February 22, 2018 by
When employers hear the word ergonomics, they tend to think about teaching their employees proper lifting techniques to prevent back injuries and to prevent the resulting workers’ compensation claims. As back injuries for laborers account for a disproportionate share of the number of work comp claims and a disproportionate share of the cost of work comp that is understandable. However, there are a significant number of workers compensation claims to office workers that could be prevented through proper office ergonomics.
Prevent Injuries by Applying Ergonomic Principles
Sitting in an office chair that is incorrect for the employee is often the cause of back pain. Using a computer keyboard that is placed improperly often results in carpal tunnel syndrome and other repetitive motion injuries. These types of injuries can be prevented by applying ergonomic principles – the scientific study of individuals and their physical relationship to the work environment.
An office ergonomics plan should have the goal of adapting the workplace to fit the individual needs of each specific employee. To accomplish this, three areas need to be considered.
- Physical shape and size of the employee
- Employee’s job description
- Tasks the employee is required to complete.
In an office environment, a comfortable workstation depends on how the workstation is set up. The location of the computer screen, where the keyboard is placed in relation to the hands, and the type of office chair. An ergonomically incorrect workstation is easy to identify by the employee who is sitting forward in his/her chair, hunched over looking at their computer. The correct workstation will have the employee looking straight ahead while sitting back in their office chair, which provides the employee with lumbar support to keep the back straight, and the neck and head erect. Another quick tip-off that the office is not ergonomically friendly is when all the cubicles have the same height for the work surface, and all the cubicles have the same style office chair.
Incorrect Computer Usage Results in Musculoskeletal Problems
Incorrect computer usage and computer placement results in musculoskeletal problems, eye strain, blurred vision, and headaches. Using a computer involves sitting at the same place for an extended period of time, while engaged in small repetitive motions of the hands and fingers, and repetitive movement of the eyes. These activities will cause the employee to develop various strains and fatigue.
The office employees should be encouraged to:
- Shift positions, stretch, walk or take a short break every hour.
- Vary their work to utilize different muscles.
- Have annual eye exams.
- Be sure their workstation or workspace is set up ergonomically correct to fit their physical needs and requirements.
February 20, 2018 Michael Stack, CEO Amaxx LLC.
Intentional Workers’ Comp Transportation Plan
The lesson for today is to have a very intentional plan and I want to give you some very specific things that you should be looking for and trying to accomplish in your transportation plan. This doesn’t cost anything and it’s not very difficult to implement, but the impact it can have on that claim can be dramatic.
4 Steps to Workers’ Comp Transportation
So there’s the steps.
1. Designate Individual. Step one, designate and individual. Who is it? Who’s the person that’s going to take your injured employee to the medical facility? It’s that same person every time. And, if for some reason, they aren’t available, they’re not there for the day, it’s not Option A, it’s Option B. Usually this is a supervisor, it’s a manager, or it’s another designated individual at your site that you’re going to make sure that that person every time that takes that person to the medical provider.
2. Correct facility in a timely fashion. The second thing you want to do is you want to make sure they get to the correct facility. Make sure they get to the correct facility in a timely fashion. There’s so many things that could go wrong between point A and point B. You go here, you stop there, did they get into the right facility? Make sure they get to the right provider in a timely fashion.
3. Stay with Injured Worker. Number three is, that designated individual is going to stay with the injured worker while they’re getting their treatment at the medical provider. So that designated individual stays with the injured worker, makes sure that that provider knows about your transitional duty program, make sure they have the employer brochure, the medical provider brochure, whatever information that you’re conveying, and making sure that they’re getting that treatment that they need.
4. Return Injured Worker to Job or Home. And number four is, return that individual employee to the job site. And, if for some reason they can’t go back to the job site, then return that individual back to their home.
A 10-year plan for addressing the major oral health issues in California was released in late January by the California Department of Public Health. Developed over three years in collaboration with the Department of Health Care Services, the plan identifies strategies to improve oral health over the lifespan and to achieve oral health equity for the state’s diverse population.
“I am pleased to share the thoughtful efforts of dedicated people from across the state in this new document, California Oral Health Plan 2018-2028,” said Karen L. Smith, MD, MPH, CDPH director and state public health officer, in a statement. “The California Department of Public Health supports the development of healthy communities through public health policy, guidelines, funding opportunities, technical assistance, and workforce development for realizing each community’s unique vision.”
The oral health plan is organized into a total of 11 sections with five major sections covering:
- The background of oral health in California, the burden of oral diseases and the need for a state strategic plan
- Strategic frameworks and public health concepts that shape the oral health plan
- State and local oral health program functions and services
- A conceptual model of the oral health plan process
- Goals, objectives and strategies for (1) children under age 6 and pregnant women, (2) people with diabetes, (3) vulnerable populations, (4) oral and pharyngeal cancer, (5) payment systems, (6) capacity and (7) infrastructure.
Also included in the plan is a “Healthy People 2020 Oral Health Indicators” chart with target levels and current status listed for various objectives — from dental caries experience to oral and pharyngeal cancers detected at the earliest stage.
The plan offers a structure for taking collective action to assess and monitor oral health status and oral health disparities, prevent oral diseases, increase access to dental services, promote best practices and advance evidence-based policies.
