Tag Archives: Occupational Safety

Every Worker Deserves to Make it Home Safe – Every Day

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 5,190 people – more than 14 a day – died while doing their jobs in 2016. And, for every worker lost, countless loved ones, co-workers and friends are affected.

 

For more than 100 years, the National Safety Council has been a leader in workplace safety, and we believe we can eliminate preventable deaths in our lifetime. Workers’ Memorial Day on April 28 reminds us that we still have a long way to go. Despite all the advances that have been made in safety, for the first time in nearly a decade, workplace deaths have surpassed 5,000.

Implementing Safety Measures can Save Lives

NSC Safety training builds skills needed to save lives:

For more than 100 years, the National Safety Council has been a leader in workplace safety. We know that employers who show they care about the safety of their employees see improved morale, increased productivity, lower costs and, most importantly, fewer injuries.

The OSHA-NSC Alliance

The OSHA-NSC Alliance agreement aims to prevent workplace injuries, deaths and illnesses. As part of the agreement, OSHA and NSC partner to:

  • Develop compliance assistance tools and best practice documents
  • Convene, participate and exhibit at occupational safety and health forums and stakeholder meetings
  • Collaborate with other OSHA Alliance participants to address specific safety topics
  • Support and promote the Journey to Safety Excellence Campaign

WE’RE WORKING TOGETHER

Pledge to be Safe at Work

Safety is everyone’s responsibility, and you can show your commitment by taking our SafeAtWork pledge. Doing your part today can help save a life tomorrow – maybe even your own.

TAKE THE PLEDGE

Measure your Safety Progress

How is safety in your workplace progressing? The National Safety Council offers consulting and research services to help you track, evaluate and improve your safety management system.

[SEE FULL STORY HERE]

Expanding the Paradigm of Occupational Safety and Health: A New Framework for Worker Well-Being

An article recently published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine titled Expanding theWorker Well Being Logo Paradigm of Occupational Safety and Health: A New Framework for Worker Well-Being describes NIOSH’s newly developed conceptual framework for worker well-being. Historically, worker well-being has been measured through job satisfaction, employee engagement, positive emotions, and good mental and physical health.

This framework seeks to define and operationalize the concept of worker well-being through the following domains:

info graphic for article, Expanding the Paradigm of Occupational Safety and Health: A New Framework for Worker Well-Being

  • work evaluation and experience,

  • workplace physical environment and safety climate,

  • workplace policies and culture,

  • health status, and

  • home, community, & society.

This framework can make a valuable contribution to the efforts of researchers, policymakers, employers, workers, and communities as they take steps to better investigate, understand, and improve the well-being of workers. To learn more about the framework and what it means for applications in occupational safety and health, please see the full article HERE.

Workplace Anti-Retaliation Programs

OSHA Issues Recommended Practices to Promote Workplace Anti-Retaliation Programs

By WorkersCompensation.com  |  01/17/2017

whistleblower illustrationThe Occupational Safety and Health Administration today issued Recommended Practices for Anti-Retaliation Programs to help employers create workplaces in which workers feel comfortable voicing their concerns without fear of retaliation.

The recommendations are intended to apply to all public and private sector employers covered by the 22 whistleblower protection laws that OSHA enforces.

The recommendations are adaptable to most workplaces, and employers may adjust them for such variables as number of employees, the makeup of the workforce, and the type of work performed. The concepts can be used to create a new program or enhance an existing one.

The document outlines five key elements of an effective anti-retaliation program:

1. Management leadership, commitment, and accountability
2. System for listening to and resolving employees’ safety and compliance concerns
3. System for receiving and responding to reports of retaliation
4. Anti-retaliation training for employees and managers
5. Program oversight

“These recommended practices will provide companies with the tools to create a robust anti-retaliation program,” said Jordan Barab, acting assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health. “In the long run, it’s good for workers and good for business.”
Continue reading Workplace Anti-Retaliation Programs

Integrated Absence Management: Promoting Productive and Healthier Workplaces

By Safety National 10/20/2015 04:42:00

Integrated Absence Management graphicAt the 2015 Self-Insurance Institute of America National Conference, Tammy Worthey from Sedgwick and Junia McGraw from Arizona Public Services discussed how integrating your absence management program can benefit both the employer and your workforce.

