American Association of State Compensation insurance Fund
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CopperPoint Mutual Insurance Company
Phone: (602) 631-2000
Address: 3030 North Third Street
Phoenix, AZ   85012
Website: www.copperpoint.com

State Compensation Insurance Fund
Phone: 888-STATEFUNDCA
Address: 333 Bush Street
Suite 800
San Francisco, CA   94104
Website: www.statefundca.com

Pinnacol Assurance
Phone: (303) 361-4000
Address: 7501 East Lowry Boulevard
Suite 800
Denver, CO   80230-7006
Website: www.pinnacol.com

Hawaii Employers' Mutual Insurance Co. Inc.
Phone: (808) 524-3642
Address: 1100 Alakea Street
Suite 1400
Honolulu, HI   96813
Website: www.hemic.com

Idaho State Insurance Fund
Phone: (208) 332-2100
Address: 1215 West State Street
P.O. Box 83720
Boise, ID   83720-0044
Website: www.idahosif.org

Kentucky Employers Mutual Insurance
Phone: (859) 425-7800
Address: 250 West Main Street Suite 900
P.O. Box 83720
Lexington, KY   40507-1724
Website: www.kemi.com

Louisiana Workers' Compensation Corporation
Phone: (225) 924-7788
Address: 2237 South Acadian Thruway
P.O. Box 83720
Baton Rouge, LA   70808
Website: www.lwcc.com

Maine Employers Mutual Insurance Company (MEMIC)
Phone: (207) 791-3300
Address: 261 Commercial Street
P.O. Box 11409
Portland, ME   04104
Website: www.memic.com

Chesapeake Employers’ Insurance Company
Phone: (410) 494-2000
Address: 8722 Loch Raven Boulevard
P.O. Box 11409
Towson, MD   21286-2235
Website: www.ceiwc.com

SFM Mutual Insurance Company
Phone: (952) 838-4200
Address: 3500 American Boulevard West Suite 700
P.O. Box 11409
Bloomington, MN   55431-4434
Website: www.sfmic.com

Missouri Employers Mutual Insurance
Phone: (800) 442-0590
Address: 101 N Keene St
P.O. Box 11409
Columbia, MO   65201
Website: www.mem-ins.com

Montana State Fund
Phone: (406) 495-5015
Address: 855 Front Street
P.O. Box 4759
Helena, MT   59604-4759
Website: www.montanastatefund.com

New Mexico Mutual Group
Phone: (505) 345-7260
Address: 3900 Singer Boulevard NE
P.O. Box 4759
Albuquerque, NM   87109
Website: www.newmexicomutual.com

New York State Insurance Fund
Phone: (212) 312-7001
Address: 199 Church Street
P.O. Box 4759
New York, NY   10007
Website: www.nysif.com

Workforce Safety and Insurance
Phone: (701) 328-3800
Address: 1600 East Century Avenue Suite 1
P.O. Box 4759
Bismarck, ND   58506-5585
Website: www.WorkforceSafety.com

Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation
Phone: (800) 644-6292
Address: 30 West Spring Street
P.O. Box 4759
Columbus, OH   43215-2256
Website: www.bwc.ohio.gov

CompSource Mutual Insurance Company
Phone: (405) 232-7663
Address: 1901 North Walnut Ave.
P.O. Box 53505
Oklahoma City, OK   73152-3505
Website: www.compsourcemutual.com

State Accident Insurance Fund (SAIF)
Phone: (503) 373-8000
Address: 400 High Street SE
P.O. Box 53505
Salem, OR   97312-1000
Website: www.saif.com

Pennsylvania State Workers Insurance Fund
Phone: (570) 963-4635
Address: 100 Lackawanna Avenue
P.O. Box 5100
Scranton, PA   18505-5100
Website: www.dli.state.pa.us/swif

Beacon Mutual Insurance Company
Phone: (401) 825-2667
Address: One Beacon Centre
P.O. Box 5100
Warwick, RI   02886-1378
Website: www.beaconmutual.com

South Carolina State Accident Fund
Phone: (803) 896-5800
Address: P.O. Box 102100
P.O. Box 5100
Columbia, SC   29221-5000
Website: www.saf.sc.gov

