Workers Compensation – The Small Picture: Attitude, behaviour and culture more dangerous than unsafe conditions

This is the third in a three-part blog series on the relationship between workplace culture and the costs associated with occupational injury and illness.

We’ve talked about the relationship between the employer-employee…well, relationship and we’ve talked about impacts on claims, costs and workers compensation. In the story I shared last week, we learned how some of the more ineffable qualities of workplace culture have a significant relationship with employee engagement and therefore absenteeism and direct/indirect costs. 

This is a relationship that information from Health and Safety authorities tends to support. For example, Health & Safety Ontario’s excellent resource, Journey to Excellence: The Complete Guide, emphasizes the impact of organizational culture on health and safety.

The guide notes that hard stats that clearly relate injury rates to organizational culture can be difficult to establish. In large part this is because most companies only report superficial causes (for example, lack of … Read more...

Workers’ Compensation – The Small Picture: what’s your claims nightmare?

This is the second in a three-part blog series on the relationship between workplace culture and the costs associated with occupational injury and illness.

If you have been involved in workers’ compensation claims with your organization, I am pretty sure you have at least one horror story. Unfortunately it isn’t the just the horror story that needs attention.  A couple of years ago I was working with a medium-sized Ontario manufacturer and was reviewing their Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) New Experimental Experience Rating (NEER) quarterly statements and was asking questions regarding all their lost-time claims. Few were outstanding in terms of costs or duration but as I went through them, one stood out as we discussed the circumstances.

The employee was a long-term worker with over seventeen years of uninterrupted service and an excellent work record. She had a couple of health care-only claims but this one was … Read more...

Workers’ Compensation – The Small Picture: Does workplace culture impact health and safety costs?

This is the first in a three-part blog series on the relationship between workplace culture and the costs associated with occupational injury and illness.

When I started to write this series of posts on workers compensation, I thought what new information I could provide readers – information that isn’t easily accessible on innumerable website, blogs and other publications. I wanted to emphasize the real costs of workplace injuries and illnesses (both direct and indirect costs) as well as how employers can effectively manage their claims. 

I also reviewed the available statistics from various jurisdictions to identify key areas to focus on. Then it occurred to me that Workers’ Compensation is usually presented as the Big Picture when really it is a Small Picture – one injury, one person at a time. Yes, to effectively manage workers’ compensation an organized process is a necessity, with appropriate reporting mechanisms, structured … Read more...

Workplace injuries and the bottom line: indirect incident costs are staggering

This week the Intelex Blog introduces its newest contributor, Robert Smith. Head of Injury Management Solutions, Robert has tons of experience in Human Resource and Disability management, including a long stint with WSIB. Robert will blog on a biweekly basis on issues related to compensation, claims management, case management, and much more. This week Robert tackles the real costs of workplace injuries.

I have been directly involved in workers’ compensation issues for well over 20 years and, like many of you, I have heard the stories of the costs of a workplace injury and how important it is to implement health and safety programs and to manage claims. Yet time after time I have conversations with employers who still do not grasp the big picture. 

So what is the big picture? Most companies are aware of how their workers’ compensation premiums are calculated and that poor performance results in … Read more...