Local governments, including Genesee County, that participate in pooling a workers compensation insurance program have a chance to get help reducing workplace injuries using consultants for essentially no cost.
Bill Fritts, president of Lawley Genesee, explained what his company is prepared to do for local governments if Lawley becomes the worker compensation insurance broker.
The possibility came to Fritts's attention, he said, after receiving a request for proposal from the county for a new workers comp plan.
As a broker, Lawley can apply its commissions to provide a variety of services to members of the pool.
Genesee County, along with all of the local school districts and most towns and villages (but not the City of Batavia) are part of a self-insurance pool for workers compensation.
If a worker is injured on the job, the pool will pay the first $500,000 of coverage.
What the county has been shopping for is a new carrier for "excess coverage" -- an insurance company that pays any claims in excess of $500,000.
There are only three such carriers in the nation.
Under the plan presented by Fritts, Lawley will accept bids from the carriers, select one and manage the relationship.
With its commissions, Lawley will then use its own experts to identify areas where worker safety can be improved and look for other cost-saving opportunities.
Lawley's consultants will study claim history, look for departments that have safety records that can improve and then study work that's going on in those workplaces to see what safety improvements can be made.
"We'll look at what members are hurting and helping you," Fritt said. "We send in loss-prevention consultants to those areas first that hare hurting you and see what safety programs are needed. We might create incentive programs if they need to change their culture and help them change their culture."
There is no additional fee for the pool members for the extra services.
"I've seen the results and it's pretty amazing," Fritts said. "It makes you feel pretty good because you're preventing injuries."
At the next Ways and Means Committee meeting, legislators will have a chance to vote on the offer.