Texas Mutual Insurance Company
Phone: (800) 859-5995
Address: 6210 East Highway 290
P.O. Box 5100
Austin, TX   78723-1098
Website: www.texasmutual.com

Workers Compensation Fund
Phone: (800) 446-2667
Address: 100 West Towne Ridge Parkway
P.O. Box 2227
Sandy, UT   84070
Website: www.wcfgroup.com

Washington Department of Labor and Industries
Phone: (360) 902-5800
Address: P.O. Box 44001
P.O. Box 2227
Olympia, WA   98504-4001
Website: www.lni.wa.gov

Wyoming Division of Workers Safety & Compensation
Phone: (307) 777-7159
Address: Cheyenne Business Center
1510 East Pershing Boulevard
Cheyenne, WY   82002
Website: wydoe.state.wy.us

Workers Compensation Board - Alberta
Phone: (780) 498-3999
Address: 9925-107 Street
P.O. Box 2415
Edmonton, AB   T5J 2S5
Website: www.wcb.ab.ca

Workers Compensation Board of British Columbia (WORKSAFEBC)
Phone: (604) 273-2266
Address: P.O. Box 5350 Station Terminal
P.O. Box 2415
Vancouver, BC   V6B 5L5
Website: www.worksafebc.com

Manitoba Workers Compensation Board
Phone: (204) 954-4321
Address: 333 Broadway
P.O. Box 2415
Winnipeg, MB   R3C 4W3
Website: www.wcb.mb.ca

WorkSafeNB
Phone: (506) 632-2200
Address: 1 Portland Street
P.O. Box 160
Saint John, NB   E2L 3X9
Website: www.worksafenb.ca

Workers Compensation Board of Nova Scotia
Phone: (902) 491-8999
Address: 5668 South Street
P.O. Box 1150
Halifax, NS   B3J 2Y2
Website: www.wcb.ns.ca

Prince Edward Island Workers Compensation Board
Phone: (902) 368-5680
Address: 14 Weymouth Street
P.O. Box 1150
Charlottetown, PE   C1A 7L7
Website: www.wcb.pe.ca

Saskatchewan Workers Compensation Board
Phone: (306) 787-4370
Address: 200 - 1881 Scarth Street
P.O. Box 1150
Regina, SK   S4P 4L1
Website: www.wcbsask.com

Puerto Rico State Insurance Fund Corporation
Phone: (787) 793-5959
Address: G.P.O. Box 365028
P.O. Box 1150
San Juan, PR   00936-5028
Website: www.cfse.gov.pr
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Around AASCIF

CALIFORNIA

State Fund Reduces Opioid Prescriptions by 60 Percent
State Compensation Insurance Fund has reduced the number of opioid prescriptions for injured workers by a significant 60 percent since launching its opioid-reduction program in 2014.

State Fund implemented a comprehensive opioid-reduction strategy that took a two-pronged approach, including: 1) early prevention in new cases and 2) reduction of chronic opioid usage in existing cases.

“The opioid-reduction plan implemented by our chief medical officer, Dr. Dinesh Govindarao, and his team has been remarkably successful,” said Vern Steiner, president and CEO of State Fund. “Through this effort, we have helped to improve—and potentially save—the lives of many injured workers, while also reducing expenses in the workers’ compensation system for California businesses.”

The strategy also included elements such as a peer-to-peer physician review program; education for injured workers and treating physicians; and a functional restoration program for injured workers taking chronic, high levels of opioids. Additional results include:

  • The number of patients taking high doses of opioids over the past four years has decreased from 1,458 to 186.
  • There has been a 74-percent reduction in expenditures on opioids prescribed to injured workers covered by State Fund.

State Fund Awarded Kaiser Permanente Wellness Ambassador Bronze Award
State Compensation Insurance Fund is one of 20 organizations to receive the 2018 Kaiser Permanente Wellness Ambassador Bronze award for its efforts to support and enhance employee well-being. More than 1,400 California agencies were eligible this year.

