Printer Friendly

GTE PLANS TO CUT $4 MILLION IN WORKERS' COMPENSATION COSTS THROUGH INJURY PREVENTION, SAFETY AWARENESS PROGRAM

 THOUSAND OAKS, Calif., Dec. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- GTE West Area plans to cut more than $4 million in workers' compensation costs by implementing a new, three-tiered Workers' Compensation Cost Reduction Plan that focuses on preventing injury and increasing safety in the workplace.
 The plan began in April and involves improvements in safety practices, precautions, and training, as well as measures for increasing efficiency in injury-case management and fraud prevention. The plan affects GTE's 23,217 headquarters and field employees in the West Area, which includes California, Pacific Northwest states and Hawaii.
 The Workers' Compensation Cost Reduction Plan includes: an investment of $1.6 million for workplace safety devices; promoting better health; and an alternative work program enabling injured employees to work if medically cleared.
 The plan has been implemented as a direct response to an internal study that revealed GTE West Area's workers' compensation costs currently exceed $20 million annually. In addition, the study found GTE suffered 74 lost person years -- the number of hours of missed work that have accumulated into years due to occupational injuries in 1992 -- amounting to about $2.4 million.
 "Workers' compensation costs are a growing concern for the company," said Jim Faherty, GTE supervisor for workers' compensation claims. "This new cost-reduction program is an opportunity to combat escalating costs by reducing the number of injuries and accidents suffered by our employees."
 Faherty said that the new plan reflects the company's concern for the safety and well-being of its employees, as well as cost reduction.
 As part of the plan, GTE is devoting $1.6 million to workplace safety devices such as wrist rests and specific types of furniture. The company also is investing in the use of back support belts for employees who perform lifting, pushing and pulling functions.
 Using these belts has decreased the frequency of back injuries by 60 percent in some case studies. Back-injury prevention is a key element of the new workers' compensation plan because those injuries account for about 32 percent of all GTE West Area's industrial (or "on the job") injuries. These totaled approximately $1.4 million in claims in 1992.
 GTE's Workers' Compensation Cost Reduction Action Plan also recommends that employees participate in regular, personal exercise programs. At its Thousand Oaks location, the company operates an on-site fitness facility.
 At the Fitness Center, employees can take advantage of weight training, aerobics classes and other wellness programs, as well as receive personalized advice by fitness professionals. "Exercise can be a preventive measure when it comes to avoiding injury," Faherty said.
 GTE's Alternative Work Program gives injured employees the opportunity to continue to work according to their capabilities. "After getting medical approval, these employees would be provided with meaningful assignments that would allow them to work safely," he said.
 The Alternative Work Program is projected to reduce lost person hours by 15 years and save GTE approximately $500,000 in non-productive wage payments over two years.
 In total, the new plan's three-tiered approach to reducing workers' compensation costs should save GTE approximately $4 million over four years.
 GTE West Area, headquartered in Thousand Oaks, also has operations in the Pacific Northwest, Idaho, Montana, the Northern Marina Islands and Hawaii.
 GTE California provides telecommunication services to more than 3 million customers, mostly in Southern California.
 -0- 12/14/93
 /CONTACT: Mike Murray, GTE California 24-Hour Newsline, 800-227-5556/


CO: GTE California ST: California IN: TLS SU:

JM-EH -- LA025 -- 3682 12/14/93 13:09 EST
COPYRIGHT 1993 PR Newswire Association LLC
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 14, 1993
Words:573
Previous Article:NISSAN MOTOR CORP. ANNOUNCES FIRST 10-DAY SALES
Next Article:FLUOR DANIEL TO PROVIDE ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES TO U.S. ARMY
Topics:

Terms of use | Copyright © 2017 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters