Hiring To Prevent Workers’ Compensation Claims

With workers’ compensation costs on the rise, one of the best ways to control costs is to prevent workplace injuries before they even occur. Such prevention starts at the hiring stage. Although unqualified employees or those who abuse drugs may be more prone to injury than others, employers hesitate to make certain inquiries that would… read more

Heat Stress: Work Smart When Temperatures Soar

Temperatures that are 10 degrees or more above the average high temperature and last for several days are defined as a heat wave. Employees who work in service, parts or body shop departments that are either poorly ventilated or not air conditioned, can experience temperatures over 100 degrees with humidity readings over 70%. Without proper… read more

Max H. Graff Jr. Retires from MADSIF Board

The Board of Trustees is sad to announce that Max H. Graff Jr. is retiring from the MADSIF Board after 28 years of exemplary service. Mr. Graff also served on the Board of Auto Dealer Insurance Company, the captive reinsurance company of MADSIF. Mr. Graff made great contributions to the strategic direction of MADSIF while… read more

Driver Safety

Drive Defensively on the Road to Safety Be prepared to respond quickly and safely to traffic conditions and other drivers. Obey speed laws and traffic signals. Be on the lookout for surprises: pedestrians, bicycles, potholes, other drivers, etc. Pass only on the left after making sure you have plenty of room. Stay at least 3… read more

Fall Protection

Falls and ejections from the platform are leading causes of injury and death on aerial lifts. Always wear a personal fall arrest system or travel restraint system when in the platform or bucket. Attach the lanyard to the boom or platform anchor point, never to an adjacent pole, structure, or equipment. Never use a body… read more

Protective Clothing

To Protect Against… Toxic substances: Wear the impermeable chemical-resistant clothing recommended by the MSDS (often rubberized or neoprene). Corrosives: Wear impermeable chemical-resistant clothing (rubberized or neoprene) that fully covers the body. Highly toxic or corrosive substances (Level A): Wear a fully encapsulated chemical-resistant suit. Fire (flames, sparks, molten metal, etc.): Wear protective clothing made of… read more

Eye and Face Protection Checklist

Employers Must Assess workplace to identify hazards to eyes and face. Provide sanitary, reliable, undamaged eye and face PPE that protects against identified hazards and meets ANSI standards. Inform employees about available PPE and ensure that each individual is fitted properly. Train employees to know: When to use eye and face protection. What PPE to… read more

Aerial Personnel Devices

Vehicle-mounted Personnel Devices have Three Main Hazards Obviously, the first is falling from the basket. Second, an overloaded basket can cause the vehicle to tip over. Third, contact with overhead power lines is a deadly hazard. Workers on the ground are in danger of items falling from the basket. Always Know the Load Capacity and… read more

Controlling Ergonomic Hazards

There are many ways to reduce ergonomic risk factors and help fit the workplace to the worker. Solutions can be grouped into three main categories: eliminate the hazard, improve work policies and procedures, and provide personal protective equipment. Often the best solution involves a combination of approaches. Eliminate the Hazard The most effective way to… read more

MADSIF – A Risk Management Tool Designed to Prevent Claims and Reduce Your Premiums

Focusing on Loss Control is the Best Way to Save WC Premium Dollars!

Taking the time to understand the drivers behind your workers’ compensation costs and making a long-term commitment to a comprehensive loss control program designed to control those drivers is the best method for reducing your WC premium.... read more

Slips and Falls

Don’t Be a ‘Fall Guy’ Falls hurt—and worse: They can disable or kill. Falling injuries occur in every industry, but they can be prevented or reduced in severity by the worker who is alert. Remember, falls will cost not only your employer, but you and your family. They can cost you pain, time spent at… read more

Do’s and Don’ts of Lifting

Is lifting part of your job routine? If so, then every day you risk injury from strains, sprains, hernias, cuts, and bruises. All it takes is one wrong move to injure yourself. Thousands of on-the-job injuries are related to improper body movement in lifting procedures. You can prevent injury by learning proper lifting techniques. A… read more

