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Unicru Launches Safety Assessment Module With Big Y

PORTLAND, Ore. - Unicru, Inc., a provider of Total Workforce Acquisition solutions, launched today an addition to its line of assessments for the grocery, retail, dining, and trucking industries.

Called the Unicru Safety Performance Assessment, the tool will help reduce worker compensation claim rates, while lowering the cost of claims by identifying the likelihood an individual will be involved in a workplace accident and how long they are likely to stay off work afterward.

Through a stringent validation process using employee data from Springfield, Mass.-based Big Y -- a longtime customer of Unicru's hiring module -- the Unicru Safety Performance Assessment demonstrated that, if it had been used during the hiring process, it would have helped decrease the number of accidents, cost per accident, and length of time away from the job for those employees deemed as low risk. "They used our employee data to verify the assessment," Jack Henry, Big Y's v.p. of employee services, told Progressive Grocer.

In the validity study, Unicru found that high-risk individuals took 18.5 percent more time off following an accident than the average worker, and had an average claim cost 18 percent greater than the average. These percentage differences were even more dramatic for workers in their first year of employment.

Big Y plans to pilot the new module within the next few months.

According to a recent report by Mercer Risk, Finance and Insurance Consulting, while lost time claims make up 26 percent of all national workers compensation claims, they have an average cost of $25,000, accounting for 90 to 95 percent of all benefits paid.

"Unicru is the only assessment provider addressing the issue of employee malingering in a safety assessment," said Dr. George Paajanen, Unicru chief scientist. "To keep workers' compensation costs down, getting employees to return to work quickly is every bit as important as preventing accidents in the first place."

Because of this, Unicru specifically designed the Safety Performance Assessment to measure such qualities as detachment, learned helplessness, entitlement and manipulation that lead to employees taking more time off work than needed. The test also measures carefulness, sensation seeking, conscientiousness, and dependability to identify applicants who work more safely and have fewer accidents, whether they involve injuries, property damage, or both.

-- Joseph Tarnowski
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