By STEVE YAHN, who has written for and edited national trade magazines for more than 30 years
Yes, Google Inc. is different. Some of its claims involve slips and falls. More likely, though, those more routine claims will involve slipping from a scooter or falling off a bicycle.
At the Googleplex, the company's Mountain View, Calif., headquarters or at the company's sprawling 500,000-square-foot offices at 111 Eighth Ave. in New York City, employees don't just walk. They scoot, they ride.
Accidents happen, of course, but they are few in number and so far there have been no workers' comp claims filed in conjunction with tumbling off a saddle or slipping off of a platform, according to Crowder.
"We are watchful of the maintenance of the bikes as well as weather conditions," says Crowder. "During the rainy months, bikes and scooters are stored."
Like many companies in the nation's top-employer-to-work-for listings, Google's main campus offers employees wellness centers and physical therapists on-site to help with sports injuries or neck and back pain.
Google also employs five doctors at the two sites that make up the main campus, also known as the Googleplex.
The doctors are not meant to be an employee's primary care physician but are available for the basics, such as sinus infections, strep throat, minor injuries, as well as allergy shots and vaccinations.
All full-time employees are eligible for care from these doctors, but the practice also exposes the company to medical-malpractice risks, risks for which the company needs to protect itself.
Google also runs day-care centers. After seeing a demand for daycare services from employees, who have spouses who also work, Google opened its first owned-and-operated daycare in September 2007. The company subsequently opened two more day-care centers as it grew.
"Obviously, this is a unique exposure as the teachers are Google employees," Crowder says. "Additional coverage needed to be secured to ensure we were appropriately protected."
The most unique exposures related to day-care are sexual abuse and misconduct, adds Crowder.
July 1, 2009
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