Workers’ Comp Risk Management Award for Excellence Winners

NU Property & Casualty magazine recently announced winners of the 2021 Workers’ Comp Risk Management Award for Excellence.

This annual award program sponsored by Sedgwick and Safety National in conjunction with the Workers’ Compensation Institute (WCI) spotlights ingenuity, collaboration and humanity in the workers’ compensation insurance and risk management sectors. Winners are honored during WCI’s Annual Workers’ Compensation Educational Conference and Safety & Health Conference.

The three winners of the 2021 Workers’ Comp Risk Management Award for Excellence are Children’s National Hospital, a facility where two attorneys oversee a worker-safety program focused on reducing employee injuries, returning injured employees to work quickly and rigorous claims management; Adecco, a temporary staffing company that faces the unique challenge of safeguarding employees at jobsites that it doesn’t own or control; and Monmouth County, New Jersey, a government agency that employs more than 4,100 individuals in diverse roles with various responsibilities.

A closer look at the winners

Children’s National is ranked as one of the top 10 pediatric hospitals in the country by U.S. News & World Report for the fifth year in a row. It boasts the No. 1 ranked neonatology program in the United States, and it has earned top 10 honors in neurology and neurosurgery, cancer, nephrology, orthopedics, pulmonology and lung surgery, and diabetes and endocrinology.

When approaching the issue of worker safety, leadership at Children’s National decided to revisit the successful strategy taken to improve patient safety. Namely, to leverage the expertise of the organization’s staff and develop solutions to common risks.

“We looked at all our work on patient safety, and we decided there is no reason why we can’t apply those same processes to improve safety for employees,” says Rebecca Cady, vice president and chief risk officer at Children’s National.

The next award winner, Adecco, is a temporary staffing and workforce productivity company that places 70,000 associates with 700 clients weekly in all 50 states.

Widening its lens to help mitigate — not just identify — risks has opened doors for the risk management team at Adecco. Work that helped rebrand the team as a valued organizational partner continues to keep associates safer and saved $59 million in a four-year period.

It started in 2016 when the department moved from New York to Florida.

“We did a lift and shift and then started examining every part of the program to make operational changes, improvements, and aim to make it a best-in-class program,” says Susan Shemanski, vice president of corporate risk management.

The team did just that as noted by its experience modification factor. It dropped from 1.48 to 0.91, which is beneath the coveted 1%. “It’s a huge achievement, especially for a staffing company” that doesn’t control work sites.

The final winner is New Jersey’s Monmouth County, where risk managers take a holistic approach to worker wellness and safety. To that end, the County’s workers’ compensation policy was recently revised to include a Safety Rescuer Program component.

In conjunction with the County’s safety consultant, Monmouth staff identify and meet with employees who experience repeated safety incidents.

According to the County of Monmouth Safety Office and the Benefits and Workforce Wellness Division, the purpose of the meeting is to:

  • Remediate unsafe conditions;
  • Modify unsafe behavior;
  • Identify potential training issues;
  • Prevent reoccurrence; and
  • Enhance departmental involvement in the safety process.

Thanks to these efforts, Monmouth County boasts impressive metrics: Workdays lost to worker injury have been reduced by more than 80%; per employee program costs have plummeted from a record high of $1345.41 to $372.11 (a 74% reduction); and average claim costs have gone from a record high of $15,000.82 in 2019 to $4,200 in 2020.

You can read more about each of the 2021 Workers’ Comp Risk Management Award winners in the December issue of NU Property & Casualty magazine or online at

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