With budget cutbacks being one of the top priorities at West Virginia University, officials are looking at a variety of areas to reduce costs while not eroding quality, services or the safety of students or employees.

Through the joint efforts of the Offices of Risk Management, Human Resources and Environmental Health and Safety, WVU has been tracking employee accident data over the past several years and identifying ways to improve workplace safety, while at the same time exploring insurance alternatives to capitalize on those risk management initiatives. The results are less workforce accident losses and a new loss sensitive policy with BrickStreet Insurance that went into effect July 1. The policy is designed to save the institution more than $600,000 per policy year in workers compensation insurance coverage.

“While we’ve added employees and increased our campus facilities over the past few years, we’ve also become a more safety-conscious campus,” said Dan Durbin, senior associate vice president for finance. “We’ve found ways to reduce the number of accidents that occur on the job and return our injured workers to the workforce quicker. It’s an added bonus that we’re also driving down the costs associated with our insurance coverage by moving from a guaranteed cost policy to a loss sensitive program.

“In these tight budget times, we need to look at all options for reducing costs,” he added. “I can’t think of a better outcome, especially when improved worker safety is at the core.”

Vice President for Administration and Finance Narvel Weese said WVU was prohibited from soliciting quotes for workers compensation and medical malpractice insurance policies until flexibility in state code was granted for both. He believes that “by taking responsibility for our actions, and managing these programs as well as we do, it could hopefully lead to other flexibilities with cost savings” in the future.



CONTACT: Dan Durbin, senior associate vice president, Finance

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