Emergency Eye Wash and Showers

Several OSHA standards require that an emergency eyewash or eyewash and shower be provided whenever employees are exposed to corrosive materials. Eyewash and Shower Requirements Eyewashes and showers should be in compliance with ANSI Z358.1-2004. Construction, installation and location of the eyewash or eyewash and shower should meet the ANSI requirements. A checklist of the… read more

Dealing with Distractions in Safety-critical Operations

Don’t Blink! Dealing with Distractions in Safety-critical Operations The classic example of a distraction leading to a fatal error in a safety-critical situation is the teenage driver who crosses the center line on the road while texting and kills herself or someone else. But driving isn’t the only safety-critical situation, and text messages aren’t the… read more

A Working Person’s Guide To Prevent Heat Stress

Heat stress is an illness that results from too much heat exposure on hot jobs. This illness may include heat exhaustion (headaches, nausea, or dizziness) or heat cramps (cramping in the muscles). If unrecognized and untreated, heat stress can lead to heat stroke, which can be fatal. What are Hot Jobs? Hot jobs have hot… read more

Preventing Slip & Fall Accidents in the Workplace

Slipping and Sliding Means Accidents and Injuries Unless they’re ice skating or skiing, you don’t want your employees to be slipping and sliding-especially around your workplace. Weather-related slips and falls become a serious hazard as winter conditions often make for wet or icy surfaces outdoors. Even wet leaves or mud can create treacherous walking conditions…. read more

OSHA Announces Top 10 Violations for 2015

Breaking News from NSC: OSHA Announces Top 10 Violations for FY 2015 At the 2015 NSC Congress & Expo, OSHA announced the preliminary Top 10 most frequently cited workplace safety violations for fiscal year (FY) 2015. Patrick Kapust, deputy director of OSHA’s Directorate of Enforcement Programs, presented the Top 10 on the Expo floor. “In… read more

Top Ladder Safety Tips

If you must use a ladder, use one that has a safety platform with handrail barricades on the sides (e.g., a platform stepladder). Whenever you use a ladder or a stepladder, take note of the safety advice in this guide. Stop Falls with these Top Ladder Safety Tips Use the right ladder for the job…. read more

Make Safety a Full-Time Habit

Good safety practices help protect you and your coworkers from injury or illness on the job. Because of that, we take safety very seriously here—and that means that you should consider working safely an important part of your job responsibilities. Know the hazards of your job. Always follow safety rules and procedures. Use all personal… read more

Good Accident Investigation Practices

Prevent Future Accidents! A Good Accident Investigation: Takes place immediately after the accident Determines the facts—what happened Determines the causes—why it happened Recommends corrections and changes to prevent future accidents. Here’s How You Can Help Accident Investigations: Report all accidents regardless of whether anyone was injured or how minor injuries were. All accidents, not just… read more

Stress in the Workplace – How stress can affect your worker’s compensation program

Stress may not always be visible, but its effects on injured employees and your bottom line are real enough to warrant a closer look. Stress can affect anyone at any time, but workers with an existing injury are particularly vulnerable. Beyond anxiety and fatigue, stress can extend healing time for injured workers and exacerbate physical… read more

Technology in the workplace: Distraction in your Pocket

Distractions are everywhere, but it’s the glowing screens in our pockets that are fast becoming our favorite distraction in the workplace. In a recent survey of 1,000 workers by Virgin Pulse, researchers found that 45 percent of respondents were distracted by email, texts and social media. Distracted driving leads the pack for causes of automobile accidents,… read more

Winter Workplace Safety

Winter Workplace Safety Winter in Michigan nearly always means snow, ice and plenty of slick floors and surfaces. With slip and fall accidents nearly topping the top 10 workplace injuries, making sure you’re taking steps for safety can help make the winter months go by without a hitch.  Keep employees from work-related driving on public… read more

3 Resolutions That Are Worth Keeping

We know that you’re well on your way to making good on your New Year resolutions, but we have a few that you may want to add to your list. Below are three simple tips to help you kick-off the New Year with safety and savings in mind. Commit early to best practices: The New… read more

News Bite: OSHA Video Covers Upcoming Changes to Reporting Requirements

As we previously reported, OSHA is implementing new reporting requirements that will go into effect on January 1. Today OSHA provides us with a video that highlights the important details you should know to keep your company compliant.

