Erickson Living reduces worker injuries and wins award for its safety culture, after using Integrated Risk Management Technology to collaborate across departments.

Sometimes helping others requires helping yourself, too. That’s, in part, why Erickson Living, the third largest provider of independent living communities in the United States, instituted an award-winning culture of safety among its workforceknowing it would extend into improving resident care.

“We are in the business of helping people,” said Marcia Price, vice president of Operations and Risk Management for Erickson Living. “Establishing a culture of wellness and safety among our employees is part of who we are. It’s the fabric of our organization.”

In fact, the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM) awarded Erickson Living of Maryland the Corporate Health Achievement Awardrecognizing the company for its success in nurturing an innovative culture of health and safety for its workers. Only organizations with the most exemplary health and safety practices are considered for the award.

Achieving such a feat wasn’t necessarily easy, however, acknowledged Price. It took effort on behalf of the entire workforcefrom the top down. It required building trust with employees; educating and empowering them; and promoting its workplace safety initiative through various marketing campaigns in order to get participation and buy in. It also took data–and not just any old data.

Prior to launching the initiative, Erickson was collecting risk management data in a DOS-based system. The organization lacked the ability to tie incident data to claims data; manage incidents that became claims; and trend and benchmark incident and claim data. Risk management, safety, claims and legal teams operated in silos. As a result, Erickson didn’t really know where to start when it came to moving its workplace safety initiative forward.

“Our safety program suffered,” Price said. “It’s hard to know where you want to go if you don’t know where you are.”

That’s why Erickson turned to Integrated Risk Management Technologyso it could get a handle on all the data inundating the organization. From one central location, Erickson now gathers real-time data on about 30,000 incidents a year. It tracks employee, resident, guest and vendor injuries and incidents by type and location to focus on prevention. It can also effectively co-manage all its general liability, professional liability, property and workers’ compensation claims through third-party partners.

As a result, Erickson has been better able to identify trends, monitor costs, consolidate best practices, and focus on specific injury causes, loss leaders, departmental hazards and training. In fact, since implementing Integrated Risk Management Technologyan after an initial spike in incidents because of improved reportingErickson has seen continued reductions in the number of incidents and incident costs at its facilities.

Erickson won the Corporate Health Achievement Award in 2016 after reducing injury incidents among its general service workers by 15 percent between 2014 and 2015, and reducing injury costs among dining workers during the same time period by 42 percent. Price said since winning the award, Erickson has continued to see incremental improvements in both prevalence of injuries and costs associated with those injuries.

“We have transitioned from just having data to now having information,” Price said. “Now we can identify best practices and where they are coming from. This would not have been possible without Integrated Risk Management Technology.”

Are you interested in learning more about Erickson’s best practices? Listen to the following webinar, “Building an Award-Winning Safety Program,” presented by Price and Richard Maltz, Senior Director of Resident General services and Risk Management at Erickson. Maltz is responsible for directing the organization’s safety program.