E-Mod: Know it. Understand it. Reduce it.

Workers’ compensation insurance is a little complex, at times. Finding ways to save on workers’ compensation costs requires innovation on the prevention side, and a little savvy on the financial side.

A key factor for determining the amount of premium you will pay is the Experience Modifier (E-Mod). This is the multiplier applied to your manual premium rate, which determines how much premium you will be charged. If you are self-insured or have a high-deductible plan, your equivalent of the E-Mod is the Loss Development Factor (LDF).

Your injury prevention programs are the first line of defense. Decreasing the frequency of claims has a big impact on the E-Mod. Proof:Positive can help your organization drive claim frequency down through their Injury Prevention Programs, Ergonomics Evaluations and Safety Training. Investing a small amount in prevention can pay big dividends each year at policy renewal time.

It is also important to work with the right professionals once a claim has occurred. By utilizing health care professionals that understand the concepts of early return-to-work and streamlining the claim process, you can greatly reduce the severity of the claim. By delivering appropriate care and re-introducing the employee to the workplace in a timely manner, Proof:Positive helps “cut the tail off” of workers’ compensation claims. This will help drive your E-Mod down, as well.

By viewing just the workers’ compensation finance costs, the ROI on the prevention/claim management investment is compelling. If productivity increases are considered, these investments become imperative. Contact Proof:Positive to capture these savings, today!

Positive Environment Helps Foster Healing!

Do your employees view their glass as half-empty or half-full? Your answer may reflect their outlook on life. Does their attitude show them to be optimistic or pessimistic? Positive thinking helps with stress management and can improve their health. There have even been studies done that show the power of positive thinking and how it can affect how long, and how well, they live.

An injured worker is the best candidate to get started down the path of positive thinking. It all begins with how a workplace injury is handled. Do you show concern for your employee’s health and well being after an accident? Do you evaluate the area where the employee was injured? Do you send them off to see the doctor in a timely matter? These areas set the tone for an injured employee to start developing a positive attitude. Dealing with an injury is hard enough! Help the employee understand the process, and what will be happening over the period of healing. This also confirms other employees’ perception of your company to be one that is concerned about their health.


Is Perfume Sensitivity a Work Comp Concern?

Second hand smoke kills. But what about second hand perfume? Do you have an employee that you know has clocked in because of the cologne or perfume trail leading to their cubicle?  In 2003, there was a disability discrimination claim filed by an employee with perfume sensitivity. The case was eventually dismissed, but only because the employer made reasonable accommodations to help the employee with her situation.

Strong perfume may be easy enough to ignore for many, but some people can experience sneezing frenzies, asthma symptoms, watery eyes, and other allergy symptoms. For most, the symptoms subside when the odor is no longer present, but for some, being exposed over and over leads to sensitivity for longer periods of time even after the scent is gone.

Now, at home those pesky smells are easily gotten rid of. The magazine insert is easily thrown away, maybe the soaps and candles are fragrance free, but at work it is difficult. Employers can help in many ways to make the environment a little easier to breathe in just by doing a few of the following:


Prescription Drugs: Legal and Lethal

If you are at home watching television during prime time, how many prescription drug commercials do you see in one sitting? One, two, even five will sometimes cross the airwaves in one hour. The concern becomes, if there are so many commercials for these medications, who are the people taking them? Chances are that your employees have seen those prescription commercials and could be tempted to contact their doctor for a prescription. Although it is good for your employees to communicate with their physicians, they could potentially be at risk of abusing prescription medications.

Most of these commercials are for things like cholesterol, diabetes, and osteoporosis – but what about the prescriptions that aren’t advertised like Vicodin, Oxycontin, or Percodan? These medications work by blocking pain perception, and are prescribed for acute pain, chronic pain, or pain following surgery.


Manage Hiring Risks in an Economic Downturn

The current economic turmoil brings challenges to businesses, beyond decreased sales and restrictive credit requirements. While businesses are struggling to secure credit lines and doggedly watching their accounts receivable, individuals are fighting to make ends meet as well. With companies downsizing and making adjustments, for what may be a long recovery, many people are finding themselves looking for jobs. Employers must be very wary when hiring employees, especially in a down economy.

Tough economic times have been shown to correlate with increased violent crime and increased drug abuse. Not surprisingly, these two social ills are often related. At no other time is it more important to conduct pre-employment and post-injury drug screens than during down economic cycles. Poor personal decisions by the individual need not translate into poor personnel decisions for the employer, if a smart drug screening program is in place.

Drug screening technology now allows instant results, without the need for a urine specimen. Many tests do not require collection in a clinical setting or by clinical personnel. With such quick and convenient methodologies, employers have an excellent opportunity to avoid the dangers of workplace drug abuse.

Proof:Positive can implement a drug screening program for your organization, now. Contact Proof:Positive to help manage the increasing risks of violence and drug abuse in the current economic climate.

Can I Fire an Injured Employee?

An employee hurts themselves at work resulting in a worker’s compensation arrangement. You have multiple write ups for this individual, but now they are at home. Have you been unable to contact the individual? Is this employee’s position at the job site now on hold? Were you already planning to fire him before the injury occurred? If any of these questions sound familiar you may want to ask, “Can I fire this employee even though they have filed a worker’s compensation claim?” The answer may be YES.

However…proof of business necessity needs to be established. Factors to determine business necessity include (source: reish.com): More…

Crutches, Canes and Walkers – Are They Being Used Correctly?

Do you have employees that are injured and require one of these aids to get around? Have you ever tried to walk using crutches or a walker? It is really not all that easy to get used to. Many people use these aids improperly and are risking further injury to themselves.

I spent many years working in an ER and found that most people are not able to get up and use crutches or walkers on their first try. I can recall spending quite a bit of time with patients, teaching them the proper way to use these aids. Having your injured employees understand how to use these aids is crucial to their recovery, and even for possible prevention of further injury.

Crutches, walkers, and even canes help your legs heal by bearing the weight you would normally put on your legs. However, the benefits can only be realized if the devices are used properly. Crutches that are too long can press on the nerves in your underarms, causing tingling, numbness and/or loss of muscle strength. Crutches, walkers, and canes that are too short, or mismatched, can cause back pain and falls.

In Health and Wellness Rooms, injured employees are taught, among other things, how to properly use their walking aids. Through guidance and self studies, an employee can learn the proper way to use these aids and help prevent the prolonging of their recovery. Knowledge helps create confidence that can help them when taking those steps towards recovery and returning to work. An added benefit: when employees feel that their employer has their best interest in mind, they are more inclined to return to work.