Date of Award

Summer 8-2017

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Safety Sciences

First Advisor

Christopher Janicak

Second Advisor

Majed Zreiqat

Third Advisor

Tracey Cekada

Abstract

It can be argued that insurance carriers have been one of the primary influences on improving safety in the workplace (Collins et. al., 2002; Dembe, 1995). While workers’ compensation insurance carriers have long been a resource for companies to help in preventing workplace injuries, there have been very few empirical studies conducted on the subject of loss control services and their effects on workers’ compensation claims and it is considered a “neglected topic” (Nave et al., 2004). The purpose of this study was to add to the current body of knowledge by gaining a better understanding of workers' compensation loss control services. This study examined the relationship between the use of workers’ compensation loss control services and the frequency and severity of workers’ compensation claims in the manufacturing industry. Other objectives were to analyze if recommendations given by loss control consultants result in a significant reduction in claims frequency and severity averages. Another area that was analyzed is the significance that a dedicated safety professional, employed by the company, has on workers’ compensation losses.

The study determined there was a significant difference in the reduction in claims frequency based upon the number of visits by a loss control consultant, specifically when companies are visited between 1-19 times in a five-year period compared to having no visits by a loss control consultant in that same five-year period.

The study also determined that types of recommendations given by loss control consultants had no impact on claims frequency or claims severity. Likewise, there was no evidence that the presence or absence of full-time safety professionals significantly impacted claims frequency or claims severity. While these variables were not statistically significant, some variables did indicate a decrease in both claims frequency and claims severity based on $1 million in payroll. This study can serve as a baseline for future studies to examine the effect on loss control services provided by workers’ compensation insurance companies.

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