Trucking P&C Pro-File Newsletter – February 2017

New Study Links Multiple Health Conditions to Preventable Crashes

It can be extremely difficult for commercial truck drivers to stay healthy on the job. Drivers often work long hours without rest, stay seated all day and don’t have access to exercise or nutritious meals. However, a new study conducted by the University of Utah School of Medicine found that drivers with three or more health conditions are much more likely to get into preventable crashes.

The study, which examined the medical records of nearly 50,000 commercial drivers, tracked a number of medical conditions that could have a negative impact on a driver’s performance—such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and anxiety.

Although the study found that drivers who have only one of the conditions

could often control it while on the road, the number of crashes increased significantly when drivers had three or more conditions. The average rate for crashes that result in an injury for all truck drivers is approximately 29 for every 100 million miles traveled, but the rate is 93 for every 100 million miles traveled for drivers who have at least three of the flagged conditions.

Transportation Industry Seeks to Limit New Rule-making

Representatives from the transportation industry have petitioned the Trump administration to slow the rule-making procedures of various federal agencies by adding more steps to the process and including business representatives in future rule-making discussions.

Although agencies such as the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) currently go through public steps in their rule-making processes, some business owners believe that the Obama administration bypassed these processes through executive orders and safety advisories. They say this could force businesses to adopt costly new procedures with little evidence of their effectiveness.

New Interstate Passenger Resource

The FMCSA recently released an online

resource to help businesses that transport passengers across state lines. The resource includes a list of requirements that have changed over the years as a result of litigation, legislation, and rule-making. Additionally, passenger carriers can determine their registration requirements, minimum levels of financial responsibility and any applicable safety and commercial regulations.

For more information on keeping your business compliant with FMCSA regulations, contact us at 203-265-0996 today.

Jonathan Belek
Risk Management Consultant
jbelek@srfm.com

Jon Belek

Reducing Your Risk and Exposure to Worker Compensation for the Sand and Gravel Industry

gravel pitWhen it comes to heavy industrial work and extraction services, the safety of your workers is paramount. It’s vital that you take every step possible to reduce the risk of injury or issues in the workplace, and limit your exposure to possible worker compensation claims for employees extracting sand, gravel, and similar materials.

We’ll start by looking at the data before sharing some common sense best practices for making all of your work sites and people safe.

Information on the sand and gravel industry

  • There are currently between 6,000 and 6,500 sand and gravel operations throughout the US, according to 2013 figures.
  • Most operations have fewer than 25 employees and only 7 or 8 counties through the US have operations with more than 200 employees.
  • There are very few fatalities across the sand and gravel extraction industry as a whole, with a total of 43 reported between 2003 and 2013 (just over 4 a year on average).
  • There are a fair number of nonfatal injuries — Between 2009 and 2013, there were an average of 370 injuries a year, affecting an average of around 1.6% of employees.
  • The most common types of injury for sand and gravel workers, in order, are:

o Handling materials — 35%
o Slip or fall — 29%
o Use of hand tools — 12%
o Powered haulage — 9%
o Machinery — 7%
o Other — 8%

If you want to reduce the risk of injury, and by extension your exposure to worker compensation, you need to make sure you have best-in-class training, safety equipment, working environments, and policies to reduce and prevent injuries.

Creating a safe work environment for sand and gravel employees
We recommend the following when you’re creating and reviewing your safety procedures.

Get a complete, independent audit of your existing safety practices
Have an independent organization come in to examine and report on how you currently operate, with a strong focus on safety. They will produce a detailed report highlighting any gaps in any aspects of your safety processes and policies.

Get very clear safety policies and processes in place and rigorously enforce them
Good health and safety starts with strong policies. Review all of your existing health and safety practices and ensure they’re reflected in the policies you share with employees. Provide plenty of practical examples and context for your policies so your employees can understand how they work in practice. In particular, you need to ensure every employee is responsible for their own health and safety.

Provide the right training on best practices and ways of working
Make sure you have an in depth onboarding and ongoing training program on health and safety for all employees. Ensure the training covers every aspect of your health and safety policies, using equipment safely, operational expectations and an awareness of the health of yourself and others.

Invest in equipment and tools that minimize the risk of injuries

  • Provide protective clothing to your workers
  • Ensure they use equipment and tools designed to minimize the risk of injury. This could include highly visible haulage machinery, hand tools designed with protectors, footwear that allows sure footing, gloves to make material handling safer, and a variety of other areas.
  • Inspect equipment and tools regularly for deterioration and replace anything that isn’t up to standards.

