Kudos To RIMS And Zurich On A Meaningful Community Service Day

The RIMS conference in Denver this year is sure to be another highly successful event. While hard to imagine, it seems to get bigger and more elaborate every year. It remains a preeminent event in risk management and a tremendous place to learn, as well as connect with old and new relationships.

 

This year was my first to participate in the community service day. I have to give my hat off to RIMS and Zurich, this was a very classy and meaningful part of the conference. There were maybe 50 of us helping out yesterday at the Savio House in Denver. Zurich sponsored the event, but also supplied much of the manpower doing the heavy lifting. The projects consisted of painting, knocking down a shed (which was pretty fun and a lot of testosterone), trimming and carrying barrel after barrel of an incredible amount of very sharp thorn rose bushes, planting new bushes, and spreading mulch to name a few.

 

 

Highlight of the Day

 

The highlight of the day was during lunch when we really got to learn about the work of the Savio House. One of the social workers spoke and talked about how their mission is to strengthen and support families so that they may keep their children and remain an intact family. This sounds like a nice message, but it wasn’t until one of the Savio House mothers’ spoke that the message became clear. She talked about her struggles with alcoholism and how her Savio House counselor held her accountable and helped her get on track. She mentioned how she has been sober for 231 days, is now going back to school and last week moved into a new apartment. This is all while she is holding her adorable one year old daughter, her two year old is running around “working the room”, and her 9 year old is sitting nicely listening to the talk (who, by the way, just jumped a grade in school). As a father of young children myself, seeing those little ones running around and hearing the mothers’ story made a lasting impact.

 

We all attend RIMS to further our careers and grow our businesses. The community service day is a nice platform to turn the focus to others; instead of what RIMS can do for “me”. It was a nice day and a fun time, I look forward to participating again next year.

 

 

Author Michael B. Stack, CPA, Principal, 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.  www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com.  Contact: mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com.

 

©2014 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law.

 

WORK COMP CALCULATOR:   http://www.LowerWC.com/calculator.php

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

WC GROUP:  http://www.linkedin.com/groups?homeNewMember=&gid=1922050/

SUBSCRIBE: Workers Comp Resource Center Newsletter

 

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker, attorney, or qualified professional.

 

WCRI Conference In Boston Offers Great Opportunity to Learn

“Never become so much of an expert that you stop gaining expertise” – Denis Waitley

 

Every year I attend a number of conferences, it is always a great opportunity to network, and more importantly, to learn. The workers compensation industry is constantly evolving and continuously learning from industry experts is a requirement, not just an option.

 

 

WCRI Conference – March 12-13 in Boston

 

The Workers’ Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) is always one of my favorite conferences.  The will hold their Annual Issues & Research Conference on March 12-13, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts.  The theme of this year’s conference is “Upheaval in the Market for Health Care – Facts and Myths.”

 

For those that are not familiar with the Workers’ Compensation Research Institute (WCRI), they are an independent, not-for-profit research organization providing high-quality, objective information about public policy issues involving workers’ compensation systems

 

Their annual conference is considered a leading workers’ compensation forum that draws attendees from across the country who are seeking new insights, valuable networking contacts, and a better understanding of key issues in today’s competitive environment. Click on the following link to see who should attend: http://www.wcrinet.org/conference_who_14.html.

 

 

Program

 

This year’s conference program has seven major components:

 

  • WCRI researchers present findings on medical cost drivers and worker outcomes of care.
  • Harry Shuford (NCCI) analyzes, “How the Economy Drives Workers’ Compensation.”
  • Alex Swedlow (CWCI) discusses, “The Form and Function of Medical Treatment Dispute Resolution.”
  • Professor Jon Gruber (MIT) and Dr. Richard Victor (WCRI) assess how health care reform will unfold, the impact on workers’ compensation, and which states will be most affected.
  • David North (Sedgwick), Donald Hurter (AIG) and Chris Cuniff (Liberty Mutual) form an expert panel that will peer into the future of workers’ comp and healthcare reform.
  • Dr. Sreekanth Chaguturu (Partners Healthcare) explains Accountable Care Organizations and how leading provider organizations are implementing them.
  • WCRI’s deputy director and counsel, Ramona Tanabe, and her CompScope™ colleagues present recent lessons from WCRI’s Core Benchmark Studies.

