8 Steps to Vet Construction Subcontractors

subcontractorAs a general contractor, it’s likely that you’ll use subcontractors at some point. Subcontractors can be an efficient way to outsource work. As specialists, they’ll often do a better job than a generalist and their smaller size means they can work quicker and leaner.

However, the construction job is your responsibility. The performance of the subcontractor will reflect on you. To complete the job properly and satisfy your customer, you need to make sure your subcontractors will produce quality work in a timely manner.

Before you officially hire any subcontractors, protect your business and your customer by taking these steps to vet the subcontractor.

1. Examine their past and current performance

Request information from the potential customer about their licenses, accreditations, history, and references. Look for any public data on lawsuits, disputes, complaints, or bankruptcies. Ask for the contact information of previous contractors they worked for. Then, search for references independently (without the subcontractor’s involvement) to get some unbiased and unfiltered information.

2. Look at their queue of work

It’s smart to make sure potential subcontractors can actually complete the work you need, so you’ll want to examine their log of previous, current, and future work. If the subcontractor seems too busy for their size, your job might overextend them.

3. Ask about their safety practices

Unsafe operations can leave you exposed to liability and force an inspector to close the job site, so make sure any subcontractors have clean or reasonable safety histories. They should also have ample safety protocols in place and a crew who is coached to prioritize safety.

4. Investigate the subcontractor’s employees

Ask the subcontractor about their team. Are they temporary workers, or do they work full time? Have they worked in construction before, or are they new? Does the subcontractor have the proper number of licensed professionals for the site? Do the workers have the right tools and reasonable workloads? Do any have serious felonies or drug problems that might make them unreliable? Answers to these questions will determine whether the subcontractor is right for your job.

5. Validate bonding and insurance

In most states, contractors are required to have bonding. In all states, they must be insured, including worker’s compensation insurance. If the subcontractor doesn’t have these protections in place, you could be held liable if there’s a problem. If the subcontractor doesn’t have these, reject them as candidates.

6. Investigate the subcontractor’s financial health

If your job is large, you’ll want to make sure the subcontractor’s financials are healthy enough to commit. You don’t want their employees to walk off the site one day due to lack of payment, or an inability to purchase materials. Request their annual contractor volume, two years of financial statements, and their total sales and net worth (you might have to sign a confidentiality agreement). Look for signs of poor health, like poor cash flow, a mountain of debt, or declining income.

7. Ask about their quality control process

In order to avoid rework and warranty work, you want your subcontractors to certify the quality of their materials and finished work. Every professional business should have a procedure in place to guarantee quality assurance. This procedure is rarely complex, but a successful business will have an answer to your questions.

8. Demand a written contract

It is shocking how many people work without a written agreement. As a contractor who is purchasing labor, you need to protect your investment. Every deal should be bound by a contract that clearly describes your expectations, including the scope of work, timeframe, and payment arrangements. Describe what you will provide and what the subcontractor will provide in terms of materials, warranties, and cleanup.

Hiring a subcontractor is like hiring an employee: You want someone who will represent your business well without adding drama, stress, or financial burden. If you follow the steps listed above, you’ll find the right candidate and build a lasting relationship.

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

Workers’ Compensation Medicare Set Aside Arrangement – What you need to know!

Nate-DanielsThe title of this blog sounds complicated, and I do this stuff for a living!  Because it’s confusing and complicated, I wanted to take a few minutes to put it all in layman’s terms. So here goes…

SCENARIO: Your employee has a workers’ compensation claim. It could be a work related injury, illness or disease. It’s serious. They have been out of work for an extended period of time and medical bills are more than anyone anticipated.  When this claim settles, the percentage of the permanent partial disability and any future medical services related to this work injury, illness or disease will be taken into consideration. The settlement may require that funds be set aside to pay for future medical bills.

If your employee is a Medicare beneficiary, or eligible to enroll in Medicare within 30 days of the settlement date, they can have a Workers’ Compensation Medicare Set-aside Arrangement (WCMSA) into which they can deposit these funds. CMSA is a financial agreement that allocates a portion of the workers’ compensation settlement to pay for future medical expense.

According to www.medicare.gov here is what the employee can and can’t do with the funds:

  • Money placed in your WCMSA is for paying future medical and/or prescription drug expenses related to your work injury or illness/disease that otherwise would have been covered by Medicare.
  • You can’t use the WCMSA to pay for any other work injury, or any medical items or services that Medicare doesn’t cover (for example, dental services).
  • Medicare won’t pay for any medical expenses related to the injury until after you have used all of your set-aside money appropriately.
  • If you aren’t sure what type of services Medicare covers, call Medicare before you use any of the money that was placed in your WCMSA.
  • Keep records of your workers’ compensation-related medical and prescription drug expenses. These records show what items and services you got and how much money you spent on your work-related injury, illness or disease. You need these records to prove you used your WCMSA money to pay your workers’ compensation-related medical and/or prescription drug expenses.
  • After you use all of your WCMSA money appropriately, Medicare can start paying for Medicare-covered services related to your work-related injury, illness, or disease.

