Workplace Injuries and Cost of Goods Sold

As a manufacturer you work hard to keep your costs of goods sold at a minimum. It’s what helps you maintain your competitive edge and ability to win jobs, which in turn impacts your bottom line. Often times a manufacturer can lose a bid by as little as a penny per item. What I would like to discuss is workplace injuries and their relationship to your Total Cost of Risk (TCOR). Additionally we will cover a few solutions that may have a positive impact to your TCOR.

Workplace injuries and cost of goods soldTCOR is an insurance acronym used to describe both direct and indirect costs associated with many areas of risk within an organization. Here we are going to focus solely on workplace injuries and their effects on your business and its cost of goods sold.

The most obvious influencer to your cost of goods sold is your workers compensation premium. The premiums are calculated every year based on claim history (severity and frequency of losses), and potential payroll. This is a cost that can be easily calculated into your cost of goods sold as the rate is set every year upon renewal.  Other examples are medical expenses and legal services. This is the direct impact of your cost of goods sold.

On the indirect side, you have far more complicated costs to consider. Many times these costs can be unknown or fluctuate in rate; therefore they pose the most threatening impact to your bottom line. Examples of these losses include:

  • The training of replacement employees
  • Cost of investigating the accident
  • Implementing corrective solutions
  • Lost in productivity
  • Costly unintended repairs of equipment/property
  • Low employee moral
  • Absenteeism
  • Reputational harm

Some example solutions to consider when reducing your TCOR in regards to workplace injuries include the following:

  • Implementing a successful safety program
  • Create how-to training opportunities
  • Surveys and assessments
  • Submit to a voluntary OSHA inspection (crazy I know, but this will also help you eliminate any unforeseen fines)
  • Formal return to work programs
  • Formalize a relationship with a occupational health facility

And the list goes on…

*Keep in mind that these solutions will impact both direct and indirect costs.

There are many other solutions to consider and most of them require a custom approach. Creating a worthwhile program has an associated cost in time & money, but consider the cost of doing nothing. Think of the ROI of an effective safety program and culture can yield.  Various studies have shown that $1 spent on prevention has a returning yield ranging from $2-$6.

Workplace injuries are just a single area of risk affecting your total cost of goods sold. Working with a trusted and experienced advisor in your industry is crucial to implementing a successful program and plan. At FBinsure we work with businesses every day addressing risk and implementing successful plans. We pride ourselves on being trusted advisors to our clients.

Please see below for a list of references and helpful links in relationship to managing workplace injuries in your business.    If spending time on a conversation now that could save you a much larger headache down the road sounds good, let’s get a cup of coffee.

References and helpful links:

  1. http://www.safetyandhealthmagazine.com/articles/10414-the-roi-of-safety
  2. http://www.fbinsure.com/
  3. https://www.osha.gov/dcsp/products/topics/businesscase/costs.html
  4. https://www.osha.gov/dcsp/smallbusiness/safetypays/index.html
  5. http://www.asse.org/professionalaffairs/career-res/impact-of-accident-costs-on-businesses/
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Life Insurance for Christmas

LIFE INSURANCE FOR CHRISTMAS“We’re getting life insurance for Christmas kids!”…said no family ever.  Tis’ the season of giving, love, and joy.  We spend countless hours thinking about the right gift for our friends and loved ones.   This year, consider a gift that, although it may not be colorful or edible or “useful” per say, would never be returned or re-gifted.  Have you ever considered giving the gift of life insurance?

If others depend on you for financial support, how will you provide for them in the event of your death? A life insurance policy is a safety net that ensures your loved one’s future financial obligations are met, covering items such as funeral costs, outstanding debt, estate taxes and everyday living expenses.

If you have a significant other, both of you should have a life insurance policy.  A death can be a financial burden during an extremely difficult time.  What would you do if your stay-at-home partner should pass away?  How would you pay for expenses such as childcare and other domestic items that used to take two salaries to manage? If you are younger you may not have given it any thought but if it should happen, how would you or your partner/spouse pay for a funeral?  Are you prepared?  Even if you already have life insurance through your employer, you may be under-insured and not even know it.

There are two basic types of life insurance: term life insurance and permanent life insurance. The type of life insurance policy that best suits you will depend on your unique needs. To help you decide, we’ve covered the basics:

Option #1: Term Life Insurance

Just as its name implies, term life insurance covers you for a specific period of time, or term, that you choose. Since it offers a death benefit but no cash value, term life insurance is an inexpensive way to protect your beneficiaries for a specified period of time.  With term life insurance, once the term expires, your coverage ceases and the policy has no further value. It’s important to note that rates generally increase along with the insured’s age.

