Several years ago I learned how to use a pivot table to analyze data. Little did I know at the time how using a pivot table to present and analyze data would shape not only the progression of my career but also transform my view of data as it relates to restaurant safety.
No, the topic of this blog is not as an instructional on how to use Excel spreadsheets or create pivot tables. Part one of this series focuses on the simplicity of utilizing workers compensation claims data to better understand accident trends and therefore take actionable steps to prevent losses. The information that is readily available from your workers compensation insurance policy loss run is fairly straight forward and doesn’t even require the deployment of complex technology for a basic analysis.
Work place accidents are usually a chain reaction of events that either happen suddenly and unexpectedly or occur as a result of a defect that becomes a hazard over the course of a few days. In many cases accidents are the result of a few conditions that degrade and worsen enough to expose your business operation to “the perfect storm,” which then leads to an employee accident and subsequent workers compensation claim.
Loss run reports are available to you as the insured upon request. A recent loss run provides basic up-to-date factual and historical information about each workers compensation claim that has occurred in your business, including: name and occupation of claimant, date and time, report run date, location, loss description, injury type, injury cause, job classification, claim status, loss reserves, losses paid, claimant demographics, and etc.
Claims data can be sorted and assimilated so that the information presented can be used to spot trends that will allow for an adjustment in thinking, enhancement of procedures and process, and to refocus priorities. This should lead to business improvement and loss reduction.
Upon reading this you might be thinking: doesn’t my insurance agent or insurance carrier provide trend analysis and aren’t their statisticians or actuarial professionals analyzing my claims for accidents waiting to happen? Perhaps they do for informational purposes, but who knows your business better than you, the operator? A bunch of complex actuarial statistics may or may not explain why your employees continue to get injured on the job resulting in costly claims. We will address the topic of claims and cost management both from the claimant’s perspective as well as from the insurer’s perspective later in this series.
You, the business operator, can conduct your own analysis of the claims loss run report, and because you know your business and your culture you will be able to spot trends without the services of a mathematician.
Let’s try this by organizing a fictional set of very basic and generic claim statistics in order to conduct a brief analysis of information that is available just from your insurance loss run. Let’s say, for example, over a two year period this fictional business experienced ten workers compensation claims.
We’ll start the analysis by copying and pasting the loss run data into a spreadsheet and then directing the spreadsheet to sort all claims by:
- day of the week
- time of day
- employee classification
- description of activity
- injury type
- incurred dollar losses
We’ll then cross reference this information with:
- who was the supervisor in charge when the accidents occurred
- employee tenure
Now let’s evaluate what the reorganization of this information reveals to us.
Again, as an example, maybe we can see that of the ten workers comp claims experienced in the last 2 years, 8 claims involved hazardous conditions that are a direct result of a congested work space, and these 8 accidents happened within the same one hour time frame (between 12:30pm and 1:30pm) and involved workers who were outside of their normal work area. These accidents occurred on either a Tuesday or Wednesday which is the peak business time frame for the restaurant operation and when each of the incidents occurred the same supervisor was on duty. As we peel away a few more layers of the onion – surprise – each injured employee was in their first year of tenure with the Restaurant.
The obvious conclusion is that workers are getting injured in an unfamiliar area, during hours and days of peak business, having been employed less than one year, while working for the same supervisor. That should tell you, the business operator, enough to review your findings with the team and work with your team to come up with a solution or solutions for reducing if not eliminating the risk of injury to the employees of your business.
Simplicity at the “grass roots” level of any challenge to your business is often the first and in many cases the best approach to reducing workers compensation claims and solving many of your loss issues. Feel free to contact me to discuss this analysis further.
Author: Sovereign Risk Solutions