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Loss Prevention
Loss Prevention.  Critical to the bottom line. One of the biggest assets and costs for any company is its people, both senior management and employees. HR Consult can assist in reducing your current loss exposure, prevent future losses and control future costs through aggressive management. Whether you are faced with implementing a safety program, complying with an OSHA inspection, face unacceptable increases in your medical and workers compensation premiums or unemployment taxes, HR Consult  can help!  Contact us today for a no obligation consultation!
General Loss Prevention

Unemployment Claims Management
Injury Cost Management
Medical Claims Management
Medical Plan Development
Medical Provider Management
Safety Award Programs
Occupational Medicine Provider Management
Workers Compensation Carrier Management
Work Comp/Medical Plan Insurance Coordination
Workers Compensation Insurance Renewals\ Audits
Services

Safety Policy and Procedure Development
Safety Program Implementation\Training
Light Duty\ Return to Work Issues
Employee Assistance Programs
Employee Wellness Programs
Reproductive Health Policies
Chemical Dependency
Communicable Diseases  
Stress Management
Smoking Policies
Safety Promotions
Safety Compliance

Accident and Injury Investigations
OSHA Injury Reporting and Administration
Onsite Safety Analysis
Job Site Inspections
OSHA Mandated Safety Training
Ergonomics and Work Hardening
Record Keeping and Reporting
Safety Program  Management
Safety Inspections
Special Safety Considerations
 Your people and your company also need to be protected properly against:
• Health and Medical Insurance Issues
• Workplace Injuries and Lost Wages

You also need to attract and retain qualified management and employees to help run your business successfully. It is important that your company and personnel are protected from lawsuits due to employment-related issues, errors and omissions or alleged mismanagement in the course of their daily responsibilities as fiduciaries, directors, officers or managers regarding:

• General Employment Practices Liability
• Sexual Harassment and Discrimination
• Benefits Management
• Directors and Officers Liability
• Kidnap/Ransom
• Employee Theft/Dishonesty

HR Consult can assist you through audit, recommendations and program management in each area.  Our help may even result in lower employer practices liability insurance! For a detailed examination of each area and helpful checklists, select an area of interest.


HEALTH BENEFITS 

More and more, employee benefits are becoming a critical component of employment negotiations. With group medical representing one of a company's largest expenditures after payroll expenses, business owners should view this area as a potential risk to their balance sheets. Managed care programs, such as health maintenance organizations (HMOs), preferred provider organizations (PPO) and point-of-service (POS) plans can help employers attract quality employees and aggressively manage their health care costs.

Questions to consider:
• Do you require pre-employment physicals?
• Are you utilizing a managed care program to help control medical expenses?
• Do your provider networks offer sufficient selection to employees?
• Have employees been properly educated about their benefits (i.e., preexisting    
   conditions clauses, pre-certification programs)?

One note of caution: We are beginning to see a trend toward employee lawsuits when an employer's designated provider isn't performing. This can be especially true in HMOs, PPO and POS plans when the participant may not have the option to access services outside of the network or the network may not offer a sufficient selection of medical practitioners. Fiduciary liability coverage can help protect your company from these types of employee lawsuits.

EMPLOYEE INJURY 

Creating a safe workplace will help reduce lost work time and the negative employee morale that accompanies an accident-prone work environment. Slip-and-fall and lifting accidents are common hazards that can be easily corrected with a strictly enforced safety program. Other workplace hazards include high noise levels and repetitive motion trauma. Many companies and agencies can assist you in developing a program to help prevent, minimize and cost control on-the-job injuries. OSHA and the National Safety Council are just two examples with other organizations are listed here.

Questions to consider:

• Do your workplace(s) follow applicable federal and state regulations?
• Have you established a company wide safety program that rewards employees for  
   adhering to the program?
• Are the tools and equipment that employees use regularly inspected for safety?
• Are there systems in place to encourage and reward employees for reporting and    
   identifying unsafe work conditions?
• Do you thoroughly investigate all accidents and identify any trends?
• Are your offices designed with ergonomics in mind?
• Does your worker's compensation premium pay for reporting and identifying unsafe    
   work conditions?
• Do you thoroughly investigate all accidents and identify any trends?
• Are your offices designed with ergonomics in mind?

