2015 NWCDC

Screen Test

Pre-work screens and fitness-for-duty evaluations aid the return-to-work process and ADA compliance.
By: | November 13, 2015 • 2 min read

Physical function job analysis and pre-work screenings go far beyond determining if a potential employee is well-suited for a job.

Tony Silva, director of Atlas Injury Prevention Solutions, explained that the analysis and testing process allows human resources to write more accurate job descriptions, identifies safety hazards and helps to create job modifications and return-to-work plans after an injury.

“Doctors have said to me that no one else provides them a job analysis, and that they typically have no idea what a patient actually does at work.” Darin Hampton, regional workers’ compensation coordinator, International Paper

Darin Hampton, Silva’s co-panelist November 12 at the National Workers’ Compensation and Disability Conference® & Expo, emphasized the importance of providing detailed job analyses to treating physicians when an employee is injured.

“Doctors have said to me that no one else provides them a job analysis, and that they typically have no idea what a patient actually does at work,” said Hampton, the regional workers’ compensation coordinator for International Paper.

Measuring the frequency of certain types of activities — such as lifting, pulling or climbing a ladder – along with the pounds of force involved gives both doctors and claims managers a better idea of what an injured employee can handle for temporary transitional duty.

Fitness-for-duty evaluations, similar to pre-work screens, enable an employer to keep a tab on the employee’s recovery process and ensure accommodations are provided in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

However, “if they are not improving, or getting worse, somebody needs to step in,” Hampton said.

Transitional duty should be evaluated after 90 days, and an employer should consider alternatives like vocational rehabilitation, a medical leave of absence or other ADA-compliant reasonable accommodations if an employee has not improved.

“Reasonable accommodation can mean anything from reducing a worker’s hours, restructuring their responsibilities, or renovating a facility to meet the needs they have due to their disability,” said third panelist Gia Schneider, shareholder and attorney with Haworth, Bradshaw, Stallknecht and Barber.

Katie Dwyer is an associate editor at Risk & Insurance®. She can be reached at [email protected]

More from Risk & Insurance

More from Risk & Insurance

2018 Most Dangerous Emerging Risks

Emerging Multipliers

It’s not that these risks are new; it’s that they’re coming at you at a volume and rate you never imagined before.
By: | April 9, 2018 • 3 min read

Underwriters have plenty to worry about, but there is one word that perhaps rattles them more than any other word. That word is aggregation.


Aggregation, in the transferred or covered risk usage, represents the multiplying potential of a risk. For examples, we can look back to the asbestos claims that did so much damage to Lloyds’ of London names and syndicates in the mid-1990s.

More recently, underwriters expressed fears about the aggregation of risk from lawsuits by football players at various levels of the sport. Players, from Pee Wee on up to the NFL, claim to have suffered irreversible brain damage from hits to the head.

That risk scenario has yet to fully play out — it will be decades in doing so — but it is already producing claims in the billions.

This year’s edition of our national-award winning coverage of the Most Dangerous Emerging Risks focuses on risks that have always existed. The emergent — and more dangerous — piece to the puzzle is that these risks are now super-charged with risk multipliers.

Take reputational risk, for example. Businesses and individuals that were sharply managed have always protected their reputations fiercely. In days past, a lapse in ethics or morals could be extremely damaging to one’s reputation, but it might take days, weeks, even years of work by newspaper reporters, idle gossips or political enemies to dig it out and make it public.

Brand new technologies, brand new commercial covers. It all works well; until it doesn’t.

These days, the speed at which Internet connectedness and social media can spread information makes reputational risk an existential threat. Information that can stop a glittering career dead in its tracks can be shared by millions with a casual, thoughtless tap or swipe on their smartphones.

Aggregation of uninsured risk is another area of focus of our Most Dangerous Emerging Risks (MDER) coverage.

The beauty of the insurance model is that the business expands to cover personal and commercial risks as the world expands. The more cars on the planet, the more car insurance to sell.

The more people, the more life insurance. Brand new technologies, brand new commercial covers. It all works well; until it doesn’t.

As Risk & Insurance® associate editor Michelle Kerr and her sources point out, growing populations and rising property values, combined with an increase in high-severity catastrophes, threaten to push the insurance coverage gap to critical levels.

This aggregation of uninsured value got a recent proof in CAT-filled 2017. The global tally for natural disaster losses in 2017 was $330 billion; 60 percent of it was uninsured.


This uninsured gap threatens to place unsustainable pressure on public resources and hamstring society’s ability to respond to natural disasters, which show no sign of slowing down or tempering.

A related threat, the combination of a failing infrastructure and increasing storm severity, marks our third MDER. This MDER looks at the largely uninsurable risk of business interruption that results not from damage to your property or your suppliers’ property, but to publicly maintained infrastructure that provides ingress and egress to your property. It’s a danger coming into shape more and more frequently.

As always, our goal in writing about these threats is not to engage in fear mongering. It’s to initiate and expand a dialogue that can hopefully result in better planning and mitigation, saving the lives and limbs of businesses here and around the world.

2018 Most Dangerous Emerging Risks

Critical Coverage Gap

Growing populations and rising property values, combined with an increase in high-severity catastrophes, are pushing the insurance protection gap to a critical level.

Climate Change as a Business Interruption Multiplier

Crumbling roads and bridges isolate companies and trigger business interruption losses.


Reputation’s Existential Threat

Social media — the very tool used to connect people in an instant — can threaten a business’s reputation just as quickly.


AI as a Risk Multiplier

AI has potential, but it comes with risks. Mitigating these risks helps insurers and insureds alike, enabling advances in almost every field.


Dan Reynolds is editor-in-chief of Risk & Insurance. He can be reached at [email protected]