Loss Control A Big Factor in Medical Staffing Firms’ Workers’ Comp Program

November 19, 2020

Workers’ Compensation insurance for medical staffing firms is a significant expense and can be a real challenge to keep costs contained, because these staffing firms are considered co-employers, along with the host employers to which they provide temporary health care employees. Both the medical staffing firm and the host employer are responsible for creating and maintaining a safe working environment. This is where the importance of loss control comes into play – both to keep workers safe and to minimize claims, which helps drive down Workers’ Comp insurance costs. Common injuries that occur on the job for medical staffers include: strains from carrying, lifting, pushing, or pulling; slips, trips, and falls; exposures to biohazards such as splashes and dirty needle injuries; vehicle accidents when traveling on the job; and workplace violence.

Following are several loss-control recommendations to share with your medical staffing clients:

  • Conduct a Risk Assessment of the Host Employer’s Site: Perform effective on-site inspections and evaluations of a potential client’s work site in order to identify and eliminate potential safety and health hazards and identify necessary training and protections for each worker. This is critical as temporary workers on average have a higher rate of injury claims than full-time employees, as they are not as familiar with the protocols and procedures in place. Workers’ Compensation insurance providers may help in conducting these worksite evaluations. 
  • Provide documentation to the host employer specifying each temporary worker’s specific training and competencies related to the tasks to be performed.
  • Ensure that OSHA training, hazard communication, and recordkeeping requirements are fulfilled. A medical staffing firm must consider the hazards it’s in a position to prevent and correct, and in a position to comply with OSHA standards. For example, the medical staffing firm should provide general safety and health training, with host employers providing specific training tailored to the particular workplace equipment/hazards.
  • Brief new employees on safety. Medical staffing firms should consider administering basic safety knowledge assessments along with other tests like physicals, drug tests, etc. New hires should receive an employee handbook, a briefing on conditions at the client site, and policies specific to the healthcare industry.
  • Conduct ongoing training. Provide regular training and general safety information to employees. This could take the form of emails, posters, meetings to share the results of work site inspections, meetings with risk management staff, etc. 
  • Implement an Early Return-to-Work (RTW) Program: Identify and formalize transitional jobs to get an injured worker back to a productive work environment and medical release as soon as possible. An effective and meaningful RTW can increase productivity, reduce lost time, improve employee morale, expedite the resolution of claims and reduce claims costs. 

The need for healthcare professionals is at an all-time high today amid the COVID-19 pandemic both at hospitals and for home health care. Helping medical staffing agencies ensure the safety of these temporary staffers is of paramount importance.

Manchester Specialty Programs specializes in providing insurance solutions for medical staffing firms, including Workers’ Compensation insurance. We provide competitively priced guaranteed cost plans, including for multi-state risks, and offer “pay-as-you-go” and self-reporting plan options. In addition, we offer tools and strategies through our carriers for our industry segments to help them gain control over ongoing costs and rising premiums, assist employees in returning to work, stem fraud, and other risk management measures. For more information about our medical staffing firm insurance program, and how you can assist your clients in obtaining the coverages they require to adequately address their risks, please contact us at 855.972.9399.

Updated article: https://www.manchesterspecialty.com/loss-control-key-factor-workers-comp-medical-staffing-firms/