(Additional questions are included as part of the worker's compensation checklist following this section.)

Workers compensation insurance, a state-mandated coverage, is an important benefit for many employees because when they are injured on the job it pays for their medical costs and a substantial portion of their lost wages. Under this coverage, it is not necessary to prove negligence on the part of the employer. In many cases, workers compensation insurance is one of the largest expenses incurred by business owners. According to the National Council on Compensation Insurance, in 1994, American business paid workers compensation premiums in excess of $28 billion dollars. Many different plans are available. Ask your insurance agent or broker about the program that is right for your company and operations.

Workers compensation premiums are used by insurance companies to pay for the two basic parts of a workers compensation policy- medical expenses and lost wages. All 50 states have laws and regulations that govern workers compensation. Knowing the employer requirements of the workers compensation laws in your state is the first step toward improving your control over costs.

Workers compensation premiums are used by insurance companies to pay for the two basic parts of a workers compensation policy- medical expenses and lost wages.

Workers compensation premiums pay for the medical expenses and lost wages are sometimes referred to as direct costs. There are additional or indirect costs associated with industrial accidents (and all other claims) that are typically not covered by an insurance policy. Some of these indirect costs include the overtime cost to replace the injured employee, your time spent filling out accident forms, and equipment or inventory damaged as a result of the accident, and lost productivity after the accident. The National Safety Council estimates that the indirect cost of accidents is between three and five times the actual direct cost. In 1994, the average direct cost of a workers compensation claim was $18,700. This means that the approximate indirect cost to the business for each accident was $74,800, which is not covered by insurance and thus reduces profit. Although both the direct and indirect cost of workers compensation often constitutes a major component of your expense, a practical and functioning loss prevention program can decrease them. Appendix C offers information to help business owners understand the basic practices that need to be undertaken to initiate such a program and to help achieve success. View the time spent putting such a program in place as an investment in helping to reduce a major expense item of your business.

The US Chamber of Commerce publishes an annual analysis of the laws in all states-a valuable resource for employers. As a business owner, you are acutely aware of where each dollar goes and what flows down to the bottom line.

WORKERS COMPENSATION CHECKLIST 

Today, workers compensation accounts for about 50 percent of all medical care costs, and that number is expected to rise. Aggressive management of workers compensation cases through a managed care program (where allowed by state law) not only helps companies reduce medical care costs, but can also help the injured employee make a speedier recovery and return to work sooner.

Fraud has become much more common in workers compensation cases. Careful management of workers compensation cases, including close monitoring of the claimant's activities and a review of all medical bills and physician's diagnoses (where necessary), can help eliminate fraudulent workers compensation claims and reduce associated costs.

If one of your employees does have a work-related accident, there are several steps you can take to contain medical costs and help the individual recover quickly. These steps are not meant to minimize or jeopardize the quality of medical care your employee receives. But they assist you and your employees in better managing their medical care for everyone's benefit by getting them back to work sooner.

A. Pre-Loss Strategies Checklist                                                                

1. Where state laws permit, use a managed care organization, such as
    preferred provider organizations (PPO) or health maintenance
    organizations (HMOs), for workers compensation cases. These
    established networks of member hospitals and physicians provide
    a high standard of medical care to help return employees to work while
    agreeing to prearranged discounts for their services.                                                            
2. Develop a program for reporting on- the-job injuries as soon as possible,
    and communicate it to employees.   

B. Post-Loss Strategies Checklist                                                                

1. Encourage employees who have been injured on the job to seek prompt,
    professional medical care.                                                                                                                 
2. Should an employee become injured while on the job, report the incident
    promptly, usually within 24 hours, to your agent or broker. The correct
    telephone number for reporting injuries should be posted in a convenient
    place.                                                                                                                                                          
3. Make sure the injured employee is contacted promptly by the insurance
    company's claims representative.                                                                                                   
4. Don't forget about injured employees during their recovery period. Show your
    concern by staying in touch.                                                                                                             
5. While the employee is recovering, begin to develop a return-to-work program
    that provides modified or light duty or special equipment, if needed, to help the
    employee reenter the workplace.                                                                                                    

SEXUAL HARASSMENT AND DISCRIMINATION 

Employers face more financial exposure than ever as a result of numerous new laws (notably the Civil Rights Act of 1991, Americans with Disabilities Act, Family & Medical Leave Act and Age Discrimination in Employment Act), all of which have been the subject of complex court decisions. A multimillion-dollar verdict for wrongful dismissal or sexual harassment could threaten your company's profitability or even its very existence.