One of the big challenges around absence management is the silos in which different benefit delivery systems operate. Workers’ compensation usually falls under risk management, and non-occupational disability is managed by human resouruces. There are often different strategies for the different programs, and data is usually not shared.

Most “integrated” absence management programs are coordinated, not truly integrated. A coordinated program still has the issue with silos due to different people having oversight over the different areas, and sometimes there can be different vendors handling the different areas. A true integrated program has one process owner (usually in human resources) and a single vendor handling both areas. The data from the two programs is also integrated which allows for more complete analysis and better decision making.

The key points of integration are:

  • Single intake of new claims. Employees only need to make one call and the vendor makes sure the appropriate claims are set up. The focus is on providing benefits to the worker timely rather than arguing about which silo the benefits should be paid under.
  • Sharing of medical records. This streamlines medical from providers to the claims team and helps to reduce costs by avoiding duplication of efforts.
  • Coordination of payments. This ensures the employee is receiving all the benefits they are entitled to under the different plans and also eliminates duplicate payments. If the workers’ compensation claim is being disputed, benefits are paid under disability during the adjudication of this dispute. By making sure the worker receives benefits it can cut down on litigation and increase the satisfaction of the injured worker.

    [READ FULL STORY HERE]

FREE Stuff to Assist You in Controlling WC Costs

No strings attached. We’re just passing this along from those helpful folks at WorkersCompensation.com.

Free materials to help control your workers' comp costsThey are promoting their new Workers Comp “help club,” called COMPClub, and it certainly looks worth while (for a big $29/month). This is a reputable and well-regarded organization with a long history in the workers’ comp field.

FREE Workers’ Comp Cost Containment Gifts

Your Ultimate Guide To Mastering Workers’ Comp Costs – Mini Book

The Mini-Book is 20 pages, with each page summarizing a corresponding chapter of our comprehensive book. This booklet is in OUTLINE format, thus perfect for training programs and as a seminar follow-along handout. This booklet can be used as a stand-alone for training or promotions, or in conjunction with the
Comprehensive Guidebook.

10 Customized Get Well Cards

Get Well Cards are part of a positive, proactive communication strategy. As part of a comprehensive workers compensation program, employers should maintain close communications with injured employees to ensure they recover quickly, do not drop out of the workforce and and return to work rapidly.

Customize the Get Well Cards with your Logo and a special message below.

5 Workers’ Comp Cost Containment Articles

Download the Word documents along with a license to use the content of 5 popular articles from the Workers’ Comp Roundup blog.

  • 6 Work Comp Mistakes Employers Make
  • An Employer  Road Map For Work Comp Claim Management
  • Different Strategies for Return to Work
  • Fighting Fraud with a Special Investigation Unit
  • How to Communicate with Your Adjuster

Workers’ Comp Leaders to Host First-Ever Industry Twitter Chat

illustration of Twitter discussionInteractive social media event will focus on industry hot topics

Top media experts in workers’ compensation will  join subject matter experts from GENEX Services LLC, one of the nation’s largest providers of managed care services, to participate in the first-ever Twitter Chat on workers’ compensation on Feb. 10, 2 p.m. EST.