 

How to Register

 

Go to http://www.wcrinet.org/conference_reg_14.html

 

 

Accommodations

 

WCRI has arranged for a special conference rate of $159 per night (excluding taxes), single or double occupancy, at Boston Park Plaza Hotel, Boston, Massachusetts. You can also make reservations through a direct link to the Park Plaza Hotel: https://bostonparkplaza.reztrip.com/rt/ext/promoRate?property=100&mode=b&m=true&sr=19144&vr=2. Alternatively, you can contact the hotel by phone at 617-426-2000 and ask for the WCRI Annual Conference 2014 block.

 

 

Author Michael B. Stack, CPA, Principal, 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.  www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com.  Contact: mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com.

 

©2014 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law.

 

WORK COMP CALCULATOR:   http://www.LowerWC.com/calculator.php

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

WC GROUP:  http://www.linkedin.com/groups?homeNewMember=&gid=1922050/

SUBSCRIBE: Workers Comp Resource Center Newsletter


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

Use Your Silverware “Outside – In”, and Other Business Etiquette Fundamentals

A valuable tool for younger risk professionals to build a career is to learn proper business etiquette and manners. Some young professionals take a business etiquette, dining and manners course. If you do take a class, look for a course led by a certified manners and etiquette instructor.

 

It is a disadvantage in the business world to have unpolished manners. It is embarrassing and off- putting to your dining companions if you drink from the wrong glass or use the wrong bread plate. You do not want to make a bad impression on a potential networking connection because you drank their water or had a limp-fish handshake. You will feel much more confident and at ease if you know the rules of dining and business etiquette. This is especially important if you do business in other countries where the cultural norms and expectations may be very different.

 

Here are some basic dining etiquette rules to help you through your next professional business meal:

 

 

Silverware

 

• Use the silverware farthest from your plate first and work in towards the plate.

• Forks are on the left side of your plate with the salad fork farthest out.

• Dessert silverware is usually placed above the plate.

• Spoons and knifes are on the right of your plate except for a butter knife on your bread plate.

• Cut only enough food for your next bite.

• Use your spoon to scoop soup away from you.

• Rest your used silverware on your plate.

 

 

Bread Plates  & Glasses

 

An easy rule to remember is to eat to your left and drink to your right. Therefore, your bread plate will be on your left and your water glass on your right.

 

 

Napkins

 

Unfold your napkin, do not shake it, as soon as you sit down in a restaurant. At a private dinner party, put your napkin on your lap when your host does. Do not use your napkin to wipe the silverware or your face. Of course, you should never blow your nose with your napkin. If you need to get up from the table, say “excuse me”, loosely fold the napkin and place it to the left or right of your plate. Do not refold your napkin, wad it up on the table or put it on your chair. At the end of the meal, leave the napkin loosely folded on the left side of your plate.

 

 

Remember the Basics

 

One of the most important rules of good manners is to make the other person feel comfortable. Therefore, think of how you would like to be treated when you interact with other professionals. At a minimum, remember those simple lessons that you learned from your mother and kindergarten teacher:

 

• Be on time

• Keep your appointments

• Introduce yourself with a handshake

• Say “It is a pleasure to meet you”

• Introduce other people present to each other

• Take turns talking

• Talk in an inside voice

• Include everyone in the conversation

• Wait until everyone is served before starting to eat

• Treat your servers politely and with respect

• Don’t talk with your mouth full

• Don’t play with your food

• Don’t put your elbows on the table

• Tell your host or guest “thank you”

 

 

Author Rebecca Shafer, JD, President of Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is a national expert in the field of workers compensation. She is a writer, speaker, and publisher. Her expertise is working with employers to reduce workers compensation costs, and her clients include airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality, and manufacturing. She is the author of the #1 selling book on cost containment, Workers Compensation Management Program: Reduce Costs 20% to 50%. Contact:RShafer@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.
Editor Michael B. Stack, CPA, Principal, 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. www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com. Contact: mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com.

 

©2014 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law.