State Fund sponsors numerous initiatives to help improve employee health, such as a walking challenge, a weight-loss challenge, support for American Cancer Society relays, and employee fitness discounts.

Training Program Receives National Award
State Fund’s Corporate Human Resources Department was recognized as one of the top 125 training organizations in the world by Training magazine, a premier publication for training teams.

In 2016, State Fund launched a new onboarding program, resulting in a significant drop in the number of employees leaving the organization—from 18 percent to 6 percent. Much of its training is now more interactive, with small group discussions, role playing, games, WebEx, and online modules.

COLORADO

Cake, Pinnacol’s Offering for Small Businesses Spotlighted in New Research
A new case study by Forrester Research, one of the most influential research and advisory firms in the world, explores how Colorado workers’ compensation leader Pinnacol beat expectations by creating a new digital platform to offer coverage to small businesses in only nine months, three months before its projected launch.

The study notes that Cake, winner of the 2018 Celent Model Insurer and Digital Edge 50 awards, “has won more customers, increased its profits, and enjoyed higher Net Promoter Scores [a measure of customers’ willingness to recommend a company’s products or services] than expected in the six months since its first policy sale.”

Terry Leve, Chief Legal and Corporate Resources Officer, Named Top National General Counsel
In August and for the second time in two years, Terry Leve will be nationally recognized by his peers as one of a select group of general counsels chosen as winners of the 2018 Top General Counsel award. Under Leve’s leadership, Pinnacol has improved and streamlined its litigation and special investigations processes, resulting in significant cost savings; built business continuity programs and risk evaluation tools; and improved readiness protocols.

Edie Sonn, VP of Communications and Public Affairs, Selected as Colorado Governors Fellow for 2018–2019
Pinnacol’s own Edie Sonn was officially inducted into the 2018­–2019 class of Colorado Governors Fellows. This nonpartisan fellowship program, founded in 2016 by Gov. John Hickenlooper, is modeled on the White House Fellows program started in 1964 by President Lyndon Johnson.

To be selected, leaders must demonstrate professional renown, be actively engaged in the community through volunteerism and board membership, hold peer commendations and endorsements, and be interested in applying leadership skills in government, public sector initiatives, and community engagement. Sonn joined Pinnacol in 2014, bringing more than 20 years of experience in health policy and public affairs.

Pinnacol Is a Denver Post Top Workplace for the Second Year in a Row
The
Denver Post has again named Pinnacol a Top Workplace, ranking it fourth out of 30 companies in the large-company category. Last December, a third-party company surveyed Pinnacol employees about job satisfaction, benefits, and other areas. The responses were scored against those from employees of other great companies competing for the award. More than 80 percent of Pinnacol employees took the survey, giving us one of the highest participation rates of all the companies that took the survey.

 

IDAHO

Idaho State Insurance Fund Has New CEO
The Idaho State Insurance Fund welcomes new fund manager/CEO Rick Ferguson. Rick has more than 25 years of insurance industry experience, including 17 years successfully leading the Idaho Counties Risk Management Program (ICRMP). His public and private sector experience with Aetna, Travelers, and ICRMP gives him a deep understanding of Idaho’s insurance requirements as well as its culture, economics, and government.

Originally from Columbia, Missouri, Rick has been a proud Idahoan for more than 25 years. He is an avid skier, mountain biker, and cyclist and loves sharing outdoor adventures with his wife and their two young children.

 

LOUISIANA

LWCC Distributes 2017 Dividend to Over 20,000 Policyholders
Earlier this year, LWCC, the largest workers’ compensation insurance carrier in Louisiana, announced that its board of directors declared a 2017 dividend of $81 million to its policyholders. The amount was distributed to over 20,000 policyholders in April and May 2018. The announcement brings the cumulative total dividend over the past 15 years to more than $660 million.

“We are thrilled to be able to continue rewarding our policyholders—a reflection of LWCC’s strong results, close partnerships with valued agents, and steadfast pledge to provide value to Louisiana businesses,” said LWCC president and CEO Kristin W. Wall. “It is our hope that these dividends can be reinvested by employers to further safety measures for their employees—from preventing on-the-job injury and illness to giving injured workers the best opportunity to return to work.”

