Controlling Costs and Safer Workplaces

A Note From The President:

It’s hard to believe three quarters of 2011 are behind us – it seems I just wrote to wish you a Happy New Year! I have several important topics to discuss that can be of value to your company in controlling losses, holding claims costs down and making your workplace safer for your employees.

Drug-Free Workplaces

Did you know 20% of FHM’s policyholders maintain drug-free workplaces? These policyholders have joined the ranks of national employers such as Kmart, Wal-Mart, Burger King, McDonald’s and Disney World in realizing the long-term benefits of being a drug-free workplace. Drug users, who are not viable candidates at businesses with drug-free workplaces, seek out employers that do not have such a program. Employers without a drug-free program increasingly find themselves accepting job applicants who are rejected by drug-free employers and assuming the associated costs and liability involved with such employees.

If you do not currently participate in our Drug-Free Workplace program, I urge you to strongly consider joining this program. Contact us today at 1-888-346-3461, ext. 6312 or visit our web site at www.fhmic.com to find out how to join the program. If you prefer not to participate in the drug-free workplace program, then implementing a Post-Injury Drug Testing Program is a good way to help manage your losses and send a message to your employees that the use of illegal substances is not appropriate in your workplace.

Post-Injury Drug Testing

Keeping your workplace accident-free is challenging enough without adding drug use to the mix. Implementing a Post-Injury Drug Testing Program is an effective way to send a strong, zero-tolerance message to employees, reduce your liability for drug-related workplace accidents and reduce claims experience and exposure. The Program provides professional drug testing automatically for work-related injuries and if injured employees test positive for drug use, an investigation is begun by FHM.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) found that most drug users age 18-49 are employed full-time. That means 6.3 million illegal drug users and 6.2 million heavy alcohol users are in today’s full-time work force! The Post-Injury Drug Testing Program is an effective way to minimize the impact of drug use on your company and help make your workplace safe for all employees. You’ll find information about this program on the web site – click on SAFTEYnet at the top of any page – or you can call us at 1-888-346-3461, ext. 6312 to get started on the enrollment process.

Having an Enjoyable Workplace

All employers want their workplaces to be safe and enjoyable for employees. Sometimes, employees get carried away with “enjoying” their workplace and engage in behavior we call “horseplay.” Horseplay can often become physical and could lead to workplace injuries that could have been avoided had the horseplay been stopped before it became dangerous.  It’s important to ensure your workplace safety program includes information about the dangers of horseplay and offers suggestions to your supervisors for identifying and heading off such behavior.

Keep in Touch With Injured Workers

Injured workers who are at home recovering from an accident can become lonely or feel as though their employer has forgotten about them and isn’t giving them the attention their condition warrants. When this happens, some injured workers contact an attorney as a way to get the attention they believe they deserve. Don’t forget, historical evidence shows when an attorney is involved in a workers’ compensation claim the claim cost can increase by as much as 40%.

Injured workers are still a part of your workforce, don’t forget about them, communicate with them regularly to make sure they know you care about them and to get a better understanding of when they may be able to rejoin the work force. It’s an easy way to keep your claims costs down and give your injured worker a boost at the same time.

Training Tools

We’ve updated our web site to include a Training Tools section that contains materials your staff can use to address specific topics related to creating and maintaining safe workplaces. Training materials are organized by industry to make it easier to identify topics that would be appropriate for your company. The materials are presented in PowerPoint format and are designed so they can be viewed on individual computers. Go to www.fhmic.com and click on Training at the top of any page, to begin exploring this valuable resource.

Loss Control Consultants

As you know, we at FHM believe strongly in being proactive in addressing issues that can affect your ability to have an effective, affordable workers’ compensation program. One of the best resources we provide is our Loss Control Consultants whose job it is to work with policyholders to identify and address conditions in your workplace that could be potential causes of accidents. If you haven’t already done so, I urge you to take advantage of this resource. Contact our Loss Control department at 1-888-346-3461 ext. 6363 or click on SAFTEYnet on the top of any page of our web site and learn more about ways we can work together to help you create and maintain a safe workplace – you and your employees will be glad you did!

Payroll Audits

We will be implementing new payroll audit procedures in October. The biggest change is quarterly self audits will no longer be required. If your policy premium is less than $10,000 and your business class is not “contractor,” you will only be required to complete an annual mail audit upon policy expiration. Otherwise, if your policy premium is greater than $10,000 and/or your business class is “contractor,” an onsite audit by one of our field audit representatives will be required upon policy expiration.

At FHM we are dedicated to delivering the highest quality of service through a philosophy of “A Policy To Do More” while delivering the “lowest ultimate cost” in workers’ compensation through cutting-edge cost containment, loss control and safety and fraud programs. Our success as a company is tied to your success in establishing and maintaining a safe workplace. I urge you to take advantage of the resources available to you and to call on us when we can be of assistance to you. We appreciate your business and look forward to continuing our relationship with you well into the future.
Sincerely,

Bill Bond, Jr.
President

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