Safety Learnings from the COVID-19 Response that can effectivley reduce everyday claims and accidents
Across the Membership, we have seen the number of claims and accidents reduced at a higher rate than the reduction in work hours due to the COVID-19 shipping impacts. Discussions with Member operational leaders and safety teams have pointed to several effective steps for this reduction of claims, which are also highlighted in our Safety Leadership Forums and safety training courses. Signal Member leaders that have fostered these traits in their business have accident rates 30-50% lower than the industry average. Simply stated, these steps work and will transform business performance. Guaranteed. These steps include:
• Leadership visibility: Leaders are physically visible (regularly during normal times, when able during COVID period) and increased their communication that working safely is vital to every employee getting home to their family. Leaders use a variety of methods to get their message out as well as providing employees the means to communicate suggestions or concerns to leadership to address. Both the frequency and more personal nature of the communications have a clearly positive impact. When discussing workloads, leaders are emphasizing and measuring the “safe outcome of employee work”, not simply productivity. Leadership visibility and commitment is the most important step.
• Interactive daily task level communication and job planning: Foremen, and other operational leaders, are fostering open, interactive communication during the shift safety kickoff meeting, ensuring the job safety analysis (JSA) discussion is conducted in a manner that engages employees (they speak up during the session) and fosters an accountability feeling in each employee to work safely, not take short-cuts or rush (this is emphasized), raise safety concerns, and take the right safety steps for personal reasons (get home safely & protect their work peers). This interactive daily safety kickoff is a crucial step to ensure employees are tuned in when they start their workday. Effective foremen/women keep their teams engaged throughout the shift.
• Job site organization and housekeeping: Keeping the work area free from clutter, materials organized, and work/walking surfaces in good condition increases productivity while reducing the likelihood of slips, trips and falls and other accidents.
• PPE use increased: From hardhats to boots, Members have mandated more use of PPE, which has reduced the number of accidents and avoided minor injuries (cut fingers, something in eye). Members are requiring hardhats (preferably with straps), reflective vest, gloves, safety glasses, hearing protection, boots at all times, for all positions. Other tasks may require additional PPE such as PFDs, fall protection or as specified in the JSA.
• Act on risks identified: Using Signal Safety Alerts, information from your own employees or compliance audits, or other Member generated data, immediately address risks to avoid incidents from arising and to demonstrate commitment to creating a safe working environment. This is a great leading indicator, and Members that require a strong closure rate (i.e. close 90% of items < 30 days) mitigate risk while demonstrating safety commitment to the workforce.
These simple actions, conducted visibly, consistently and persistently, ensure your employees arrive home to their families every day and build a culture of collaboration that fosters safe work practices that avoid accidents and claims that makes you an employer of choice and will make you more competitive by reducing base cost through reduced claims and medical costs.
Feel free to reach out to myself or your Signal Safety contact to help with these steps or with any questions you may have.
Thirty-five years ago in Bermuda, a few enterprising waterfront employers came together to forge a mutual to save on the cost of their workers' compensation. Signal Mutual was formed and the savings continue today with over 250 Members. All key performance indicators are at all-time highs and are projected to grow, with the principal focus on the safety of Members' employees.
At Signal, we pride ourselves in having a close personal working relationship and partnership with all our Members. We are committed to getting to know each and every one of you. At the heart of this commitment, are the two Membership meetings held in winter and summer each year. These business meetings are carefully designed and structured to give every Member an opportunity to fully understand the complete workings of their Mutual, to follow the finances, and to get acquainted with the entire Board of Directors, management team, and fellow Members.
Signal is the number one provider of Longshore workers’ compensation in the country for a reason – the strength and quality of the Membership. Signal is not an insurance company – it is a Club, your Club.
We look forward to seeing you at the next Membership meeting.
Richard W. Wood
President & CEO
MARITIME CONFERENCE - RESCHEDULED
Nov 2-4, 2020
Hilton Norfolk The Main
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING - Will be held virtually
Our Annual General Meeting will still take place on August 7, 2020, however it will be 100% virtual. We will be sending details out in the coming weeks on this event, in the interim we ask that you continue to hold this date in your calendars.
Signal Mutual Indemnity Association Ltd was established in January 1986 to meet the demands of the stevedoring industry for reasonable and stable workers' compensation insurance rates, and quickly became the premier Longshore mutual in the United States.
The Membership of the Association is drawn from a broad range of employers throughout the country in the stevedoring, shipbuilding/ship repair, marine construction, professional/technical and offshore industries with reported Longshore payrolls over $4.00 billion representing over 250 companies.
The business of the Association, including membership selection, underwriting, safety resources, claims management, actuarial, regulatory requirements and financial risk management is performed by the Association's Managers, Charles Taylor (Hamilton). The day to day responsibility for these operations has been delegated to Charles Taylor's affiliate, Signal Administration, with offices in Dallas Texas, Wilton Connecticut, and Long Beach California.