Option #2: Permanent Life Insurance

Permanent life insurance is any form of life insurance other than term. Examples are whole life, universal life and variable life. These policies combine term life insurance with a long-term, tax-sheltered savings plan.  Whole life is the most basic type of permanent life insurance. It provides coverage that lasts a lifetime and also builds up a cash value that you can borrow against, withdraw or use to pay future premiums.  The rates for a whole life insurance policy remain stable over the life of the policy but premiums are initially more costly than for term insurance.

Regardless of whether you choose a term or permanent life insurance policy, both can afford protection and peace of mind knowing you have the coverage when you need it most. Think of how great a gift like peace of mind would be to those you love.

For more information or to discuss your options, Call us today at (508) 824-8666 or click here to request a quote.


What is a Return to Work (RTW) Program?

Photo and article provided by Selective Insurance Group Inc.

Return to work program blog (selective) A RTW program is part of a customer business strategy to retain valued employees and to enhance the productivity of the workforce. The longer an employee is off work, the less likely he or she is to return. Bureau of Labor Statistics research indicates that after six months of absence from the job, there is a 50-50 chance of that employee returning to work. After one year the chances of successfully returning to work drop to 10%.

Why should employers consider a Return to Work Program (RTW)?
The answer is simple. It is the single most effective way to reduce claim costs and, depending on the number of employees our mutual customers have, one might actually be a requirement under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

In 2008, Congress passed the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendment Act, (ADAAA), which clarified and broadened the way courts interpret a “disability”. ADA Title I requires employers with 15 or more employees to provide qualified individuals with disabilities an equal opportunity to benefit from the full range of employment-related opportunities available to others. If the employer unreasonably refuses to accommodate the injured worker, the ADA would allow a discrimination lawsuit by the employee against the employer. A well-designed and managed RTW program, therefore, is critical in assisting the employer is meeting certain requirements under the AADAAA.  Even if an insured doesn’t meet the ADA threshold for the number of employees, a RTW program is still highly recommended.

To find out what the two essential elements to all successful Return to Work programs are, read the full article HERE

If you have further questions about Return to Work Programs, contact any of the FBinsure Risk Advisors at 800-734-6604


5 Tips to Avoid Being Scammed this Holiday Season

online shopping safety

The holidays are stressful and full of hustle and bustle without having to worry about being the victim of an online scam as we are shopping for gifts for friends and family.  Thanksgiving kicks off the holiday shopping season with Thanksgiving sales that start not long after the tryptophan is kicking in.  Our friends at Bristol County Savings Bank have been kind enough to allow us to share with you their top 5 tips to help you stay safe while shopping online through the holidays.  This blog has been reprinted with permission.

 Although we should always be paying attention to our financial activity, it is especially important to be vigilant during the holiday season. Scammers know it is a hectic time, and look for opportunities to take advantage of increased online and in-store shopping, package deliveries, and other seasonal distractions. Remember that the Target breach, where over 40 million credit card numbers were stolen, occured during this time of year!

Here’s what to watch out for:

  1. EMAIL! Don’t open suspicious emails or click on links in emails that you weren’t expecting.  When reading an email, consider whether the deals seem too good to be true.  Check the spelling within the email; poor spelling is a red flag that the email is probably SPAM. Fake holiday e-cards are another way for hackers to send you malware. It is important to know the sender before opening an email. If you’re suspicious – call the sender before clicking on a link or opening an attachment.
  2. SHOPPING ONLINE! Always make sure you are at the store’s correct URL and that you know you are entering your credit card number into a secure valid site. If you have packages delivered to your home make sure you get the tracking number so you can keep track of where and when your package will be delivered.
  3. SHOPPING IN STORES! While out shopping, always watch your belongings, keep your purse on your shoulder and your wallet hidden. Never leave your purse in your cart and walk away. Watch your surroundings while making purchases with a credit/debit card. Check your accounts to make sure all your transactions match your receipts.
  4. SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS! During the holiday season there are going to be times when you and your family are out shopping, visiting family, at parties and more. Burglars look for social media posts stating that you are not home, so they can break in. Instead, when you go out leave a light or two on to give the impression that someone is home – never post on social media that you are out of the house. This is especially true if you’re going away for the holidays, as well. Burglars just love to know when you’re leaving for your 2 week vacation in the Bahamas!
  5. DONATIONS TO PHONY CHARITIES! Be wary of any charity that seeks donations through an unsolicited e-mail or phone call. You may even have someone come to your door looking for donations to what seems to be a legitimate cause. Never give a solicitor for a charity a cash donation, and under no circumstance should you give your credit card information to a charity you feel is questionable. A simple rule is to only give to charities that you have researched and  previously decided you would donate to.

Happy Holidays!


OSHA plays catch up with safety fines beginning in 2016

OSHA FinesWorkplace safety violations are serious things.  Disregard for safety in the workplace can not only be deadly, it can also be quite costly.  If those two things alone are not enough incentive to nudge you to ensure that extreme caution is observed in every working hour then this might.  OSHA will be increasing safety violation fines for the first time in 25 years.