A provider of competitive workers’ compensation insurance to Louisiana employers for the last 25 years, LWCC continues its purpose of helping Louisiana thrive by paying dividends to loyal policyholders for sharing in the company’s commitment to promote safe work in the state of Louisiana.

For the last 15 years, Louisiana’s rate of non-fatal accidents and injuries has continually decreased and remains among the lowest rates in the nation when compared to the national averages compiled since 2007. This safety ranking is a result of an unwavering focus on accident prevention by Louisiana’s employers, workers, and independent agents across the state.

“This dividend is a direct result of our commitment to supporting Louisiana workers and businesses,” stated LWCC board chairman Byron Craig Thomson. “We look forward to continuing to be an economic catalyst for the state through our promotion of workplace safety, prompt healing of the injured, and economic stability, as employers continue to invest dividends back into the community.”

LWCC Launches Corporate Citizenship Program
Earlier this year, LWCC announced the formation of its new Corporate Citizenship Program. At the heart of LWCC’s mission—“Helping Louisiana Thrive”—is the belief that the organization has an opportunity to make a significant contribution to Louisiana through its stabilizing influence in the workers’ comp industry. Additionally, as a good corporate citizen within Louisiana, LWCC recognizes a desire, consistent with its values, to assist with community needs. This new program will encourage employees to take an active part in their communities.

The program comprises a few areas of focus. The first component, LWCC’s Employee Matching Gift Program, was announced in November 2017. This program allows employees to select an eligible organization where their monetary donations will be matched dollar for dollar by LWCC (up to $500 annually).

The program also offers a volunteer time off (VTO) component that provides LWCC employees time away from work to give back to their communities. LWCC provides eight hours of paid VTO on an annual basis. Similar to the Employee Matching Gift Program, VTO is available to any current full-time employee, and the recipient organization must be recognized as a tax-exempt entity by the I.R.S. tax code section 501(c)(3).

A Corporate Citizenship Committee was created to build the program from the ground up. It comprises employees from all levels and departments within the company and is tasked with developing and growing LWCC’s community involvement. The team serves as corporate citizenship and community affairs ambassadors, with each member contributing valuable and fresh ideas to help LWCC become a good community citizen.

“Many employees at LWCC are already involved in charitable organizations and give to various charities,” said assistant vice president of People Operations Jennifer Vaccaro. “This program provides a way to channel those volunteer hours and monetary contributions in a more structured way that will make a more substantial, meaningful organizational community impact through matching dollars and paid volunteer time off.”

 

MAINE

MEMIC Annual Meeting Promotes Education and Safety
Thomas College President Laurie G. Lachance was unanimously voted to The MEMIC Group’s board of directors at its Annual Meeting of the Policyholders in June. “No one in Maine has a better understanding of the economy and the importance of workforce education than Laurie,” said Michael P. Bourque, president and CEO of MEMIC.

At its Annual Meeting, MEMIC also awarded $15,000 in scholarships to three children of workers who suffered serious workplace injuries, for a total of $170,000 to 34 young scholars since 2001. Louis Laurita of Hope, Maine; Natalia Hinman of Liverpool, New York; and Derek McGraw of Brooklin, Maine, are this year’s MEMIC Harvey Picker Horizon Scholarship recipients.

And MEMIC presented awards for workplace safety to just eight of its more than 21,000 policyholders, including:

  • Buffalo Games, LLC of Buffalo, New York
  • Ciocca Dealerships of Quakertown, Pennsylvania
  • Compounding Solutions, LLC of Lewiston, Maine
  • Ducktrap River of Maine in Belfast, Maine
  • Gaftek Inc. of Bangor, Maine
  • Home Hope & Healing, Inc. of Smithfield, Maine
  • Kingsway Arms Nursing Center of Schenectady, New York
  • Metro Corral Partners, Inc. of Winter Park, Florida


(MEMIC President and CEO Michael Bourque with Horizon Scholarship winner Louis Laurita.)

