In addition to routine safety inspections, it is crucial that you schedule regular meetings. If you have workers’ compensation and insurance programs in place at your company, the insurer is likely to want to run some form of safety inspection at your workplace once the policy is in place. These inspections are important for the insurer – as they want to make sure that they understand the organization they are covering and how at risk they are of claims or financial responsibility – but can also be very beneficial for your company. Insurance carriers typically allocate around 2-3% of your premium for risk control, so you need to have a plan in place to maximize their investment.
Avoid these common pitfalls.
While regular insurer inspections are important to ensure that you meet their safety requirements, it is important to remember that an insurance inspection probably will not move the needle on your safety culture. While the carrier will look for physical hazards and glaring deficiencies in safety policy or procedures, their inspection guidelines are based on their requirements for insurability, and may not include all of the OSHA-recommended safety guidelines. They are there to carry out an inspection for their company and determine the risk of claims and possible payouts from their end, which means that they are by no means a substitute for an integral safety process.
In addition, because the inspection is coming from the outside perspective of an insurance carrier or other third party, they likely do not understand your company’s safety culture. They will not understand how things are typically run in your workplace, what your current safety procedures are, and what you have planned for the future. While ideally you will have the opportunity to work with the carrier and explain what your organization’s safety culture is like (which we will elaborate on in the next section), it is very possible for your insurance carrier to not know much about your current safety practices, which could prevent them from giving the best response.
Finally, there is a relatively high turnover rate among safety professionals (and claims adjusters) within the insurance industry. This could further add to the previously-mentioned issue of the carrier not understanding your workplace culture. Also, if you frequently change carriers it is very difficult to gain traction with the services offered by an insurance carrier.
Improve the effectiveness of their visit.
As addressed above, carrier inspections are often not effective due to the insurance carrier not understanding your company’s culture or how things are run in your workplace. In order to address this, we have several recommendations to help you improve traction with your insurer meetings and improve the results of your meetings.
TIPS TO MAXIMIZE YOUR INSURANCE PREMIUM INVESTMENT
- Review carrier resources. This will help you to understand what the carrier will be looking for during their visit and allow you to better prepare for their inspection.
- Show the carrier your annual risk plan. This will give the carrier a better idea of what your workplace’s safety culture is like, what you will be doing in the future, and give them a chance to offer feedback immediately.
- Ask the risk control rep to do a safety data map. This is a list of OSHA training requirements, and it will also help to give the carrier an idea of your organization’s safety requirements.
- Have the carrier conduct a mock OSHA audit. This will ensure that your workplace receives a thorough safety inspection that complies with OSHA standards rather than just the carrier’s safety requirements.
- Give the carrier a to-do list. What is on this to-do list is up to your discretion, but ideally it will give the carrier a better understanding of your company and ensure that everything you would like to have addressed is addressed.
- Have the carrier participate in regularly-scheduled safety meetings. By working with the carrier regularly, you will be able to better ingratiate them into your workplace and give them a more detailed understanding of your workplace’s safety culture. In addition, regular safety meetings and inspections will greatly improve safety in your workplace.
In closing, remember that 2-3% of your premium should be allocated to risk control. Make sure you put a plan in place to maximize this investment.
About Compass RMS
The risk management firm Risk Management, Inc. has specialized in workers’ compensation since 1996, creating the CWCP (Certified Workers’ Compensation Professional) program in 1999 and the P4 process in 2000. We launched our Compass Risk Management platform in 2008 and recently released version 4.0. For more information about our services, give us a call at (770) 534-2042 to speak with one of our consultants.