The prevalence of slips, trips and falls in the workplace is enough to make any risk, safety or claims manager throw up his or her hands in despair.
With more than 25,000 such incidents happening daily in the United States, same-surface slips, trips and falls are the second leading cause of injury in the workplace, according to information from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics.
However, risk, safety and claims practitioners need not despair. Armed with the right tools and technology, you can curb slip and fall related injuries and the impact they’re having on your business.
Why slips, trips and falls occur
The culprit of slips, trips and falls can be anything from slippery floors and cluttered walkways to dim lighting, uneven pavement or loose and unanchored floor mats. In addition, the locations of such accidents do seem to have a pattern. According to recent study from CNA, which took into account slip and fall liability claims from Jan. 1, 2010 to Dec. 31, 2016, slips, trips and falls occurred most often at these sites:
- 40 percent on walking/working surfaces, mainly entry flooring
- 33 percent on parking lot surfaces
- 27 percent on sidewalks leading to building entrances
- Less than 1 percent on interior office floors
And while a wide number of challenges can lead to slips, trips and falls, an equally wide number of solutions can potentially reduce slips trips and falls, including installing slip-resistant flooring, implementing protocols around cleaning up and communicating spills, and switching up cleaning agents to minimize slippery surfaces.
Still, wouldn’t it be nice to actually know how and where to intervene instead of assuming where such incidents are occurring or assuming costly investments in certain solutions will work? That’s where risk management technology can help.
How risk management technology can combat slips, trips and falls
Integrated risk management technology efficiently and effectively brings together data from all areas of your business to reduce costs and increase understanding. It also helps streamline processes and increase operational efficiency.
In the case of workers’ compensation—or slips, trips and falls—this means you have the ability to access information like maintenance logs, incident reports, claims and medical treatment data all from one place to get a complete picture of what is transpiring. It also means you can automate processes tied to capturing and reporting incidents, prompting corrective actions and processing claims.
All this leads to preventing worker injuries, improving injured workers’ medical and claims experiences, and ultimately, reducing claims costs. Here’s how…
Prevent Worker Injuries
Risk management technology will allow you to take much of the guesswork out of determining where slips, trips and falls are occurring at your organization. Easy to understand analytics are automatically generated when equally easy-to-create incident reports are loaded into the system, giving you a true sense of any problem areas.
Those same analytics will also come in handy if you’d like to test a preventative solution on a roll out basis to see if it will decrease the number of incidents before investing to heavily. For instance, try slip resistant flooring in one location and use the system data to see if incidents decrease before installing slip resistant flooring throughout.
While analytics are key to initiating corrective actions and preventing worker injuries, so is automation. The right risk management technology will automate incident-reporting, routing and escalation to ensure compliance and process improvement. All the analytics in the world won’t help if you can’t easily act on what you learn.
Improve Experience for Injured Workers
Analytics and automation will also help to improve injured workers’ experiences as they seek out medical attention for their injuries and look to resolve their claims.
From an analytics perspective, the right risk management technology can help you to identify the riskiest claims or those that are most likely to spiral out of control from a cost perspective. This will enable you to intervene faster—ensuring the injured worker is getting the right medical attention and that he or she understands the organization is vested in his or her recovery.
From an automation perspective, the right system makes identifying those risky claims automatic—notifying you of any outlier claims. It will also keep communication flowing so injured workers don’t feel like they are in the dark or like your organization has forgotten them. Finally, it can keep the claims process moving, helping workers feel less threatened about your intentions.
All of this can help to reduce the mishandling of cases, and therefore reduce the risk of bad faith claims and legal action.
Reduce Claims Costs
Because analytics and automation can prevent worker injuries, as well as speed up the claims process if a claim does arise, the right risk management technology can then also reduce claims costs. Fewer claims and faster case closures can translate into major savings for organizations.
In fact, integrated risk management technology can go even further than reducing claims costs and reduce an organization’s total cost of risk. This is because it empowers risk decision-makers—giving them the ability to immediately cross-examine their risk and insurance data.
With integrated risk management technology, you no longer need to spend valuable time manually manipulating and consolidating your data across the enterprise. Instead, spend time adding real value to your organization by helping reduce losses that stem from slips, trips and falls, as well as a multitude of other risks.
Are you headed to the Workers’ Compensation and Disability Conference in Las Vegas next week? Meet with us to learn how Riskonnect can help you manage worker injuries and related claims.