MEMIC Hires Heal, Promotes Flaherty and Wintle to Director
The MEMIC Group has appointed three new directors: Lara Heal hired as director, Managed Care Services; Karen Flaherty was promoted to director, Financial Operations; and Kristen Wintle was promoted to director, Compensation and Benefits. Flaherty is a member of the Finance and Investment Committee for AASCIF.

MEMIC also hired Barrett Parks, a Certified Logging Professional and Commercial Driver, as a safety management consultant in Maine and promoted Douglass Pitts to associate underwriter to support continued growth within the New Hampshire market.

 

MARYLAND

New Appointments at Chesapeake Employers’ Insurance
Maria Harris Tildon, senior vice president of public policy and community affairs for CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, was reappointed to the board of directors of Chesapeake Employers’ Insurance Company, effective June 1, 2018. Ms. Tildon will serve a five-year term.

New member appointments included Franklin (Frank) J. Hajek, CPA, managing principal of Frank Hajek & Associates, P.A.; and Paula Sutton Etting. Both appointments are effective June 1 and are for a five-year term.

 

MINNESOTA

SFM Foundation Awards 22 New Scholarships to Children of Injured Workers
The SFM Foundation committed more money than ever this year toward a scholarship fund benefiting families affected by workplace accidents. The foundation awarded $300,000 in total scholarships to 22 students whose parents were severely injured or killed while working for Minnesota, Iowa, or Wisconsin employers. This year, the foundation raised over $175,000 through its charity golf tournaments—one in Iowa on June 4 and one in Minnesota on June 18. In the decade since the program began, the SFM Foundation has awarded 151 scholarships totaling $1.7 million. Scholarship allocation is determined based on financial need and academic merit, among other factors.

SFM Promotes Rogers, Aponte, and Anderson
SFM’s board of directors approved the promotions of Jody Rogers to senior vice president, human resources; Amanda Aponte to vice president, chief risk officer; and Chris Anderson to vice president, chief financial officer at its annual meeting in June. Jody Rogers has been with SFM since 1991 and most recently held the title of vice president, human resources. She oversees both human resources and facilities management. Amanda Aponte has been SFM’s director of analytics since 2016. She is involved in SFM’s reserve analyses, ratemaking, and pricing as well as reinsurance selection and investment planning. Aponte also oversees the analytics team. Chris Anderson has been SFM’s corporate controller and director of finance since 2013. He joined SFM as a staff accountant in 1995. Anderson oversees the finance team and is responsible for financial audits.

 

MONTANA

Montana State Fund Brand Refresh
It was the culmination of nearly a year, but on April 30, MSF employees kicked off a brand refresh celebration. The refresh included a new mission, vision, guiding values, and logo.

These new brand elements were created by MSF employees for our employees and customers. The brand is the promise that we make and the reflection of everything we do and say, and how we say and do it. It’s our reputation, both in the services we provide and as an employer.

To welcome the staff to the new elements, banners, photo cubes, table tents, and stickers were peppered throughout the building. We also held employee sessions to explain and further discuss their role in living our brand.

Our Mission
We partner with employers and their employees to care for those injured on the job, and we champion a culture of workplace safety for our fellow Montanans.

Our Vision
To be an indispensable partner in achieving a safer, healthier, and more prosperous Montana.

Our Six Guiding Values
Do what’s right
Deliver with heart
Focus on what matters
Succeed together
Find a better way
Take the long view

In addition, we refreshed our logo. We replaced a teal color with fresh blues and highlighted the word “Montana” in our name. We also eliminated the diamond that formerly surrounded the SF, which now gives it a more free-flowing feel.

We hope to have all of our forms, online materials etc. updated with our new look and feel by December 31, 2018. We are excited about this brand refresh and look forward to continuing our partnership with Montanans to make it a safer, healthier, and more prosperous to place live.

 

NEW YORK

Premium Audit Secure Document Upload
In June, NYSIF introduced a new feature to nysif.com, enabling workers’ compensation policyholders and their representatives to conveniently and securely upload required records to complete a premium audit.

NYSIF’s new Premium Audit Secure Document Upload Site allows policyholders and representatives to easily upload records for NYSIF to complete a premium audit without the need for an onsite audit. “The upload is easy and safer for policyholders,” NYSIF director of premium audit John DeFazio said.

