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Workplace Safety is No Accident

Published 05-24-00

Submitted by SAFECO Corporation

What does it take to achieve an impressive 71 percent drop in workers’ injury claims within one year?

“Common sense,” said Dennis Elder, Human Resources manager for Marvin Wood Products, a Baker City-based dimensional lumber processing facility, “and guidance from our business insurance partner, SAFECO.”

With SAFECO’s help, Marvin Wood Products identified potential workplace hazards, identified several loss control techniques, and trained employees and managers on ways to avoid accidents and injuries.

Marvin’s success in reducing injuries earned SAFECO’s Loss Control Achievement Award, which will be presented during a ceremony on June 1. In addition, the company was honored last July for its accomplishments with OSHA’s Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) Award.

Marvin Wood Products, which processes dimensional lumber used in window construction, recorded only 18 losses during the 1999 policy year, 71 percent less than the 62 injuries reported the preceding year. With SAFECO’s help, the company set up ergonomics and safety programs, which resulted in significantly less accidents and repetitive motion injuries.

“Our employees deserve a tremendous amount of credit for their hard work and attention to safety procedures that created the dramatic reduction in injuries,” said Everett Vassar, plant manager at Marvin Wood Products.

One of the keys to the company’s remarkable safety record is SAFECOM, SAFECO’s online risk management system offered free to its large commercial insurance customers. With SAFECOM, Marvin Wood Products is able to report losses, access detailed claims data, and analyze information through customized reports. “This enables the company to be a proactive part of the claims administration process, reacting immediately to reduce accident trends,” noted Jim Campbell, senior loss control representative for SAFECO.

SAFECO created the Loss Control Achievement Award as a way to acknowledge its most responsible customers who have taken steps to significantly improve their companies’ safety performance. “We want to honor our premier customers, like Marvin Wood Products, that have moved beyond just having a ‘safety policy’; instead they view it as a critical business component that has a direct impact on employee health and morale as well as controlling costs,” said Campbell.

SAFECO has been providing loss control service to its customers in Oregon since the commercial insurance Seattle Division opened in 1923. More than 300 employees work in the Seattle Division office, with 75 large brokers and independent agents representing SAFECO Commercial Insurance in the division.

SAFECO, in business since 1923, is a Fortune 500 diversified financial services company based in Seattle. SAFECO and its more than 17,000 independent agents and financial advisors provide premier insurance and financial services to individual and business customers.

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SAFECO Corporation

SAFECO Corporation

Established in 2006, the Safeco Insurance Foundation supports the communities in which we live and work. Our grants attempt to educate low-income children, strengthen cultural treasures, protect our most fragile, and uplift those most often left out or behind. Our grant making priorities are education and broad based health and human services. We also invest in access to health care for low-income individuals, and cultural organizations. In business since 1923 and based in Seattle, Washington, Safeco sells insurance to drivers and homeowners through a network of independent agents and brokers in eight regions throughout the United States. Safeco is part of Liberty Mutual Agency Markets, a business unit of Liberty Mutual Group, consisting of property and casualty and specialty insurance carriers that distribute their products and services primarily through independent agents and brokers. Liberty Mutual Group ranks 86th on the Fortune 500 list of the largest U.S. corporations based on 2008 revenues.

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