Emerging Risks

Emerging Risks Coverage Garners National Trade Press Award

Coverage of Most Dangerous Emerging Risks sets industry standards.
By: | May 11, 2018 • 2 min read

For the third time in the past six years, the Risk & Insurance® editorial team’s coverage of most dangerous emerging risks picked up a national trade press award. At an awards luncheon in Washington, D.C., on May 10, the magazine won a national bronze citation in the special section category for its 2017 Most Dangerous Emerging Risks coverage.

The award, which goes by the name of the AZBEE, was handed out by the American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE).

Read Our Most Dangerous Emerging Risks Coverage

Associate editor Katie Dwyer contributed a piece on U.S. Economic Nationalism, which reported on the possible long-term economic damage that could result from nationalistic policies. A companion piece by staff writer Julianne Walsh examined Foreign Economic Nationalism and the threat it poses to multinational corporations.

Associate editor Michelle Kerr distilled her conversations with insurance and risk management experts on the threats of artificial intelligence into her piece Artificial Intelligence Ties Liability in Knots. And in Coastal Mortgage Value Collapse, editor-in-chief Dan Reynolds explored the potential that rising seas could trigger a de-escalation of coastal property values, triggering a mortgage-related financial meltdown.

Advertisement




Former managing editor Anne Freedman, who tragically passed away in June 2017, wrote the Cyber Business Interruption portion of the section as one of her last pieces for the magazine. Anne’s piece forecast the economic damage should the internet infrastructure be hacked and brought down.

The May award follows a regional silver won by the Risk & Insurance® editorial team from the Middle Atlantic Chapter of the ASBPE for its emerging risks coverage; the magazine picked up three additional honors at the awards banquet.

This marks the third year running that Risk & Insurance® won a silver regional award for its Most Dangerous Emerging Risks Coverage. The 2016 coverage focused on the risks of our crumbling infrastructure, a cyber attack on the grid, fragmentation of the voice of authority and the risks of gene editing.

The 2015 coverage looked at the erosion of corporate privacy, the risks inherent in implantable medical devices, vaping, depletion of aquifers and the ongoing concerns underwriters have about the aggregated liability from concussions suffered in playing athletics.

Risk & Insurance® Executive Editor and Publisher Matthew Kahn, who oversaw the planning and execution of the Most Dangerous Emerging Risks coverage, was an additional honoree. &

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

More from Risk & Insurance

More from Risk & Insurance

4 Companies That Rocked It by Treating Injured Workers as Equals; Not Adversaries

The 2018 Teddy Award winners built their programs around people, not claims, and offer proof that a worker-centric approach is a smarter way to operate.
By: | October 30, 2018 • 3 min read

Across the workers’ compensation industry, the concept of a worker advocacy model has been around for a while, but has only seen notable adoption in recent years.

Even among those not adopting a formal advocacy approach, mindsets are shifting. Formerly claims-centric programs are becoming worker-centric and it’s a win all around: better outcomes; greater productivity; safer, healthier employees and a stronger bottom line.

Advertisement




That’s what you’ll see in this month’s issue of Risk & Insurance® when you read the profiles of the four recipients of the 2018 Theodore Roosevelt Workers’ Compensation and Disability Management Award, sponsored by PMA Companies. These four programs put workers front and center in everything they do.

“We were focused on building up a program with an eye on our partner experience. Cost was at the bottom of the list. Doing a better job by our partners was at the top,” said Steve Legg, director of risk management for Starbucks.

Starbucks put claims reporting in the hands of its partners, an exemplary act of trust. The coffee company also put itself in workers’ shoes to identify and remove points of friction.

That led to a call center run by Starbucks’ TPA and a dedicated telephonic case management team so that partners can speak to a live person without the frustration of ‘phone tag’ and unanswered questions.

“We were focused on building up a program with an eye on our partner experience. Cost was at the bottom of the list. Doing a better job by our partners was at the top.” — Steve Legg, director of risk management, Starbucks

Starbucks also implemented direct deposit for lost-time pay, eliminating stressful wait times for injured partners, and allowing them to focus on healing.

For Starbucks, as for all of the 2018 Teddy Award winners, the approach is netting measurable results. With higher partner satisfaction, it has seen a 50 percent decrease in litigation.

Teddy winner Main Line Health (MLH) adopted worker advocacy in a way that goes far beyond claims.

Employees who identify and report safety hazards can take credit for their actions by sending out a formal “Employee Safety Message” to nearly 11,000 mailboxes across the organization.

“The recognition is pretty cool,” said Steve Besack, system director, claims management and workers’ compensation for the health system.

MLH also takes a non-adversarial approach to workers with repeat injuries, seeing them as a resource for identifying areas of improvement.

“When you look at ‘repeat offenders’ in an unconventional way, they’re a great asset to the program, not a liability,” said Mike Miller, manager, workers’ compensation and employee safety for MLH.

Teddy winner Monmouth County, N.J. utilizes high-tech motion capture technology to reduce the chance of placing new hires in jobs that are likely to hurt them.

Monmouth County also adopted numerous wellness initiatives that help workers manage their weight and improve their wellbeing overall.

“You should see the looks on their faces when their cholesterol is down, they’ve lost weight and their blood sugar is better. We’ve had people lose 30 and 40 pounds,” said William McGuane, the county’s manager of benefits and workers’ compensation.

Advertisement




Do these sound like minor program elements? The math says otherwise: Claims severity has plunged from $5.5 million in 2009 to $1.3 million in 2017.

At the University of Pennsylvania, putting workers first means getting out from behind the desk and finding out what each one of them is tasked with, day in, day out — and looking for ways to make each of those tasks safer.

Regular observations across the sprawling campus have resulted in a phenomenal number of process and equipment changes that seem simple on their own, but in combination have created a substantially safer, healthier campus and improved employee morale.

UPenn’s workers’ comp costs, in the seven-digit figures in 2009, have been virtually cut in half.

Risk & Insurance® is proud to honor the work of these four organizations. We hope their stories inspire other organizations to be true partners with the employees they depend on. &

Michelle Kerr is associate editor of Risk & Insurance. She can be reached at [email protected]