The new process securely delivers confidential audit documents to the appropriate NYSIF auditor. Any employer with a NYSIF workers’ compensation policy can upload audit documents in lieu of an onsite audit. The system is ideal for employers who cannot schedule time for an audit visit, such as during the holidays or tax season. The site can also be used to send documents to resolve an audit matter.

NYSIF also released a YouTube video providing step-by-step directions for policyholders using our Premium Audit Scheduling System (PASS) to schedule or reschedule an audit appointment.

Safe Patient Handling
NYSIF has been helping healthcare facilities across the state implement Safe Patient Handling (SPH) programs in compliance with New York State’s SPH Act. The law is intended to address the frequency of patient handling injuries plaguing American healthcare workers.

Since last October, NYSIF’s Field Services team has visited policyholders covered under the SPH Act to verify their compliance, which, so far, has led to safer workplaces for NYSIF policyholders.

NYSIF field representatives have assisted with every step of implementation, and in some cases have played a crucial role in helping policyholders achieve compliance. At last count, a dozen policyholders were in full compliance and received premium credits of 2.5%. These include some large hospital networks and smaller facilities as well.

Disability Benefits Director
Kristin Markwica was appointed director of NYSIF Disability Benefits on April 12, 2018. Before joining NYSIF, she spent 15 years with American International Group (AIG), where she held various positions, including environmental claim specialist I and II, senior workers’ compensation claim representative, and claim manager.

As the director of the Disability Benefits unit, Ms. Markwica will oversee disability benefits underwriting and claims operations.

New for Medical Providers
NYSIF expanded the search parameters for our medical provider portal. Providers and billers can now search by claim number for service dates going back five years. NYSIF also offers medical providers online bill submission through the portal. Providers may also enroll in direct deposit. NYSIF sends an email each time it makes a payment into a provider’s account.

 

OHIO

More Than a Billion Back, Again!
The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation is mailing checks to employers in July as part of a $1.5 billion rebate made possible by healthy investment income, falling claims, and prudent fiscal management.

The rebate is BWC’s largest in 20 years and brings workers’ comp savings for employers to $8 billion since 2011.

Of the $1.5 billion, an estimated $48 million will go to schools and $111 million will go to to local government entities. That’s on top of $402 million in rebates that those public taxing districts have received since 2013 ($125 million for schools, $277 million for others).

The rebate follows $1 billion rebates issued in 2013, 2014, and 2017, as well as a $15 million rebate in 2016 for counties participating in the Public Work Relief Employees’ Fund.

More details on the rebate are available at bwc.ohio.gov.

$44 Million Investment Includes Funding for School and Police Safety
BWC will make a two-year, $44 million investment in safety that includes $8 million for Ohio schools and police departments

“It’s easy to forget that classrooms are also workplaces and, while policemen are there to protect us, they deserve workplace protections themselves,” BWC administrator/CEO Sarah Morrison said during a press conference on June 28. “Where better to direct safety resources than to some of our most important employers—those who educate our children and those who swear to protect us.”

BWC will increase its annual Safety Intervention Grant Program from $15 million to $20 million in each of the next two years. As part of that increase, it will set aside $4 million each for Ohio police departments and schools, in addition to $2 million for state agencies.

BWC will work with the law enforcement and school communities to determine how the money can be used to meet their needs. The state agency grants will be available to help develop innovative ways to promote safety among the businesses they work with.

Morrison also announced that $4 million will be dedicated to continuing BWC’s Occupational Safety and Health Research Grant Program that funds research into workplace health and safety.

New BWC Website Now Live
BWC launched a newly redesigned website in May.

Our goal when making these major changes was to provide customers with more relevant, easy-to-navigate content. The new homepage enables customers to find the most-requested information up front as well as determine easy pathways based on our main users, including workers, employers, and providers. Regardless of which page they’re on, they’ll always link to the most requested services, commonly asked questions, featured resources, news, and events.

Another positive change aligns with our inclusion and diversity efforts. The new site meets suggested guidelines for accessibility. Examples include color schemes that improve readability and posting fewer PDFs, which interfere with software for the visually impaired. We also took the big step of making all our pages available in Spanish.

