Workers’ Compensation Program

Workers’ Comp Case Study FirstFruits


How FirstFruits Farms partnered with Vigilant to decrease workers' comp costs.

Background | Approach | Results | Conclusion


Results in First Year

  • 43 fewer claims

  • 52% faster claim closure

  • $993,619 in claim costs saved



Leaving self-insurance and joining the Labor and Industries (L&I) managed workers’ comp system can be challenging, time-consuming, and downright frustrating. Navigating a new systemand determining a strategy for addressing rising workers’ comp costs is hard. This was the situation for FirstFruits Farms.

FirstFruits quickly realized they needed a partner who could walk them through a step-by-step process to understand the system, drive down their costly premium, and continue to keep their employees safe.   

“There are not many organizations that have extensive knowledge of our industry’s unique challenges as well as an understanding for how they affect workers’ compensation costs. We recognized quickly that we needed a partner who has both. Vigilant fits perfectly.”

Ryan Ayres, Director of Human Resources @ FirstFruits Farms

Managing claims on their own also proved to be a challenge. The team at FirstFruits lacked established relationships as well as direct experience working with L&I. Facing a bureaucratic and complex system and moving claims quickly to closure was clearly going to be an ongoing battle.



  • A partnership was formed. FirstFruits’ leadership team and Vigilant discussed in great detail the appropriate workers’ compensation strategy, including what to expect from L&I, how premiums would be changing over the next few years, and precisely what interventions could be made to better control costs. With a fresh understanding of how their actions today impact their future premium, a strategy was implemented to reach their goals.
  • Safety in the orchard. The Vigilant safety team identified fall injuries in the orchard were both high frequency and high impact. Together we addressed them immediately with prevention measures and return-to-work strategies.
  • A new claims experience. FirstFruits partnered with its dedicated Vigilant claims manager to establish a clear view of the long-term consequences of claims management decisions being made today and how return-to-work influences future premium.



There are great financial incentives for companies who keep their employees safe and working. However, it’s often challenging and overwhelming to determine exactly which strategies will help achieve this. Having a deliberate, knowledgeable, and skilled partner can make all the difference.

Vigilant helps Washington employers make critical business decisions that positively impact workers’ comp costs and the safety of their workers.

Learn more about how we can help lower your workers' comp costs.


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