British Retail Marketer Fined after Worker is Crushed to Death

 

A British retail marketing company has been ordered to pay £118,500(188,000 USD) in fines and costs for serious safety failings after a worker at its Wakefield printing site was crushed to death, according to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).  Bezier Ltd., which employs some 700 people across nine UK sites, failed to heed warnings that could have saved the life of 49-year-old William Aveyard. [WCx]  The platen press involved in the incident is being modified by Bezier to improve the safety features of the machine
 
 
William Aveyard, of Shipley, Bradford, was trapped in a hand-fed press at the print site in Balne Lane, Wakefield, and pronounced dead at the scene.  Leeds Crown Court heard this month that Aveyard was using the press to cut out signs printed on corrugated card. It is thought he had climbed onto a moveable platen to remove waste following a misfeed. Aveyard received fatal injuries when the platen activated and crushed him against the fixed press.
 
 
An investigation by HSE found that Bezier failed to act on the knowledge they had of a fatal incident at a separate company a year earlier when a worker died after being crushed between the fixed and moveable parts of a similar hand-fed platen press.
 
 
Although Aveyard was experienced in the print industry, Bezier had failed to ensure he was adequately trained to use the machine. In addition there was no written safe system of work for the machine operators to access the press and deal with misfeeds.  HSE Inspector Andy Denison noted, “The sudden – and avoidable – death of Mr. Aveyard was a devastating blow for his family.
 
 
Bezier did not act on the knowledge they had of a similar incident. The need for a safe system of work was identified at a Bezier meeting in May 2007. In February 2008, an external health and safety consultant prepared a risk assessment and an action plan but again, the company failed to act.  “Accessing the machine to retrieve misfeeds created a serious and foreseeable risk of death or serious injury. Bezier were fully aware of those risks before this incident and failed to implement the required controls.” [WCx]
 
 
Bezier Ltd, a specialist in point-of-sale marketing, of Silkwood Park, Wakefield, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. They were fined £80,000(127,000 USD  with £38,501.83 (80,000 USD) in costs.

 

 

Author Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher. Contact Mstack@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com. 

  
WORKERS COMP MANAGEMENT MANUAL:  www.WCManual.com
MODIFIED DUTY CALCULATOR:  www.LowerWC.com/transitional-duty-cost-calculator.php

 

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.

 

©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact us at: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

Health Promotion Efforts Keep Employees On The Job

Workers participating in a "comprehensive" workplace health promotion program had a one-fifth reduction in absenteeism during the first year, according to a study in the April Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, official publication of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM).



Led by Maurice Niessen of the NDDO Institute for Prevention and Early Diagnostics, Amsterdam, the researchers evaluated a web-based worksite health promotion project at a large Dutch financial services company. The program used a "computerized knowledge-based reasoning system," which integrated the best available risk prediction equations with research-proven prevention and early diagnostic steps. [WCx]


The program emphasized low-pressure, low-intensity interventions — geared not only to employees' individual health risks, but also to their readiness to make lifestyle changes. Another key feature was assessment of mental health issues leading to burnout, a major cause of work disability in the Netherlands. 


Of about 11,250 employees invited, 3,900 enrolled in the program. After one year, the estimated absenteeism rate was approximately four percent for employees who participated in the program versus five percent for nonparticipants. Thus employees participating in the program had a 20 percent reduction in absenteeism in the first year. 


A growing number of companies are interested in workplace health promotion programs, with the goal of reducing health risk factors that lead to illness and lost job productivity. Studies of previous programs have not consistently shown reduced rates of absenteeism.


The comprehensive worksite health promotion program evaluated in the new study led to a significant drop in absenteeism rates. In fact, the improvement was achieved faster than expected; one year is not really long enough for lifestyle changes to have a meaningful impact on the risk of chronic diseases. [WCx]


Niessen and colleagues speculate that the program may have improved employees' psychological well-being or stress levels perhaps as a result of making healthy lifestyle changes or getting help with mental health problems.


Author Robert Elliott, executive vice president, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. He is an editor and contributor to Workers Compensation Management Program: Reduce Costs 20% to 50%. Contact: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

 


 

 Editor Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher. Contact Mstack@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com. 
WORKERS COMP MANAGEMENT MANUAL:  www.WCManual.com
MODIFIED DUTY CALCULATOR:  www.LowerWC.com/transitional-duty-cost-calculator.php

 

 

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.

