CoatingsPro Magazine

JAN 2009

CoatingsPro offers an in-depth look at coatings based on case studies, successful business operation, new products, industry news, and the safe and profitable use of coatings and equipment.

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and CIHs are adept at clarifying these issues to the third parties. Unfortunately, all parties lose from reviews done by less knowledgeable persons who are neither familiar with the contractors' work nor the Customer/Owners' facilities. But this third-party trend looks to continue as Customer/Owners save time, staff, and money by outsourcing the contractor reviews. Until these companies can be regulated, safety professionals provide the best method of getting your safety program approved. Another indicator of your safety performance is the Experience Modification Rate (EMR). This number is divined based on the number of claims, as well as amounts paid out versus premiums paid. It is rather complicated, but is used by your insurance carrier to determine how much you pay for workers compen- sation insurance. The EMR is also used by Customer/Owners to review you. There are many areas to consider in managing your EMR. But, perhaps the single most important item that can impact your EMR (other than zero injuries, of course) is to monitor your reserves. Reserves are the amount of money that the insurance company sets aside in their own bank to pay on your claims. They choose this number at their discretion. For example: Let's revisit our painter with the pulled back. Based on conversations with your occupational health doctor, you believe the painter will need a couple of weeks of light duty, a week of exercises (called "work harden- ing") after which he will be fully released. However, your insurance adjuster (the employee of the insurance carrier who oversees the claim) decides that it is in their interest to set aside money for a CT scan, a back surgery, and several months physical therapy, just in case. This "reserve" can be a huge amount of money, which is added to the formula for your EMR, driving the number up. The net result is you look bad to a potential Customer/Owner. How do you deal with this one? Monitor your claims! Request what are called Loss Control Runs. These are reports showing activity on your claims and listing the reserves on each. When you see a reserve that doesn't make sense to you, say so! In many cases you can get the insurance company to reduce or entirely remove the reserve. This keeps your EMR lower. So remember the best way to deal with pre-bid qualifications is to be proac- tive. The best ways to be proactive are: Establish relationships with t t Occupational Health Doctors and educate them about your business and OSHA record keeping regulations Maintain control of your program Monitor any insurance claims by monitoring your loss control run reports. These reports show claim activity, as well as list any reserves. 20 CoatingsPro J January 2009 t Aggressively manage injury cases t t using light duty programs Use CSPs to write, review, and advise on your safety program And monitor those claims! Safety records and their relationship to prequalification is just the first hurdle in the bid process — but safety issues are an everyday reality for coatings contrac- tors. Are you reporting and recording your records correctly? A revised safety program could not only protect your crew, it could protect your company's future. CP PETE ENGELBERT is a CSP, RPIH, CHST, CET, CIT, CSSM, EMT-B, and a Certified NACE Coatings Inspector with 20 years of industrial experi- ence. He holds multiple Fire, EMS and Rescue certifications. He is the ESH/QA Manager for Manta Industrial, Inc. where he has worked on coatings projects in chemical; petro-chemical; steel mill; pipeline; nuclear, coal, hydro & geothermal power; shipyard; food; manufactur- ing; aerospace and transportation facilities as well as courtroom work in several jurisdictions. Also a paralegal, he has taught at Indiana and Purdue universities.

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