To help reduce the likelihood of employment-related incidents such as sexual harassment, discrimination, or misunderstanding of the employment contract, employers must develop and publish guidelines for their company's employment practices.

Questions to consider:
• Has your company published an “employment-at-will” policy?
• Does your company have an employee handbook with clearly stated policies and  
   procedures?
• Do you employ a human resources consultant or staff expert in human resources
   issues?
• Has your attorney reviewed your employment application for possible discriminatory
   language?

Employment practices liability insurance provides coverage for the costs associated with lawsuits emanating from harassment, discrimination of any type and disputes over the employment contract, except for deliberate fraud or purposeful violations of law. Your insurance company should provide access to attorneys with specialized expertise in this field that can handle any allegations against your company promptly and professionally. Employment practices liability coverage will typically pay all legal costs and any damages arising from the lawsuit or settlement.

SEXUAL HARASSMENT AND DISCRIMINATION CHECKLIST

Today's workplace has become a melting pot of diverse cultures, religious backgrounds and sexual orientations.

This diversity enriches the business environment by bringing together people with different ideas to create better products and services for their clients. It has also created problems where people are unaccustomed to working with others who are not “like them.” This attitude can lead to discrimination based on age, sex, race, disability and religious beliefs. Employers who violate federal and state regulations prohibiting harassment and discrimination can be held liable for not preventing these situations and be subject to criminal charges. There are steps you can take to make your office or plant a place where diversity is welcome.

A. Pre-Loss Strategies Checklist                         

1. Train senior management in employment practices issues and
    encourage them to treat all employees with respect.                                                                               
2. Develop an educational program to help employees understand each
    others' cultural backgrounds, religious beliefs and sexual orientation.                                               
3. Post federal and state guidelines on sexual harassment and
    discrimination where all employees can read them.                                                                                     
4. Follow Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) hiring practices and adhere
    to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).                                                                                                      
5. Encourage employees to report any sign of sexual harassment or
    discrimination immediately.       
 B. Post-Loss Strategies Checklist                                                                               

1. If you, as a business owner or senior manager, notice that anyone is
    harassing or discriminating against an employee, take prompt action.
    Meet with these individuals to let them know you are aware of their actions.
    You may need to report incidents to your insurance company and confer
    with legal counsel.                                                                                                                                                       
2. If the situation warrants, do not let the accused individual return to the
    workplace until all charges have been cleared.                                                                                               
3. Be sure to communicate promptly and honestly with employees about
    the situation  and the company's stance on sexual harassment and
    discrimination. This will help eliminate rumors and counter any negative
    effect on employee morale.                                                                                                                                      
4. If the situation is reported in the media, appoint one individual to be the
    company spokesperson. Always confer with legal counsel prior to
    responding to media inquiries. Your goal is to maintain the company's
    reputation, without disclosing proprietary information.                                                                              

MANAGEMENT OF BENEFITS 

In many companies, the human resources manager, controller or another member of management handles the day-to-day details of a company's employee benefits plan. That person is liable for any mismanagement, plus errors and omissions that may occur as they fulfill their responsibilities. Your loss prevention program should include continuing education to assist your fiduciaries or anyone who has discretionary authority or control over the management or administration of an employee benefit plan and its assets.

Questions to consider:
• Is the individual who manages the employee benefit plan adhering to regulations such  
   as the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), the Consolidated  
   Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act  (COBRA) and the Retirement Protection Act of  
   1994?
• Are employees sent regular benefits statements?
• Do employees have access to information that can give them an up-to-date accounting  
   of their employee benefits plan?

Fiduciary liability insurance coverage pays legal costs and damages arising from a lawsuit that includes allegations of breach of obligations and duties by a fiduciary. Your policy should cover two types of liability: Breach of fiduciary duty as mandated by ERISA, federal or state law as well as employee benefits liability.

DIRECTORS AND OFFICERS LIABILITY 

Today, corporate directors and officers may be held personally liable for decisions involving employees, customers, vendors, competitors and regulators as well as those involving mergers and acquisitions.