We understand that this is complicated.  If you still need help with the process, give our team at Sinclair Risk & Financial Management a call – it’s our job to make sure your company’s bottom line is protected and your employee’s interests are as well.

Nathan Daniel

ndaniel@srfm.com

Impacts of Workplace Obesity on CT Workers Comp

Impacts of Workplace Obesity on CT Workers Comp Impacts of Workplace Obesity on CT Workers Comp

Obesity continues to be a growing problem for the American population. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) one in three Americans are obese and an additional 40% of the population has a body mass index high enough to be considered overweight. Not only is obesity a major public health concern, but it also created challenges in almost every aspect of life. The CDC notes that rising obesity rates have huge financial implication on the U.S. health care system, causing strain on the country’s medical resources with an estimated financial impact of over $147 billion a year and rising. Employers also experience the negative impacts of an overweight workforce, from increased insurance costs, and legislative changes to decreased productivity and employee performance challenges.

According to a recent study released by Virginia Tech as part of an ongoing investigation into the effects of obesity in the workplace, researchers found that not only do overweight workers fatigue more easily they often need assistance and support preforming traditional job functions. Obesity is associated with many physiological changes including decreased muscular performance and reduced blood flow capacity. Inhibition on the blood and oxygen circulatory systems can cause a number of physical challenges and can lead to a faster onset of fatigue for repetitive activities such as those required in many workplaces.  Workers who are obese often need to take extended and more frequent breaks before carrying out their everyday tasks and job functions. Obesity has become a mounting problem particularly in warehouse, manufacturing, construction and other industries where physical performance is vital to workflow and productivity.

Based on their findings, the Virginia Tech research suggest that employers may need to consider adding additional fixtures and supports to their current infrastructure to help ease the fatigue found among overweight and obese workers. Researcher as still investigating the full effects of obesity on the a workforce but many healthcare industry professionals note that overweight workers are more likely to have health complications which can culminate in missed work days and even increase the likelihood of workplace accidents. The CDC notes that employers have a unique opportunity to help inspire healthy habits among their workers by establishing various health and wellness programs that educate employees about nutrition, exercise and wellness. These programs can often prove mutually beneficial to workers and employers as healthier workers are often more productive and less of a liability. It can even help reduce CT workers comp claims and overall healthcare overage premiums.

At Sinclair Risk & Financial Management we understand that managing workplace safety, health and wellness are keys to a successful business. Our Risk Safeguard AdvantageTMsystem was borne out of a philosophy that combines personalized and unique risk management strategies with human resources consulting and training to provide measurable, sustainable results.  Our risk management services include workplace accident investigation programs, safety seminars, workplace wellness, and more to help minimize your Workers Compensation risk exposures and manage claims as they arise. To find out more about any of our offerings, give us a call today at (877) 602-2305. 

Connecticut Business Insurance: Wellness Programs Cut Costs

Connecticut Business Insurance Wellness Programs Cut CostsConnecticut Business Insurance: Wellness Programs Cut Costs

Wellness programs are Connecticut business antidotes to increased workers compensation rates, and higher healthcare costs. As Connecticut business owners prepare to absorb even higher healthcare costs with the Affordable Care Act, companies are looking for ways to offset costs elsewhere. One of those strategies is implementing wellness programs.

A recent survey conducted by Fidelity Investments and the National Business Group on Health found that corporate employers were going to spend on average $521 per employee in corporate healthcare programs. Compared to $460 per employee spent in 2011, it marks a 13% increase.

Wellness programs encompass a wide variety of health initiatives. Some are incentive programs that reward employees for weight loss or adopting healthy habits. Others sponsor company wellness events such as races or walking programs. Some offer gym amenities or passes to employees. Others focus on education and lifestyle, encouraging employees to adopt healthy lifestyle habits.

Wellness programs are on the rise. The survey found that the overall use of wellness-based incentives is continuing to increase. Nine out of 10 employers in the survey indicated they currently offer some variation of a wellness program- more than double the 38% in 2010.