How to Reduce Your Injury Rate in 2015 with Castle Rock Risk Management Services

According to Doug Kalinowski, OSHA’s Director of Cooperative and State Programs, employers can expect to see a return of $6 for every dollar they invest in safety and health programs. With substantial savings like this, it truly validates the idiom “Good safety is good business.”  Direct savings to companies that train their employees on the… read more

Saving on Workers’ Comp Premiums: The Long View Wins the Game

Quick quiz: What’s the best method to shave costs related to workers’ compensation? Hop to a new carrier? Or, digging in to a comprehensive loss control program? For some, the end of the year brings an array of low-premium workers compensation offers that promise big up-front savings. But here’s what they’re not telling you: Real… read more

3 Best Practices to Work Your Company like a “Teddy” Winner Organization

Learning from the best has its rewards. Risk and Insurance magazine recently announced their 2014 honorees – companies that used innovation and brass tack know-how to reduce claims, prevent injury and improve their bottom line – and there’s plenty to learn from their successes. The biggest lesson? Programs and efforts that can help make your… read more

OSHA Announces Top 10 Violations for 2014

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has updated its list of top 10 violations for 2014. While the list contenders don’t change often, the one thing that they all have in common is they’re preventable – with a little planning and foresight. Here are some of this year’s top violations and ways to… read more

Violence in the Workplace: More Prevalent, and More Costly Than You May Think

Most incidents of workplace violence don’t lead to headlines, but assaults, threats, verbal abuse and harassment in the workplace are becoming significant reason for concern. In 2012, one in every five fatal work injuries was attributed to workplace violence, not accidents, according to a recent Worker’s Compensation article. Some employees are at higher risk for… read more

News bite: OSHA Updates Injury Reporting Requirements

Going into effect on January 1, OSHA is rolling out new rules for reporting any work-related injury or fatality. The new rules will mandate that any work-related inpatient hospitalization, amputation, or loss of eye must be documented and reported to OSHA. It’s a significant shift from the old rule, which only required that employers report… read more

Inspection Preparedness

Imagine you’ve just walked into your workplace. Your employees are actively in production. Everything seems to be in its usual working order. A compliance officer comes in and orders an inspection. They find multiple areas that are worthy of a sanction. How did you miss that? How were you not prepared for an inspection of… read more

Mental Health and Workers Comp: Is depression adding hidden weights to your bottom line?

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 1 in 10 adults in the U.S. suffer from depression. It’s the leading cause of medical disability for people aged 14 to 44 and costs about $83 billion annually nationwide in lost productivity and increased medical expenses. And unlike other injuries or illnesses, depression… read more

Keeping Temporary Workers Safe in the Workplace

Companies have been fined hundreds of thousands of dollars for failing to protect temporary workers in the last year. In most cases, the fines may have been preventable had a few guidelines been followed. Three steps you can take today include: The Occupational Safety & Health Administration’s considers the safety of a temporary worker the… read more

5 Ways to Prevent Workers’ Compensation Fraud

Consider this scenario: Joe works in the body shop for a Michigan auto dealer. Unfortunately, an unexpected family emergency caused Joe to rack up significant debt, and look for extra cash to pay his monthly bills. On top of this, Joe strains his back on the job and needs to go to a doctor. Joe’s… read more

Summer is here…and so is the potential for heat stress

As the summer months bring sweltering temperatures, heat stress becomes a greater risk. Heat stress can be combatted with simple, but key steps. And with indoor temperatures sometimes climbing two to three times that of those outdoors – a brief reminder of how to spot overheating employees may be in order.  Tips to help your… read more

Culture over Compliance: The Difference That Could Mean Fewer Accidents in the Workplace

Companies that integrate safety practices into their daily workplace routines and culture have fewer accidents in the workplace than those that simply comply with regulations and safety policy, according to officials from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration in a recent report in Business Insurance magazine.  Even workers who wear protective gear and complying to… read more