Make it everyone’s responsibility to report potential issues
You want your workers to be aware of their environment and any potential hazards that could affect them and their colleagues. Make it easy to report potential threats and ensure everyone knows it’s their responsibility to do so.

React to potential hazards quickly and ensure they’re fixed
Give a member of your staff accountability and responsibility for monitoring and fixing reported hazards. Measure how long it takes them to do so and use this to design better systems for identifying and fixing problems.

Make sure the environment remains as safe as possible

  • Clearly mark potentially unsafe areas (e.g. loose ground.)
  • Put proper fencing and barriers in place to keep people away from danger.
  • Make sure you control for dust pollution and storing of materials.
  • In times of severe weather, make sure you have proper processes in place to minimize risk (e.g. when people are working in slippery and wet environments.)
  • Keep landslides of sand and gravel to a minimum by regulating the size and location of materials storage.
  • Have rigorous safety controls around all blasting and explosives handling and use.

Taken together, all of these suggestions can make your site a much safer place to work, maintains the health and safety of your people, and makes sure you don’t fall afoul of worker compensation.

Joe Pinto
Risk Management Consultant
jpinto@srfm.com

Joe Pinto Head Shot

 

Understanding the changes in rules for Crane Operators

Construction worker talking to crane operatorBack in the year 2010 the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) implemented a rule outlining new regulations for the certification of crane operators. The new regulations stemmed from a high rate of accidents and fatalities related to crane operation in the construction industry. Since the new OSHA standards were released much has transpired regarding some specifics of the rule and the impact on both employers and employees in the construction business. This article will explain the rule, the changes, and the implications for employers.

2010 OSHA Crane Operator Certification Standard: The Basics

OSHA released a final rule in 2010 regarding operator qualification and certification for Cranes and Derricks in construction.

The OSHA rule is quite lengthy but essentially these were the three main points for debate:

  1. It requires employers to ensure that crane operators are certified  by an approved entity before operating a crane
  2. It states that once an operator passes a certification course, they are “deemed qualified” to operate a crane thus replacing the employers duty to ensure that crane operators are competent and well trained
  3. It states that operator certifications are to be based on crane load capacity (multiple certifications would be required for each type of crane; 50 ton, 100 ton, 200 ton, etc.)

Initially, the rule passed down by OSHA would require all operators to be certified by November 2014.

The rule stems from a litany of accidents and fatalities in the industry surrounding the operation of cranes. Cranes pose a significant danger to employees and OSHA has estimated that 89 workers per year are killed in crane-related accidents.

Specifically, crane-related injuries and fatalities have been caused by:

  • Electrocution
  • Being crushed by the equipment
  • Being struck by the equipment or a load
  • Falls

 Rule Appeal and Certification Extension

Industry professionals universally recognize the need for improved training and certification processes regarding crane operation, but after the final rule from OSHA was released it was received with much criticism.

A coalition of experts and industry stakeholders called out OSHA on two main points:

  1. Although necessary, third party certifications alone were insufficient in guaranteeing operator safety and should not replace the employers’ duty to ensure that operators are trained and competent.
  2. Requiring multiple certifications based on the load rating of the crane did not provide any significant safety benefit and would cause an undue financial burden on both employers and employees.

In response to these concerns, OSHA has made changes to the rule. Specifically, they have done two things:

Issued an extension of compliance: The new deadline for employers to ensure that all crane operators are certified has been extended to November 10, 2017.

Revised the crane operator certification standards: OSHA has removed the mandate requiring multiple certifications based on load capacity, and they have reworded the text surrounding “deemed qualified” to put qualification responsibilities back on the employer.

OSHA didn’t quite get it right the first time, but they listened to the feedback from experts in the industry and made changes to make the rule better. Safety in the construction industry is paramount. This new rule regarding crane operation will save lives, cut down on injuries, and keep employees safer. For employers it will keep qualified operators on the job longer, reduce the amount of workers’ comp. claims, and lower operating costs. It’s a win all around.

At Sinclair, we are committed to helping you keep your team safe, reduce risks, and save money. Our construction specialists work with clients of all shapes and sizes and fully understand the diversity of the industry. Get in touch with us today to see what we can do for your operation.

