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Marriott's Award-Winning Program Puts Employees' Safety First
How Marriott developed an award-winning workers’ compensation program with the help of Aon's iVOS Claims System
This article was published in the Q3 2008 issue of Aon One, November 2008.
As one of the world's largest hotel brands, Marriott International employs approximately 110,000 associates in its 700 managed U.S. hotels. With a large staff and significant safety challenges, Marriott has developed a sophisticated and innovative workers' compensation program, recognized by the 2007 Theodore Roosevelt Workers' Compensation Award committee as one of the best programs in the country.
The objectives of Marriott's workers' compensation program are simple: promptly respond to workplace injuries with quality medical care and return associates to work as quickly and safely as possible—all while controlling costs. The program has an impressive track record of success—over the past five years, its claims frequency has dropped by 15 percent, and claims costs also decreased by 15 percent.
We spoke with Bob Steggert, vice president of casualty claims, and Chad Callaghan, vice president of enterprise loss prevention, to gain insight into their award-winning workers' compensation program and world-class safety status. We also learned how Marriott has used Aon's iVOS Claims System as the centralized hub to support its workers' compensation program.
Human Capital Concepts: Marriot strives to Put Employees Safety First
CEO J.W. Marriott said his parents taught him to put associates first: "If the employees are well taken care of, they'll take care of the customer and the customer will come back."
"This is the core value of the company and the key principle behind our workers' compensation program," Steggert says. "To take care of our associates, Marriott strives to maintain safe work conditions, and when someone is injured, to initiate a prompt and appropriate response."
"There are two key factors to creating a safe work environment," Callaghan says. "First, our safety designers analyze and design our hotels with safety and security in mind. Second, we offer extensive Job Safety Analysis training and tools to bring about safe employee behavior. In informal surveys, an overwhelming majority of our associates said they discuss safety during staff meetings … this has made a significant impact."
A key indication of Marriott's success is that after an intensive six-month evaluation by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI Z10), its safety standards and program earned the prestigious World-Class Safety Award.
ONLINE INJURY REPORTING: AON'S IVOS IS AT THE CENTER
Marriott self-insures its workers' compensation program and has six regional claims offices that self-administer claims for all 50 states. Since 2006, Marriott has utilized the iVOS Claims System as its centralized data hub, coordinating its claims management, loss prevention and medical management efforts. By also integrating document imaging, Marriott has achieved a completely paperless claims process and an electronic workflow with its partners. iVOS business rules and automation tools have streamlined claims operations and made the entire workers' compensation process more efficient.
"Marriott employees can report injuries 24 hours a day to our toll-free hotline," Steggert says. "Our call center electronically transmits new claims directly to the iVOS Claims System, which automatically assigns an adjuster to proactively manage the claim.
"Since the call center is a costly service, we have launched a pilot program to increase injury reporting via the Internet," says Steggert. "Online injury reporting is immediate, seamless and highly cost-effective. So far we've been able to raise our rate of same-day injury reporting from 25 percent to over 50 percent—a 100 percent increase.
"To improve communication with injured employees, iVOS prompts adjusters and nurses to make contact with employees on a timely, ongoing basis. This type of open communication enables employees to feel comfortable with their treatment, compensation and transitional work assignments, leading to increased employee satisfaction.
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