Tag Archives: risk control

Stop Workplace Falls While Decking the Halls!

November 30, 2017 by 

Workplace safety is important during the holiday season.  Stressing this topic can also reduce workers’ compensation program expenses.  This is especially true as employees are decking the workplace halls — you want to avoid falla falls, falla falls, falls, falls falls!

slips, trips and falls graphic for aritcle, Stop Workplace Falls While Decking the Halls!

The Real Expense of Workplace Safety

Failing to have a safe workplace impacts, everyone.  Employees get injured; overtime costs go up; all employees get stressed.  It also reduces productivity and adds unnecessary costs to the hiring and replacement of talented individuals who cannot return to work.  It adds to healthcare costs in the United States and places an unnecessary burden on emergency rooms.  Now is the time to prevent workplace injuries.

Slip, Trips and Falls in the Workplace

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) tracks injuries and deaths that occur in the American workplace.  Approximately 15% of all deaths in workers’ compensation settings occur when someone falls in a same level or multi-level incident.  Only motor vehicle accidents account for more workplace deaths.

The economic impact of slip/fall injuries is astronomical.  The National Safety Council estimates these types of injuries cost American industry over $13 billion per year.  This averages out to be about $40,000 per incident.  The consequence of poor training and safety compliance continues to grow.  Interested and proactive claims management teams can make a difference and reverse this troubling trend.  It also starts with educating insured on fall avoidance and other safety issues.

Creating a Culture of Safety

OSHA does require training for all employees subject to slip/fall dangers.  Those interested in making a difference in their workplace need to go beyond the minimum requirements

Prevent same level slip and fall injuries:

  • Keep work areas free of clutter, dust and other debris;
  • Require employees to wear low-heeled shoes with no-slip surfaces;
  • Ensure that rugs and mats have skid-proof backing;
  • Avoid having non-tracked flooring installed in workspaces;
  • Discourage horseplay in the workplace. This can include specifically prohibiting conduct that can result in slips, falls or other related injuries;
  • Keep rooms free of clutter, especially on floors; and
  • Use correct lighting in stairwells and hallways.

Employees working at heights such as catwalks, ladders, and scaffolding are in extreme danger for severe injury from falls.  Important measures to implement in the workplace should include:

  • Development and implementation of a fall protection program. This includes training and ongoing evaluation of safety measures for employees and management to use daily;
  • Avoid unprotected side and openings. When these settings are unavoidable, use of a guardrail, safety net or fall arrest systems are paramount;
  • Provide instruction on the safe posting and use of ladders;
  • Purchase and require the use of OSHA compliant ladders when engaging in workplace activities; and
  • Inspection of ladders and scaffolding before and after all use.

While this list is not all-inclusive, there needs to be a proactive approach to employee safety when working at heights.  It is also important to engage management on these issues and foster a culture of compliance with safety procedures and injury avoidance.


The holiday season should be a time of joy and gratitude—not emergency room visits.  While slip/fall injuries will never be eliminated, they can be avoided.  Taking a proactive approach reduces workers’ compensation costs and allows people to focus on the holiday season.

Read more: www.ReduceYourWorkersComp.com Stop the Workplace Falls While Decking the Halls! http://blog.reduceyourworkerscomp.com/2017/11/stop-the-workplace-falls-while-decking-the-halls/#ixzz50QdWkZ1s
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3 Steps to Discover the Root Cause of Work Injury

March 13, 2017 by Michael B. Stack

Why Why Why graphicA near miss may be the best thing that ever happens at your company. Depending on what you do afterward, it can be a huge opportunity to save money and headaches.

After the initial ‘phew!’ reaction, it’s time to get down to business and find out what happened and why and, most importantly, what you can do to prevent a recurrence that could result in an injury and comp claim the next time.

Fact is, most (probably all) workplace accidents have multiple causes. Even the seemingly simple-to-explain incident likely has several underlying factors going on. By getting to the real root of the problem you can avoid potentially costly and preventable claims.

Root Cause Analysis

Delving into the true causes of workplace injuries requires a team effort, though it doesn’t need to be all that complicated. There are a variety of frameworks for ‘root cause analyses.’  There are templates to make it easier to organize the information. Some organizations use a fishbone diagram to group causes into major categories to identify variation sources. Whatever system is used, there are several keys to successful root cause analysis.

