An A.I.M. Mutual Success Story: Our Partnership at Work
Sep 16, 2015
Dependable Cleaners and A.I.M. Mutual:
Our Partnership at Work
This summer marked 14 years since Dependable Cleaners first placed its workers compensation insurance with A.I.M. Mutual Insurance Companies. It also marked three years since a four-alarm fire ripped through the company’s Quincy, Mass., headquarters, which also housed its second-largest dry cleaning facility and laundromat.
The building was a total loss. Fortunately, all 20 employees escaped unharmed, but the aftermath posed daunting challenges for a family business that takes pride in living up to its name.
Although there had been no employee injuries during the fire, regional Claim and Injury Prevention and Worksite Wellness (IPWW) specialists were on hand to help. To maintain capacity for their customers, Dependable Cleaners had relocated dry cleaning and laundry services to Dorchester, Braintree and West Quincy. While temporary, restructuring these workplaces and adding staff required careful planning and ongoing evaluation. At the same time, Dependable Cleaners was rebuilding the main Quincy site as a state-of-the-art hub, complete with the latest equipment and enhanced workflow.
Prior to the fire, Dependable Cleaners had an outstanding safety record, resulting in single digit loss ratios. From a workers compensation insurance standpoint, it was a remarkable achievement. A.I.M. Mutual’s service team had long known the company was committed to injury prevention and claim management. It was a partnership that worked, and together, they resolved to manage safely and efficiently through the transition.
During that time, A.I.M. Mutual introduced its new injury prevention & worksite wellness model. Christa Hagearty, president & CEO of Dependable Cleaners, said her company benefitted from the expanded services. “We’re pleased with A.I.M. Mutual’s proactive approach as well as the resources they’ve shared with us over the years,” she said.
The A.I.M. Mutual service team worked closely with Dependable Cleaners’ staff during the rebuilding. Services included a detailed ergonomic hazard analysis. Given the heightened home delivery demand, the team performed an expanded fleet-driver safety program evaluation. IPWW Consultants also conducted facility safety audits and analyses of incident reporting procedures, all designed to identify any root cause injury trends. Dependable Cleaners welcomed the results, which has reinforced a culture of safety company-wide.
The company understands safety translates to productivity, and the performance metrics A.I.M. Mutual provides reflect that. Not long ago, supervisory personnel were experiencing repetitive motion injuries, and IPWW consultants were able to quantify the workload and recommend a successful way to facilitate quality control. The company also sent representatives to OSHA training so they could put A.I.M. Mutual’s recommendations in context and train-the-trainer throughout their company.
Dependable Cleaners’ new, 4,900 square-foot headquarters opened in the spring of 2014 with numerous safety and injury prevention features designed into the production processes. Key upgrades included a new machine that will likely help prevent shoulder injuries. Dependable Cleaners adopts many of the innovative strategies from A.I.M. Mutual into their business planning, putting employee safety and health at the top of their list—as they always have. At A.I.M. Mutual, we are extremely pleased to have them as a business partner.