 

WORK COMP CALCULATOR:   http://www.LowerWC.com/calculator.php

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

WC GROUP:  http://www.linkedin.com/groups?homeNewMember=&gid=1922050/

SUBSCRIBE: Workers Comp Resource Center Newsletter


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

Get the Most from the 2013 National Workers’ Compensation and Disability Conference

 The 2013 National Workers’ Compensation and Disability Conference® and Expo

November 20th – 22nd at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas will again be monumental for our industry. The conference continues to innovate to meet your needs

 

The 22nd annual conference offers regional breakout sessions and the expo hosts more than 260 exhibitors.

 

Among the highlights will be:

 

  • Best Practices for Injury Prevention

 

  • Strategies to Resolve Legacy Claims

 

  • Actions to Curb Opioid Abuse

 

  •  A brand new track focusing on an essential topic for industry professionals — Disability Management Solutions  – covering comorbidities, wellness and more

 

  • Critical issues in trend-setting states that often affect decisions in other regions

 

  • Emphasis on technology, innovation research & analytics to help workers’ comp and disability management professionals produce optimal outcomes

 

  • A hypothetical risk situation dissected in Risk Scenarios Live challenging you to identify key turning points of the claim

 

  • The Opening Keynote: Fighting Myths to Achieve Excellence in Workers’ Compensation by William Zachry, Vice President, Risk Management, Safeway, Inc.

 

  • Luncheon & Entertainment: When It Comes to Achieving Excellence — You Can’t Just Give It a Shot! Bruce Wilkinson, a safety and health expert turned professional speaker, delivers a fast-paced, humorous program to show you how to unlock the secrets of a positive attitude and can-do leadership style

 

  • Front and Center Again: Bloggers Speak Out on the State of Workers’ Compensation: David DePaolo, WorkCompCentral.com, Joseph Paduda,  ManagedCareMatters, Rebecca Shafer, ReduceYourWorkersComp.com & Robert Wilson, WorkersCompensation.com. They’re back!  If you missed them last year, you’ll want to catch these high-profile workers’ comp bloggers as they present their opinions o nsome fo the most pressing issues of the day.  It’s sure to be full of information, fun – and surprises!

 

  • The Legal Perspective of the Latest Workers’ Comp Reforms where Stuart D. Colburn, Esq., of Downs Stanford moderates a panel including Brad Bleakney, Esq., Bleakney & Troiani, author Thomas A. Robinson, J.D. and Rebecca A. Shafer, J.D., President of Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc.

 

  • You can choose one of the following five tracks:

◦       Better Claims Management

◦       Disability Management

◦       Regional Issues

◦       Medical Management

◦       Legal/Regulatory Issues

 

 

Why Attend this Conference

 

The workers’ compensation industry is always evolving – new players, new laws and new equipment. Everyone in this industry should attend to learn new techniques, meet new vendors and discover the latest service enhancements.

 

The National Workers’ Compensation and Disability Conference® & Expo is the industry’s leading training event, attracting thousands of workers’ comp and disability management professionals from across the nation each year.

 

With proven guidance from industry experts, ample time to network with your peers and much more, there is truly no better place to find solutions to your workers’ comp and disability management challenges.

 

Continuing Education Credit:

The conference is routinely approved for AAOHN, CDMSC, CCMC, CRCC, CWCP and HRCI credits – so you know you’re getting quality education. It is   already approved for 7.75 of the recertification credits you need to maintain your PHR, SPHR or GPHR certification.

 

 

How to Get the Most Out of the National Conference:

 

  1. Attend the Opening Session. Don’t miss this because William Zachry, Vice President of Risk Management for the nation’s second largest grocery chain, has seen the workers’ comp and disability industry from all angles. Zachry will discuss well-known myths driving behavior and holding back the industry from achieving the best possible outcomes. In this energized presentation, he’ll explain what the myths are, how to separate them from the truth and how practitioners can achieve excellence.

 

 

  1. Focus on specific goals. For example, sessions about your region or attracting business. Attend all the sessions in the track that will bring the most value to your program. Use the 2013 Mobile App to plan which sessions you want to attend.

 

 

  1. Read the brochures when you return home to learn about service providers.

 

 

  1. Pass out your business card and network, network, network. Meeting knowledgeable people gives you a resource when you encounter a problem.   The conference offers ample opportunities for networking including a networking Reception and Closing Social as well as numerous meals and refreshment breaks. 

 

 

  1. Learn what you don’t know. Being exposed to new ideas presents an opportunity to learn things you don’t even know you are missing!

