How Can I Reduce my Experience Modification Factor?

How to reduce my Experience Modification Factor

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The experience modification factor (EMF), or X Mod, is the number that represents your company’s likelihood of having injuries in the future, based upon your company’s prior claims experience. The Experience Mod takes into account your company’s size and industry and assigns a safety score (or X mod)  in regards to your workers’ compensation insurance coverage. Your insurance premiums are based on expected losses, which include an assessment of your risks and your past data.

The X Mod compares your company’s expected losses to its actual losses. Expected losses are determined by your company’s class codes and payroll, while your actual losses are determined by the actual number of claims.

By understanding your company’s X Mod, you can do certain things to help lower it and thereby lower your company’s insurance premium. This is what we will talk about in this post.

The Experience Modification Factor

An EMF of 1.0 is the average, it’s like getting a ‘C’ grade in school. 1.0 means that your company is on par with other companies in your industry as far as the number of, and costs of claims. Your goal should be to get as close to your minimum experience modification factor as possible.

To learn more about the experience modification factor and how to calculate it, see our blog “What is an X Mod?”

How an X Mod Benefits Your Company

The X Mod compares the industry average experience with your company’s own experience. It benefits companies by adjusting their premium cost, which is the best indicator of an individual employer’s own likelihood for incurring losses. The X Mod gives companies some control over the premium they pay, so it makes sense to strive for a lower X Mod.

Experience Modification Factor

 How to Reduce Your Experience Modification Factor

The best way to lower your x mod is to reduce losses or reduce the costs of your losses, both the frequency and severity of losses. The most effective way to lower your losses is to develop an effective safety program that focuses on proactive ways to prevent accidents and injuries. This will help you eventually lower your premiums over time. When accident frequency and severity are reduced, the risk to ensure your business will decrease.

Here are some tips to help your company improve its safety program and to lower your X Mod:

Assess Your Workplace

Conduct a risk assessment or safety audit of your workplace. This will help you to identify and correct any hazards you find that could cause an accident or injury.

Assessments should be conducted on a regular basis but the more frequent the assessment the more likely you are to find hazards. The assessments should be documented, and you should ensure that any corrective actions are taken in a timely manner.

Track incidents

Companies can avoid future accidents by tracking all of the factors that lead up to an incident. Some claims could have been avoided had the unsafe act or unsafe condition been corrected after a previous accident.


Companies should thoroughly investigate all accidents and should take corrective action to eliminate the situation or behavior that caused the accident. Here are a few things you can do when investigating:

  • Have an Employee Investigation Checklist: This is a list of questions to ask your employees and witnesses. Interview witnesses and obtain their testimony of exactly what they observed. Interview each witness separately. Be sure to ask open-ended questions and put witnesses at ease. Provide a translator, if needed. Ensure that they understand you are not seeking fault but that your intent is to prevent this from happening again.
  • Have an Employee Incident/Near Miss Report: Your company should have this form to properly investigate. This will also will come in handy when reporting a claim. Make sure to take photos, videos, or measurements of where the injury occurred.

Ask your insurance provider or a work comp professional for the forms listed above. Remember, the goal is to investigate to help eliminate a future injury.

Review Your OSHA Logs

A review of the past 3 to 5 years of your OSHA 300 Log will give you an indication of where, why, and how accidents are occurring in the workplace. Look for trends or repeat incidents. The best way to do that is to have your agent partner with Mod Advisor to show you trends and claim patterns.

Develop a Return to Work Program

By implementing an effective “return to work program” a company can improve their X Mod factor. The program will help to get injured employees back into productive roles as soon as it is safely allowed. Return to work programs will also help to promote the recovery process, reinforcing the employee’s sense of job security, and boost employee morale.


Report all claims right away. The longer it takes to report a claim, the more expensive the claim will be.

Develop a Written Safety Program/Plan

A written safety program will help to keep employees informed of the risks in their workplace and can help to lower your X mod rate. OSHA requires that every jobsite location has certain written programs in place. Employees should review and sign off that they have read and will follow the rules. Companies should hold people accountable for breaking the safety program’s rules. This could include time off without pay or termination.


Safety rules and regulations should be communicated on a regular basis to all employees. This can be done both formally and informally. Reinforcing safety rules can help to prevent accidents.


Once you have assessed your risks and found gaps in your safety policies or program you should make the necessary changes. Put your return-to-work program into place, develop your written programs and communicate your policy to all employees. Your company should determine which of the above tips makes the most sense for them to implement and then go for it!

If you need help implementing any of the above, have your agent contact us at [email protected]. We have a whole library dedicated to safety programs and are work comp experts.