Educating and elevating the work comp industry

kendra-depaulBy Kendra DePaul, BWC Other States Coverage Manager

Last week, BWC staff headed to Scottsdale, Arizona to participate in a planning session for the Annual Conference of the American Association of States Compensation Insurance Funds (AASCIF). AASCIF is an association of workers’ compensation state funds from 26 different states, plus 8 workers’ compensation boards in Canada.

This year the conference will be held in June in Oklahoma City.

AASCIF has 10 committees composed of workers’ compensation professionals across the United States. One of the roles of the committees is to choose session topics and find speakers to present at the annual conference.

Three BWC employees are members of AASCIF’s committees. Michael Rienerth, Ergonomics Technical Advisor is on the Safety and Health Committee. Bill Teets, Communications Director is on the Communications Committee and I am on the Enterprise Risk Management and Underwriting Committee.

I think all of us would agree that the planning sessions were engaging and insightful. Over 100 people, passionate about workers’ compensation shared their individual state fund experiences and put their heads together to plan sessions designed to educate and elevate the industry as a whole.

Here’s a sneak peak of the hot topics at the 2017 conference:

The Safety and Health Committee is planning three sessions – all of which will be in a panel discussion format to encourage sharing of successful strategies. One session will focus on emerging technologies for safety such as use of mobile apps, virtual reality, drones and collision avoidance systems. Another session will explore various approaches for addressing violence in the workplace including active shooter training and reducing combative behaviors in schools and health care settings. The third session will facilitate sharing of strategies related to communication, market segmentation, targeted campaigns, and customer loyalty and incentive programs for enhancing customer engagement.

The Communications Committee discussions were related to the support of AASCIF itself. In particular how communications can promote the desire to better identify what AASCIF is and the benefits of membership. It also discussed a number of potential sessions for June, including thought leadership, crisis communication, video storytelling and promoting AASCIF.

And the Enterprise Risk Management and Underwriting Committee will be planning sessions focused on how changing industries and workplaces will affect the way insurers underwrite and what the underwriter of 2030 may look like. In the same vein, you can expect sessions examining how technology and robotics could change the workers’ compensation world as we know it.

For us committee members, much work still needs to be done to ensure the conference will provide value and inspiration to those attending. These are all topics of great importance as the workers’ comp industry engages in a national conversation on changes necessary to improve and innovate. We were pleased to participate. If the energy in the planning meeting is any indication of the annual conference, we can expect an exciting and informative conference in June.

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