 

 

  1. Chat with people who do the same things that you do and see where you differ. At this conference, everybody’s badge includes their title and organization. It’s easy to identify other attendees who have similar roles in different organizations.

 

 

  1. Ask about key cost drivers. Attendees come from organizations of varying industries. Find people who work in workers’ compensation departments you know next to nothing about and ask them whether they are satisfied with their workers’ comp vendors. Ask them what drives their costs.

 

 

  1. Roam through the exhibit hall speaking to vendors and learning about the types of services that are available to reduce workers’ comp costs. NWCDC is the nation’s largest Expo of this kind. THIS will be the best education you will ever get!

 

 

  1. Wear comfortable attire. Bring comfortable shoes. The first day, people are a bit more dressed up than the following days. The last day is more casual because people are traveling back home. Definitely dress professionally because some of the people you meet with become lifelong contacts, so making a good impression is important, but you can be comfortable, too. For an ounce of prevention, bring moleskin to protect the areas of your feet most likely to get blisters.

 

 

  1. Attend both the exhibit hall and the educational sessions. 

 

 

  1. Start early, leave late and remember … although your feet may hurt, this is a once-a-year event!

 

 

  1. Before the exhibit hall opens, join the group breakfast to network with new friends. You will find people are very friendly and helpful.

 

 

  1. Keep your Show Guide for future reference. You may want to have this handy on your desk for the time you want to try a new service or ask a question about a new service. Or, if you are putting out a request for proposals, this will be your ultimate list of those companies to bid on your project.

 

 

See you there!

 

 

Author Rebecca Shafer, JD, President of Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is a national expert in the field of workers compensation. She is a writer, speaker, and publisher. Her expertise is working with employers to reduce workers compensation costs, and her clients include airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality, and manufacturing. She is the author of the #1 selling book on cost containment, Workers Compensation Management Program: Reduce Costs 20% to 50%. Contact:RShafer@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. www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com. Contact: mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com.

©2013 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law.


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

5 Tips To Reduce Your Stress and Be More Productive

 

I think it is an understatement to say that claims professionals are under a lot of stress.  Nowadays adjusters are forced to do more with less, so in addition to the normal claim investigations they also have to do a billion other things along the course of a normal day.  Add in to that rigid auditing standards, service promises, increased claim counts, and the list goes on and on. 
 
Below we talk about some easy ways to take some of the stress out of your life in order to improve your work-life balance.
 
 
  1. Don’t Get Intertwined in Social Media
 
In today’s world, everyone is a mouse click away.  Social media such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and so on have made it possible that you can be connected to everyone, at all times, and the stresses of other people can become your stressors as well.  In fact people can reach out to you and vent about their own problems, which can take time away from whatever project you are working on.  So limit your social media interaction during work hours, and focus on the task at hand.  If you choose to get involved in a Facebook discussion about some hot political topic, do it away from work on your own time when it will not distract you as much.
 
  1. Leave Your Desk For A While
 
I know plenty of adjusters that work 10-11 hour days, and they rarely leave their desk except to go to the printer or to hit the bathroom.  Not only is this crazy, but it is also not healthy.  Getting up and walking around for a bit can be relaxing, especially if you can head outside for a while and get some fresh air.  Maybe go out to lunch every now and then and get away from that office atmosphere.  You don’t have to do it every day, even one or two days a week can make a difference.  The world is not going to fall apart just because you snuck out and got a piece of pizza on your lunch break.
 
 
  1. Decrease Your Social Engagements If Possible
 
Don’t get me wrong, heading to seminars or after work engagements can be a great way to network and share some down time with your friends or work peers.  But you have to keep your events in check.  If you have a crazy week and need the time to focus on other things, don’t be afraid to skip out on an engagement or two. 
 
This can especially be true if you have kids that are active in sports or other things that can occur after your work hours during the work week.  Maybe the thing to decrease is the amount of activities they are involved in, since you have to be the one to pick them up and drive them to basketball practice.  Your kid doesn’t have to be on 3 basketball teams during the summer, and in doing this you can decrease their own time stressors as well. Or let them skip a few practices and go out for dinner, or go to a movie and spend some quality time with your children.  If they miss a practice or two I doubt that their ability to hit free throws will decrease.
 
