Archive Links

Consumer Archive
CU System Archive
Market Archive
Products Archive
Washington Archive

News Now

CU System
Workers comp experts tout benefits of education
HOLLYWOOD, Fla. (6/24/08)--A commitment to safety and health in the workplace from top management and a proactive return-to-work program can help prevent workplace injuries and reduce the duration and cost of disabilities, workers’ compensation experts told credit union attendees at the Discovery Conference Friday.
(From left) Kurt Salter, account consultant, national market loss prevention, Liberty Mutual; Paul Bedrosian, service director, Liberty Mutual; and Fred Filiaggi, Midwest loss prevention manager, Liberty Mutual, and Jim Hunt, underwriting specialist, CUNA Mutual Group credit union protection division, discuss workers’ compensation issues at this year’s Discovery Conference. (Photo provided by CUNA Mutual Group)
Experts included Jim Hunt, underwriting specialist, CUNA Mutual Group credit union protection division; Kurt Salter, account consultant, national market loss prevention, Liberty Mutual; Paul Bedrosian, service director, Liberty Mutual; and Fred Filiaggi, Midwest loss prevention manager, Liberty Mutual. “Top management, supervisors, and all employees play a critical role in injury prevention,” Salter said. “Identifying causes for common workplace injuries and taking steps to mitigate those risks can greatly decrease incidents of injury.” Injuries caused by overexerting oneself through excess lifting or pushing was the most common cause of disabling workplace injuries in 2005, according to research by Liberty Mutual. CUNA Mutual’s claims data supports the findings, Hunt said. Employees moving 50-pound bags of coins often use two-wheel hand trucks. Those don’t work well, because bags tend to roll onto the floor. Dropped bags require employees to bend over and pick them up--which results in back and shoulder problems. The solution is to use low-profile, four-wheel carts and educate employees on proper posture and lifting techniques. Educational resources, such as CUNA Mutual’s Workers Safety Web page, should also be used, Salter said. When injuries occur, a supervisor’s response can play a key role in helping employees return to work, Filiaggi said. “Immediate response by supervisors to employees’ reports of work-related discomfort significantly influences length of disability.” Negative supervisor attitudes and practices can impede return to work and rehabilitation for injured employees. Employees often perceived that their supervisors:
* Blamed the employee for the injury; * Never contacted the employee after the injury; * Didn’t speak with the employee privately; * Discouraged the employee from filing a claim; * Didn’t believe the symptoms were real; * Were angry with the employee for being injured; and * Didn’t try to work out solutions with the employee.
Supervisors responding positively to reports of work-related discomfort can have significant and independent effects on disability outcomes, Filiaggi said. “It’s very important to communicate regularly and positively with employees. Show them that you care, encourage them and tell them you look forward to their return to work.” Supervisors trained to properly respond, communicate and problem-solve with employees reduced new disability claims by 47% and active lost-time claims by 18%. “Credit unions need to report claims quickly, help direct medical care and provide alternative duty to workers who can work, but can’t yet do all the functions of their everyday job,” he said. CUNA Mutual and Liberty Mutual partnered in 2007. Liberty is a compensation insurance provider and the second largest workers’ compensation insurer in the nation. The Discovery Conference ended Saturday.
Other Resources

RSS print
News Now LiveWire
.@CUNAMutualGroup to sell its crop-protection business #NewsNow http://t.co/5p09Sneys4
16 minutes ago
#NewsNow: Joint cybersecurity venture aims to ID, share info faster for FIs. http://t.co/1ZIcumFdG2
32 minutes ago
SuperValu confirms second data breach via @pymnts http://t.co/vpHVwhL3PV
1 hours ago
68% of businesses unprepared to respond to data breach: Experian/Ponemon #NewsNow #System http://t.co/T6KRtIZEoN
1 hours ago
New @CUNA CEO Nussle talks about CU tax status in @thehill : #NewsNow http://t.co/sm8TO71qb5
2 hours ago