When the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act (CPI) of 1990 allowed most federal agencies to review and adjust their civil penalties one time every five years, OSHA was excluded leaving OSHA fines stagnant for more than two decades.  Time has now caught up and OSHA is being required to increase their penalties every year in order to keep up with inflation.  This increase can be as high as 80% for just 2016 alone. This translates as such:

“Willful or repeat violations could increase from a current maximum of $70,000 per violation to approximately $125,000 per violation.”

Not pocket change for sure and will most likely double fines of the past.  Although there is some wiggle room, employers are being cautioned to expect the worst and is geared to eliminate the employers treating on-the-job injuries and deaths as a cost of doing business.  Most of the sting to be felt from this “catch up year” will begin to be felt by August 1, 2016 and settle back into a more normal and fluid annual percentage increase each year thereafter somewhere around January 15th.  Will the maximum penalties be assessed for each and every violation?  No one can truly say for sure however, given that these penalties exist in order to place significant pressure on employers to keep workplaces safe, the likelihood is high.

These fines, however inconvenient and somewhat painful, are in place to help insure safety in the workplace.  Stressing safety as a part of company culture is critical not only to your bottom line but more importantly to employee morale, well being and longevity.   The time for a safety review to ensure you are in compliance is now in order to avoid costly fines, workers compensation headaches, lawsuits and even decrease in employee retention.

For more information about this increase you may visit http://ow.ly/UQk0j


What is a Veteran?

veteranA veteran is defined by federal law, moral code and military service as “Any, Any, Any”… A military veteran is Any person who served for Any length of time in Any military service branch.

A war veteran is any GI (Government Issue) ordered to foreign soil or waters to participate in direct or support activity against an enemy. The operant condition: Any GI sent in harm’s way.

A combat veteran is any GI who experiences any level of hostility for any duration resulting from offensive, defensive or friendly fire military action involving a real or perceived enemy in any foreign theater.

You can look in many books, online or in a newspaper article to find many definitions but words cannot describe what a Veteran truly is.  A co-worker of mine recently attended a fundraiser to help Veterans and as I struggled for a weekly blog this week, all of a sudden it seemed clear what I should write about.

A Veteran is not just a person who signs up to join one of our great military branches.  They are not just people who wear cool uniforms or gets a discount in local stores.  They are not just people who get a great insurance program or someone honored on the eleventh day of the eleventh month in the eleventh hour of the year.  They are not just people for whom we can thank for the day off from work or people who get to wear a cool metal necklace that chimes on a windy day.

A Veteran is someone to whom you can thank for your comfortable life.  When you lay your head down at night and there is silence, thank a Veteran who has slept under a tank and fallen asleep to the sound of gunfire.  When you enjoy the holidays thank a Veteran who spent so many of them away from their families in foreign lands.  When you take an effortless walk down the hall to your kitchen to pour a cup of coffee, thank a Veteran who has lost their limbs.  When you complain about the weather, thank a Veteran who has stood a post in soaking wet clothes.  When you head to lunch, thank a Veteran who may not have food. When the National Anthem is played, think about a Veteran who lived through unimaginable situations so you could feel secure in knowing that the freedoms you enjoy are fearlessly protected by those willing to sacrifice everything for you.

Today isn’t about insurance, cookouts, shopping for holiday gifts, or decorations for the house.  It’s about the real people who served this country, some who gave the ultimate sacrifice, in ways that we can never imagine for rights and liberties that we all for granted at times.  Today when you see a Veteran say thank you even if they are a stranger, they will understand what it means and believe me, they will appreciate it.

http://www.americanwarlibrary.com/whatvet.htm


New and Emerging Business Risks. Are You Protected?

Written by Frank Pennachio, Co-Founder Oceanus Partners

nov work comp

 

The workplace doesn’t look like it used to look.  More and more employees are working from home, or other remote locations.  There is an increasing use of temporary labor, and independent contractors.  And, some employers are outsourcing the employee administration, payroll, and human resource functions to Professional Employer Organizations, also known as employee leasing.

These changes seem to have gradually, and almost imperceptibly, evolved over time.  As a result, most employers may not be aware of how these changes pose new and emerging risks to their business.  Alternative workforce arrangements require a new and fresh look at risk management strategies and techniques.

Would you be surprised to discover that securing a certificate of insurance from a temporary labor company is not enough to protect your interests?  What if you were to discover you are on the hook for taxes, fines and penalties because what you thought was an independent contractor arrangement was deemed to be an employment one?  Has anyone shared with you the new risks that arise from an employee leasing arrangement?

Register today for our final CEO Seminar Series workshop: Workers’ Comp & Injured Employees to learn how you can avoid the negative consequences and harmful effects of these emerging risks to your company.