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The Stonetrust Commercial Insurance Company provides workers’ compensation coverage to about 4,000 employers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Texas. The typical Stonetrust policyholder is a small to mid-sized company that places a high priority on workplace safety. Clients include construction, wholesale, retail, manufacturing and other service-related businesses.
Stonetrust strives to develop enduring relationships with policyholders and producers to achieve mutual injury prevention and cost-containment goals. Given its multi-state operations, it is challenging for the company to provide high-quality resources to such a diverse range of customers on a consistent basis.
Stonetrust offers its clients free, password-protected access to online workplace health and safety training via PURE Learning On Demand. The system allows users to complete or manage training from virtually any Internet-connected computer. Related training management tools include:
“We feel it’s an important, value-added service to offer On Demand courses free to our policyholders,” said Ron Bowen, Stonetrust’s loss prevention manager. “Each time one of their employees accesses a course, they take that information back into their workplace and use what they learned to help them do a better job of recognizing exposures and preventing accidents and injuries. In the long run we benefit by the reduction in claims.”
On its website, Stonetrust explains that it has partnered with UL to help employers more effectively manage their safety training needs. It states: “As a Stonetrust policyholder, you will have free website access to over 600 online safety training courses that can be viewed anytime and anywhere by your employees. These courses are licensed to provide the industry-specific OSHA certifications required by contract specification.”
Bowen finds the comprehensive course library available through UL’s On Demand satisfies policyholders’ requirements and helps enhance other Stonetrust capabilities such as onsite consultations, case management, and fraud and loss prevention.
Stonetrust tracks the number and types of courses employees are taking, completion rates and test scores. The construction industry is a leading claims producer: back safety and fall protection are among popular topics.
“The system provides a lot of good information that we can analyze to better understand the needs of our policyholders,” Bowen said. “There are a lot of different types of business that use the training. The number of users has increased dramatically.”
Although it is difficult to quantify, Stonetrust believes the likelihood of reducing or eliminating workers’ compensation claims is much higher when workers receive relevant training on hazards that exist in their specific work setting.
“When you prevent an accident, it is a hard thing to measure,” Bowen said. “But when you consider the cost of one catastrophic claim that training would have helped prevent, the value is clearly evident. A single back injury claim can cost thousands of dollars.”
To look at it another way, when calculating work-related injury costs, OSHA’s $afety Pays program takes into consideration factors such as wages paid to injured workers for absences not covered by workers’ compensation, work disruption and overtime costs, and staff time spent on post-accident investigations and interventions.
While the majority of its claims are in the lower range, Stonetrust, similar to other workers’ compensation carriers, will occasionally have claims valued at more than $100,000, a clear justification for its investment in online safety training.
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