 

©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact us at: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

Nearly 5 Dozen Workers Perish on the Job in Massachusetts

 

According to a new report from several Massachusetts agencies, nearly five dozen workers died on the job during the last year in the commonwealth.
 
 
The 2012 Dying for Work in Massachusetts: The Loss of Life and Limb in Massachusetts Workplaces report notes that 58 workers died on the job in the commonwealth in 2011; an estimated 580 additional workers died from occupational disease.[WCx]
 
 
The report, a collaboration of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO, the Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health (MassCOSH) and the Western Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health (Western MassCOSH), is unveiled each year to reflect on the workers' lost lives and to "renew our commitment to the fight for safe jobs."
 
 
Massachusetts' rate of workplace deaths has fluctuated over the past two decades, with no consistent trends indicating either a gain or drop in occupational fatalities, according to the report. 47 workers died on the job in Massachusetts in 2010 and 62 were deceased in 2009.
 
 
"What's most distressing about the findings in Dying for Work is the number of preventable accidents that are claiming the lives of so many hard working men and women every year," according to the report's co-author, Marcy Goldstein-Gelb, executive director of MassCOSH. "More disturbing still is that many of these accidents are similar to the accidents that killed workers the year before, and the year before that."
 
 
Among the findings from the report include:
 
* Thirteen firefighters died in the line of duty.
* Eight workers died on the job in the construction industry.
* Twelve workers died from motor vehicle incidents.
* Falls contributed to the deaths of 12 workers in the commonwealth in 2011, including five in the construction industry.
* Six workers died as the result of workplace violence incidents.
* Nine servicemen from Massachusetts died in the War in Afghanistan in 2011.
 
 
In addition to facts and figures, the report also includes portraits of a number of the faces of the fallen workers.[WCx]
 
 
Lastly, the Massachusetts AFL-CIO, MassCOSH and Western MassCOSH stressed the need for strengthened OSHA regulations, protections for immigrant workers, toxic chemical regulation improvements, comprehensive worksite safety programs and more.

 

 

Author Robert Elliott, executive vice president, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. He is an editor and contributor to Workers Compensation Management Program: Reduce Costs 20% to 50%. Contact: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

 

 
 

 Editor Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher. Contact Mstack@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com. 

  
WORKERS COMP MANAGEMENT MANUAL:  www.WCManual.com
MODIFIED DUTY CALCULATOR:  www.LowerWC.com/transitional-duty-cost-calculator.php

 

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.

 

©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact us at: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

Looking for a Little Summer Spending Cash, Not a Workers Comp Claim

Ontario recently launched a four-month blitz to ensure students are safe and do not get injured while working on their summer jobs.

 
 
Beginning this spring, an enforcement blitz is targeting workplaces where new and young workers are employed. Health and safety inspectors from the Ministry of Labor will check that employers comply with the Occupational Health and Safety Act.[WCx]
 
 
The blitz will ensure young workers:
 
  • Are protected by required safety measures, equipment and procedures to prevent injuries
  • Are properly instructed, trained and supervised on jobs
  • Meet minimum age requirements.
 
 
The inspectors will shut down unsafe work sites when necessary and employers could face fines through the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
 
 
Protecting young people on the job is part of the McGuinty government's continued commitment to prevent workplace injuries through its Safe at Work Ontario strategy.

 

Author Robert Elliott, executive vice president, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. He is an editor and contributor to Workers Compensation Management Program: Reduce Costs 20% to 50%. Contact: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

 

 

 

Editor Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their Workers Compensation costs by 20% – 50%.  He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher. Contact: Mstack@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com

 

 

WORKERS COMP MANAGEMENT MANUAL:  www.WCManual.com
MODIFIED DUTY CALCULATOR:  www.LowerWC.com/transitional-duty-cost-calculator.php

 

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.

 

©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact us at: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

Amusement Park Owner Charged in Workers Comp Fraud Scheme

 

A California amusement park owner charged with workers comp fraud and tax evasion has entered into a plea agreement with the San Bernardino District Attorney’s Office.


