Recently a broker told me how he got a big, new account: at renewal, a large contractor “woke up” to his huge loss experience in workers’ compensation. His experience mod and his premium skyrocketed. He thought his previous broker hadn’t provided adequate service, and he switched. The new broker was delighted to have the new business.

What went unsaid in that conversation was “Can the new broker fix the problem, or is it already too late?” Unfortunately the answer was “too late.”

The ex-mod was well over 1.00, the contractor was now eliminated from the best RFPs and jobsites, and it would take at least three years to get this back under control. This was going to cost big bucks in extra premiums and lost revenue.

The sad part in the story is that the contractor had to wake up.

RiskSmart clients are reminded to be proactive and on their toes at all times. They win because they know the ex-mod issue is more important to them than to anyone else.

Three issues need your attention

  1. Understanding the complexity of workers comp can be rough.
  • Severe losses happen regularly, and they can cost a boatload
  • A high ex-mod (1.25+) can eliminate you from jobsites
  • Back to work options need to be planned in advance
  • A fatality or amputation can bring OSHA inspections, fines, penalties, and even shutdowns
  1. Recordkeeping is key to mitigating your liability after a loss.
  • You need to document everything:
    • Regular toolbox or tailgate training sessions, tool and equipment certifications, and re-certifications
    • All injuries and near-miss stories for prevention lessons
    • Safety committee minutes and inspections
  • Annual postings of injury experience are also required
  1. First Aid can also provide important mitigation.
  • Train workers in First Aid, CPR and consider AED (portable defibrillator) training.
  • Keep First Aid kits updated at all locations and job sites.
  • Make sure all workers have contact information for the clinics closest to their worksite.

Careful and consistent attention to the details will make workers comp more simple, and can help avoid nasty surprises.


  • More details about safety training and recordkeeping – RiskSmart Tip # 89 here.
  • OSHA ( is chock full of information: training, first aid definition, regulations, alerts, newsletters, recordkeeping (, and FAQs.
  • OSHA consultation services are free and offer confidential advice to small and medium-sized businesses – completely separate from enforcement.
  • If you voluntarily go to OSHA’s consultation side for help, you may be protected as long as certain criteria are met. That criteria is
  • Some insurance brokers and insurers offer inspection and prevention services.
  • Independent consultants often have expertise to lead and implement projects.

Do you need a sample IIPP or help navigating the OSHA website or consultation services? Do you have questions or more complex circumstances? Don’t hesitate to click reply or give me a call – | 510-685-3883.

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