I’ve learned a couple important lessons at the Wisconsin Workers’ Compensation Forum this week. One, don’t show up at the event wearing a "Cheesehead" out of some misguided attempt at solidarity.  Apparently they only wear those things at sporting events, and they view such ingratiating attempts by Florida outsiders with a high degree of suspicion.
SWho gave Feldman the gong????econd, I learned that these people know how to move a session along. And I mean, a "take no prisoners, your time is up", mentality. In a humorous session during yesterday’s employer focused agenda, entitled "Employers: The Top 30 Ways You Can Screw Up Your Work Comp Claim", moderator Allison Hanson, MBA, lead a group of presenters through 30 tips designed to help employers avoid common pitfalls in handling workplace injuries. The ideas were very well presented in their own right, but what made this session completely stand out was the methods used to keep it moving along. Each person had just two minutes to explain the details of a specific "tip", and if they ran over their allotted time, were abruptly silenced by the timekeeper. And I DO mean abruptly. The timekeeper for this event employed a variety of tools, including bells, gongs, whistles, duck calls, and a variety of other loud and bone jarring sound effects. 
Stopped the speaker in their tracks. Way to make it move along.
Aside from the unique format, the session was very useful to the 250 or so Wisconsin employers gathered in the room. Delivered with a strong sense of irony, each tip was delivered from the perspective of what to do to screw up your claim, with useful examples and descriptions of why that action would accomplish that less than noble goal. 
Combined with the uniquely "timed" format, this session accomplished what many only dream of; a perfect blend of information and entertainment. This wasn’t just good because the info was excellent, it was just plain fun to watch.
The panelists were:
Tony Brecunier – Secura Insurance Companies
Bobbi Curtis – QPS Employment Group
ALJ Joe Schaeve – Department of Workforce Development
Patrick Gillick – Attorney
John Tindall – Integrated Risk Solutions
And what, out of the 30, were my favorite things you can do to screw up a claim? In no particular order, they were:
  1. Alienate the injured worker
  2. Terminating the employee without proper consideration
  3. Being closed minded about RTW
  4. Be clueless regarding the job and exact job duties your employee truly has
  5. Treat injured workers like they have leprosy
  6. Pay the claim out of pocket to keep WC premiums at a minimum
  7. Leave an injured worker in the dark regarding rights, choice of doctors, etc.
  8. Don’t implement a progressive disciplinary system
  9. Place blame or fault
  10. Don’t care about your reporting lag time
All great advice to be sure. Delivered in an unforgettable fashion. An event to remember.
Now if I can just get my cheesehead hat to fit in the overhead bin for my return flight home..

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