Pub. 20 2021-22 Issue 2


Safety Is A Business Imperative

Dealerships typically pay 2-4% of payroll for Workers’ Compensation insurance. It is not uncommon that Workers’ Compensation is the dealership’s largest insurance expense and has a significant impact on profitability. Dealerships can minimize this cost by instilling a safety culture in their workforce.

NJ CAR has developed the Zero Injury Protection (ZIP) Program exclusively for NJ CAR members. And the evidence is in – safety cultures avoid workplace injuries. Moreover, adopting ZIP can reduce the total cost of employee injuries by up to 44%.

ZIP is a comprehensive approach focused on reducing and eliminating work-related injuries and is offered as part of a dealership’s participation in the NJ CAR Workers’ Compensation Program at no cost to the dealership.

ZIP is about increasing dealership profits by lowering costs and improving revenue. Think of the lost revenue and increased expense when a tech is out of work recovering from a workplace injury. Reducing a dealership’s employee injuries will lead to a lower experience mod, higher scheduled credit and dividend.

An additional benefit of ZIP is employee morale. Morale improves when employees know that the dealership is promoting their safety. Several dealerships that implemented ZIP have commented on this outcome.

NJ CAR ZIP Program

ZIP has produced REAL results for participating dealers:

  • 80% of participating dealerships had loss ratios under 20%
  • 70% had loss ratios under 10%
  • Medical and indemnity claim costs for participating dealerships were three times less than dealerships with no formal safety program in place.

Safety is a journey. Repeated reinforcement is needed for employees to embrace a safety culture. The requirements to achieve a zero-injury culture include:

  • Forming a high-impact safety committee;
  • Conducting a safety inspection that includes solutions, remediation and abatement planning;
  • Investigating employee injuries to determine the root cause;
  • Reporting claims promptly; and
  • Providing and promoting periodic recognition events.

ZIP Program Testimonials

“The commitment to safety has changed the very culture of safety awareness at all our locations. At the end of the day, the NJ CAR ZIP program has helped us improve our dealership financial results.” – Eric Nielsen

“The ZIP program is an excellent, structured way to limit workers’ compensation exposure. Getting ALL employees involved in raising awareness of workplace safety has led to a lower frequency of claims.” – Jeff Wall

“The NJ CAR Zero Injury Program provides our management team with an effective, easy to use, injury prevention plan throughout the year. Also, by utilizing loss control methods that help make employees conscious of safety during the busy workday, we are reducing the rate of injury.” – David Defilippo

Charles Russo is NJ CAR’s Risk Manager & Safety Specialist and has more than 20 years of risk management, safety, claims and compliance experience. He can be contacted at or 609.883.5056, x314.