Check out the new site at bwc.ohio.gov.

 

OREGON

AGC/SAIF Members Rewarded for Safety Efforts
The Associated General Contractors Oregon-Columbia Chapter (AGC) and SAIF announced a $7,876,242 retrospective return for the 638 companies who participated in the AGC/SAIF group workers' compensation program during 2016–2017. This represents a 22.2 percent return of paid premiums during the policy year.

“For 26 years, this plan has had consistently strong results—due to the partnership between workers, employers, agents, AGC, and SAIF,” said Christy Witzke, vice president of marketing, sales, and communication at SAIF. “The true success is that thousands of Oregon construction workers go home safe and healthy day after day because of the hard work of all those involved.”

The retro return, combined with the 10 percent upfront premium discount savings, creates a total combined savings this year of 32.2 percent. A retro return has been paid out to AGC members 25 of the past 26 years. Total retro returns spanning the 26-year history for the AGC/SAIF program now surpass $188 million.

SAIF Board Appoints New Chair, Welcomes New Member
The SAIF board of directors voted to elect Jeff Stone board chair and Krishna Balasubramani vice chair this June. In addition, the board welcomed John Mohlis.

Stone is executive director and CEO of the Oregon Association of Nurseries. Balasubramani is a partner in the firm Sather, Byerly and Holloway, LLP, in Portland. Mohlis served as the executive secretary of the Oregon State Building and Construction Trades Council.

SAIF's board represents a cross-section of the workers' comp system, appointed by the governor to four-year terms. The board represents organized labor, policyholders, the legal profession, and associations. The other board members are Jenny Ulum, a public relations executive in Eugene, and Maurice Rahming, president of O'Neill Electric in Portland.

SAIF Hires Chief Actuarial Officer
Laura Robison, FCAS, MAAA, will be joining SAIF in September as chief actuarial officer. In her new role, Robison will manage the loss reserving process, oversee ratemaking and rate filing, and manage SAIF's reinsurance program, among other duties.

“We are thrilled to welcome Laura to SAIF to lead our actuary team,” said Kerry Barnett, president and CEO at SAIF. “She's a proven leader, with broad expertise in the public and private sectors. We particularly admire her dedication to the state of Oregon and look forward to bringing her expertise on board.”

Robison currently serves as the chief financial officer at Oregon Health Authority, and previously served as the insurance commissioner, chief actuary, and administrator within the Division of Financial Regulation in the State of Oregon's Department of Consumer and Business Services.

Senior Safety Management Consultants Honored
Two members of SAIF’s safety and health team were recognized for their outstanding contributions.

Luke Betts was honored as the Safety Professional of the Year for Region 1 of the American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP).

In late June, Melissa Diede was recognized as the Safety Professional of the Year by the Columbia-Willamette Chapter of ASSP.

SAIF Launches the SAIF Learning Center
In April, we partnered with third-party vendor FirstNet to create the SAIF Learning Center, a system that provides policyholders and their employees with safety and health trainings and resources to avoid injuries. This is a way to be proactive about workplace safety and health, risk prevention, and business management. Since April, we have had more than 700 individual users—representing 174 policyholders—sign up.

Oregon Celebrates Young Worker Safety With Video Contest
SAIF recently sponsored a video contest in partnership with the Oregon Young Employee Safety Coalition (O[yes]). The winning entry, from Eden McCall of Sprague High School, focused on the importance of speaking up as young workers. View her video and videos from all the finalists.

On June 25, McCall began a special summer internship in the Safe and Healthy Workplace Center to help further develop her talents. She will be accompanying members of the safety and health team on visits to several policyholder locations to learn more about the safety profession, and she'll also interact with the video production team to learn more about the creative process. She will share some of her experiences and perspectives as a teen worker, and help review and develop new content for our young worker safety page on saif.com.

 

SASKATCHEWAN

Saskatchewan Workplace Deaths Trending High
The total injury rate (i.e., all injuries reported, including injuries that resulted in time loss) in Saskatchewan continues to fall while the time loss injury rate remained constant. The total injury rate dropped from 5.55 in 2016 to 5.25 in 2017. Over the last decade, the total injury rate in the province has decreased by 48.6 per cent.