 
  1. Put a Cap on the Hours You Spend at Home Working
 
Many adjusters and other professionals have the ability to access their work from any computer at any time.  This is a great thing to have when you need it, but it shouldn’t be something that you have to engage in all of the time, every single night, and every single week. If you fail to complete a few diary items, your employer is not going to go out of business and lay everyone off.  You have to prioritize what you HAVE to do at home after work hours, and what you COULD do. 
 
The hard part here is that the life of a claims adjuster is never caught up.  Rarely can any adjuster be totally done with everything on every file at any given day. It’s like a constantly spinning wheel.  But there are plenty of things that can wait until tomorrow.  Your time after work is just that—your time.  If you choose to spend it plowing through countless medical records for a file then fine, but ask yourself if this is something that has to 100% be done right now and cannot wait until the following day back at the office.
 
 
  1. Take Time to Enjoy Your Hobbies, or Start a New One
 
If you love to golf, and you have had to skip your golf league the last few times because of working late, you need to make sure your time is a priority.  Working late can sometimes be unavoidable, but that doesn’t you can’t hit the driving range after you are done.  Whether it be hitting golf balls, hiking at the park, bowling, or going for a run, take the time to enjoy your hobby of choice.  Don’t put off that time and spending it in front of a computer. 
 
These sports and hobbies are things you do to unwind and take your mind off the daily stress.  Not only will doing this reenergize yourself, but it will give you that quality “Me” time that everyone needs. Pencil that time in the calendar, and be sure to stick to it.  Make that a priority for once, instead of pushing it back time and time again.
 
 
Summary
 
In this profession we are all faced with a lot of different stressors, and they come at you from all angles.  Injured workers are stressed out because their balance of life is off due to an injury.  They are no longer working, no longer being productive, and they are worried about getting their own lives back in order.  So we not only have to deal with our own life stressors, but we have to figure out a way to try and solve the stressors of our claimants day in and day out.
 
Most of the adjusters use the excuse that “If I take some vacation time away from the office my workload only gets worse, which puts me farther and farther behind.” Part or all of this may be true, but you get vacation time or paid time off for a reason.  Nobody can work 365 days a year without going insane.  Pencil that time off in your calendar and stick to it.  
 
 
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.  www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com
 
©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law.

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

The Great Debate, Does Employer or Employee Benefit More From Worker Comp

 

Who Benefits More – Employer or Employee?
 
Every year a debate in work comp crops up about whether or not employers derive a benefit from the “exclusive remedy” – a principal that a worker gets no-fault comp, but loses the right to sue for negligence. The debate goes back and forth about who benefits more and seems to assume that the purpose of the exclusive remedy was to benefit the employer, the employee or both. [WCx]
 
 
Has More to Do with History than Who Benefits More
 
In fact, the true purpose has to do with darker underlying forces in the history of the Employers’ Liability laws which preceded comp. The best historian of the Employers’ Liability laws and the reason for their demise was Clarence W. Hobbs, the first head of NCCI and, in the late 1930s, the author of several books on the history of early work comp laws and the demise of Employers’ Liability.
 
 
Attorney Contingency Fees Main Trigger in History of Work Comp
 
The reason for the exclusive remedy was, as will soon be clear, lawyers and contingency fees. Contingency fees (no recovery, no fee) were only accepted grudgingly in US law because, it was correctly believed, that it gave the attorney every reason to exaggerate and manufacture disability.
 
The contingency fee, however, gave the large communities of recent immigrants, working in the most dangerous jobs, access to a lawyer which would have been impossible if they had to pay a fee, win or lose, up front.
 
However, the entire system of contingency fees contained to effective checks on abuse. Cases were openly solicited (read “manufactured”) by “runners”, local bilingual immigrants who fed potential clients to lawyers, for a set finder’s fee. Hobbs described both the runners and lawyers as “a noisome horde of ambulance chasers”. Soon, the courts agreed.
 
 
Courts Overcrowded with Ambulance Chasing Claims
 
The integrity and credibility of courts, judges, juries and verdicts was plunging and the courts themselves, previously rather staid, were becoming packed with mobs of litigants on Employers Liability negligence claims. Waiting in the wings as an alternative was one feature of European and British social law – Workmen’s (sic) Compensation. (The genderless “Worker’s” was a feature of the 1970s.)
 