Opioids in the workplace: An issue to track in 2014

Chances are that if one of your employees suffered back pain from a workplace injury, he or she was treated with a prescription painkiller, most of which are opioids. A May 2013 report in Insurance Journal points out that about 42 percent of workers with back injuries were prescribed opioids in the first year after… read more

Injuries Drop by Double-Digits; But Claims of Employer Retaliation Rise

Last year the federal government announced the good news: Workplace injuries dropped by an impressive 31 percent over the past decade. Mitigating this news was the doubling of federal and state court cases from about 50 to 100 in 2012 regarding retaliation for workers compensation claims, according to a story last year in the Wall… read more

Five Injury Facts Worth Knowing

The National Safety Council recently released its 2014 edition of Injury Facts – a compendium of the most current state and international injury statistics and their costs.  We’ve highlighted five facts and why you may wish to find out more.  Poisonings – including those from unintentional prescription pain killer overdoses – were the leading cause… read more

Consider This Before Sending Employees to Work at Your House

Those spring cleanup items or home fixes you may have an employee do during downtimes at the store could leave you vulnerable to employer liability risks and workers’ comp claims in the event of an injury. According to the ‘Special Errand Exception’, an employer may be held liable for injuries due to a negligent act… read more

7 Steps for Getting Injured Employees Back On the Job

It can happen in a second. An employee lifts a box of supplies the wrong way and now he or she is out of work for several months. While we do our best to ensure employees are working in a safe environment, accidents happen. What happens after that accident, however, may determine just how expensive… read more

MIOSHA Announces 5 Year Safety Plan

Michigan’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) announced a five-year strategic plan that emphasizes a double-digit reduction in injury and illness rates, and outreach activities through 2018. The statewide plan comes on the heels of the federal agency’s budget expansion and plans for stricter enforcement. Mounting anecdotal evidence supports an uptick in MIOSHA inspections. But… read more

Are you MIOSHA-Ready?

MADSIF’s Risk Management Staff has noted an increase in MIOSHA inspection activities at Michigan Dealerships – an uptick that shouldn’t be taken lightly.  Some examples of citations and the approximate associated fines are listed below: Annual Lift Inspections         $3500 Safety Glasses                    … read more

Keeping Employees Healthy and Productive This Winter

Polar vortex or no, the deepest weeks of a brutal winter can leave anyone feeling lethargic. And that’s not even including the colds and flus afflicting nearly everyone you know. A little preventive work around the winter blahs can save some serious green come Spring. Workplace absences cost employers more than $40 billion a year… read more

Five Resolutions You’ll Want to Keep in the New Year

‘Tis the season to make resolutions. Ways to cut waste and improve your business likely figure highly on the list. But if you’re wondering where to start, we’ve got five suggestions on how you can kick the New Year off with safety, wellness and loss prevention in clear sight. Trust us, these are resolutions you… read more

Top 5 Ways to Enjoy a Safe Holiday Season

We at MADSIF wish you a warm and bright holiday, and a Happy New Year! But even during the holidays, we just wouldn’t be ourselves if we didn’t obsess a little over safety and risk prevention. So we’ve listed our Top Five Ways to Enjoy a Safe and Happy Holiday Season: Watch slippery surfaces: We… read more

4 Ways to Prevent Slip and Fall Accidents in the Workplace

Slip and fall accidents perennially rank in the top three causes of workplace injuries and claims. Here are four ways you can prevent them from affecting your workplace and your bottom line: 1. Always wear appropriate footwear You wouldn’t wear ice skates on a football field, so just like athletes remember to wear appropriate attire,… read more

Are Your Employees Wearing the Proper Slip Resistant Shoes?

