Missouri Employers Mutual SafetySMARTS

Workplace injuries and illnesses have a major impact on an employer’s bottom line. The U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration estimates that U.S. employers pay almost $1 billion per week in direct workers’ compensation costs alone. And more than 25,000 nonfatal workplace injuries occur each year in Missouri, devastating families emotionally and financially, reducing employers’ productivity and driving up workers compensation insurance premiums.

Missouri Employers Mutual insurance officeAchieving injury-free workplaces is a goal Missouri Employers Mutual (MEM), the state’s No. 1 provider of workers compensation insurance, takes very seriously. More than 86 percent of MEM’s approximately 16,000 policyholders were injury-free in 2016. That’s no accident.

MEM knows each business is unique, so it employs a consultative approach to evaluate and suggest cost-effective solutions that fit each business and its safety needs. Last year MEM introduced SafetySMARTS, a MEM portfolio of services designed to facilitate and reward workplace safety and add tangible value to the work comp relationship.

“We believe we can make a difference for businesses. When businesses improve workplace safety, they save lives and money,” says Jim Owen, CEO of MEM. “When we can drive down prices, it creates a great work comp environment, which makes a better climate for businesses to come to Missouri.”

The following incentives and benefits are just some features of the SafetySMARTS portfolio:

  • Safety dividends, in which MEM reimburses policyholders with a premium return when they accept responsibility for safety and achieve positive results. Safety dividends are determined based on policy size, loss ratio result and safety components.
  • Safety grants, a dollar-for-dollar match for successful applications up to $20,000 to implement effective workplace safety measures. These grants go toward the purchase of approved products and equipment that reduce or eliminate key injuries and illnesses. This is a win-win: A business can enact $40,000 in safety interventions with a $20,000 investment.
  • Post-offer employment testing, which seeks to reduce costly new hire injuries by testing if employees are physically capable of performing assigned duties. The cost savings can be significant; MEM estimates that one in three lost-time claims involves a new hire, with an average claim cost of $54,000.
  • Telemedicine, growing internationally and here used to access convenient, timely care for non-emergency injuries in partnership with CoxHealth DirectConnect. Telemedicine allows access to qualified medical personnel from the convenience of the office or shop, reducing expenses and time away from work.
  • Nurse triage, access to a nurse by phone for timely claims guidance. This no-cost service allows you to speak to a nurse by phone for timely input when you need it most, improving the outcome of a reported claim.

Interested in how SafetySMARTS can help make your workplace safer and protect your most valuable asset — your employees? Contact your independent insurance agent and ask about MEM or visit mem-ins.com.

MEM is also a proud University of Missouri College of Engineering and MU Extension Business Development Program client and partner:

  • In 2016, a BDP Pollution Prevention (P2) student intern undertook an energy efficiency analysis of MEM’s 63,000 square foot building, recommending numerous energy efficiencies and resulting in substantial cost savings. The P2 Intern Program has saved Missouri companies more than $1,170,000 in annual operating costs thus far. For more information, please call 573-882-5011 or email MarinRuizS@missouri.edu.
  • sign reading danger wrong way turn backMEM also partnered with the MU College of Engineering in 2016 to fund groundbreaking research on the effect of collision avoidance technology (CAT) devices on driver behavior. Study results showed three of four drivers improved their driving when using CAT devices.

Safety dividends. The MEM Safety Dividend begins with policies effective July 1, 2016. First payout will be April 2018, nine months after July 2016 policies end. Dividends will be determined based on policy size, loss ratio result and safety components.

Safety grants. MEM plans to award $1 million in matching safety grants over three years. The dollar-for-dollar match up to $20,000 is available to all MEM policyholders regardless of claims history. There are two eight-week competitive grant cycles per calendar year beginning the second full week of both January and July. As of January 2017, 17 Missouri businesses have received matching safety grants ranging from the Association of Group Homes in Maryville, for a Hoyer power patient lift; Burgers’ Ozark Country Cured Hams, California, for a new boneless slicer; the DeSoto Rural Fire Protection District for a remote-operated deck gun; Doing Steel, Inc. in Springfield for a combilift; and Kirberg Roofing, Inc., St. Louis, for a RaptorRail fall protection system.

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