Joe Pinto
Risk Management Consultant
jpinto@srfm.com

Joe Pinto Head Shot

The Key to Controlling your Workers’ Compensation Costs

The key to controlling your workers’ compensation costsThe key to controlling your workers’ compensation costs is understanding your experience modification factor and its effect on your insurance premium. Workers’ compensation costs can make or break your bottom line. But control over these costs is more attainable than you may think if you understand your experience modification factor and its effect on your insurance premium.

Use Your Mod Factor

The key to controlling your workers’ compensation costs is understanding your experience modification factor, or mod factor. Your mod factor is an adjustment to your workers’ compensation premium. It’s based on your company’s actual losses compared to its expected losses based on the industry you’re in.

The mod factor represents either a credit or a debit that is applied to your workers’ compensation premium. A mod factor greater than 1.0 is a debit mod, which means that your losses are worse than expected and a surcharge will be added to your premium. A mod factor less than 1.0 is a credit mod, which means losses are better than expected, resulting in a discounted premium.

If your mod factor is over 1.0, show management how controlling costs can save you money on your insurance premium when it falls below the 1.0 threshold.

Control Your Mod Factor

You may not know it, but you do have control over your mod factor—and control over your workers’ compensation premium.

Your mod is calculated based on data reported to the rating bureau by past insurers. Incorrect or incomplete data can cause inaccurate mod factors. Review your loss and payroll data to ensure that your calculation is complete and accurate.

You can also control your mod factor by encouraging everyone to focus on safety—especially management and anyone else who is involved in controlling costs. Everyone working safely means fewer accidents to report to your insurance carrier and a lower mod factor.

Control Costs with a Return to Work Program

Another way to control your costs is to establish a return to work program and give modified or light duties to injured workers who can return to work.

Finding modified or light-duty tasks may seem inconvenient, but this is an important way to reduce your workers’ compensation costs—you pay for fewer days away from work and you keep regular contact with employees, so you can see how their recovery is progressing. The most successful return to work programs can accommodate almost any restrictions. 

Workplace Policies Help Control Costs, Too

Your workplace policies should encourage safe working habits and prompt reporting of injuries and accidents. Many companies have accident reporting policies in place but do not bother to implement them, which is dangerous because employees’ injuries could go untreated and hazardous situations will not be improved.

When you receive a claim for an on-the-job accident or injury, report it to your workers’ compensation provider as soon as possible.

After an accident or injury, investigate the event right away. Prompt investigation helps you preserve evidence and can deter employees from making fraudulent claims in the future.

If workers’ compensation costs are hurting you financially or if you want to learn more about how your mod impacts your premiums, Sinclair Risk & Financial Management is your resource for policies and guides to keep your costs in check. We’re here to help you protect your company and your bottom line.

Jonathan Belek
Risk Management Consultant
jbelek@srfm.com

The key to controlling your workers’ compensation costs

Home Healthcare Safety Hazards That May Leave You Liable

Home Healthcare Safety Hazards That May Leave You LiableHome healthcare workers are an essential component of the healthcare industry. They provide essential long-term service to patients who are unable to care for themselves.

However, the healthcare worker and his/her employer have little control over the working environment, which means the following safety hazards are quite common.

1. Patient handling and lifting – This is one of the leading causes of home healthcare worker injuries. Care providers routinely lift and transfer patients and perform repetitive tasks. Managers should carefully train staff in proper lifting techniques and encourage them to never lift beyond their means. Assistive devices (draw sheet, rollers, mechanical hoists, slide boards, etc.) are the most effective ways to ensure care providers aren’t injuring themselves. Insist these devices are used whenever necessary.    

2. Infection, blood borne pathogen and disease – While home healthcare workers are trained to carefully use and dispose of all medical equipment, patients and their families may not be so responsible. The care provider may come in contact with improperly stored or maintained medical equipment (including needles) that pose a risk of infection or disease transference. Furthermore, proper disposal may not even be possible in the home.

3. The patients’ environments – Falls and slips are one of the most common causes of injury to home healthcare workers. Each environment is new and many are unmaintained due to the patient’s challenged health. Managers should train home healthcare workers to be mindful of dangers and avoid potential hazards. If an environment is truly unsafe, it must be remedied before care can be provided.

4. Documentation – Thorough and accurate documentation is an extremely important part of healthcare. Paperwork errors are common among home healthcare workers who spend time in environment that don’t lend themselves to administrative tasks. Care providers should ensure they take the time to diligently complete their records and follow documented processes so they can defend their care if necessary.

