Morehouse Parish School System

LUBA’s Chad Eubanks, left, and Morehouse Parish Schools Superintendent George Noflin Jr. worked together on creating and implementing a loss control plan in 2012. In the plan’s first year, the number of claims filed by district employees fell by 26 percent.

Workplace Hero: A Case Study in Savings

How a school district dramatically lowered costs with LUBA’s Loss Control team

The Loss Control team at LUBA Workers’ Comp is no stranger to challenges. When the Morehouse Parish School System in northeast Louisiana asked for help in 2012, it was a daunting task. Claims for the 570-employee system were spiraling upward, and so were costs.

“The school district had always done a good job with encouraging safety,” says insurance agent John Files in Bastrop, La., where the district offices are located. “When you have that many employees moving around in different locations, you’re bound to have some issues that develop.”

Accepting an invitation from school Superintendent George Noflin, Chad Eubanks with LUBA Loss Control, began attending school board meetings. Eubanks also took part in the principals’ regular monthly meetings. Working together, LUBA and the school system isolated problems that were causing claims and identified how to go about correcting them.

Eubanks rolled out a detailed action plan in August 2012. Safety meetings with custodians and teachers focused on electrical cords, blocked access to hallways and other hazards. Meanwhile, specific improvements were made to schools’ electrical systems. 

The results were immediate and dramatic. After the first year, the district’s loss ratio improved by more than 54 percent. Costs per claim fell by more than $5,000, while total claims decreased by 26 percent.

“We designed a great plan, but it worked because right from the start, Dr. Noflin made a point of making sure everyone understood how important this is,” Eubanks says. “That kind of support from the policyholder is critical for effective loss control. The entire organization has to be on board for it to work.”

LUBA meets regularly with Morehouse Parish school officials to help ensure the district’s loss control plan remains effective. Loss control strategies benefit everyone, because they save money, lead to lower premiums and make the workplace safer.

There’s also no magic pill. Eubanks still meets with the school system and conducts regular on-site inspections to find and correct safety problems as quickly as possible. LUBA also developed a district-wide safety orientation meeting that employees take part in each January.

“I knew we could help, but the district deserves much of the credit for fully embracing the loss control concept,” says Files. “Dr. Noflin and his staff give Chad and me a lot of leeway, because they know we’re going to ask for reasonable things. But everyone embraced the culture of loss control, and it’s literally paying off.” 

LUBA Loss Control Manager Brian Ricketts agrees, adding that the Morehouse district provides a dramatic example of the success that comes through partnering with policyholders. “We’ve developed a special relationship with the Morehouse school system,” Ricketts says. 

Insurance industry research makes a compelling case for loss control effectiveness. Since the 1990s when modern, scientifically based programs began gaining widespread acceptance in the workplace, the frequency of claims among U.S. workers has fallen steadily. While the drop is attributed to several factors, researchers with the National Council on Compensation Insurance and federal Bureau of Labor Statistics have found the growing emphasis on workplace safety and loss control has definitely played a role. 

Nevertheless, there is room for improvement. Files says that employers with an adverse loss history often have an attitude that the damage has been done. “You’ve got a high experience modifier and losses are going up. It’s easy to think, ‘There’s nothing I can do. I just have a certain amount of losses I’ll have to deal with.’ The truth is taking even a few steps along the way can help prevent a bad situation down the road.” 

Files and Eubanks encourage other agents to remind clients that LUBA’s Loss Control service doesn’t cost extra. 

“This is a free service from LUBA, and it really does benefit everyone when policyholders take advantage,” Files says. “Loss control keeps people safe, and it controls claims cost, which has a direct relationship on premiums.” 

Contact LUBA at (888) 884-5822 or to put the Loss Control team to work for your clients.