P.O. Box 1750, Cockysville, MD, 21030
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Safety Training Needs to Be Done Regularly

Bookmark and Share Employees who don't learn the safe way to work are accidents waiting to happen -- and that means that workplace safety training should play an integral role in your company's risk management program. Repetition is essential to this process.

Make sure that your trainers repeat essential work safety concepts, information, and terms several times. Look at it this way: At any moment during a training session, some trainees probably aren't going to be paying full attention -- and if they don't hear something, they're not going to do it when they get back on the job. What's more, many people might need to hear, see, or experience things at least twice before they understand.

Repetition is also important when it comes to practical applications of safety information. Employees need the opportunity to practice what they've learned until it's locked into their heads and their performance is flawless. So when a safety procedure involves a practical act, be sure that the trainers give a demonstration, repeat it a few times until everybody catches on, and provide feedback while trainees practice.

You'll also need repetition to make sure that workers don't forget what they're supposed to have learned. Training industry leader Bob Pike says that people can remember 90% of what they've learned one hour after training, 50% after a day, 25% after two days, and only 10% 30 days later. According to Pike, full retention of subject matter requires no fewer than six repetitions! That means plenty of follow-up and refresher training -- especially for more complex material. Other experts recommend spacing safety reinforcement training so that employees can practice new procedures and skills or use new information on the job supported by coaching before they go back to the classroom for review and additional training.
 

Are You the Ideal Risk Manager?

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Some people -- managers and business owners included -- are just better at managing risk. Maybe it has something to do with personality or natural ability, maybe it has something to do with a more developed skill set or greater understanding of the risk management process -- most likely, it's a little of both.

Management consulting firm Accenture decided to explore the question of just what makes a business owner or manager truly effective at handling risk, and here's what they found:

Top-performing owners and managers:

  1. Advice when developing and maintaining risk management programs and activities
  2. Are involved more with their boards of directors in discussing potential risks and how to handle them

  3. Focus more on emerging risks and strategic risks than day-to-day management of known weaknesses, leading to greater effectiveness and responsiveness when new risks emerge

  4. Are at the head of the pack when it comes to analytics

  5. Excel at recruiting and retaining employees, as well as training them

  6. Face fewer obstacles with regard to board buy-in, employee skill and even budgets
Some of these factors are advantages that not all businesses enjoy. For instance, most managers and even owners find themselves up against budget constraints more often than not, especially where risk management is concerned. But other factors are clearly skills that can be developed and honed.

For instance, getting bored buy-in might be easier if you take the time to develop ways to reward your board members in meaningful ways to let them know they're valued. We're not talking kickbacks here -- just simple ways to let them know you appreciate their time, like a phone call or a thank-you card.

Likewise, learning how to screen employees during the hiring process and implementing effective ways to retain good employees are skills that can be learned. In fact, both of these factors -- dealing with the board and handling employees -- are people skills that involve a certain degree of insight. If you're lucky, that insight comes naturally; if not, it's certainly a skill worth cultivating.
 

SHOULD YOU HAVE A FULL-TIME RISK MANAGER?

Bookmark and Share As your business grows, the risks you face become more complex, potential losses grow, along with your insurance premiums. At some point, you’ll need to decide whether it makes sense to turn over the responsibility for risk management to a full-time professional.

Before making this decision, experts recommend that you weigh two key factors: 1) the cost of paying a full-time risk manager, and 2) the potential savings that this manager can generate.

The first element is relatively easy to determine, it’s the salary and overhead of the manager, plus whatever clerical support that he or she needs.

The second item requires you to analyze the extent which a full-time risk manager can:

  • Centralize and compartmentalize responsibility for risk management in a single department. This improvement in efficiency should more than offset the increase in administrative costs.
  • reduce losses by providing analysis of loss control needs, careful scrutiny of reports, and knowledge of whom to contact for specialized help. Careful attention to loss reserves and adjusting practices can help cut costs dramatically. For example, adjusting liability and workers compensation claims requires special expertise. Insurance companies generally provide adjusters, it’s always helpful to have someone on your team who can evaluate their conclusions.
  • help lower your premiums by paying closer attention to coverage criteria, negotiating with agents, brokers, and insurance companies, and using familiarity with industry terminology.
If you’d like our input on making this key decision, feel free to get in touch with the risk management professionals at our agency at any time. We’re here to serve you.
 

Cut Workers Compensation Costs with Risk Management

Bookmark and Share 2Any business owner knows that sound risk management provides a foundation on which to stack all other operation strategies -- and a great way to reduce accidents and injuries and lower your Workers Comp premiums. Because this is such an important topic, here are the seven essential benefits of a risk management program, according to The National Alliance for Insurance Education & Research:
  1. Reduced cost of accidents
  2. Providing adequate protection
  3. Economy of operations
  4. Integration of safety plans
  5. Reduced risk of criminal liability
  6. Ability to plan and budget more effectively
  7. A clearer focus on the big picture
If you hire someone to oversee risk management, the Alliance recommends that they:
  • Develop and communicate risk-management policies
  • Prepare recommendations and reports
  • Conduct risk-identification surveys
  • Analyze and measure exposures
  • Review leases and contracts
  • Coordinate compliance with regulations
  • Implement risk-control programs
  • Investigate accidents
  • Manage claims and litigation
  • Arrange risk financing (including insurance); establish retention programs
  • Determine and allocate cost of risk
  • Monitor results
Our agency would be happy to review your risk management program at your earliest convenience and recommend precautions that can help keep Comp premiums under control.