Proper footwear on the shop or sales floor typically fall far down the list of concerns in the workplace. But paying attention to what’s on your employee’s feet can actually save you significant dollars. Slip and fall accidents rack up about $1.8 billion in workers compensation claims a year nationwide, and are the leading cause… read more

5 Effective Ways to Combat Driver Distractions & Increase Employee Safety

As construction season comes to an end and the climate begins to change, it is important to remember that car accidents top the list of workers’ compensation fatalities on the job, with distracted driving leading the pack for causes of accidents.   Accidents in which an employee is seriously injured or killed can be extremely… read more

Four Ways You Can Prevent Tired Workers from Making Costly Mistakes

We’ve all done it: try to strike a better work/life balance by sleeping less and eking by on more coffee breaks through the day. But when your employees show up to work tired, it can end up costing you more than lost productivity – it can also affect your bottom line. Research from Clockwork Consultants,… read more

AMA’s Obesity Reclassification Adds Weight to Workers Comp Insurers Budgets

The American Medical Association’s decision to reclassify obesity as a treatable disease could affect employers, according to a new report. Obesity has historically been dealt with as a co-morbidity issue – or an issue that co-exists but is independent of the reason for treatment.  Medical providers have typically noted only those conditions that they are… read more

Top 5 Ways to Reduce Workplace Drug Risks

Employees returning to work following an injury may find that their treatment regimen contains a risk of its own.  According to the Workers Compensation Research Institute, nearly 80 percent of injured workers receive at least one opioid prescription following an injury. In some states, as many as one in six workers end up using addictive… read more

Taking Safety Seriously Can Save Serious Dollars

If your team is racking up safety violations, chances are they’re also racking up preventable claims that can affect your bottom line. Saving employees from injury, and premium dollars besides, may be as easy as dusting off your safety policy and making regular safety reviews a regular part of your work schedule.  According to a… read more

Increase Safety and Cut Back On Workplace Claims (Weekly Plan)

For National Safety Month, the National Safety Council encouraged organizations to become more involved at educating and influencing behaviors in the workplace that can prevent injuries or death. As a result, the NSA provided a weekly plan to help raise awareness and reduce unnecessary claims. By setting aside 30-45 minutes a week with your employees… read more

Top 5 Preventable Workplace Injuries

Businesses lose millions each year on workplace injuries or fatalities that likely could have been prevented. According to recent research from Liberty Mutual’s Research Institute for Safety, the five leading causes of workplace injuries drive nearly three-quarters of the nation’s direct workers compensation costs, well below the costs of preventive training. The top 5 preventable… read more

How to Bring an Injured Employee Back to Work

Most employees return to work after recovering from an injury. But a little planning beforehand can ensure that they come back safely, productively and even help you minimize workers’ compensation costs. Returning to work has far-reaching benefits for employees and employers alike.Employee morale improves and productivity goes up; money to replace and train a new… read more

4 ways “soft skills” can save you money

So-called soft skills can save you hard dollars when it comes to workers’ compensation insurance. Soft skills describe communication and interpersonal skills that help to build relationships with others, and they offer surprising benefits when it comes to lowering your insurance costs. The top five things you can do to flex “soft” skills with an… read more

Ready for the heat? Prevent heat stress in the summer months

Hard to believe, but we’re just weeks away from higher temperatures. Employees who work in service, parts or body shop departments that aren’t air conditioned or are poorly ventilated can really feel the heat – sometimes 100 degrees F or higher with more than 70 percent humidity. Temperatures that high can result in heat stress,… read more

Must-Haves for A Company Vehicle Policy That Keeps Your Employees (And Business) Safe

April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month – and with good reason. Motor vehicle accidents top the list of workers’ compensation deaths on the job. The top cause of car accidents? Driver distraction. There’s an incalculable cost to families, friends and coworkers when someone is lost or seriously injured by distracted driving. There also is… read more

Four Ways Your SmartPhone Could Help You Lower Costs

Whether you sport an iPhone or a Droid, the smartphone you carry with you every day could help you lower your workers’ compensation insurance costs and boost the overall health of your team. Here’s five ways that your smart phone could help your bottom line: Record accident sites soon after they happen: Once an injured… read more

5 Things You Can Do to Save Big With Early Return-to-Work Programs

Early return-to-work (RTW) programs do improve employee morale and can promote faster healing – but they also save workers’ comp dollars. Early RTW programs reduces medical and indemnity payments. Lower payments have a positive impace on the MOD factor, which reduces future premiums for several years in the future. They also save the cost of… read more

