Five Lessons Employers Can Learn from the NFL Concussion Suit

nflSince NFL means National Football League, those in the workers compensation industry may be wondering why retired players filed their class-action lawsuit in just California. Seventy-five retired National Football League players are suing the NFL citing mismanagement of concussions and willful concealment of evidence of the long-term effects of head injuries which led to the players’ current brain damage.

 

 

Ari Rosenstein of CPRhr, a California human resources outsourcing and professional employer organization (PEO) firm, explains in the company’s Small Biz HR Blog how confusing workers compensation laws there make it an attractive place for lawsuits.(WCxKit)

 

 

His most recent article, offers five lessons the workers compensation industry can learn from this likely-to-be costly workplace injury case.

 

 

“California is notorious for being one-sided in its support of employees’ work comp claims. NFL players recognize they will receive higher benefits for filing an injury in California, over other states in the country,” he writes. For this reason, team owners encourage players to file workers comp claims in their home states.

 

 

Rosenstein writes, “Despite bearing some of the most employee-favorable workmans’ comp policies, and some of the most expensive insurance costs in the country, California employers have a lot they can learn from the NFL in the areas of managing workplace safety, reducing claims, and being proactive in keeping insurance costs to a minimum.”

 

 

5 Workers Comp Lessons from the NFL:

  1. Just as safety is the number one priority in football, so too, business owners should purchase necessary protective gear and educate staff on usage.
  2. Just a football players train several days each week, so should employees in other fields be trained constantly on handling equipment and proper machinery use. “An educated workforce will produce higher quality work with fewer workplace injuries,” Rosenstein writes.
  3. Basic drills, exercise, and maintaining overall health and fitness are a priority for athletes because the player with better health is a greater contributor to the team. Likewise, employers need to create a healthy work environment, which may include healthful snacks in the vending machines or incentives for exercising. Flexible work environments that promote a healthy work/life balance create productive and less accident-prone employees.
  4. The workplace floor has to be as clean as a football field – or the game stops immediately. Prevent injuries before they happen.
  5. Keep safety at the forefront; it doesn’t happen by itself. Directives to use safety equipment or stretch before each “game” has to come from the top down.


Author Rebecca Shafer
, JD, President of Amaxx Risks Solutions, Inc. is a national expert in the field of workers compensation. She is a writer, speaker, and website publisher. Her expertise is working with employers to reduce workers compensation costs, and her clients include airlines, healthcare, printing, publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality, and manufacturing. See www.LowerWC.com for more information. Contact: RShafer@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

 

Ari Rosenstein of CPEhr, a California human resources outsourcing and professional employer organization (PEO) firm, writes for the company’s Small Biz HR Blog. His article can be found here, We appreciate Ari’s guest contribution.
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Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.

 

©2011 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

 

Eight Things to Know About Professional Employer Organizations (PEO) to Lower Workers Comp Costs

A Professional Employer Organization (PEO) offer employers the opportunity to outsource a variety of services including workers compensation insurance, other types of insurance administration, payroll administration, management of human resources, employee benefits and taxes. The PEO takes over the administration of these employer functions, allowing the employers to focus on their core business. This allows the employer/client to reduce their administrative cost and to provide access to lower cost benefits.
 
 
1- PEOs are utilized by many types of small businesses, but are especially prevalent in industries where there is high risk of workplace injuries, like the construction industry. PEOs are often used by temporary staffing agencies due to the staffing agencys ever changing workforce. PEOs frequently take over the hiring and recruiting of employees for employers. By hiring the employees, the PEO becomes the employer of record for workers compensation purposes and tax purposes. This is often referred to as co-employment as the employee is performing his work functions for the PEOs client, but is an employee of the PEO for insurance and tax purposes. (WCxKit)
 
 
2- A promotional point PEOs use to obtain clients is their ability to obtain workers compensation insurance cheaper than the employer can obtain on their own. The PEO obtains workers compensation coverage for both the PEO itself and and for it employer clients. This is allowed because the PEO is the co-employer of the employees of the client companies. The PEO uses economies of scale to purchase the workers compensation insurance at a lower cost than a small employer would pay for the coverage.   However, the various different types of employee classifications in a PEO can make underwriting of the PEO difficult for the workers compensation insurance company.
 
 
3- PEOs also promote they can improve the clients cash flow by reducing or eliminating the down payments associated with the purchase of workers compensation insurance. Depending on the size of the client employer and the amount of other insurance, employee benefits, taxes, etc that are taken over by the PEO, the client employer may not incur any finance charges for their work comp insurance premiums. In some cases, PEOs will utilize a pay-as-you-go work comp program (monthly work comp premium payments with coverage extended month by month).
 
 
4- As PEOs are in the business of managing the benefits, taxes and insurance for employers, they have the expertise to effectively manage and control workers compensation claims for their clients. PEOs will normally require their client employers to have a return to work program that puts employees back to work on modified duty as soon as the treating physician will allow the employee to do so.
 
 
5- Another PEO benefit that impacts workers compensation is the PEO will provide and verify the safety programs of their clients. While the client company will be responsible for administering the safety program, the PEO will retain the right to perform safety inspections to verify the client employer is complying with the safety program and is providing a safe environment for work. This benefits all employers within the PEO by lowering the number of work comp claims for the PEO. 
 
 
6- Some PEOs will turn down potential new clients if they have a poor claims experience history or if the client has a substandard safety program and is unwilling to accept the safety inspections and safety requirements of the PEO. If the PEO is not protective of their loss experience history, the work comp insurance rates will increase, negatively impacting the PEOs ability to attract new clients.
 
 
7- Employers who are considering the utilization of a PEO to manage their administrative programs, taxes, benefits and workers' compensation insurance, should evaluate the PEO on its:
 
1.      experience in their industry
2.      its safety program and risk management assistance
3.      its return to work program required of all clients
4.      its financial stability
5.      its workers compensation insurance program cost
6.      its workers compensation insurer (A or higher rating with A.M. Best)
7.      its workers compensation third party administrator (if the claims are not handled by the insurer)
8.      the cost of all of its other administrative functions (WCxKit)
 
 
8- PEOs can reduce the cost of workers compensation and other administrative requirements of the employer. The client employer does give up some control over administrative functions (which can be a good thing). PEOs charge a service fee for handling the workers compensation and other administrative functions which most PEOs will claim is more than offset by the savings they provide on the cost of workers compensation and other employee benefits.
 
 
Author Rebecca Shafer, JD, President of Amaxx Risks Solutions, Inc. is a national expert in the field of workers compensation. She is a writer, speaker, and website publisher. Her expertise is working with employers to reduce workers compensation costs, and her clients include airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality, and manufacturing. See www.LowerWC.com for more information. Contact: RShafer@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com or 860-553-6604.
 
 
 
Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.
 
©2011 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

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