Reducing work related injuries with Talogy Modules for Manufacturing

Accurately screen out high-risk individuals and reduce workplace injuries

Challenge

 

Over the past 20 years, Talogy has conducted thousands of job analyses. Almost without exception, the competency that is rated as most important by job content experts in manufacturing and/or physically demanding environments is safety. Improving safety and reducing accidents is important for organisations both ethically and financially. Estimates vary, but according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), for every dollar (£0.73) that is spent on medical expenses for a workers’ compensation claim, an additional $4 (£2.94) for indirect workers’ compensation costs is incurred. Also, for every dollar of disability (lost time) expenses paid for a workers’ compensation claim, OSHA estimates an additional $2 (£1.47) to $10 (£7.35) is incurred in indirect workers’ compensation costs. Considering that in 2007, the average workers’ compensation claim was £34,400, the indirect cost would be over £147,000.

Workplace injuries are both more ubiquitous and serious than is commonly thought. According to a recent study by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, slightly more than one half of the 3.3 million private industry injury and illness cases reported nationally in 2009 were of a more serious nature that involved days away from work, job transfer, or restriction – commonly referred to as DART casesi. In 2009, these occurred at a rate of 1.8 cases per 100 workers (U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, News Release, 21 November 2010 USDL-13-2119.​ USDL-10-1452). In other words, over 50% of all injuries were severe enough to lead to loss of work, restricted duty upon return and/or transferring out of the original job.

Hiring employees who are likely to work safely and assimilating them into a culture dedicated to high safety standards becomes more difficult when you are hiring contract or temporary employees who tend to be more temporary. The higher levels of turnover typically associated with contract employees makes fostering a stable, sustainable safety climate even more challenging, therein increasing the chance of injury.

Solution

 

Talogy Modules for Manufacturing (formerly known as SecureFit®) was developed as a short and affordable assessment for any entry-level job that has a physical component. The results are automatically generated in real time. Hiring managers receive a report that includes seven risk factor scores as well as a general recommendation classifying candidates into one of the following four categories: Not Recommended, Recommended with Reservation, Recommended, and Strongly Recommended.

In this study, we administered Talogy Modules for Manufacturing to approximately 2,500 candidates who were applying to contract production positions at a large, global manufacturing company. To gain a clearer estimate of the true impact of the results of the assessment, they were not used for hiring decisions nor were they communicated to anyone in the organisation. We then tracked workers’ compensation claims over the course of 12 months for those who were ultimately hired.

Results

 

To evaluate the effectiveness of using Talogy Modules for Manufacturing to reduce safety incidents, we monitored 1,932 individuals who were hired in one of two large manufacturing facilities for 12 months. Workers’ compensation claims including the type of injury, the number of days lost and the amount paid in the claim were tracked.

Talogy Modules for Manufacturing provides information on a candidate’s performance in seven primary Risk Factors, rated on a 10-point scale, as well as an overall recommendation on a 4-point scale. One of the Risk Factors is called Safety Risk. This factor focuses on the likelihood that an individual will act in a manner that will increase the risk of injury for themselves or others.

The first figure indicates that individuals who scored below a 4 (out of 10) on the Safety Risk factor, which is approximately 11% of this sample, are 1.5 times more likely to file a workers’ compensation claim than those who score a 4 or higher.

As mentioned earlier, the assessment provides an overall recommendation. Consider the figure to the right that presents workers’ compensation claims for candidates in each of those four categories.

The results are dramatic. Candidates in the Poor Fit category, which is only about 9% of this sample, are two times more likely to have a documented, work-related injury over the course of 12 months than those in the Good Fit or Very Good Fit categories.

filed workers' compensation claim due to injury on job graph
filed workers' compensation claim due to injury on job graph 2

 

Summary

 

What if this organisation had actually used the results of Talogy Modules for Manufacturing to make hiring decisions? If this organisation were to simply screen out individuals in the Poor Fit category and replace them with the average individual from the remaining three categories, they would obtain the following results:

  • 850 fewer lost days directly associated with job-related injuries
  • Direct savings of £198,000
  • An indirect savings of over £960,000 (based on OSHA estimates cited earlier)

 

Clearly, there are many factors that contribute to workplace injuries. But, without question, accurately screening out high risk individuals in the first place should be part of any comprehensive safety programme.