Massive New Study Links Being a Workaholic to a Myriad of Other Psychiatric Disorders

Workaholic memeWorkaholism, long-associated in some parts of the world with an industrious work ethic, can develop into a full-blown psychological addiction.

Troublingly, a recently published study of 16,426 working adults in Norway found that those with workaholism are significantly more likely to have psychiatric symptoms.

Psychology researchers, led by Cecilie Schou Andreassen from the University of Bergen in Norway, found a strong link between workaholism and ADHD, OCD, anxiety, and depression.

They found:
• 32.7% of workaholics also met ADHD criteria, compared to      12.7% of non-workaholics

• 25.6% of workaholics also met OCD criteria, compared to 8.7% of non-workaholics

• 33.8% of workaholics also met anxiety criteria, compared to 11.9% of non-workaholics

• 8.9% of workaholics also met depression criteria, compared to 2.6% of non-workaholics

The authors speculated that there are several reasons those with ADHD might suffer workaholism, including inattentiveness forcing them to spend excess hours trying to make up work, working extra hard to counter misperceptions of laziness, or working to alleviate restlessness.

For those with OCD, workaholism could become a compulsion. Meanwhile, working hard is “praised and honored in modern society,” write the authors, and so could be used as a means to counter anxiety or depression.

The study, which was co-authored by researchers from Yale University and Nottingham Trent University, did not determine whether workaholism caused the psychiatric symptoms or vice versa.

Marianna Virtanen, an epidemiologist at UCL and the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, was not involved in the study but has done previous research on long working hours. She postulates that, as many psychiatric disorders begin at a young age, they precede workaholism.

“It is also possible that the association is bidirectional; workaholism may exacerbate psychiatric symptoms in the long run,” she adds. “It is paradoxical, however, that people may first try to cope with their symptoms by excessive working.”


Summer Job Season Approaching – Teens More Likely Than Adults to Get Hurt at Work

teen worker safety and injury statisttics
Tumwater, WA – As summer approaches, many teens are excited to have their first real jobs. Unfortunately, while working, some of them will be hurt — possibly seriously.

Parents, employers and youth all play a critical role in teen worker safety. That’s according to Josie Bryan, child labor specialist with the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries (L&I).

Young workers have a higher rate of getting hurt on the job than older adults. In Washington, 635 work-related injuries to teens age 17 and under were reported in 2015. The number of teen workplace injuries has been on the rise since 2010. Still, the total is significantly lower than the 2,336 cases reported in the year 2000.

“Teens new to the workforce may feel they have to say yes to every task they’re assigned,” said Bryan. “We want to make sure young workers get the training they should, know their rights and always ask questions, especially whenever they’re concerned for their safety.”

In July 2014, 19-year-old Bradley Hogue was killed by an auger while working inside the hopper of a bark-blower truck. It was his second day on the job. L&I cited and fined the company he worked for after an investigation found numerous safety violations.
Bradley’s dad and mom, Alan and Deanna Hogue, have a message for parents of teens entering the workforce. Continue reading Summer Job Season Approaching – Teens More Likely Than Adults to Get Hurt at Work

Emotional Recovery After Catastrophic Injury

By Safety National 05/25/2016

photo of road sighs, "Hope" and "Despair"At the 2016 SIIA Workers’ Compensation Executive Forum, Jon Pearson from QLI kicked of the session with some blues harmonica then talked about how the best long-term outcomes on catastrophic claims can be achieved by considering the emotional challenges faced by the injured worker.

Emotional recovery means the injured worker believes they can live a rich and fulfilling life in spite of their pain and physical limitations.

If an injured worker does not believe in themselves and focuses on the negatives, then ultimately they will never have the best outcomes. This emotional recovery must be the lead focus of any catastrophic injury rehabilitation program.

Emotional recovery is much harder to predict and measure than physical recovery and it has a tendency to ebb and flow with frequent setbacks.

The emotional recovery path involves:

• Establishing a trusting relationship; the injured worker must trust that you are there to help them and help them achieve the best outcomes.

• Vivid picture of life before and after injury; you must understand what the injured workers life was like before the injury and help them get a realistic understanding of things that will need to change.

• What is most important to them; identify tasks they enjoy and strive to find ways for them to participate in these tasks post-injury.

• Pre-existing obstacles; you are treating a person, not an injury.

• Assessment of impact on injury and coping; are they focused on what they cannot do or do they understand they have a new reality and want to make the best of it.