Besides the obvious health benefits, Connecticut business owners are utilizing wellness programs as a real cost-cutting strategy. Employees enrolled in workplace wellness programs reduce their own personal healthcare costs. Employers who invest in wellness programs see increased employee retention, attendance, and productivity. In a study by Principal Financial, the majority of participants said they were more productive, and 40% agreed that wellness incentives encouraged them to stay with the company.

The latest trend show an overall consensus towards wellness programs: a win-win for both parties involved. Sinclair Risk & Financial Management is at the forefront of this approach, providing employers with a proprietary Wellness Program designed to promote health employee lifestyle choices along with a strategy to create and sustain these behaviors.

Wellness programs have significant benefits for employers and individuals, boosting retention and driving loyalty. Let Sinclair help enrich your benefits plan with a wellness program designed to promote your employees’ health. Contact us today for more information. (877) 602-2305

Workers Compensation: NCCI Changes Primary-Excess Split Point for 2013

Workers Compensation: NCCI Changes Primary-Excess Split Point for 2013

The National Council on Compensation Insurance recently announced a plan to change the experience rating formula for Workers compensation insurance. The primary-excess split point will be increased over a three year transition period. The first stage of the change will take effect on January 1, 2013.

What is it?
In the experience rating process, each loss is divided into primary and excess portions. Right now, the first $5,000 of every claim is allocated as a primary loss. Everything above $5,000 is considered an excess loss. So, for a claim of $20,000, $5,000 would be the primary loss and the remaining $15,000 would be considered excess losses.

The NCCI’s changes raise the split point from $5,000 to $15,000. Under the new guidelines, a $20,000 claim would have a primary loss of 15,000 and excess loss of $5,000. The last change was two decades ago; since then, the cost per workers comp claim has tripled, reducing the effectiveness of the current rating system.  The goal is to improve the experience rating plan to more accurately fit the current claims environment and account for claim inflation.

Why does it matter?
This change is significant because underwriters rely on mod-factors as one of the components to determine a client’s premium. Primary losses are given full weight in the experience rating process; excess losses are evaluated at a reduced factor.

The basis for this is described as “severity follows frequency.” Primary losses are an indicator of frequency. An organization that experiences a repeated pattern of losses (higher frequency) is more likely to experience a severe loss in the future. The frequency of claims is weighted more than the severity. This is why primary losses affect the mod calculation more than excess losses do.

Here’s what it means for you.
How this change affects you depends on your prior loss history. If most of your losses are under $5,000, you are likely to see a decrease in your mod. If they exceed $5,000, you should prepare for an increase in your mod.

Please contact us at Sinclair Risk & Financial Management if you have any questions or concerns regarding the new changes. We are happy to assist you. (877) 602-2305

Employee Wellness: A Prescription for Fruits and Veggies

Employee Wellness A Prescription for Fruits and Veggies 241x300 Employee Wellness: A Prescription for Fruits and VeggiesEmployee Wellness: A Prescription for Fruits and Veggies

With bad cholesterol, depression, high blood pressure, and obesity all steadily threatening America’s well-being, some healthcare professionals are trying a new, simpler prescription- eat your fruits and vegetables by starting Employee Wellness Programs.

In a partnership between health care providers and farmers market partners, the Fruit and Vegetable Prescription Program (FVRx) provides daily $1 subsidies to buy produce at local farmers markets. Each family member gets the $1 prescription, so for example a family of five would get $35 per week to spend on fresh fruits and vegetables.

A primary care physician and nutritionist meet with each participant monthly to discuss and reinforce the importance of healthy eating. The patient’s progress is tracked over the period of the description, monitoring their weight, blood pressure, and Body Mass Index at each visit.

The program is designed specifically to assist overweight children and pregnant women who are at risk of developing preventable diseases. In the 2011 pilot program, FVRx participants reported a 38.1% decreased BMI over a four month intervention period. The program yielded economic benefits for local farmers as well- participating farmers markets saw an average increase in revenue of 8,129, as well as an influx of new and repeat customers.

The FVRx is one component of an increasing trend in health care that take a preventative approach to healthcare. The cost of medical care is rising, and preventable diseases such as type 2 diabetes and obesity rates only place additional burdens on medical costs. Initiatives such as the FVRx, wellness programs and education target lifestyle changes, including improved diet and exercise, that improve an individual’s well-being and can stave off preventable diseases.

The growing importance of employee wellness programs in the workplace reflects this same dynamic. Employers are helping employees work harder at staying healthy and manage chronic diseases more effectively, so that they and the company benefit from lower health costs and reduced absences. Sinclair Risk & Financial Management is at the forefront of this approach, providing employers with a proprietary Wellness Program designed to promote healthy employee lifestyle choices along with a strategy to create and sustain these behaviors. Contact us today for more information about our employee wellness programs.