Following a suspected fraudulent claim referral form from the insurance company, investigators from the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office, Workers Comp Fraud Unit, served a search warrant on various properties owned and/or controlled by Thomas, 58, and Sharie Davis, 54, both of Fontana. Thomas and Sharie Davis are the owners of Davis Enterprises, a carnival and amusement park business. This is all according to the DA's office.[WCx]


During the course of the investigation it was found that Davis had illegally operated at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in San Diego County and other carnivals in Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties. Following the investigation, it was determined that the Thomas and Sharie Davis underreported the amount of their company payroll in order to pay smaller premiums to the State Compensation Insurance Fund, said Deputy District Attorney Michael Chiriatti, Jr., who is assigned to the case.


In addition to the insurance fraud, Thomas and Sharie Davis also failed to pay payroll tax between April 2010 and March 2011.


According to the plea agreement, Davis agreed to pay $195,937 to the State Compensation Insurance Fund and $18,206 to Employment Development Department. In exchange for her pleas, the charges against her husband were dropped. [WCx]


As of result of their fraud, Davis Enterprises illegally pocketed over $200,000 in taxes and insurance premiums,” said Chiriatti. “This is felony conduct, and I am happy that the defendant has been held responsible for her fraudulent behavior.



Author Robert Elliott, executive vice president, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. He is an editor and contributor to Workers Compensation Management Program: Reduce Costs 20% to 50%. Contact: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.



WORKERS COMP MANAGEMENT MANUAL:  www.WCManual.com
MODIFIED DUTY CALCULATOR:  www.LowerWC.com/transitional-duty-cost-calculator.php

 

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.

 

©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact us at: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

Ohio Bureau of Workers Comp Awards $350,000 in Grants for Workplace Safety

 


The Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation (BWC) has awarded safety intervention grants to 16 Ohio employers totaling more than $350,000.
 
 
BWC designed the Safety Intervention Grant Program to assist Ohio employers in reducing illnesses and injuries, as well as to create a partnership with them to establish best practices for accident and injury prevention. [WCx]
 
 
"These grants can be very helpful to employers that want to create safer workplaces for their employees but are discouraged by the expense," said BWC Administrator/CEO Steve Buehrer. "They also help to establish best practices by allowing BWC to measure the effectiveness of each employer's safety interventions and advise other employers on how to contend with similar safety concerns."
 
 
Ohio private and public employers are eligible for the grants, which include a 2-to-1 matching amount up to a maximum of $40,000 for a total of $60,000 – $20,000 from the employer and $40,000 from BWC. Quarterly data reports and follow-up case studies help BWC determine the effectiveness of employers' safety interventions and establish best practices.
 
 
Grant Recipients 
 
 
City of Monroe (Butler County)
The city's Public Works Department is responsible for water and sewer maintenance for the city. BWC awarded $27,666.67 to purchase a hydro-excavation system and hydraulics trailer to reduce the ergonomic risk factors associated with manually exercising water/sewer system valves. Risk factors include repetitive motion, excessive force, and awkward postures, in addition to the hazards related to exposure to extreme weather and traffic conditions.
 
 
Mid State Restoration, Inc. (Cuyahoga County)
Mid State Restoration is a construction industry employer specializing in masonry restoration. BWC awarded $8,359.93 to purchase new dustless technology safety tools used in concrete finishing work, such as saws, grinders, hammer drills and vacuum systems. These tools will help reduce the risk of injury related to overexposures to silica and noise.
 
 
Buckeye Tire Co-Columbus Inc. (Franklin County)
Buckeye Tire is an automobile service facility that specializes in auto, light and heavy duty truck service and repairs. BWC awarded $28,315.80 to purchase a tire balancer with wheel lift and tire changer to reduce the risk of injury related to material handling, forceful exertions and awkward postures.
 
 
G.A.G. Inc. (Franklin County)
GAG Inc. is a landscape maintenance company. BWC awarded $40,000 to purchase a mulch mule to reduce the risk of injury related to manual material handling, such as strains/sprains, repetitive motion, slips/trips and falls, and exposure to vehicular traffic.
 
 
Archbold Refuse Service, Inc. (Fulton County)
A.R.S. is a waste hauling company for residential, commercial and industrial customers. BWC awarded $40,000 to purchase hydraulic container lock systems to reduce the risk of injury related to manual material handling as yard containers are pushed/pulled to trucks and manually locked in place prior to dumping.
 