Questions to consider:
• Are the corporate directors and officers properly qualified? Do they have sufficient   
   business acumen to participate on your board or to hold senior positions?
• Do directors and officers have stock holdings or financial investments in other
   companies that may create a conflict of interest?
• Is there a balance between inside and outside directors on the board?

Directors and officers liability insurance offers business leaders the financial coverage they need as a result of decisions involving employees, customers, vendors and regulators, as well as those involving mergers, acquisitions and public offerings.

KIDNAP/RANSOM 

Unfortunately, it has become more common for executives to be at risk of kidnap both here and abroad. Individuals who may be at risk are those who hold senior positions in high-profile companies. For example, in recent years, executives in the electronics components industry have been a popular target for criminals. There are consultants who specialize in providing specialized training to help reduce the risk of kidnap.

Common sense can also help. For example, don't wear an obviously expensive watch or other piece of jewelry, and pay attention to “gut” feelings. If something feels amiss, it may well be.

Questions to consider:
• Do senior executives who work late at night in the office use an escort to take them to
   their cars?
• Have you checked the references of the drivers for the car service you use?
• Do senior executives keep a low profile in the media?
• Are employees who travel overseas trained to avoid dangerous situations that could  
  lead to kidnap or theft?

While there is no substitute for taking special precautions to avoid kidnap, knowing that you will be able to pay the ransom can offer some peace of mind and may even help save a life. Kidnap/ransom coverage helps protect individuals by providing payment for ransoms and any other expenses associated with the occurrence.

EMPLOYEE THEFT\DISHONESTY 

While you may place a great deal of trust in your staff, you need to protect your company from the employee who endangers the financial stability of your firm by stealing funds, equipment or proprietary information.
Employee theft or dishonesty can severely damage a company's bottom line, create adverse publicity and disrupt operations.

Since insiders often commit theft, it's important to take special precautions to help reduce the temptation. Limiting employee access to inventory, keeping excess cash properly secured, and recording serial numbers for all electronic equipment are just a few ways you can eliminate or reduce the risk of employee theft.

Questions to consider:
• Are there security measures in place to prevent the dissemination of proprietary
   information?
• Are employees carefully screened for a criminal background prior to employment?
• Is there a security system that checks employee packages as they enter and leave your
   premises?

Fidelity liability insurance provides coverage for the loss of money, securities or property due to employee theft. The term “employee” may include a non-compensated officer of the company, former employees, temporary personnel, directors or trustees, and regularly employed personnel. Some fidelity liability policies also insure against losses resulting from employees by computer theft or electronic funds transfer fraud, and they cover employee dishonesty (required by ERISA) for your employee benefit plan. If your policy does not address these additional areas, coverage can be purchased separately.

Developing a plan to manage your company's risks and seeing that it is carried out takes valuable time and resources. And the role of management throughout this process cannot be overemphasized. Yet, the rewards are many. An effective plan can help you achieve:

• Faster, more cost-efficient recovery from any type of loss
• A safe work environment that attracts and retains talented employees
• Enhanced quality in your products and services
• Financial protection from liability lawsuits
• Improved understanding of your company's operations and exposures
• Protection for your company's financial future

AGENCIES  AND COMPANIES THAT CAN ASSIST YOU 
Employee Benefits


Insurance Brokers and Consultants
One Ward Parkway, Suite 106
Kansas City, Missouri 64112
816-756-2822

HR Consult, LLC
PO Box 15141
Lenexa, Kansas  66285
Tel: 913-634-1215
Fax: 913-541-0267
Provides consultation services regarding
plan structure, administration and cost
control to maximize employee
recruiting, retention and productivity

Health Insurance Association
of America
555 13th Street, NW, Ste. 600 East
Washington, DC 20004
Tel: 202-824-1600
Fax: 202-824-1722
A central source of health insurance
information, responsible for public
relations, government relations,
legislation and research on behalf
of the private commercial health
insurance industry.