Do NOT assign blame!
This is the most important aspect in getting to the real root of a problem. It’s tempting to blame someone, punish him, and move on, but that doesn’t fix the underlying problems. Root cause analysis must be done without any finger pointing. Remember, most workplace accidents are the result of a confluence of contributing factors. The job of RCA is to identify and correct them.

Ask questions.
Then ask more. And a few more after that. The main questions to ask: WHY? You may feel like a 2-year-old asking ‘why, why, why’ – but this is key to getting to the crux of the analysis. As an example, let’s say “Fred” fell off a ladder and, luckily, was not seriously injured. It might be easy to say, ‘well, Fred was being careless, he was in too much of a hurry, so it’s his fault.’ But asking ‘why’ will uncover important details that would prevent future such incidents. The answer to the first ‘why’ could be that one of the rungs on the ladder broke. ‘Why,’ you ask again, and find out it could not hold Fred’s weight. Continue reading 3 Steps to Discover the Root Cause of Work Injury

Falls & Struck By Incidents Lead Work Related Deaths

By WorkersCompensation.com  | February 1, 2017

chart of workplace deaths by industryRaleigh,NC  – Falls and struck-by incidents continue to cause the largest number of work-related deaths statewide based on preliminary information released today by the state Department of Labor. Struck-by incidents accounted for the most work-related deaths with 19, while falls accounted for 12 deaths.

The department’s Occupational Safety and Health Division inspected 48 work-related deaths last year.

“Year after year, we see falls and struck-by incidents take the lives of too many workers,” Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry said. “Falls and struck-bys are especially troubling because we know nearly all these types of workplace accidents can be prevented when proper safety training is coupled with the proper use of personal protective equipment. Seven of last year’s construction deaths involved a fall from a roof. We never lose sight of the fact that these are human lives lost at work, and I take each one personally. These were someone’s husband or wife, mother or father, brother or sister, son or daughter, and in some cases grandparent. They were best friends and co-workers at an average age of 42 years old.”

The OSH Division tracks work-related deaths that fall within its jurisdictional authority so it can pinpoint where fatalities are occurring and place special emphasis on counties or regions where deaths on the job are happening. By tracking fatalities in real time, the department can also notify particular industries of any concerning patterns or trends identified and issue hazard alerts to warn industry. Continue reading Falls & Struck By Incidents Lead Work Related Deaths

Hospital ICUs Overused

Biomedical Research Institute (LA BioMed)

Intensive Care Units (ICUs), which provide the most expensive and invasive forms of care in a hospital setting, are being used too often for patients who don’t need that level of care, according to a new study by LA BioMed and UCLA researchers published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine today.

The researchers studied 808 ICU admissions from July 1, 2015 to June 15, 2016 at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center and found that more than half the patients could have been cared for in less expensive and invasive settings.

Of the patients in the study, 23.4% were in need of close monitoring but not ICU-level care. Another 20.9% of the patients were critically ill but unlikely to recover because they had underlying illnesses or severity of acute illness. For another 8%, death was imminent or the same outcomes were expected in non-ICU care.

“Our study found over 50% of patients admitted to the ICU were categorized into groups suggesting that they were potentially either too well or too sick to benefit from ICU care or could have received equivalent care in non-ICU settings,” said Dong W. Chang, MD, an LA BioMed researcher and the corresponding author for the study.

“This research indicates that ICU care is inefficient because it is devoting substantial resources to patients who are less likely to benefit from this level of care. These findings are a concern for patients, providers and the health care system because ICU care is frequently invasive and comes at a substantial cost.”


3 Ways to Make Your Worksite Injury-Free

By ReduceYourWorkersComp.com 12/20/2016

black and white photo of Flying WallendasKeeping workers safe on the job doesn’t need to entail major expense, and it’s the best way to keep your workers’ compensation costs down. But it’s easy to overlook the steps needed to prevent on-the-job accidents, no matter what type of work being done. Employers can take a cue from the person who has, arguably, the most dangerous job in the world.

