Is your gross payroll more than $800,000? Do you know what your experience modification, or “mod” is? Is it above a 1.20 rating? If you answered yes to these questions then understanding the Industrial Code Rule 59 (“ICR59”) Program will save you money.
In 1996, workers’ compensation reforms were developed to reduce workplace injuries in New York. Primary goals included improving overall workplace safety and lowering the cost of workers’ compensation insurance. The law mandates employers with an experience modification above 1.20 and a payroll in excess of $800,000 retain a certified consultant to perform a Code Rule 59 (“CR59”) consultation. Said employers receive written notification from the New York Compensation Insurance Rating Board (“NYCIRB”) requiring an evaluation by a certified workplace safety and loss prevention consultant. Companies then have 10 days to inform the Department of Labor of the name and certificate number of a qualified consultant and 30 days to complete the evaluation.
Your certified safety specialist will collaborate with a responsible company representative, such as a safety officer or executive director, to explain each step in achieving Code 59 compliance. These steps involve an opening conference, closing conference and a consultation report. Each of these steps must occur within the time-line dictated by Code 59 statute.
The consultant will present safety program reports at a closing conference and provide all the tools and information you need to achieve Code 59 compliance. This conference is the forum to review best practices for fulfilling the recommendations. The important thing to remember is that the law requires submission of the safety report to the Department of Labor as well as your workers' compensation carrier. A letter explaining plans for compliance must accompany the report. Your consultant can facilitate that as well.
If you arrange and complete the consultation in a timely fashion, you may have as many as six months in which to comply with the consultant’s recommendations.
Within 60 days of the end of the period designated for adoption of all safety recommendations, NYSIF will review the consultant’s recommendation and determine compliance. The NYSIF is then required to notify both you and the Department of Labor of compliance or non-compliance.
What are the benefits of Code Rule Compliance?
Through Code Rule 59 compliance, you are reducing workplace injuries thereby lowering workers’ compensation costs. In addition, a non-compliance notice from NYSIF will cause the insurance carriers to impose a 5% penalty on your workers’ compensation renewal premium (it is a requirement under CR59). This penalty increases in 5% increments for each year of non-compliance even if you change carriers.
Choose your consultant wisely and you will not only have a safer workplace and Code 59 compliance, but you will also get to keep 5%, if not more cash in your company coffers.
Contact me for more information or help with Code Rule 59 compliance.
About The ALS Group
The ALS Group is an independent insurance and risk management consulting firm focused on helping their clients reduce insurance and risk related costs. Visit www.thealsgroup.com or e-mail Albert L. Sica, or call (732)395-4261 for more information.