Loss Control and Risk Management

HR Consult, LLC
PO Box 15141
Lenexa, Kansas  66285
Tel: 913-634-1215
Fax: 913-541-0267
Provides consultation services regarding
safety programs and OSHA compliance, worker's
compensation administration and cost control,
including return to work and injury management
services

The Ackerman Group Inc.
1666 Kennedy Causeway
Miami Beach, FL 33141
Tel: 305-865-0072
One of the world's leading consultants
to corporations, providing risk
forecasting, security design and training
to assist in a broad range of
emergencies including kidnappings,
extortion and threats to personnel.

Insurance Institute for
Highway Safety
1005 North Glebe Road, Ste. 800
Arlington, VA 22201
Tel: 703-247-1500
Fax: 703-247-1678
An organization that offers consumer
information on highway safety.


National Insurance Crime Bureau
10330 S. Roberts Road
Palos Hills, IL 60465
Tel: 708-430-2430
Fax: 708-430-2446
A nonprofit organization committed
to combating crime and vehicle theft.

National Safety Council
121 Spring Lake Drive
Itasca, IL 60143-3201
Tel: 708-285-1121
Fax: 708-285-1315
Provides national support and leadership
in the field of safety. Publishes
a variety of safety manuals and conducts
public information and publicity
programs in support of safety.

Risk and Insurance
Management Society
655 Third Avenue, 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10017
Tel: 212-286-9292
Fax: 212-986-9716
An organization for risk managers
that supports loss prevention and
provides a forum for the discussion
of common objectives and problems.

Additional Resources for Workers Compensation Information

State Department of Labor
Each of the 50 states has available
free onsite consultations for small
businesses. You may request a visit
from a consultant who will give you
practical advice about your business's
safety and health protection. These
consultants do not issue citations or
propose penalties. Contact your state
Department of Labor for more
information.

Local Sources

Contact your local fire department,
police department, department of
health or community college. Many
of these organizations conduct
training meetings, seminars and
workshops on a wide range of health
and safety topics.



National Association of Health
Underwriters
1000 Connecticut Ave., NW, Ste. 810
Washington, DC 20036
Tel: 202-223-5533
Fax: 202-785-2274
Comprised of insurance agencies and
individuals who sell disability income
and health insurance, the organization
is engaged in government relations
and the promotion of educational
programs and seminars, and it is
responsible for the Registered Health
Underwriter certification program.

Chubb Services Corporation
25 Independence Boulevard
Warren, NJ 07059
Tel: 908-903-7181
Fax: 908-903-7187
Provides loss control and risk
management services in a variety of
areas to help protect businesses.


Environmental Protection Agency
401 M Street, SW
Washington, DC 20460
Tel: 202-260-5388
Manages the risks of toxic contaminants
in water, sediment and fish.

Federal Emergency
Management Agency
500 C Street, SW
Washington, DC 20472
Tel: 202-646-2500
Fax: 202-646-4086
A federal agency that coordinates the
federal response to disasters; helps
with local and state emergency preparedness;
makes disaster assistance
available to states, communities,
businesses and individuals; teaches
people how to get through a disaster;
and administers the national flood
and crime insurance programs.

National Fire Protection Association
One Battery March Park
Quincy, MA 02269-9101
Tel: 617-770-3000
Fax: 617-770-0700
A nonprofit organization that provides
information on fire protection,
prevention and suppression. It develops
and publishes fire safety standards
and sponsors the national
Learn Not to Burn program.

Occupational Safety and
Health Administration
200 Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20210
Tel: 202-219-6091
Fax: 202-219-6064
Sets and enforces occupational health
and safety standards. “OSHA Handbook
for Small Businesses” can be
ordered from the Government Printing
Office by phone (212) 264-3827.
The cost is $4.

Underwriters' Laboratories
333 Pfingsten Road
North brook, IL 60062
Tel: 847-272-8800
Fax: 847-272-8129
Determines if fire prevention and
protection standards are being met
by investigating and testing electrical
materials and products.

National Safety Council
1121 Spring Lake Ave.
Itasca, IL 60143
Phone (800) 621-7615
This organization publishes a number
of books, videotapes and posters,
and it sponsors training programs
across the country. Write or call for a
free catalog of material.

US Chamber of Commerce
“Analysis of Workers
Compensation Laws”
1615 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20062-2000
Phone (800) 638-6582


Portions excerpted form the excellent "The Rewards of Managing Risk" by The Chubb Group of Insurance Companies






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