Alignment of dental care programs, payments systems and integration of oral health into primary care are offered as methods for increasing dental visits and creating opportunities to prevent dental disease, while screening, counseling, disease prevention and building community-clinical linkages for referrals are recommended for engagement in community settings. Collection, analysis, interpretation and dissemination of quality oral health data factor prominently in the ability to assess the nature and extent of oral disease.
To help implement its activities, the plan capitalizes on significant Denti-Cal improvements, expanded coverage options and recent fiscal developments, such as passage of CDA-supported Proposition 56 — the tobacco tax measure — which provides $30 million in dedicated annual funding.
Completing a comprehensive state oral health plan was one of the objectives of State Dental Director Jayanth V. Kumar, DDS, MPH, who began serving in his role in August 2015. Kumar developed the first comprehensive state oral health plan for New York.
CDA will keep members informed about developments in the CDA Update and on cda.org.
Every day employers can introduce increased risk for worker injury. At any given time, outside or internal forces can create a new hazard for injury. With the injury comes medical cost, lost wages, decreased production, decreased profit margins, more strain on current workforce, and other negative issues.
Below we will discuss a few factors involved in the increased risk of worker injury and the way to decrease the hazard when these forces are present in your workplace.
1) New Equipment in the Workplace:
Your workforce has a span of experience that varies by employee. Some workers are new to your industry, whereas others may have decades of experience. But new equipment is a great equalizer.
When there is hazardous equipment on the work floor unknown to your operators, the risk of serious injury increases dramatically. Your workers are unfamiliar with these machines, and, without proper training, a severe injury may occur.
The way to prevent injury is to take the time to properly train each employee on proper use of the new machine. Make sure they complete the training course and can pass a safety test before operating the equipment. This should decrease your risk, and make your workers safe.
A lot of employers ignore training, letting experienced workers train others. Managers can be surprised that older workers typically do not have the advanced technological experience to know these new machines inside and out, and therefore, without a properly trained workforce, you run the risk of increased worker injury.
2) Benefit Reductions:
As the economic environment continues to evolve, employers are scrambling to find ways to stay competitive. Some are experimenting with decreasing fringe benefits made available to employees, or by decreasing the employer contribution which increases employee cost for the same benefits package they may have had for years.
February 5, 2018 by
It’s fourth and goal from the one-yard line in the closing seconds of the first half of Superbowl 52. Without hesitation, the Philadelphia Eagles’ coach Doug Peterson sends his team back in to go for the touchdown rather than kick the conservative field goal. They direct stack the ball to the running back. He tosses an easy lob to quarterback Nick Foles, who waltzes into the end zone for the score.
Of course, the Eagles went on to win that very entertaining and exciting Superbowl 52, which in my opinion, was defined by that one play.
Hello, I’m Michael Stack, CEO of Amaxx, and while Justin Timberlake is not going to be coming to perform at any of our national conferences or daily activities, it doesn’t mean that we need to be any less prepared. One of the ways that I like to prepare when we’re creating strategies, policies, procedures, implementing systems of work comp management to create the best outcomes is by leveraging the research done by the work comp research institute.
WCRI Annual Issues Preview: Future Trends
What I want to do today is give you a little preview of the upcoming WCRI annual issues conference, so that we can know as individuals as well as an industry as a whole how to best be prepared for what’s coming down the pike. So, let’s talk about some of these sessions, and really, in the reviewing of the content that I’ll be covering, there’s really two major themes. The first is these future trends, and what’s next coming down the pike in workers compensation. They’re leading off the session with one that I feel is going to be very interesting, which is the future labor force trends and the impact of technology presented by Dr. Erica Groshen, who was the former head of the bureau of labor statistics.
Now, if you’ve ever been on the BLS website, and you’ve ever looked anything up, you know that it’s very rich in data. Personally, I often find it very valuable, but often very overwhelming at times as well. So, I’m looking forward to this session to listen to Dr. Groshen break down some of this data. Tell us some of these meanings. Have us able to understand some of these important metrics that are key for us to follow. So, that’s gonna be a tremendous session which I’m looking forward to as they start today.
WCRI then continues on this future theme with Dr. Rick Victor returning to the stage talking about workers compensation in 2030, and then wrapping up on the second day with “The World of Work is Changing Fast. Are You Prepared?” This will be a panel discussion from various experts within our industry talking about these future trends and their implications.
Again, allowing us to prepare as individuals as well as an industry, so when that opportunity arises, we can execute flawlessly.
The European Medicines Agency’s (EMA’s) Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) voted to recommend granting marketing authorization for recombinant, adjuvanted herpes zoster vaccine (Shingrix, GlaxoSmithKline [GSK] Biologicals, SA] to prevent shingles and postherpetic neuralgia in patients aged 50 years and older, according to an EMA news release.
The vaccine is a nonlive, recombinant subunit adjuvanted vaccine administered intramuscularly in two doses 2 to 6 months apart. The vaccine will be packaged as a powder and suspension liquid that is combined prior to injection. The vaccine’s active substance is varicella zoster virus glycoprotein E antigen (VZV gE). For Shingrix, an adjuvant (ASO1B) is added to VZV gE to stimulate antigen-specific cellular and humoral immune responses in those who have preexisting immunity against varicella zoster virus.
Shingles is caused when the same varicella zoster virus that causes chickenpox becomes reactivated. In most persons older than 50 years, shingles virus is dormant in the nervous system, and a person’s risk for shingles rises sharply after age 50 years. Continue reading CHMP Backs Shingles Vaccine Shingrix for Adults 50 and Olde