By following the hashtag #workcompchat, Twitter users will be able to learn from and converse with industry leaders on topics ranging from managing complex claims to regulatory issues. The chat will be moderated by GENEX (@genexservices) and will include a panel of popular industry writers, bloggers and subject matter experts including:

Roberto Ceniceros, Risk & Insurance@rceniceros
Bob Wilson,WorkersCompensation.com;  @wcconnections
Mark Walls, LinkedIn’s Work Comp Analysis Group;  @wcanalysisgroup
Stephen Sullivan, WorkCompWire ; @work_comp_wire
Ron Skrocki, GENEX Services@skrockiron
Melinda Hayes, GENEX Services@melindahayes_ Continue reading Workers’ Comp Leaders to Host First-Ever Industry Twitter Chat

Why Hold Weekly Meetings With Injured Employees?

 October 3, 2013 by Michael B. Stack
illustration of employees meeting with profit graph arrowEvery injured employee on transitional duty should meet WEEKLY with the Transitional Duty (TD) Coordinator, if your company has one, or the supervisor in charge the injured worker’s return to work. There are many benefits to weekly meetings. Among them are:
It keeps employees in the loop at the workplace.

This keeps them mentally engaged in your workplace, and thus more likely to fully recover and return to work. It also keeps the employee socially connected to theirco-workers and supervisors. Employees who feel valued, important and supported are more likely to want to return to work quicker.

It gives employers the opportunity to determine increased capacity for transitional duty assignments.

These meetings help determine if increasing strength or capability is possible to allow the employee to assume additional job tasks. There should be a gradually increasing capacity. The employee should bring any recent medical information to the meeting. This should include any changes in medications, work restrictions and recommendations. It is good to vary the time of the meeting each week to see if the employee’s work capacity varies at different times of the day or week. For employees who cannot attend on site meetings, you might discuss options for a field-based nurse case manager to visit the employees.

It lets employees bring up any obstacles to returning to work.

Sometimes there may be simple reasonable accommodations that an employer can provide, such as an ergonomic chair or keyboard, that can help an employeereturn to work quicker. However, unless the employer knows about the difficulties the employee has, the employer will not be able to address these needs. You canfind a vendor that provides off-site employment temporarily for employees who are unable to travel or for any other reason cannot come back to a transitional duty position in your facility.

[READ FULL ARTICLE HERE]

Is Your Comp Medical Provider Brochure Complete?

Questions like these are probably keeping you awake at night.

By  

cover of Workers' Comp Medical Provider brochureIf it seems like there is a never-ending trail of paperwork and computer files to go over, that is likely the case.

One of the many facets of running a business is looking out for your employees, especially there physical well-being. It is almost a given that some of them will suffer some sort of injury while under your employ. As a result, it is critical that you have plans in place to quickly and effectively treat them.

With that in mind, it is more than a good idea that you have in place a brochure for the doctors and clinics that will ultimately care for your injured workers.

Make sure these 10 items are part of the brochure:

  1. Company description – This can be brief, but should be an overview of what your business does;
  2. Company location – In the event the company is nearby, it doesn’t hurt to encourage provider visits;
  3. Company job descriptions – This is where you want to explain the original work that was undertaken;
  4. Company description for transitional duty program – In this arena, be sure to include the purpose behind and importance to your business;
  5. Company necessity for medical limitations/abilities on initial visit – Keep in mind that this is very important so that the claim does not turn into a lost-time claim;
  6. Company sample transitional duty job descriptions – Here is where you describe possible modifications and alternative positions as examples. Make sure you are clear to customize positions to fit whatever restrictions are in place;

    [READ REST OF STORY]

What You Need to Know About West Nile Virus and Workers’ Comp

West Nile Virus cycle illustration
CLICK on graphic for LARGE version

Summer of 2012 on Track for Most West Nile Cases in 13 years

The summer of 2012 is on track to have the most cases of the West Nile Virus since the infection arrived in the United States in 1999. At the end of July there were only 29 cases of West Nile Virus in the U.S., per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). As of August 28th, the CDC is reporting 1,590 cases including 66 deaths. West Nile Virus has been documented in people (it also occurs in animals) in 43 states and the District of Columbia. Texas is bearing the brunt of the outbreak with 894 cases and 34 deaths.

