To help manage the employees’ wages/cost for our roofing clients we have recommended implementing an aggressive return-to-work program for an injured employee and manage the workers’ compensation piece with the following premium reduction strategy.
Certain workers’ compensation underwriters have individual underwriting guidelines with return-to-work or transitional-duty programs. We have been successful in having our partner carriers add the light-duty worker to a separate class code (typically permanent yard). This class code is confined to the injured worker only conducting non-construction related tasks at the roofing contractor’s office/shop/warehouse. The class code could only be used for workers not exposed to construction-related risks such as height, heat, falling objects, etc. which is typical for a light-duty description. We frequently utilize this strategy to pay a workers’ compensation premium that is reflective of what the injured and light-duty worker is actually performing.
For those roofing professionals that utilize this strategy and can confine the injured worker to a certain class code the cash flow impact and savings, on average, is a 65% reduction to the roofing contractor’s bottom line.
Some key considerations are:
We recommend consulting with your insurance agent and advisor to see if this strategy works within your region and is acceptable with your carrier.
Brian Pratt is a regional manager for Roofing Risk Advisors, Division of Furman Insurance. See his full bio here.