• Vision of life path beyond injury; there needs to be a plan of action for the future. What are the goals?
Continue reading Emotional Recovery After Catastrophic Injury

Top 5 Workplace Accidents

Travelers Injury Impact Report Details Most Frequent Workplace Accidents


Hartford, CT  –
The Travelers Companies, Inc. (NYSE: TRV), the country’s largest workers compensation carrier, today released its Injury Impact Report, which identifies the most common causes of workplace accidents and injuries.

The company analyzed more than 1.5 million workers compensation claims filed between 2010 and 2014 from a variety of business sizes and industries.

This Smart News Release features multimedia. View the full release here:
Traveler's Insurance Workplace Injury Report



Travelers Outlines Most Common Workplace Injuries:

• Material handling (32 percent of total claims);
• Slips, trips and falls (16 percent);
• Being struck by or colliding with an object (10 percent);
• Accidents involving tools (7 percent); and
• Traumas occurring over time, for example when a part of the body is injured by overuse or strain (4 percent).

The above incidents most often resulted in strains, sprains, cuts, punctures, contusions, inflammation, fractures or chronic sicknesses resulting from a type of work (e.g., a skin disease caused by chemical exposure).
Continue reading Top 5 Workplace Accidents

Is a “Safety Culture” Assessment Right for Your Organization?

By Terry Bogyo 2 hours 58 minutes ago

Creating Safety Cultures yellow diamond highway signSafety culture is a popular term in occupational health and safety articles.  There is no one universally accepted definition but the US OSHA describes Safety cultures this way:

Safety cultures consist of shared beliefs, practices, and attitudes that exist at an establishment.  Culture is the atmosphere created by those beliefs, attitudes, etc., which shape our behavior.  An organizations safety culture is the result of a number of factors such as:§  Management and employee norms, assumptions and beliefs;

•  Management and employee attitudes;
•  Values, myths, stories;
•  Policies and procedures;
•  Supervisor priorities, responsibilities and accountability;
•  Production and bottom line pressures vs. quality issues;
•  Actions or lack of action to correct unsafe behaviors;
•  Employee training and motivation; and
•  Employee involvement or “buy-in”

Safety culture is often summarized as “The way we do things around here”.

However you define it, a safety culture can only exist in a social context, in a community of individuals (specifically employees and management) organized around a work objective.  Safety culture in any particular organization at any given time is dependent on that context.  If the context is relatively stable then the safety culture is likely stable over time (absent interventions or events that disrupt the status quo).

Building a strong safety culture can make workplaces safer by extinguishing behaviours that put workers at risk, increasing adherence to safe work procedures, eliminating hazards, etc.


Fitness-For-Duty And Functional Capacity Exams: Important Tools In Reducing Workers’ Compensation Costs

Fitness for duty logoBy National Workers Compensation Defense Network (NWCDN) 05/14/2016

We have all seen this situation: an employee with a physical job has major surgery and is given restrictions by the treating doctor, who issues an MMI note (maximum medical improvement).

When temporary disability benefits are stopped, the employee immediately calls to see about returning to work.  The employer indicates that it cannot take the employee back with such heavy restrictions.  The next day the treating doctor issues a note clearing the employee to return to work with no restrictions.  One month later the same employee reinjures his back at work severely, leading to another surgery and hundreds of thousands of dollars or even total and permanent disability. The hit to the employer’s workers’ compensation budget becomes astronomical.

What went wrong? Why does this sort of thing happen so often? This is the first of a two-part series on the critical importance of fitness-for-duty exams and functional capacity evaluations in the New Jersey workers’ compensation system.  In this blog, we will focus on mistakes employers make and why fitness exams can result in enormous savings for employers. The next blog will focus on how to do fitness exams correctly and how to avoid law suits when arranging fitness exams.
Continue reading Fitness-For-Duty And Functional Capacity Exams: Important Tools In Reducing Workers’ Compensation Costs

Tea, Honey, Hops and Sponges: 
The Antibacterials Hunt

By Max Evans BBC News

What do tea, beer, honey and marine sponges have in common?

honey, hops and an aleThey are all among the natural products Welsh scientists are targeting in the hunt for sources of new antimicrobials.

With increasing bacterial resistance to antibiotics, the need to find new agents to tackle dangerous pathogens – many of them in hospitals – is acute.

So, Cardiff University’s School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Science has turned to some unlikely Welsh sources – including a few found in ancient remedies.

Cardiff University scientists hope to use hops to stop cows producing methane

“Much of what we do is based on whizzy machines and science, but there’s a lot to learn from history,” said Prof Les Baillie.

“While some of these ancient remedies might well be hokum or snake oil, it’s likely that over thousands of years our ancestors hit on something that actually worked.”