5. Animals and pets – Interacting with animals is a common part of home healthcare work. There is always the risk of bites, scratches, and allergic reactions. Even the most placid pet may feel threatened with a stranger in his territory. Healthcare providers should avoid contact with pets entirely until they have developed a relationship with the pets.

6. Unsanitary conditions – It’s not uncommon for patients with serious health challenges to live in unsanitary environments. Healthcare workers may come in contact with termites, scabies, rodents, bedbugs, and other unsanitary elements that containment medical equipment and supplies. Employers should train healthcare workers on how to avoid unsanitary conditions and, if necessary, recognize if an environment is acceptable for working. Agencies should consider having a process in place to connect patients with resources that could help them change their conditions to ensure health care workers can continue helping the patient(s).

7. Transportation – Naturally, home healthcare workers spend considerable time on the road exposed to all of the hazards one would expect. Employers need clear policies that outline safety guidelines (wear seat belts, no electronic devices, etc.) and administer driving safety training.

To begin building your organization’s safety policy for home healthcare workers, I encourage you to browse through OSHA’s resources, or give me a call to discuss some of Sinclair’s Risk Management resources.  With proper training and documentation, you can protect your organization from serious liability.

Heather Sinclair
Risk Management Consultant
hsinclair@srfm.com

Home Healthcare Safety Hazards That May Leave You Liable

Planning for Construction Risk

Planning for Construction RiskThe construction industry is flourishing, with outlooks like the Wells Fargo 2016 Construction Industry Forecast’s Optimism Quotient predicting that local construction, profits, equipment purchases and rentals and overall future growth will be strong this year.  Add to this that warmer weather means the busy construction season is here and it’s a great time to be in the industry, whether you’re an independent contractor or you own a large building construction firm.

However, as you take on more work, you also need to make sure that your risk exposure and insurance coverage is keeping up.  For example, you may hire more workers or rent more equipment to keep pace with your workload, which opens you up to more potential issues, like safety and liability. What if a new worker is injured using construction equipment, the materials you purchased for a huge job are stolen or a homeowner sues you because they feel there was design error in a job you performed for them?

Make sure you are protected against potential pitfalls with these three tips:

1)     Appropriately Assign Risk - Quite simply, think through anything that could go wrong in a project, plan for it and assign the risk to the person who would be most capable of handling and controlling it.  For example, a contractor can best control the safety of the workers on a job site while the homeowner would probably be the best choice for any project design risks since they’re most likely working with the architect and designers.  By spelling out risk responsibility in the contract before the project even begins, everyone is clear in advance about who is responsible for what risk.

2)     Make Sure You’re Covered - Once you know what your role and area of responsibility is, work with a trusted risk and financial management firm that has expertise in the construction industry and will take the time to sit down, understand your unique challenges and customize a program for you.  From Errors and Omissions coverage to Workers’ Compensation to OSHA concerns, ensure you’re aware of and protected from any of the risks associated with your projects.

3)     C.Y.A. – Cover your assets by making sure you closely examine all contracts for consistency and that you also have an experienced and knowledgeable attorney review all contracts.  Also – don’t rely on a cursory review of a certificate of insurance to prove that the parties you’re working with on a project are compliant with insurance requirements.  Beyond requiring a certificate of insurance proving proper insurance coverage in the contract, consider requiring that the full policies be included to provide evidence of adequate coverage.

With the right planning, risk management and insurance coverage, you can enjoy the benefits of the construction boom without the headaches.  At Sinclair Risk & Financial Management, we take the time to understand your company and individual situation and work with you to help you minimize your risks.  Give us a call today!

Jonathan Belek
Risk Management Consultant
jbelek@srfm.com

Home Renovation 101: Four Steps you MUST do before you pick up the hammer

AConnecticut High Value Home Insurance When to Hire a Professionals the seasons change, homeowners begin to think about tackling that latest house project – from redoing a kitchen to installing a pool to adding on an addition. 

Whether your plans are small or large, make sure you’re prepared and covered before a shovel goes into the ground or a paint brush touches the wall.   Some people take the do-it-yourself route, tackling parts of renovations themselves and hiring subcontractors for plumbing and electrical work while others hire a general contractor to manage the renovation process from start to finish.

