This Risk All Star Treated Performers Like Pro Athletes and Produced Winning Injury Prevention Results
Live performances can be magical. Characters from film and TV come to life before the audience’s eyes. Performers sing, dance and tackle a variety of stunts from flips to walking toe-to-toe over a tightrope.
Behind each of these scenes is an athlete whose incredible strength and endurance keep them on stage for show after show. For some of these performers, that means getting on stage and performing up to three shows a day.
Feld Entertainment, the company responsible for shows like Disney on Ice, Sesame Street Live, Marvel Universe and Jurassic World, puts on 5,000 shows in 70 countries each year. Much like professional athletes, their performers push it to the limit on stage and on the ice.
Sometimes they get hurt.
To get a better sense of frequency and severity of worker injury, Vincent Foderingham, Feld’s vice president of risk management, created a monthly statistical analysis tool that compares volume, financials and key performance indicators for workers’ compensation claims.
Foderingham and his team then worked with AIG’s safety and analytics team to validate the data.
“Vin has definitely raised our game as an organization,” said J. Vaught, SVP of production and operations for touring units. “He has been a fantastic resource for me and for other members of my team in terms of showing us the options and resources for using data analysis to look for new solutions for improving our results in terms of injury rates.”
The data included trends on injured body parts, types and causes. “We were able to put together a pretty decent picture of what the exposure looked like,” Foderingham said. “We had a significant amount of injuries involving sprains and strains to upper and lower extremities, particularly with ice skaters.”
To help address the root causes of these injuries, Feld hired several athletic trainers for its traveling shows, starting with the Marvel Universe shows, since they had seen several injuries during rehearsals.
After seeing the reduction in injuries, Feld brought athletic trainers on for several other traveling shows as well. Since the program started, it’s seen a 67% reduction in total claims volume and a 39% reduction in claims duration.
“It definitely mitigated the number of out-of-work claims. It reduced that number big time,” Mike Stuart, vice president of touring shows at Feld Entertainment, said.
The athletic trainers have been a huge morale booster for the performers as well. Performers were able to get help as soon as they started to feel an injury come on, which improved their moods and helped them prevent more severe sprains and strains.
“Having the athletic trainer was instrumental in getting that initial treatment when somebody starts to feel that nagging injury,” Foderingham said.
“When you start to see these big impacts not only is it best for the business, but it’s also wonderful for the performers, because now they know and feel that the company has their best interest in mind.” &
Risk All Stars stand out from their peers by overcoming challenges through exceptional problem solving, creativity, clarity of vision and passion.