In my capacity as Vice President, Personnel/Safety, I was responsible for overseeing the self-insured program that we had in effect since 1994. Being self-insured placed an even stronger emphasis on excellent treatment and case management by the primary provider. In 2001, when WORKNET first opened an office in Lancaster, I decided to give you a shot to see how you did. Needless to say, we never looked back.
As a foundry operation, we had our fair share of injuries. WORKNET worked diligently with us to understand our operation. You set up a streamlined fast track communication process so that as soon as the doctors visit was completed we had the treatment/restriction form in hand. You made sure that a thorough understanding of each position enabled the doctors to speak intelligently with our employees and to put that person in a light-duty position if necessary. One of the most impressive things was the post-offer/pre-employment functional capacity evaluations that you set up. You used our equipment while setting the weights to simulate actual work conditions. I can't imagine the ramifications of allowing some of those people that failed that test out on the factory floor. Because of your work, that never happened.
Your attention to our needs was unparalleled. If I needed to speak to somebody about an employee or anything in general, I was able to speak with them immediately or shortly thereafter. To put it in proper perspective now that I look back on it, our relationship was actually team oriented in comparison to a regular provider-employer relationship.
When we made the decision to close, we made the announcement six months prior to actually closing. This was in order to enable our customers to have adequate lead time to find another supplier. I don't think I have to tell you what kind of problems an employer can face with their employees having six months to think about their jobs being lost. I can't tell you how well everything turned out. Our employees did an outstanding job helping us through the closing. WORKNET was there for us in a way that I didn't think possible. Knowing the importance of the timeline we were on, you were able to carefully balance our employees needs with our workforce needs.
Two years after we ceased operations, we petitioned the state (the first time you are able to do so after leaving self-insurance) to refund some of our securities that we were required to post for being self-insured. It was a seven figure amount. I was told by experts in this process that we would be lucky to see half of it back to us in about 5 years and all of it returned in about 8-10 years. We got a 73% reduction in the amount we needed to have posted in our first request only two years after closing. This freed up a lot of money for us while we were in liquidation mode. How were we able to do this? Because we were able to go to the state and show them that we had no open claims. An unbelievable accomplishment from what I've been told by many people. This would not have even been a remote possibility had it not been for the tremendous job that WORKNET did in the years prior to and right up to our closing.
I will say without reservation that I would strongly recommend WORKNET to anybody that is looking to use them.
Tom M., VP Personnel / Safety