While the total injury rate has improved, the same cannot be said about the workplace fatality rate. During the past 15 years, the Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) has seen an average of 36 workplace fatalities per year. In 2017, the WCB saw the lowest number of fatalities in the past 15 years at 27. Already in the first half of 2018, however, the WCB has accepted 26 workplace fatalities, which is a significant increase in what we’ve seen in the past five years in the same timeframe. At this rate, total 2018 workplace fatalities in the province could be as high as 53.

The leading causes of the 2018 fatalities are motor vehicle crashes and occupational disease related, like asbestosis, mesothelioma, and cancer. Of the 26 fatalities in 2018 so far, 12 were from harmful substances or environments; seven from transportation incidents; and three from assaults, violent acts, or harassment.

From 2008 to 2017, there were 371 workplace-related fatalities in Saskatchewan. The top three causes of these fatalities were occupational disease-related (129 fatalities, or 35 percent overall, which includes 81 fatalities that were due to asbestos-related diseases, or 22 percent of overall), trauma-related (89 fatalities, or 24 percent overall) and motor vehicle collisions (71 fatalities or 19 per cent overall).

Fatality statistics offer some insight, but there is no real pattern and, as a result, no concrete measure to stop this unfortunate trend in 2018. For example, the increase in workplace fatalities can’t be contributed to the economic boom in the province or the increase in immigration.

WorkSafe Saskatchewan—the WCB’s injury prevention partnership with the Saskatchewan Ministry of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety—is working with partners like the University of Regina and the University of Saskatchewan on a series of workplace fatality studies. In addition, WorkSafe is continuing to educate employers and workers to eliminate workplace fatalities. WorkSafe uses a targeted approach to help industries and employers improve workplace health and safety.

This includes the Priority Employers Program, which is based on injury rates and total injury numbers. Priority employers receive assistance from Occupational Health and Safety, the WCB, and funded safety associations to assess their safety systems and receive training to effectively manage hazards and improve their injury rates.

WorkSafe Saskatchewan is initiating a number of awareness campaigns, including psychological health and safety in the workplace, asbestos exposure, and residential construction worker safety.

The psychological health and safety campaign is bringing awareness to employers on the importance of a psychologically healthy and safe work environment and to encourage people to question if their workplace is psychologically healthy and safe. As part of this campaign, WorkSafe is providing resources for employers, including short online courses offered in partnership with Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety.

The asbestos exposure campaign is actively educating the public about existing asbestos hazards and providing people with tools and resources to help them become more informed. This summer, WorkSafe partnered with Home Depots and Co-op hardware stores around the province to bring our asbestos awareness initiative into those stores. WorkSafe Saskatchewan also has tools and resources available online.

In addition to the multi-year campaigns in partnership with Occupational Health and Safety, WorkSafe launched a residential construction campaign this summer to generate awareness of safety on residential construction sites and reduce the number of workplace injuries. The residential construction industry is one of the industries WorkSafe is targeting, as falls from heights is another major cause of acute and traumatic injuries and fatalities in the construction industry. The campaign encourages workers to always wear their safety and protective equipment. Workers will be rewarded for demonstrating safety on the job site.

For tools and resources, including information about asbestos, visit www.worksafesask.ca.

 

UTAH

WCF Insurance Declares a $16.6 Million Dividend
WCF Insurance distributed a $16.6 million dividend the fourth week of May, with policyholders receiving 8 percent of their 2017 earned premium.
“We are pleased to be in a position to share our financial results with our loyal policyholders,” said WCF president and CEO Ray Pickup. “They are the owners of our company and contributed to the success of the year by keeping workers safe and on the job. We will continue to fulfill our duty to our policyholders by working to reduce accidents, provide competent care for injured workers and facilitate a stable pricing environment.” With this distribution, WCF has paid more than $437 million in dividends to its policyholders since 1992—9 percent of net earned premium. More than 20,000 businesses in Utah received a portion of the $16.6 million policyholder dividend.

 

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