For Retail Risk Managers, Workplace Violence and Staff Turnover Proving Top Challenges

April 18, 2005

Workplace violence and staff turnover are cited by risk managers in the retail industry as among their biggest challenges to effectively managing their workers’ compensation exposures.

According to a recent study conducted by Specialty Risk Services, industry statistics suggest that almost half of all workplace violence occurs in the retail industry. In addition, retailers often experience staff turnover as high as 200 — 300 percent.

SRS says it has developed tools to help risk managers in retail address these specific cionvcerns.

“Customized tools, approaches and claims solutions are required to
overcome the impact of these factors on retailers’ workers’ compensation results and overall profitability. Working in partnership with retail clients, we have developed a comprehensive portfolio of tools which are helping our clients consistently outperform other retailers in key areas,” said Joe Boures, president, Specialty Risk Services, a property casualty third party administrators for workers’ compensation and general liability claims.

As part of its recent retail study, SRS monitored results over time in
crucial areas such as percent of lost time claims, average severity of such claims and claim closure ratios. Based on industry data in each of these targeted areas, SRS reports that its retail clients outperform overall industry retail results.

For example, in the last three years, lost time rates for SRS retail clients are 6-8 percent lower than the industry, and average paid claim results are anywhere from 6.7 to 13 percent lower than the industry.

Equally important, SRS maintains that its retail clients are experiencing better claim closing ratios than the rest of the retail industry. In 2004, for instance, SRS was closing retail workers’ comp claims 7.2 percent faster.

“Failure to stay on top of retail workers’ compensation inventory can have severe negative financial implications over time for retailers. We work closely with our clients to manage these issues,” noted Boures.

SRS’ retail study shows even more dramatic differences in high-volume retail states such as California, Florida, Texas, New York and Pennsylvania. In those states SRS retail clients are experiencing differences as favorable as 15 percent lower lost time ratios, 23 percent lower claim severity and 17.2 percent greater claim closings.

SRS’ approach includes benchmarking analysis for retail clients, consultative support, expert claim handling, account management, and safety and loss control assistance.

For workplace violence, robberies and general overall security concerns, SRS has an alliance with Crisis Care Network, a provider of critical incident response services.

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