County looks to slow workers compensation claims

A rising number of workers compensation claims from Marshall County employees in recent years has the board of supervisors looking at ways to curtail the increase.

The supervisors held a meeting Tuesday with insurance provider Shomo-Madsen Insurance (EMC) to talk out a plan to decrease the claims.

Bobby Shomo, of Shomo-Madsen, said the establishment of safety committees in departments in the county is one place to start.

“What the safety group is going to do is create awareness,” Shomo said. “The more awareness we have the better.”

The supervisors seemed receptive to starting safety committees with monthly meetings, if they can be measured as effective.

“We need to do this to be insurance and injury responsible,” said Supervisor Denny Grabenbauer.

Jim Stotser, of EMC Insurance, said they will also look at the existing program that allows injured staff members to return to work in a different role until they are fully healed.

Sheriff Ted Kamatchus said they do have two staff members that have come back on light duty recently, so they do have a return to work program in place.

County Auditor Dawn Williams said this move toward more safety awareness is a good thing for the county.

“We can’t go wrong if we enhance a culture around here to put an importance on safety,” Williams said.

In other action, the supervisors approved the appointment of Thomas Mack for the Marshall County Conservation Board. Mack replaces James Fitz and his term is now effective and will run until Dec. 1, 2015.

The supervisors will next meet at 9 a.m. Tuesday at the courthouse.