 
LICCO Industries, Inc. (Licking County)
Licco is a sheltered workshop serving the developmentally disabled population. BWC awarded $3,589.33 to purchase a new edge of dock plate, which includes a hydraulic 30,000 lb wall mounted control station to reduce the risk of slips/trips and falls, and injury to the upper extremities.
 
 
LifeCare Ambulance (Lorain County)
LifeCare is an emergency/non-emergency medical transportation provider. BWC awarded $30,792.37 to purchase a Power-LOAD system and three bariatric transport cots to reduce the risk of injury related to manual handling of patients as they are loaded and unloaded from emergency vehicles.
 
 
MacQueen Orchards (Lucas County)
MacQueen Orchards is a small family owned apple and peach orchard. BWC awarded $8,266.67 to purchase vented bins to reduce the risk of injury related to manual material handling, such as sprains/strains, in addition to cuts/lacerations from loose metal and nails protruding from wooden crates.
 
 
North Toledo Graphics (Lucas County)
North Toledo Graphics is a privately owned printing company that provides mailing and bindery service along with high quality web offset printing. BWC awarded $5,629.66 to purchase portable scissor lifts to reduce the risk of musculoskeletal disorders related to manual material handling and repetitive bending and lifting.
 
 
M & M Wine Cellar (Mahoning County)
A service industry employer, M & M Wine Cellar is a small family-owned wine and restaurant business. BWC awarded $40,000 to purchase an automated wine bottling system to reduce the risk of injury related to manual material handling, such as sprains/strains, cuts and lacerations, as well as the ergonomic risks associated with prolonged standing, repetitive motion, and grip force during the bottling process.
 
 
MLC Inc., dba Electro Polish Company (Montgomery County)
Electro Polish provides metal finishing service for the tool and die industry. BWC awarded $7,999.98 to purchase a power flight bar, trolley and catwalk to reduce the risk of injury related to material handling, awkward postures, forceful exertions and contact stress.
 
 
Gahm's Inc. (Scioto County)
Gahm's is an auto and truck dismantling and recycling center that performs towing, recovery and truck crane services. BWC awarded $15,376.76 to purchase a tire changer with retractable air reels to reduce or eliminate the risk of injury related to manual material handling, forceful exertions and awkward postures.
 
 
Countryside Veterinary Service, Inc. (Trumbull County)
BWC awarded $4,031.24 to purchase mobile examination/transport tables to reduce the risk of injury related to manual handling of animals for examination, such as sprains, strains and animal bites.
 
 
Marietta Ambulance Service, Ltd (Washington County)
BWC awarded $40,000 to purchase two power load systems for cots, to reduce the risk of injury related to manually lifting and loading patients into emergency vehicles.
 
 
Manufacturing Company, Inc. (Williams County)
Bard is a manufacturer of light commercial HVAC equipment. BWC awarded $40,000 to purchase a powered conveyor system to reduce the risk of injury related to manual material handling as HVAC equipment, weighing between 100 -700 lbs, is manually pushed down assembly lines on gravity conveyor systems. [WCx]
 
 
Carey Exempted Village Schools (Wyandot County)
BWC awarded $10,386.67 to purchase lightweight tables to reduce the risk of injury related to manual material handling, such as sprains and strains to the hip, back and shoulders, in addition to pinch points as employees set-up and break down existing heavy weight tables.

 

 

Author Robert Elliott, executive vice president, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. He is an editor and contributor to Workers Compensation Management Program: Reduce Costs 20% to 50%. Contact: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

 

 


 


WORKERS COMP MANAGEMENT MANUAL:  www.WCManual.com
MODIFIED DUTY CALCULATOR:  www.LowerWC.com/transitional-duty-cost-calculator.php

 

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.

 

©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact us at: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

LA Fire Department Supports Awareness Campaign to Reduce Tragic Confined Space Deaths

The Los Angeles Fire Department recently became the latest organization to sign on to Cal/OSHA’s confined space awareness campaign which is an effort to educate employers and employees about the dangers of working in confined spaces. The Oakland Fire Department is also participating. 

 

 

Cal/OSHA launched the statewide campaign in February, citing seven confined space deaths and numerous injuries in the state in 2011 – all of which were preventable. Cal/OSHA says its comprehensive approach to preventing further confined space deaths and injuries includes: public education and media alerts, enforcement and consultation and ongoing partnerships to help increase awareness and compliance.[WCx]

 

 

California's Department of Industrial Relations Director, Christine Baker, points out that employers need to have an effective emergency response plan in place before a critical situation arises.