No matter which route you go, here are four things to do before you get started on that renovation:

1.    Make Sure You’re Covered:  The last thing on your renovation “To Do” list may be checking your insurance policy.  However, before you get started, it’s important to verify you’re covered for any situation.  As the homeowner, you need to make sure you have adequate liability coverage as part of your homeowner’s policy in case someone is hurt on your property.  Similarly, make sure that your general contractor and subcontractors (i.e. – electricians and plumbers) have adequate coverage.  And don’t take a contractor’s word for it – ask for not only their insurance certificate and license number, but verify the contractor’s licensing status and ask to see your contractor’s policy.  A general contractor’s policy should have coverage in three major areas: general liability, worker’s comp and builder’s risk.

 2.    Do Your Permitting Research: Does your remodel project require a building permit?  In general, permits are required for projects that aren’t just cosmetic.  Everything from installing a fence to moving a sink may require a permit so, when in doubt, do your research; or if you’ve hired a general contractor, make sure you know the permit requirements, timing, costs and inspection details.  Most towns also have ordinances, such as building heights, that need to be understood and can usually be found on the local town’s website.  Keep in mind that if work is performed without a permit and something happens, your homeowner’s policy will usually not cover it.

3.    Call Before You Dig:  Similar to obtaining the correct permits, if your project will require any digging, make sure you call 811 prior to digging.  Call several days before the work is planned to allow adequate time for utility companies to be notified of your intent to dig.  A representative will come out and mark the location of underground utility lines.

4.    Invest For Long-term Savings: As you plan your renovation, look for savings.  If you’re undertaking a kitchen remodel or installing a new roof, think about putting in energy efficient appliances or installing solar panels.  Also, if you update certain systems like your plumbing, heating or electrical, or any other features that improve the safety and efficiency of your home, keep in mind that the investment can offer you long-term savings on things like your energy costs and potentially your homeowner’s insurance policy. 

Home renovations can be a huge undertaking, but the end result is worth it.  Make sure you go into your project with a solid foundation.  At Sinclair Risk & Financial Management, we’re here to help you ensure you’re protected and covered before you tackle your house project.

Rachel Winslow
Account Executive
rwinslow@srfm.com

Home Renovation 101: Four Steps you MUST do before you pick up the hammer

Spring Hazards: Worker Safety During Warmer Weather

Spring Hazards: Worker Safety During Warmer Weather Spring signifies the end of winter and a season of new beginnings.  It ushers in budding trees, blooming flowers and warmer temperatures.  It can also bring with it quickly changing conditions and hazards that employers and workers need to be aware of and prepare for to ensure safety.

 While, overall, workplaces are safer today, many people are still seriously injured on the job, especially in industries like manufacturing, construction, transportation, warehousing and oil and gas extraction.  While accidents happen, many are preventable. In fact, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) found that more than 10,000 severe injuries were caused by workplace conditions in 2015.

 What top three hazards do employers need to be aware of during spring? 

  1. Severe Weather and Flooding- Floods and tornadoes are the most common hazards in the United States during spring.  From melting snow to sudden spring showers, flooding can happen quickly and with little warning.  Not only should workers and employers be aware of weather forecasts, but workers should be trained on severe weather plans and have emergency supplies with them to be prepared if severe weather strikes.  OSHA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have partnered to provide a comprehensive resource aimed at helping businesses and workers prepare for severe weather, like flooding
  2. Outdoor Work – From construction workers on scaffolding to flagmen helping to direct traffic at highway work zones, outdoor working conditions in the warm spring weather can naturally cause hazards for workers. In fact, more than 100 workers are killed and more than 20,000 are injured in the highway and street construction industry each year, with over half of the fatalities resulting from vehicles and equipment operating around the work zone. It’s imperative that employers put controls in place and train employees to protect workers from injury in outdoor settings.  The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health provides guides for many industries.
  3. Driving and Pedestrian Safety – As the warm weather approaches, more people get out to enjoy the warm weather – from people walking dogs to motorcyclists enjoying a ride to children riding bicycles.  Naturally, this means that there are more incidents of accidents involving driving and pedestriansIt’s important that drivers properly maintain their vehicles, exercise caution, travel at a reasonable speed, pay attention and avoid distractions like texting.    

Employers are required by law to provide their workers with a workplace free from serious recognized hazards and to comply with standards, rules and regulations issued under the OSH Act.  In addition to ensuring safety protocols, plans and training take place to prevent workplace accidents and injuries, each industry has its own nuances and risks.  At Sinclair Risk & Financial Management, we take the time to understand your company and individual situation and work with you to help you minimize your company’s risks. 