 
Prime Mover to Work Comp was Civil Courts
 
The prime mover for the change from negligence to worker’s comp was the civil courts. Any benefit to worker or employer was an unintended consequence, although there was no shortage of volunteers to claim credit. In fact, both employer’s groups AND unions simultaneously boasted of their roles. [WCx]
 
Has anything really changed? Contingency fees, a fundamental fixture in work comp, were actually not intended to be part of comp, but they gradually crept back in because the US in the 1930s, alone in the world, assumed they had always been there and made sense.
 
Clarence W. Hobbs, however, strongly disagreed.
 
 
 

Author: Attorney Theodore Ronca is a practicing lawyer from Aquebogue, NY. He is a frequent writer and speaker, and has represented employers in the areas of workers’ compensation, Social Security disability, employee disability plans and subrogation for over 30 years. Attorney Ronca can be reached at 631-722-2100. medsearch7@optonline.net

 

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.  www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com 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.

Nursing Care Highest Incident Rate for Claims, OSHA Emphasizing Safety

 

 
The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently announced a new National Emphasis Program for Nursing and Residential Care Facilities to protect workers from serious safety and health hazards that are common in medical industries.
 
 
OSHA develops national emphasis programs to focus outreach efforts and inspections on specific hazards in an industry for a three-year period. Through this National Emphasis Program, OSHA will target nursing homes and residential care facilities in an effort to reduce occupational illnesses and injuries.
 
 
According to the department's Bureau of Labor Statistics, nursing and residential care facilities experienced one of the highest rates of lost workdays due to injuries and illnesses of all major American industries (See our WC Issues by Industry Guide). The incidence rate for cases involving days away from work in the nursing and residential care sector was 2.3 times higher than that of all private industry as a whole, despite the availability of feasible controls to address hazards.
 
 
Health care workers face numerous serious safety and health hazards (Also for more information on issues affecting this field, see our Nursing Industry guide), and the National Emphasis Program will provide guidance to OSHA compliance staff on the policies and procedures for targeting and conducting inspections specifically focused on the hazards associated with nursing and residential care.
 
 
These hazards include exposure to blood and other potentially infectious material; exposure to other communicable diseases such as tuberculosis; ergonomic stressors related to lifting patients; workplace violence; and slips, trips and falls. Workers also may be exposed to hazardous chemicals and drugs.[WCx]
 
 
The National Emphasis Program directive can be viewed at http://www.osha.gov/OshDoc/Directive_pdf/CPL_03-00-016.pdf. Information for employers and employees in nursing homes and residential care facilities, including guidance on ergonomics and workplace violence, is available at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/nursinghome/index.html
 
 

Author Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations at Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and a part of the Amaxx team helping companies successfully reduce Workers Compensation Costs by 20% – 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher.  www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com   Contact:mstack@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.

The Best News Tidbits from the Workers Comp Community

 
Get the complete low-down right here. We rounded up the best tidbits of news around the WC community so you don’t have to. It’s all in one place – the Roundtable.
 
LexisNexis Communities Examines Cases in WC World
Roundtable recommends signing up for the newsletter from Workers Compensation Law Community Powered by Larsons on LexisNexis. They keep current on WC cases and offer many insightful comments. Sign up for the newsletter here and get all this and more in your inbox. Here’s a summary of the articles you’d find there this week [WCx]:
 
 
1. Texas Court Ties Injured Worker’s Drug Overdose to Side Effects of Prescription Pain Medication
Thomas A. Robinson writes here, that subsequent injuries are compensable if the result of a compensable primary injury. He says these cases fall into two groups: the cases in which an initial medical condition itself progresses into complications more serious than the original injury and those in which the existence of the primary compensable injury in some way exacerbates the effects of an independent medical weakness or disease. Read his analysis of this Texas case regarding these principles.
 
 
2. Unnecessary Litigation in Workers’ Comp Claims Process: Training and Communication Are Key
John Stahl, writes that he recently heard a presentation by Dr. Bogdan Savych of the Workers’ Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) that the goals of the workers’ compensation system included “delivering benefits without too much unnecessary attorney involvement and litigation.” Stahl writes the presentation summarized a WCRI study that examined several reasons why a workers’ compensation claimant hired an attorney and offered strategies for reducing the costs and delays associated with that legal representation.
“The number of claimants who hired an attorney ranged from approximately 8-percent in Texas to more than 50-percent in Maryland. A claimant’s perceptions that pursuing workers’ compensation benefits would adversely affect that person’s employment status and/or that a workers’ compensation insurer denied a claim were the primary identified motivations for hiring an attorney,” he writes. Read more here.
 
