ and ‘R’ of ART…the avoiding and reducing risk. Between our loss control and claims service consultants, we work to find ways to avoid and reduce workers’ compensation claims. Keep in mind, though, the process isn’t going to happen overnight. The culture has to start from the top of your company down.

Step 4: Talk to an Expert

Understandably, this is a topic that often can be confusing. So, I want to hear from you. Do you have questions, comments or concerns? Can you provide any guidance to me or your peers in the industry? Let me know. Comment below and let’s get the conversation started!

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