VIEWS FROM THE BOTTOM: After The Fact It's Usually Too Late!([LOOKING BACK] INSURANCE ADVOCATE - 26 YEARS AGO)

Author:Moll, Arther I.

We are a nation of second guessers. This national pastime rarely, if ever, solves anything.

Instead of helping, it usually exacerbates problems.... and if events or circumstances have a direct effect on us, we begin to act like mice in a maze, running around in circles instead of taking the lime to calmly evaluate what occurred and taking steps to assure that we extricate ourselves.

But alas, I can't count the number of new clients who cry about fraudulent workers' compensation claims or the "bad luck" due to the acts of careless employees. It amazes me that they willingly subscribe to the fiction that all their businesses are hazard-free and excellent, safe workplaces.

The truth is, that if they weren't running around in a maze and had taken aggressive, preventative measures, many of the accidents they blame on bad luck or careless employees would never have happened.

In somewhat the same vein, many seemingly sane persons go years and years without a physical examination. Unfortunately, safety and training and prevention are usually the last, not the first priorities. We forget, or have never learned, that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

It has been proven that almost every accident has direct and indirect costs of at least ten times the amount of paid medical and indemnity. Yet most employers bury their heads in the sand when it comes to accident prevention.

They seem to be more interested these days in how to report accidents, what magic words should they use on C-2 forms, then how to eliminate unsafe acts, conditions and hazards in their operations--A PERFECT EXAMPLE OF AFTER THE FACT MENTALITY.

One new client of mine sustained several hundred accidents over a three-year period. Not only did the experience modification shoot through the roof but employee turnover increased and employee morale became non-existent.

Faced with non-competitive prices due to sky high compensation costs, the employer was forced to make a 180[degrees] change in altitude.

Safety became the number one priority. All employees are now required to shut down their operation if they believe an unsafe condition exists. Well, sometimes closing the barn door prevents subsequent equine wandering.

Training and cross training have become a cornerstone of this company's operation and the result has been no lost time accidents for almost two years. A by-product, and even more important, is the improved morale and productivity of the work force. So instead of...

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