EHS Insider Blog

Understanding the Experience Modification Rate (EMR) and Tools to Help Improve

Reduce the EMR Rate with EHS Software

How Does the EMR Fit Into the Calculation of Workers' Compensation Premiums?

The EMR is determined via a standard formula that considers company size, company class codes and the cost, frequency and duration of prior claims. Class codes associate the company with similar companies within an industry. Class codes come from the NCCI, if the company is within one of the 39 states that use the NCCI standards. 

The baseline EMR is 1.0, but EMRs of .75 to 1.25 are common. An EMR above 1.0 or higher means your company has above-average risk compared to similar companies, which translates to a higher workers' compensation insurance premium. A lower EMR indicates below-average risk and a lower than average premium.

You do have some control over your EMR and the premiums you'll pay and the key is in understanding what impacts the EMR and how.

What Impacts the EMR?

Below are several primary factors that will strongly impact the EMR :

  • How many claims the company has had
  • The cost of the claims
  • How often the company has had claims
  • The duration of the claims
  • How many claims are open and how many are closed
  • How claims compare to the industry as a whole
  • Industry (e.g. Class code)
  • The size of the company

How to Lower the Experience Modification Rate

Safety Management

Below are two primary ways to reduce the EMR:

  • A Return-to-Work Program: This gets your ill or injured employees back to work as safely and quickly as possible. The U.S. Department of Labor outlines legal and practical considerations you'll need to make when accommodating these employees as they return to work. The goal is to safely bring the employees back to work while reducing the amount and duration of the claim.

  • Safety in the Workplace: In the end, reducing your EMR is largely about reducing your claims—which means you have to improve safety standards within your organization and prevent incidents from happening. 

When it comes to building a safer workplace, there are several steps you may take to manage risks and reduce incidents. 

Safety Management Software

EHS software suites help identify and eliminate risks in the workplace (e.g. observations and inspections), track incidents (e.g. near miss, hazardous conditions, property damage, first aid, illness, and injuries) and improve safety processes and procedures (e.g. corrective actions). These activities performed successfully overtime inherently lead to improved EMR results. 

  • Audits and Inspections: Streamline your inspections to identify hazards and prevent incidents. Improve completion and on time completion rates.

  • Observations: Convenient and easy observation reporting improves both the quantity and quality of reported observations.

  • Incident Management: The software takes you step-by-step through reporting and investigating incidents (e.g. near miss, hazardous conditions, property damage, first aid, illness, and injuries).
  • Corrective Action Management: Create, assign, manage and report on all corrective actions regardless of origination point.

  • Safety Meetings: Prioritize and standardize topics and messaging to increase hazard awareness to help avoid high probability incidents. Use actionable information collected from inspections, observations, incident management and corrective actions.

  • Reporting: Get actionable information on demand for all company levels, departments, areas, equipment and jobs. Use reporting from inspections, observations, incident management and corrective actions to identify trends to help improve safety resource allocation.
Safety Software

Employee Safety Training

OSHA requires training across workplaces to ensure employees know how to do their jobs safely, which includes how to inspect and use equipment and PPE safely. 

"Many OSHA standards, which have prevented countless workplace tragedies, include explicit safety and health training requirements to ensure that workers have the required skills and knowledge to safely do their work. These requirements reflect OSHA's belief that training is an essential part of every employer's safety and health program for protecting workers from injuries and illnesses." 

Thoroughly trained employees are less likely to make the mistakes that lead to injury. Providing ongoing training is also an indication that your organization values safety and expects employees to follow procedures. Online training makes it easy for employees to learn at their own pace and review best practices and procedures whenever and wherever to refresh their knowledge.

E-learning software benefits:

  • Save money and time by not having to host live trainings each time a new employee comes on board
  • Automatically manage reoccurring refresher training
  • Automatically track each employee's progress
  • Easily update the online training program in light of new safety regulations, programs, or procedures
  • Customize the training to suit your workplace

Build a Culture of Safety

By insisting on safety inspections, observations, incident management, corrective actions, safety meetings and safety training you're well on the way to creating a culture of safety and reducing incidents within your organization. Fewer incidents mean less missed work and fewer workers' comp claims—which reduces your EMR. 

Take steps to reduce your EMR. Contact us for more information about safety management software.

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Topics: Experience Modification Rate