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DWF 3Sixty Blog

Creating Synergy Between Health & Safety and Claims

Posted by Elliott Seaton on Mar 1, 2016 10:18:02 AM

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The key to implementing a cost effective claims and health and safety system is synergy between both departments. Take an Employers Liability (EL) claim for example. EL insurance is a mandatory insurance for virtually all organisations employing someone. It provides a certain amount of protection for an employee whilst they are working for your business. Claims of this kind usually stem from the employer being at fault for a worker’s injury or illness due to a health and safety error. The link between the two is clear to see.

If your health and safety processes are sound and thorough, it should mean two things:

  1. Fewer incidents occurring in the first place
  2. Minimal liability should an incident occur and turn into a claim

Both of the above result in significant cost savings and outline the Return on Investment from having a good solid procedure for managing and resolving incidents and claims. 

However, it is all too often the case that there is a breakdown in communication between the two departments. When this is the case, it can result in the following: 

  • A claims handler (outsourced or in-house) can miss something when investigating a claim. For example, a claim may end up being settled when actually there was a risk assessment and hazard controls in place to void the employer from liability.
  • H&S may not pick up on hotspots identified by the claims team, and therefore fail to put the necessary processes in place to prevent further recurrences of expensive incidents.

A claims team should be able to quickly access a central system or shared site that communicates directly with the health and safety team’s activities. Through research conducted by 3Sixty Systems, we established that one of the difficulties most commonly faced for claims handlers is sourcing information from departments both internal and external in order to settle claims within the tight MOJ settlement timescales. If a claim is not settled within the regulated timescales, there can be harsh additional costs implied on the party held liable.

For some organisations (generally of 20 employees or below), spreadsheets and shared drives can be a viable system for effectively managing both the claims and health and safety process. This is due to there being a low enough number of claims/incidents to keep on top of without requirements for any additional functionality.

However, the number of organisations realising the need for an additional solution is increasing. We are constantly speaking to people who need a system that will save money, ensure compliance and improve inter-department communication, all in one. 

As you are reading this post, you have probably looked into such solutions in the past, to some degree. We understand that the research process can be daunting as there are a number of different vendors to choose from. That's why we pulled together the 4 essential components needed in any claims system.


Accessibility

Cloud based system is a major component to increasing efficiency and cost effectiveness. Additionally, remote working is becoming a key staff retention and acquisition tool. For example, should a Health and Safety Officer or Claims Investigator be on a site visit, they should be able to access a central solution via a mobile device. This eliminates duplication of work through avoiding note taking and then typing up when back in the office.

 

Robust reporting functionality

Continuously reviewing of processes and results is key to making improvements and ultimately saving time and money. A problem that many software vendors have is that their solution built on legacy technology which is unable to analyse across all metrics and present it in the desired format. There should be industry standard reports already built in, and you should have the ability to easily create and build custom reports across any data in the system.  This helps to incorporate Continuous Improvement into your processes.

 

Seamless email integration

In this day and age, email is the number one form of communication within the work place. It’s involved in almost everything we do, especially sending documentation both internally and externally. Whether it’s a claim or risk assessment form, you will be using email regularly to send documentation. Look for a solution that can send emails directly from the system, one that allows you to send documents into it via email rather than having to log in, find the claim file and ‘upload’ it. This may not seem like a very big time saving but over a short period it adds up to a significant saving.


Flexibility built in

Every organisation, big or small, is subject to change. Any software you implement should be scalable and customisable to your individual needs. Check out our blog ‘Bespoke or off-the-shelf software?’ for more information on which type of system fits you best. In the majority of cases, the answer is both. Choose a vendor that offers a solution that can be perfectly tailored to your specific requirements, but at an off-the-shelf cost. Only providers that use a flexible development platform can do this.

 

We understand that undergoing the buying process for a solution your organisation will be relying on can be a daunting task. If you use these 4 main components as a basic checklist when researching and purchasing software to manage the claims or health and safety process, you are bound to see tangible ROI.

Having a system that is tailored to your process in a way that automates what you already do, will help you to improve both from a efficiency and compliance perspective .

If you would like to see how either of our solutions EvoClaim or EvoSafe could help you, You can:

In the meantime, you might also like to read:

Airmic's 8 Components of Claims Handling Excellence

7 most bizarre insurance claims of 2015

TOP-20-HSE-Health-and-Safety-Statistics-of-2015

 

19-tips-to-avoid-work-related-back-pain

Topics: Evoclaim, Software, EvoSafe, health and safety, claims