T. Bruce Sales: A Case Study

Most businesses realize insurance is a necessity, but they may also think that most all insurance agencies are the same – they sell you a policy and work with you if you ever need to file a claim so that you can restore your business and get on with your work.

Certainly, proper coverage cushions you from the financial impact of an insured loss, but recognizing, identifying, and controlling exposures to loss or injury has the greatest impact on claims. Unfortunately, not all insurance agencies have the expertise a company needs to reduce their risk. Proper risk management is important for all businesses, but particularly for businesses whose management team wears many different hats and cannot dedicate a large amount of their time to proactive risk management strategies.

Let’s take a look at a recap of a case study done on one our clients, T. Bruce Sales, so you can understand how risk management can provide your business with significant results.

Company Profile

Bruce Sales, Inc. is a heavy plate and structural fabricator in West Middlesex, Pennsylvania. Founded in 1946 and incorporated in 1974, they employ over 70 people in their 80,000 sq. ft. facility.

TBS specializes in material handling equipment and custom machine building. They have precision, preparation, and finishing machine shops and offer custom fabrication. Their services include CNC plasma and Oxy cutting, sawing, rolling, forming, welding, CNC machining, stress relieving, blast cleaning, painting, testing, inspection, assembly, reverse engineering, and repair and rebuild services.

Claims History

Obviously, an equipment heavy operation of this type faces many risks. However, T. Bruce Sales filed 36 workers’ compensation claims during the 2006 – 2007 policy year – an unreasonable number for their company size. These claims seriously impacted production, employee morale, and the company’s bottom line.

Time For Change

Bruce Sales decided it was time to reduce their workers’ compensation claims and costs. Gilbert’s Risk Solutions assumed the role as agent and partnered with SOS Consulting for safety consultations.

The team started with monthly inspections, audits, post-workplace injury interviews, as well as supervisor accountability and accident investigation training. They identified risks and developed a safety program to control exposures. Supervisors were now held accountable for their work areas, employees, and associated risks.

Safety was now a priority for workers and management, instead of a secondary consideration. Everyone understood their responsibilities and worked toward a common goal.


Bruce Sales filed 2 worker’s compensation claims for the 2015-2016 insurance year – a reduction of 94%. The business went 2,187 days without lost time or injury and reduced their worker’s compensation costs by 45%.

They also lowered their very high Experience Modification Rate (EMR) of 1.837 to .717, well below the industry average. This significantly reduced their worker’s compensation premiums.

Cost savings of this magnitude allowed the company to direct money to additional plant upgrades to further drive safety. They’ve reinvested $4 million in equipment and plant improvements.

Clearly, an insurance agency with risk management expertise offers greater benefits than a company that just sells you a policy.

Gilbert’s Risk Solutions works with you from your initial consultation, through diagnosis, and helps you create a plan. Our industry experts will also recommend effective insurance coverage at optimal rates. Contact us to discuss your insurance and risk management needs.

For more information on how we helped T. Bruce Sales, download the full case study.

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