Nik Wallenda, of the famed Flying Wallendas, walks a tightrope. But he considers himself an artist rather than a daredevil because of the safety measures he takes. Before each walk, he spends months preparing for the worst case scenario — having the local fire department douse him and the wire with gallons of water before going over Niagara Falls, or generating 90-mile-an-hour winds with airboats pointed at him as he practices for a walk above the Grand Canyon. He even rehearses his rescue plan — if it’s ever needed — where he kneels down to the wire while rescuers can get to him within 90 seconds.

While the dangers he faces are much more than those for most workers, his methods are best practices that everyone can use: understanding the risks, training all involved, prepping for the actual event.

Assess the risks

Before sending workers into areas with known or unknown hazards, companies should be very familiar with the risks involved. For Nik Wallenda, that means researching the area where he plans to do a wire walk from all angles — including below, where onlookers could be at risk.
Continue reading 3 Ways to Make Your Worksite Injury-Free

New Workers’ Compensation Laws Will Reduce Treatment Delays and Fraud

By WorkersCompensation.com  

wc-fraudSacramento, CA  – Two newly signed laws will build upon California’s workers’ compensation reforms by addressing two critical issues—reducing treatment delays for injured workers and rooting out provider fraud and illegitimate liens.

Governor Brown signed SB 1160 (Mendoza) and AB 1244 (Gray and Daly), which build on the 2012 workers’ compensation reforms designed to increase benefits and improve medical care for injured workers, and to control costs for employers.

“Expedited and appropriate treatment in the critical first month of injury encourages the best outcome for injured workers and employers,” said Christine Baker, Director of the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR). “In reforming the utilization review process used to contest care to injured workers and tightening controls on fraud, these new laws further the treatment and savings goals initiated by the Governor and the Legislature in 2012.”

SB 1160 reduces most utilization review in the first 30 days following a work-related injury. It also mandates electronic reporting of utilization review data by claims administrators to the Division of Workers’ Compensation, which will enable the division to monitor claim processes and address problems.
Continue reading New Workers’ Compensation Laws Will Reduce Treatment Delays and Fraud

7 Ways to Prevent Slips, Trips, and Falls

August 24, 2016 by Michael B. Stack

slip and fall hazards signA common source of accidents in almost any work environment is the slip, trip, and fall. All three types of accidents have the same result where the employee’s feet leave and land on the floor or other surface.

Often there is a combination of slip and fall or of trip and fall. The fortunate employee who trips and falls receives a few bruises. The unlucky employee receives one or more fractured bones, torn ligaments, or other soft tissue injury.

The fact is most slips, trips, and falls can be prevented through a combination of proper risk management by the employer and proper training of the employee on how to avoid accidents.  The employer can reduce or eliminate most of the accidents involving slips, trips and falls by using the following guidelines:

1) Using the most appropriate flooring materials

The flooring material chosen should not be selected based solely on cost or aesthetic issues. The flooring surface should be smooth, but not slippery. There ARE standards for the safest co-efficient of friction on surfaces, so make sure your surfaces meet these standards. It should not have joints, ridges or edges that are one fourth inch in height or greater. Any greater elevation changes than this present the opportunity for tripping.
Continue reading 7 Ways to Prevent Slips, Trips, and Falls

16 Percent of Nonfatal Workplace Injuries or Illnesses Occurred Midnight – 8 AM in 2014

By WorkersCompensation.com 06/27/2016

Washington, DC – In 2014, 67 percent of nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses occurred during the hours of 8:01 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Of the injuries and illnesses during these hours, 331,390 occurred in morning hours, and 249,890 occurred in the afternoon.
Workplace injuries and illnesses requiring days away from work by time of day and event or exposure
During most times of the day or night, overexertion involving outside sources is the most common cause of workplace injuries or illnesses for which people miss work to recuperate. During the early morning hours of 4:01 to 8:00, falls to the same level were also a leading cause of workplace injuries or illnesses.

During the nighttime hours of midnight to 8:00 a.m., 16 percent of workplace injuries or illnesses occurred. Intentional injury by a person makes up 4 percent of the injuries or illnesses between the hours of midnight and 4:00 a.m.


Eric Clapton album cover for After Midnight

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

By WorkersCompensation.com

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: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20160516005965/en/
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