Jonathan Belek
Risk Management Consultant
jbelek@srfm.com

Spring Hazards: Worker Safety During Warmer Weather

Higher minimum wage means higher direct & indirect costs for business owners

Higher minimum wage means higher direct & indirect costs for business ownersThe political pressure to enact a $15 federal minimum wage is growing stronger. It’s the stuff of nightmares for business owners, but it may yet become a reality. New York has already passed legislation, with the enthusiastic support of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, to raise the wage bar for fast food workers to $15. It seems inevitable that figure will soon carry the day for all New York workers.

The progressive bastions of San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Seattle are also getting ready to enact a $15 minimum wage.

As goes New York, so goes the country?

President Obama is already committed to a $12 federal minimum wage. His time remaining in office is short, but if Hillary Clinton gets elected next year you can be sure that will add a tremendous amount of oxygen to this dubious movement. (And forget it if Bernie Sanders gets in, but don’t worry, that’s very unlikely to happen.)

Organized labor is already using these early successes to push for an even higher minimum wage: $16.87. Even if highly unlikely to succeed, this “living wage” movement will make it that much easier to get a $15 minimum in place.

Nightmares aside, smart business owners with employees earning below $15 an hour Higher minimum wage means higher direct & indirect costs for business ownersneed to plan now. This is especially true for fast food franchisers and other food service businesses where the $15 movement has the most wind at its back.

Besides the direct costs of a government mandated wage increase to employees, business owners may shoulder the burden of higher indirect costs, such as higher premiums for worker’s compensation insurance. It stands to reason that higher wages mean higher payouts for on-the-job injuries, which will put pressure on premiums.

Underwriters will be watching this movement very closely, as indemnity benefits represent about 40% of worker’s compensation claim costs and are generally based on two-thirds of a worker’s average weekly wage.

My team at Sinclair Risk is keeping a close watch on the minimum wage movement and has the necessary expertise to help business owners control risk management expenses. Talk to us today and learn how we can help protect your interests, regardless of where the minimum wage political football lands.

Dave Sinclair

dsinclair@theworkplacesolution.com

 

Why your business needs a wellness program

Why your business needs a wellness programHere’s a business ideal, not always easily achieved:  Doing tangible good for others while doing good for your bottom line. You don’t have to be a flashy biotech firm or offer a solution to an intractable problem an ocean away to be improving the health of your fellow men and women.

We all want our products and services to benefit the greater community, but like charity, doing good starts at home. In the case of promoting health and wellbeing, it should start with your workforce.

Wellness programs in the workplace promote healthy habits and long-term positive change. They help employees lose weight, quit smoking, take care of themselves mentally and physically, and live more active lifestyles.

That all adds up to fewer sick days and worker’s compensation claims, and most importantly from your business’s macro level, improved staff morale and less turnover.

The high cost of low morale — Morale in the workplace is not easily measured on a 1 to Why your business needs a wellness program10 scale, but it doesn’t take complex data sets to know that when staff attitudes are poor, you’ll feel it acutely in reduced productivity, increased absenteeism, and problematic customer/client interactions.

Poor health directly impacts morale by taking key employees away from their posts as they struggle to fill in the gaps left by employees who are dealing with acute and chronic health conditions and injuries. This can lead to depression and loss of motivation not only for the directly affected employee, but for those who are left behind to pick up the slack.

The high cost of staff turnover – The daily effects of eating poorly and not exercising take time to turn into chronic problems. Similarly, excessive absences don’t translate overnight into permanent loss of key staff, but give it enough time and you will be losing employees for extended periods or completely.

With that loss, you suffer a blow to institutional knowledge, and gain the high cost of training new employees. A Center for American Progress study found that costs for bringing on a new employee range from 16% of annual salary to replace a low-wage worker (under $30,000 salary) to a whopping 213% of annual salary for highly compensated key employees and executives.

Employers must consider direct costs like advertising, interviewing, screening, and onboarding a new hire, as well as indirect costs such as lower productivity (at least initially) and impact on other staff, who may be missing an esteemed colleague who is unable to return to work.

Quite simply, there’s too much at stake for you to be without a wellness program in your workplace. The team at Sinclair Risk & Financial can help you get started.

Shannon Hudspeth, SPHR

shudspeth@srfm.com