Zeroing In on Workers’ Compensation Cost Drivers
Our client is what researchers and industry analysts call a ‘truckload’ carrier–a major long-haul trucking contractor with over 300 power units. They’re based in the Southeast and have large government contracts. They ship full product loads based on those contracts.
Large semi trucks create a unique danger due to their excessive size and weight–many trucks weigh more than 80,000 pounds. The potential for catastrophic, life-altering injuries during a truck accident is very high. If a driver is over-confident, it can cause them to make unnecessary mistakes. In addition, long haul trucking is inherently a high-turnover occupation. Thousands of people train for the job every year, try it out, and leave, while relatively few stay on. Our client was experiencing high employee turnover, in addition to large incidents of on-the-job injuries, both of which were resulting in sky-rocketing workers’ compensation premiums and costs.
We knew that truck accidents are preventable and employee satisfaction can be increased and that one of the most crucial ways to do that is to adequately screen and train potential drivers. After careful review of the situation, we recommended our client retain an in-house safety expert. As we suspected, this expert identified that the hiring process was not adequately screening truck driver candidates prior to employing them. The in-house safety expert brought in a partner firm to help implement a specialized hiring process to address uncontrolled risks. These experts also helped demonstrate the risks being taken by truck drivers which may have contributed to previous accidents.
Our partnership with our client helped drive a dramatic improvement in safety statistics and contributed to a major cost reduction. By helping them with program analysis, they’ve been able to create a well designed employee training and onboarding process that’s saved them money and reduced employee turnover by 50% Since the new process was implemented, they’ve seen the rate of injuries for new hires reduced by 12% and the number for out of work injured employees, dropped from seven to zero. The average cost of claims has been reduced more than 8 times, from $25,000 to below $3,000. This has resulted in an overall annual savings of more than $688,000 in total employees injuries costs (from $700,000 to just $12,000.)