 

 

Confined spaces are enclosed spaces that can be entered by workers, but have limited openings for entry or exit, and are not designed for continuous worker occupancy. Common examples include tanks, silos, pipelines, sewers, storage bins, drain tunnels and vaults. Confined spaces can be found in many industries and also in non-industrial workplaces. The 2011 California deaths occurred in a wide range of industries including a Fortune 500 pharmaceutical facility, a winery, a paint manufacturing plant and a recycling center.

 
 
One of these incidents occurred last January at Baxter Biosciences, a pharmaceutical manufacturer in Los Angeles. A 33-year old technician entered a blood plasma tank to measure its contents when he collapsed in the oxygen deficient atmosphere. Two of his colleagues entered the tank in order to attempt a rescue and collapsed as well. All three workers were extricated from the tank by the Los Angeles Fire Department. The first worker died, the second remains unconscious, and the third was injured but recovered.  

 

 

Last October, a similar scenario occurred at the Community Recycling & Recovery facility in Lamont, when a 16-year-old worker cleaning a drainage tunnel was overcome by hydrogen sulfide gas. Another worker, his brother, aged 22 was rushed in to save him and was also overcome. Both workers died. Last week, Cal/OSHA levied fines totaling $166,890 for multiple violations of confined space regulations against the employer. Cal/OSHA’s criminal investigation in this case is still ongoing.

 

 

It is even more tragic that in many cases, workers attempting to rescue their co-workers also fall victim,” said Cal/OSHA Chief Ellen Widess. “Confined spaces can be deceptively dangerous. Employers need to assess if they have such a hazard, identify and mark those spaces, provide employee and supervisor training and on-site rescue plans and equipment.”[WCx]

 

 

In the last year alone, we have responded to three confined space rescues,” said Los Angeles Fire Department Battalion Chief Jack Wise. “It is our experience that the victims, would-be rescuers and co-workers, either fail to adhere to their emergency plans or simply do not have a plan in place, with catastrophic results.”  
 

 

 

Author Robert Elliott, executive vice president, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. He is an editor and contributor to Workers Compensation Management Program: Reduce Costs 20% to 50%. Contact: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

 

 

 


WORKERS COMP MANAGEMENT MANUAL:  www.WCManual.com

MODIFIED DUTY CALCULATOR:  www.LowerWC.com/transitional-duty-cost-calculator.php

 

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.

 

©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact us at: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

New York State Workers Compensation Board Moves to Electronic Employer Report of Injury System

The New York State Workers Compensation Board has announced that it will transition from a paper to an electronic employer report of injury system by adopting the IAIABC (International Association of Industrial Accident Boards and Commissions) Claims Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) Standard Release 3.0. Founded in 1914, the IAIABC is a not-for-profit trade association representing government entities who administer workers comp systems.

 
Currently, the Board accepts New York-specific claims information from employers and insurance carriers through paper submission. Beginning in early 2013, these submissions will be required to match the IAIABC standard and be made electronically. .[WCx]

 

"Electronic filing will reduce system waste and increase efficiency, meaning businesses will save while injured workers will receive their benefits faster," the Board’s Executive Director Jeffrey Fenster said. "We are working closely with employers and insurers in the workers compensation industry to ensure a seamless transition to electronic filing."

 

More than 30 states currently use or are planning to use the IAIABC EDI standard for claim submissions. Most national insurance carriers already utilize this standard. The technology is recognized as the national best practice for workers comp injury reporting. The Board will implement the mandate of electronic reporting in phases beginning with those national carriers that use IAIABC EDI in other states. .[WCx]

 

Based on the experience of other states that have implemented the IAIABC standard, the Board anticipates that its adoption in New York will yield significant benefits, including:

 

  1. Improving the timely delivery of benefits to injured workers.
  2. Providing a single, consistent data format.
  3. Reducing waste, abuse, and delay in the system.
  4. Reducing paper handling costs to system participants outside the Board, i.e., handling, completing, and shipping. 
  5. Reducing high costs to the Board for handling, processing, and scanning paper documents as well as certain data entry costs. 
  6. Reducing duplicative claim form filings. 
  7. Increasing the quality and timeliness of information received by the Board. 
  8. Improving data collection for system oversight and policy making.

