Reducing Costs by Reducing Time Off Work

Many businesses seriously underestimate the costs of day-to-day accidents and injuries. As well as increased insurance premiums and compensation payments, there are hidden costs such as loss of production, retraining, overtime or recruiting additional staff. And while employer’s liability covers compensation and legal costs, your business has to pay the rest.

Zurich Rehabilitation helps you reduce the costs of injuries and accidents at work by helping employees return to work sooner. It’s a free service that is available as part of Zurich’s Employer’s Liability Insurance. Accidents at work Reducing cost with Zurich Rehabilitation Zurich Rehabilitation is an innovative approach to injury management, which brings together traditional insurance, risk management and injury management to help your employees return to work sooner. It’s all about working with you to help manage the cost of business risk.

Zurich Rehabilitation is suitable for most injuries arising from workplace accidents and offers immediate access to professional medical expertise. As well as demonstrating a commitment to the wellbeing of your employees, this early intervention can help reduce the cost of accidents to your business. For example, loss of earnings can form a large part of a claim. By reducing the length of time an employee is absent from work Zurich Rehabilitation can have a big effect on the final costs.

The cost of absence following an accident at work:

Cost to Employer
Cost of Claim
Cost (£) Time

Accidents happen, and it’s the employers who have to bear the cost.

• Accidents in the workplace currently cost Britain’s employers up to £6.5 billion every year.
• Injuries at work actually cost employers eight to thirty six times the amount of any insurance payments.
• In 2003-04 an estimated 9 million working days were lost due to workplace injury.

Source: Health and Safety Executive (HSE)

While the size and nature of claims obviously varies, here’s an idea of some of the more common ones:

Machinery, tools or materials £9,744 – 34%
Slip/trip £9,32 – 21%
Struck by object/person £9,645 – 15%
Lifting £10,020 – 12%
Fall from height £19,656 – 5%
Source: Zurich

(Average claim paid Percentage of employers’ liability claims)

“Through Zurich Rehabilitation we have been able to focus on absence management as a result of an accident at work. Not only has this been advantageous to us as a company,but employees are also benefiting  from this programme” – Epwin Group

The type of injuries most likely to benefit from Zurich Rehabilitation are:

• Back injuries
• Neck injuries
• Musculo-skeletal injuries
• Hernia

An experienced and highly qualified team based in our Medical Management Centre in Birmingham, our qualified Occupational Health Advisers (OHAs) have industry experience, so they can talk to you knowledgeably and help to find the right answer for each individual case.

Strong relationships enable everyone involved to get the best results from Zurich Rehabilitation, so we’ll allocate a specific OHA to your business. This means you’ll always know exactly who to contact and will get to know and trust your OHA. In return, your OHA will gain a clear understanding of your working environments and can better tailor your employee’s return to work. Our team’s aim is to make sure that everyone benefits from the rehabilitation process. This means getting treatment for your employee that will enable them to return to work as soon as possible, while controlling the potential claims costs.

We can’t put a specific figure on the total cost savings available – these vary from business to business and results can take up to three years. We believe that the additional medical costs in most cases are less than the claims savings, reducing the overall claims cost. This should reduce premiums. Here’s a case comparison to help illustrate the point:

A 50-year-old factory worker sustained a groin injury while moving heavy machinery. He visited his GP who diagnosed a left inguinal hernia. The injured employee was unable to remain at work until a surgeon saw him and the hernia was surgically repaired. The local NHS waiting time for this referral and procedure was over 12 months. The employer referred the case to Zurich and the Occupational Health Adviser (OHA) arranged a private referral to a surgeon. As a result the operation was successfully performed just two months after the accident and the employee returned to full duties at work two months later. By reducing the time off work from 14 months to four months Zurich’s intervention resulted in a massive £13,700 cost saving (saving on sick pay of £14,400 less the treatment costs of £1,700). Additionally the employee received treatment 10 months earlier than the NHS could have provided it, and the employer saved on the considerable hidden costs they would have incurred during that period.

How Zurich Rehabilitation works

Following a RIDDOR reportable incident (for example a back injury), you can immediately contact our OHAs. Our team will liaise with the injured party, claims handler, solicitor, GP and treatment providers to assess the injury and arrange for the most appropriate medical consultation and treatment. In most cases, we can arrange for treatment to start within seven days of your call to us. This helps ensure the best possible outcome for your employee so that they can return to work sooner. The OHA will notify our claims department of all new cases referred to us. This allows us to manage any potential claim (for instance by investigating the accident), before a formal claim is made. Once treatment has been given and the injured party has made progress in their recovery, we will look for them to return to their employment in a safe and appropriate manner. We will always consult with you about the return to work and look to create a partnership between the employer and employee to ensure the return to work is sustainable.

Because Zurich Rehabilitation gives us the opportunity to work closer with you to manage accidents at work, we don’t charge for the service of our medical management team. However, we do record treatment costs and they can form part of your ongoing claims experience.

“ Zurich’s Rehabilitation Scheme is proving to be a ‘winner’ for all our businesses. Working in close partnership with the occupational health team at Zurich has helped us fast track our people back to work more quickly when the have had an accident at work, with the positive help and support they need. Our employees are our most important asset and to help them back to work more quickly when things go wrong, must be right for them and the business.”- Silentnight Group Limited

The Zurich Rehabilitation process

If a case is not suitable for injury management the OHA will advise the insured site co-ordinator and the claims handler Customer notifies Occupational Health Adviser (OHA) of the incident. The OHA will liaise with all parties to establish full information surrounding the injury. If the injury case is suitable for injury management the OHA will agree a treatment plan with the injured party and advise insured site co-ordinator. If the injury case is suitable for injury management the OHA will agree a treatment plan with the injured party and advise insured site co-ordinator. If treatment is already being provided (eg by the NHS) the OHA will monitor the case and consider intervention at a later date if necessary. The OHA will liaise with all parties throughout to update on progress etc. Zurich’s OHA notified.

To find out more

If you’d like to know more about how Zurich Rehabilitation can help you and your business either speak to your usual Zurich contact, your broker (eg. Brownhill Insurance Group) or call one of the Zurich Employers Liability team on 0207 617 4366. Alternatively, you can take a look at our website

Article courtesy of Zurich Insurance Company