In 2011, Sun Health Senior Living’s (SHSL) workers’ compensation costs were headed in the wrong direction, driven by higher than expected work injuries and claims.
As a result SHSL’s workers’ compensation insurance provider, CopperPoint Mutual, penalized the company with a 1 percent surcharge (roughly $17,000) on its premium
“We knew something needed to change,” Tony Nardi, SHSL director of Human Resources, said.
Change came in the form of a comprehensive safety and awareness campaign launched late in 2011 to improve worker safety and reduce workplace injuries.
Managers and supervisors came together to brainstorm solutions. They came up with the idea to conduct regular safety inspections in work areas other than their own, bringing a fresh set of eyes to the process. In addition, employees received extra training on safety and injury prevention.
SHSL contracted with TraCorp to set up web-based safety training, making it much easier for employees to complete their training. Safety was emphasized in staff meetings, in internal newsletters and in on-the-spot work activities, all of which led to improved compliance with training.
During the same time period, Sun Health implemented several measures to improve employee engagement by improving workplace communication and employee recognition. The new recognition program includes honors for employees who come up with new ideas to improve safety.
SHSL’s safety efforts began to bear fruit. Claims decreased by 66 percent and SHSL’s premium was reduced, resulting in in a 24 percent premium discount (a $60,000 savings).
CopperPoint named SHSL its “Safe Employer of the Month” for January 2015. The award recognizes a CopperPoint policyholder that demonstrates a “stellar record of workplace safety.”