 

Mario Cilento, president of the New York State AFL-CIO, noted, "The heart of the workers compensation system is delivering benefits to injured workers when they need them. Labor supports implementing the new paperless standard, which will quicken the delivery of benefits. Anytime we can streamline that process without compromising the integrity of the system, injured workers are better served. The data collected will also lead to improved information for policy-making in the future. We appreciate the Board's efforts to improve the delivery of service in this area."

Author Robert Elliott, executive vice president, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. He is an editor and contributor to Workers Compensation Management Program: Reduce Costs 20% to 50%. Contact: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

 

 


WORKERS COMP MANAGEMENT MANUAL:  www.WCManual.com

VIEW SAMPLES PAGES

MODIFIED DUTY CALCULATOR:  www.LowerWC.com/transitional-duty-cost-calculator.php

 

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.

 

©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact us at: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation Reports Seven Convictions for Workers Comp Fraud

Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation (BWC) Administrator/CEO Steve Buehrer recently announced seven individuals were convicted of or pleaded guilty to charges related to defrauding Ohio's workers comp system during a 30-day period. The court actions are the result of investigations conducted by BWC's Special Investigations Department (SID), which works to deter, detect, investigate, and prosecute workers comp fraud.

 
 
The following is a sampling of cases that resulted in a guilty plea or a conviction.
 
 
Nancy Madewell, dba Bagel Cafe Inc. (Kettering, Montgomery County), pleaded guilty to three counts of failure to comply for operating her business without workers comp coverage. Numerous attempts were made by BWC's Employer Compliance Department to bring Madewell into compliance, but she continued to operate without proper workers comp coverage. Madewell failed to appear for trial and a warrant was issued. She then reported to Kettering Municipal Court in response to the warrant and entered a guilty plea. Madewell was sentenced to 60 days in jail suspended on the condition of not violating her three-year, unsupervised probation. [WCx]
 
 
Jose Ramirez (Cleveland, Cuyahoga County) was sentenced to one felony count of workers comp fraud for working while receiving benefits. SID opened an investigation after receiving an allegation that Ramirez was working on cars in his driveway. The investigation found that Ramirez was working for a transmission repair service while receiving temporary total disability benefits. Ramirez conducted various tasks, such as, sweeping the floors, cleaning the shop, delivering parts to customers, picking up parts from suppliers, supervising/assisting other mechanics with repairs, and driving business tow trucks to pick up vehicles. Ramirez worked up to four days per week and was paid in cash. Ramirez pleaded guilty in Franklin County Common Pleas Court and was convicted.
 
 
Mitchell Oakley (Harrod, Allen County) pleaded guilty to one count of workers comp fraud for filing a false claim. Oakley filed a claim indicating he was injured on his first day of work for an employer. However, SID found that Oakley was actually injured moving boxes at home prior to his employment. He was sentenced in Lima Municipal Court to 30 days suspended and must repay $150 in court costs.
 
 
Victoria Hall (Toledo, Lucas County) was sentenced to a felony count of workers comp fraud for working while receiving benefits. SID investigators obtained undercover surveillance video showing her working at a convenience store while receiving temporary total disability benefits. Hall was previously injured at the same gas station and returned to work there after the gas station was under a different name and owner. Hall admitted to wrongdoing during an interview and pleaded guilty. Hall was sentenced to three years of community control and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $7,754.97 and investigative costs of $1,000. The conditions of her community control are to pay the restitution and maintain employment. If Hall violates her probation, the judge stated that he will send her to jail for a term of 12 months.
 