Are You Being Taken? Top Signs of Workers’ Comp Fraud

Even if fraudulent claims are few and far between, they can raise your costs by impacting your MOD factor and premiums. Another impact? They can make it more difficult for legitimate claimants to cllect benefits because of increased anti-fraud measures implemented by insurance companies. The National Insurance Crime Bureau’s list of red flags can help… read more

Avoiding Litigation – What Employers Can Do

At least one goal of workers compensation plans is to provide necessary medical care to workers injured on the job. In many occasions, however, disputes that lead to litigation during the benefit delivery process add complexity and expense – expense that could be avoided by tending to your relationship with your employees, says new research… read more

Loss Control vs. Shopping Carriers: Which Saves You More Money?

Taking the time to understand the drivers behind your workers’ compensation costs and making a long-term commitment to a comprehensive loss control program designed to control those drivers is the best method for reducing your WC premium. Shopping carriers may bring short-term premium reductions, but unless the true issues behind your workers comp costs are… read more

Three steps to prevent chronic pain claims before they happen

Chronic pain is a growing aspect of workers compensation claims – a trend that’s best treated with a healthy dose of prevention. Chronic pain affects as many as 116 million U.S. residents, according to the Institute of Medicine, leading to a staggering $635 billion a year in medical treatment and lost productivity. And while chronic… read more

Aging Workforce? It May Not Affect Your Workers Comp Claims Like You Think.

On average, Michigan workers tend to trend older than other states. But that may not be affecting your workers compensation claims in the ways that you think.  “Overall, the findings can be viewed as reassuring,” a new report from the National Council on Compensation Insurance states, “in that an aging workforce appears to have a… read more

Change in Law May Make Contractors “Employees”

A change in the Michigan Workers’ Compensation law pertaining to whether your company would be considered an independent contractor’s employer and liable for his/her workers’ compensation benefits could make you vulnerable to unexpected costs. Here’s what you need to know to navigate the new law:

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Six steps to controlling your insurance costs

Workers’ compensation costs may be an unavoidable cost of doing business, but it’s a cost that’s more controllable than you might think.

A healthy portion of your insurance costs rely on your experience modification factor, or MOD factor. That factor formulates how likely it is that there will be injury claims and assesses premium accordingly – the higher the risk, the higher your MOD factor and the higher your insurance costs are likely to be.

Here are six things you can do to make your MOD factor (and your insurance costs) as low as possible: 

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Creating a Drug Policy That Works For You and Your Employees

Employers often use post-offer pre-employment drug tests when hiring new employees as a method to ensure that the employees they hire are not using drugs and bringing the problems associated with drug use to the work environment. However, many employers hesitate to test employees after they are hired because of the risk of litigation for failure to accommodate, discrimination or retaliation, among other claims, under the American’s with Disabilities Act. A clear drug-free work policy that’s consistently and uniformly applied can not only help maintain a safe workplace, but provide benefits that outweigh any risks.... read more

Slip and Fall Season is Almost Here

According to the National Safety Council there are 9 million disabling slip and fall injuries every year. These injuries result in more than 9000 deaths per year and account for 95 million lost workdays per year at a rate of about $3.5 million per hour every day of the year. Reducing the number of slip and falls represents a significant opportunity to insurers and employers for reducing their costs through injury prevention.

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Hiring to Prevent Workers’ Compensation Claims

With workers’ compensation costs on the rise, one of the best ways to control costs is to prevent workplace injuries before they occur. Such prevention starts at the hiring stage. Although unqualified employees or those who abuse drugs may be more prone to injury than others, employers hesitate to make certain inquiries that would help reveal these risks in fear of legal consequences. Michigan and federal law limit the type of information employers may obtain, especially with regard to an applicant’s disability.
However, employers may still take several steps at the hiring stage. Specifically, employers should prepare written job descriptions describing the essential job functions.

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MADSIF: Dealers Working for Dealers