Loss Control Insights
Top 5 Loss Drivers for Last Year and Resolutions for the New Year
January is a natural time to reflect on the successes of the past year and to make resolutions for improvements in the coming year. To help you with this, EMC has compiled data on the top loss drivers that impacted EMC policyholders last year to help you review your facilities and procedures, with the goal of protecting your employees and property in 2017.
1. Fire—Fire was the No. 1 property loss in 2016. Fires rank among the most common insurance claims and the most costly. Even small fires can cause devastating damage to business operations, equipment data files and inventory. Common causes of fire loss include heating equipment, electrical wiring, welding, machinery breakdown and cooking operations.
- Check handling and storage procedures for hazardous materials, as well as procedures for controlling ignition sources (flammable materials, fine particles and tools that spark)
- Ensure that all fire protection devices, such as fire extinguishers and sprinkler systems, are regularly inspected and maintained
- Review your fire prevention program, including clearly marked evacuation routes and scheduled fire drills
- Examine records to be sure training is up to date and employees are maintaining fire-prevention duties
2. and 3. Auto-Fleet Accidents—Rear-end vehicle accidents (No. 2) and accidents occurring in intersections (No. 3) were on the list of most common accidents. Vehicle incidents account for 40% of fatal workplace injuries in 2014, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The bulk of these accidents are a result of driver error.
- Examine your 2016 accident reports (for better data, look back a few years); if you see a trend, plan specific training on that topic
- Take a look at your fleet safety program and update it if necessary
- Check the motor vehicle record for all prospective employee drivers and annually for all current drivers, if you don't already do so
- Provide employees with training or materials to review distracted driving policies on texting and phone use, eating and drinking and using a navigation system
4. Overexertion—It's no surprise that overexertion is the top workers' compensation loss for 2016. It's consistently a loss driver and accounts for nearly 25% of all injuries according to the BLS. Overexertion injuries happen most often as a result of frequent or heavy lifting, but can also occur when a worker pulls, pushes or carries objects as part of their job.
- Try to engineer out heavy lifting tasks by using material handling aids; if you can't engineer out a lifting hazard, train your workers on proper lifting techniques
- Implement an ergonomics program to help fit the job to a person
- Observe employees performing their jobs and use a checklist of ergonomic risk factors to see if any apply; tally hazards and redesign the task
5. Falls—Two categories of falls “fall” into the top losses for EMC policyholders: slips and falls from the same level and elevated falls, such as those from aerial lifts or scaffolding. OSHA indicates that 25% of reported injuries are slips, trips and falls.
- Perform regular walkway audits using the EMC Walkway Check app
- Test hard-surface flooring for traction and evaluate options for low-traction floors
- Require appropriate footwear
- Train staff to recognize and correct or isolate hazards
- Provide an easy way for employees to report hazards
- Develop a written snow and ice management program
- Create a mat safety program that includes details on when and where mats are placed, an inspection checklist and replacement frequency