 
Nancy Palmer (Cleveland, Cuyahoga County) was sentenced on a felony count of workers comp fraud for working while receiving benefits. SID received an allegation that Palmer had been working at a local veterinary hospital. Investigators found she had returned to work as a veterinary assistant while receiving temporary total disability benefits. She was performing duties such as office work, assisting during surgeries, cleaning and taking care of animals. It was also found that Palmer was working as a telephone solicitor for a local charity. Palmer entered a guilty plea and the judge ordered her to pay $7,457.72 in restitution and $1,000 for investigative costs. She was also sentenced to seven months in prison suspended, for 18 months of community control. [WCx]
 
 
Randall Schornack (Austintown, Mahoning County) was sentenced on a felony count of workers comp fraud for working while receiving benefits. SID received an anonymous tip on the fraud hotline that Schornack was working as a disc jockey at area bars under the name "DJ Randy Stevens." SID's investigation determined that Schornack was working as a DJ for several bars in Mayfield and also for a professional DJ service in Girard while receiving temporary total disability benefits. The SID obtained video of Schornack unloading and carrying speakers and other equipment from his vehicle into different establishments on a weekly basis and performing work services as a DJ. Schornack was ordered to pay $27,202.62 in restitution He was also sentenced to 18 months in prison suspended, for five years of community control.
 
Information from Ohio BWC
 
 

Author Robert Elliott, executive vice president, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. He is an editor and contributor to Workers Compensation Management Program: Reduce Costs 20% to 50%. Contact: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

 

 


WORKERS COMP MANAGEMENT MANUAL:  www.WCManual.com

VIEW SAMPLES PAGES

MODIFIED DUTY CALCULATOR:  www.LowerWC.com/transitional-duty-cost-calculator.php

 

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.

 

©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact us at: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

Chemical Safety Board Develops New Employee Participation Investigation Policy

 

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) reported that it has developed a new policy on employee participation in investigations that the Board hopes will enhance the vital role played by plant workers in determining root causes of incidents and promoting facility safety.
 
 
The policy, which was approved by a unanimous 3-0 vote of the Board earlier this year, follows a roundtable involving accident victims, family members, and worker representatives convened by the CSB. [WCx]
 
 
The new policy implements a key provision of the CSB enabling statute at 42 U.S.C. § 7412(r)(6)(L), which provides that employees and their representatives have similar rights in CSB accident investigations as they do during OSHA inspections under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970.
 
 
The 10 key elements of the new policy include
 
 
  • If the CSB initiates an investigation at a union-represented site, the CSB will promptly identify and notify facility unions of its plans to investigate. At non-union sites, the CSB will seek to identify other employee representatives, such as employee members of any established Health and Safety Committee, or other employee representatives, if possible
  • The CSB will seek participation by contract employees and their representatives, similar to facility employees.
  • The CSB will establish direct, face-to-face communications with employee representatives from the outset of its investigations.
  • The CSB will take measures to avoid interference by any party with the proper exercise of employee participation.
  • CSB investigators will allow and encourage employee representatives to accompany the CSB team during site inspections and tours. Such participation is often critical for understanding complex processes and learning of important safety concerns and hazards.
  • Where necessary to obtain information, CSB investigators will conduct separate meetings with employee representatives.
  • During CSB interviews, any non-supervisory employee may be accompanied by another non-supervisory employee, a personal attorney, or a family member as described in 40 CFR 1610.
  • The CSB will provide employee representatives with the opportunity to review and comment upon evidence and equipment testing protocols and to observe testing, similar to the opportunities for companies and other parties. Employee representatives will also have access to any test results, to an extent equivalent to other parties.
  • The CSB will provide employee representatives with the opportunity to review and comment on the factual accuracy of CSB reports, recommendations, and interim statements of findings prior to public release, to a degree equivalent to any opportunities provided to company representatives.
  • The CSB will monitor the implementation of the policy to ensure that participation by facility employees and representatives in CSB investigations does not result in prohibited whistleblower retaliation under 42 USC § 7622. Documented instances of retaliation will be referred to appropriate federal enforcement agencies.
The CSB is an independent federal agency charged with investigating serious chemical accidents. The agency’s board members are appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate. CSB investigations look into all aspects of chemical accidents, including physical causes such as equipment failure as well as inadequacies in regulations, industry standards, and safety management systems. [WCx]
 
 
The Board does not issue citations or fines but does make safety recommendations to plants, industry organizations, labor groups, and regulatory agencies such as OSHA and EPA.
 

Author Robert Elliott, executive vice president, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. He is an editor and contributor to Workers Compensation Management Program: Reduce Costs 20% to 50%. Contact: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

 


WORKERS COMP MANAGEMENT MANUAL:  www.WCManual.com

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MODIFIED DUTY CALCULATOR:  www.LowerWC.com/transitional-duty-cost-calculator.php

 

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.

 

©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact us at: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

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