Employers Need to Understand Infection and What Can be Done 

Employers need to understand the infection and what can be done to protect their employees. The workers’ compensation exposure to West Nile Virus can be catastrophic. A Texas jury awarded a Union Pacific employee nearly one million dollars because he claimed he was infected with the West Nile Virus while working. The illness is spread by the bite of mosquitos. Employers with employees who work outdoors are exposed to workers’ compensation claims arising out of mosquito bites. This includes landscapers, exterior painters, construction workers, delivery personnel, loggers, forestry workers, plant nurseries, utility linemen and utility repair personnel, amusement park employees and farm workers.

Only 2 – 3% of People Infected Report Cases

It should be noted that the reported cases is estimated to be only 2 percent to 3 percent of the people infected with the West Nile Virus. It is estimated by the CDC that 80% of the people infected by the mosquito bites develop no symptoms. In most of the 20% who develop symptoms, the symptoms are usually mild, primarily aches and fever. Only about one in 150 people infected with the West Nile Virus develop the severe symptoms that require extensive medical care.

West Nile Fever or Severe West Nile Disease

In the 20% of people who develop symptoms, there are two classifications, West Nile fever or severe West Nile disease. The West Nile fever symptoms include fever, headaches, body aches, tiredness, occasionally a skin rash on the trunk of the body, and swollen lymph glands. The West Nile fever will last a few days up to several weeks.

1 in 150 People Develop Severe West Nile Disease

In the 1 in 150 people who develop severe West Nile disease (also referred to as neuroinvasive disease which includes West Nile encephalitis or meningitis or West Nile poliomyelitis) the symptoms include headache, high fever, stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness and paralysis. While the severe West Nile disease can occur in anyone, employees over the age of 50 and employees with a compromised immunity system are at the highest risk of becoming severely ill. The issue that employers face with West Nile virus workers’ compensation claims is making a determination as to whether or not the West Nile Virus was contracted during work hours or during the employee’s nonwork hours. Complicating the determination of compensability is the fact that the incubation period from the mosquito bite to the onset of the West Nile fever or the West Nile disease can be as short as 2 days or as long as 15 days. 

Steps Employers Can Take to Reduce Risk 

Employers cannot eliminate all risk/exposure to West Nile Virus, but there are steps employers can take to reduce the risk of West Nile Virus in their employees working outside.

Continue reading What You Need to Know About West Nile Virus and Workers’ Comp

Awareness Key To Preventing Injury Among Young Adults Working Summer Jobs

logo for young worker summer job safetyBy WorkersCompensation.com 20/06/2012 10:34:00

Many states, like Ohio, make concerted efforts to remind employers and young adults that hazard awareness can reduce the chance for injuries among youth working summer jobs. The state is offering several resources for employers seeking summer help and young workers, whose lack of experience and training can contribute to workplace injuries.

“Summer brings job opportunities for Ohio’s young adults to earn money and develop skills they will carry with them when they enter the job market fulltime,” said BWC Administrator/CEO Steve Buehrer. “There are often hazards lurking that young adults may not consider, and employers may not take the time to explain to temporary or part-time workers. As with any employee, training will better equip youth workers to perform their jobs and return home injury-free at the end of their shift.”

Young adults may be at higher risk for work injuries for a number of reasons, from reluctance to ask questions, to assuming tasks they are either unprepared or incapable of performing safely.

BWC offers a young adult tool kit listing resources that can help young adults prepare for their summer jobs. The tool kit reviews possible risks involved in typical summer jobs and provides simple guidance to injury prevention. There are also tool kits for parents, employers and educators.
The kit includes the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s job safety wheel, which reviews hazards associated with specific jobs in construction, food service, farm work, landscaping, life guarding and parks and recreation.

The National Safety Council recognizes June each year as National Safety Month in a campaign to promote the importance of safety to reduce unintentional injuries and deaths.