Recently ROAR CEO, Yasmine Mustafa, had the opportunity to talk with Tisha Greco, Safety & Risk Services Manager for Missouri Employers Mutual (MEM). Tisha has a wealth of knowledge and experience in the workers’ compensation insurance and safety industry. In this discussion, we delve into her role at MEM, and why she believes that safety should be viewed as a credit, not a debit.
YM: Tell us about MEM and the industries you serve.
TG: MEM provides worker compensation coverage to over 15,000 businesses. We serve organizations ranging from home healthcare to municipalities, restaurants, schools, roofers and everything in between.
YM: We’ve heard you refer to safety as a credit, not a debit for organizations. Can you share with us what you mean by that phrase?
TG: Customers are sometimes reluctant to invest in safety solutions for their business, even though the initial costs are quickly offset by longer-term benefits. The upfront cost of safety solutions is quickly offset by:
- workers’ compensation costs including reducing or avoiding claims
- labor costs related to job duties and workforce attrition
- improved morale, which impacts efficiencies
One example of an investment in safety equipment is a construction company using a boom lift versus staff installing and dismantling scaffolding at each job site. The equipment reduces labor significantly, and as a result, the company was able to bid construction jobs 40% lower than their competitors.
Here’s another interesting example. A company with fleet exposure installed dual-facing cameras to monitor driver behavior to reduce motor vehicle accident claims and discovered that employees reported false overtime numbers. This resulted in $76,000 in labor savings over two years, far surpassing the cost of the safety equipment that brought this to light.
With cost savings like these – you can’t afford NOT to invest in safety measures.
YM: Is there data supporting this approach?
TG: Yes, MEM has developed an ROI calculator that considers numerous factors and helps us to show policyholders the impact that implementing safety equipment can have on their business’s bottom line.
YM: Can you share with us how you believe safety in employees builds confidence and how this translates to business success?
TG: When employees feel their employer cares enough about them to invest in their safety, the overall morale in the culture of a business increases. This can have a domino effect across the company, from improved job performance, effectiveness, efficiencies, and more.
YM: Much like ROAR, we know MEM believes that all workers should be protected, regardless of the business size and financial status. Which is why your company started the MEM Safety Grant Program. Tell us about this innovative program and who it’s geared towards.
TG: Our program started in August of 2016 to combat the pushback from policyholders, “That would be great, but we don’t have the funds to be able to implement.” The goals of the program are:
- To alleviate some of the financial burden associated with safety investments
- Help bring new, innovative solutions to light
- Get policyholders to discover and try new solutions to encourage to rethink a safer way to do the job.
- To eliminate claims related to safety, period. Safety equipment helps policyholders keep their employees safer, meaning fewer workers’ compensation claims.
Our program does not take premium amount/policy size into account. Applications are completely free of any identifying information. The review committee reviews every application based solely on its merit. We are proud to share that MEM has granted nearly three million dollars towards safety solutions to our policyholders over the last 7 years.
YM: Applying for a grant can seem overwhelming to most people. Do you have advice you can share to help ease the anxiety and the process?
TG: For MEM policyholders, it’s quite simple to get started. Policyholders register for an account on our grant website and then fill out a short, simple form requesting a grant consultation. Our safety and risk consultant teams reach out within three business days to discuss their needs and guide them in the best possible direction. We offer application assistance to our policyholders every step of the way.” Applications received are reviewed the following month and policyholders are notified of their grant status by the end of that month.
YM: Are there other resources to help small (and large) businesses seek ways to help make the financial decision to invest in a safety program?
TG: While our grant program is only available to MEM policyholders, our online resources are available to anyone and everyone. We have numerous toolbox talks, sample safety policies, one-page safety rules sheets, etc. We also release two podcast episodes each month on various work comp topics that often focus on safety.
YM: If someone has a different carrier, what do you recommend they ask their broker to help them find a similar program where they can get credit for implementing a safety solution?
TG: Well, I would recommend they ask their broker to get them a quote from MEM in the states we serve!
Tisha and the team at Missouri Employers Mutual – thank you so much for sharing these important and informative insights. To learn more about MEM’s grant program, and apply, please visit their website https://www.mem-ins.com/programs/safety-grants/.
Also, to learn how ROAR solutions can help your organization protect your employees and your business’s bottom line, book your demo here.