And nothing could be more traditional than the time-honoured remedy of honey. Continue reading Tea, Honey, Hops and Sponges: 
The Antibacterials Hunt

Is A Golf Injury Covered By Workers Compensation?

May 10, 2016 by Michael B. Stack

Golfer next to crocodile warning signWith the onset of spring, a softball game, corporate retreat and golf outing all sound like fun activities.  However, when all the attendees are employees and an injury occurs, is it covered by workers’ compensation?  “It depends” is the answer the claims adjuster or corporate counsel will give you.

Many Factors Determine Compensability
In order to determine if workers’ compensation is applicable, the adjuster will have to ask a lot of questions.  While the criteria may vary from state to state, the following are general guidelines to separate a workers’ compensation injury from a personal injury that is not covered by workers’ compensation.

•  Is the event employer sponsored or employee sponsored?
•  Is the event primarily financed by the employer?
•  Does the employer benefit from the event by providing training
or  presentations, or by making morale speeches or passing out
special achievement awards?
•  Does the employer mandate attendance or is attendance
•  Does the employer encourage attendance by making a record of
•  Were the employees paid for the time in attendance?
•  Were employees who chose not to attend required to work their
regular job if not in attendance?
•  Do the employees regard the event as a fringe benefit they are
entitled to?
•  Does the social event occur during normal work hours?

If the answer is “yes” to most of the above questions, the injury most likely will be covered by workers’ compensation.


Physician Review of Opternative, Gives Online Eye Prescriptions for Glasses and Contacts

iMedicalApps | April 28, 2016

Guest post by Michael Evans MD (Practicing Ophthalmologist)

dog wearing glasses

Editors Note: This review was done prior to recent actions that have been taken to try and stop Opternative from providing their online refractions, we have detailed these actions at the end of this article.

If you have a fear of visiting your local optometrist or ophthalmologist for a full dilated exam to examine your retina, optic nerves and the vascular supply of your inner eye, but just need an updated refraction for prescription glasses and/or contacts, then a new option called Opternative is an alternative you may want to try.

Opternative is available for the public to use in 33 states, and can provide an online vision exam for healthy patients, ages 18-40. It is important to note, as Opternative does many times on their website, that this exam is not evaluating your ocular health, or screening for any potential blinding conditions which are discovered during full eye exams, such as glaucoma or diabetes (among others).

They simply have a platform that allows the user to interact with the software to determine their refractive error, then provide a prescription for either glasses, or for both glasses and contact lenses. One must have had an eye exam in the past two years in order to obtain a prescription from Opternative, and they have to be able to access a record of your glasses and contact lens prescription in order to complete the process.

First, the website itself is slick, extremely user-friendly, and clean (see the photos of the refractive exam from start to finish). You’ll need a desktop/laptop computer, a cell phone, and about 12-15 feet of space where you can back away from the main computer to interact with the vision screening software. Continue reading Physician Review of Opternative, Gives Online Eye Prescriptions for Glasses and Contacts

Humanize Work Comp To Realize Medical Savings

May 3, 2016 by Michael B. Stack Leave a Comment

graphic for; Humanize, Understanding, Manage, Analyze, NurtureMedical costs continue to account for a significant portion of every workers’ compensation claims.  In order to address this matter, innovative teams are seeking improvements in the way they direct medical care and treatment in their claims.

Barriers in Directing Medical Care

All workers’ compensation programs are subject to a rigid statutory and regulatory framework that impacts the medical portion of every claim.  Notwithstanding the use of treatment parameters and fee schedules, the medical component in every jurisdiction can create challenges.  Some common barriers faced by the claim management team include:

• Choice of medical providers and the ability of the employee to switch providers during the course of medical treatment;

• Failure to use correctly an independent medical examination (IME) to mitigate exposure on a claim. This can often include selecting a doctor who lacks the correct credentials or familiarity with the injury in the claim; and

• Problems dealing with medical care that enables the injured worker to malinger.

Dealing with Common Pitfalls in Medical Care

The claim handler in charge of the claim is on the front lines when it comes to dealing with injured workers and making sure they receive the benefits, care and treatment they are entitled to post-injury.  This requires that member of the claim management team to take a proactive approach to dealing with these issues and reducing future exposures.

Here are some important things to consider:

• Educate the employer/clients regarding injury prevention;

• Be proactive when it comes to reporting claims. Time is of the essence.  A promote injury response can also buy good will from the employee and their attorney; Continue reading Humanize Work Comp To Realize Medical Savings