 
3. Larsons Spotlight Looks at Recent Cases:
Larson’s Spotlight looks at several important court events this week, here.
1. In New York, Cap Imposed by § 15(6) Applies to Periodic Payments of Scheduled Loss of Use Awards in Same Manner as Other Periodic Payments of Disability Benefits.
2. From Virginia, Average Weekly Wage for Inexperienced Roofing Worker Computed on Worker's Share of Sum to be Paid, Divided by 52 Weeks.
3. Also Virginia: Injured Worker Receives YMCA Membership and Mileage for Unsupervised Pool Therapy as Part of His Medical Benefits Award.
4. From Pennsylvania, Slight "Crookedness" of Nose Following Injury Does Not Qualify for Disfigurement Award.
 
 
Return To Work Roundtable Opens on LinkedIn
The Workers’ Compensation Roundtable discussion group on LinkedIn has added the Return to Work Roundtable subgroup for people interested in discussing specific ideas, challenges and issues pertaining to the RTW process in Workers’ Compensation. The co-managers of the Workers’ Compensation Roundtable will be joined in the RTW Roundtable by Mike Benishek, Director, Risk Management & Insurance for PTG Management Company. Those interested in joining the group can do so here.
 
 
 
Texas Workers’ Comp System Requiring Subscriptions Now
The Texas Department of Insurance, Division of Workers’ Compensation (TDI-DWC) is now requiring participants to sign up to the TDI eNews by June 1, 2012, when they will begin to distribute news and communications through the TDI eNews.
To continue to receive e-mails from the TDI-DWC, subscribe online here. Mail lists offered, include:
1. Division of Workers’ Compensation eNews Update – Includes Division of Workers’ Compensation related rules, bulletins, educational session and training events and other related news.
2. Safety and Health eNews Update – Includes information on occupational safety and health matters, including safety tips and publications, upcoming training events, training DVD loans, and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) updates.
Questions may be directed to Public.Information@tdi.state.tx.us.
 
 
 
Upcoming Cost-Control Webinar from Fisher & Phillips
Fisher & Phillips LLP labor and employment attorneys will present a webinar 2 p.m. June 4 offering employers advice on how to control workers' compensation costs. The presentation will focus on use-loss control and safety programs to prevent injuries from occurring and help employers understand how to best manage claim expenses. The hour long webinar is free, but registration is required.  Participation in this webinar has been approved for one hour of HRCI credit. Register here.
 
 
Watch Wilson’s One-Minute Video
If you prefer getting your WC news in video format, you are in luck. Bob Wilson from WorkersCompensation.com is reporting on top-read stories here. This week he talks about NCCI, CA DWC and a Tennessee Lineman as well as Shy Bladder Syndrome.[WCx]
 
 
Truckers Against Trafficking Informing Drivers What to Look For
Truckers and the travel plaza industry could do a lot to help catch human traffickers by virtue of what they see and where they are. Their website found here can give you the inside scoop on what is happening right here in the U.S. They say, “Human trafficking, a term for modern-day slavery, is a $32-billion worldwide industry with more than 27 million people enslaved. It has been reported in all 50 states, and the number of victims in the United States is estimated in the hundreds of thousands. This website has been created to enable members of the trucking/travel plaza industry and other travelers learn what you can do to help stop this atrocity.”
 
 
 
Note: If your company has any developments you'd like to share, please send them to us at: RShafer@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com

 

 

 

 

Author Rebecca Shafer, JD, President of Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is a national expert in the field of workers compensation. She is a writer, speaker, and publisher. Her expertise is working with employers to reduce workers compensation costs, and her clients include airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality, and manufacturing. She is the author of the #1 selling book on cost containment, Workers Compensation Management Program: Reduce Costs 20% to 50%. Contact: RShafer@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.

Workers Compensation This Week In Review

LexisNexis Communities Highlights Hot Topics WC In Review
The Workers Compensation Law Community Powered by Larsons on LexisNexis offers an interesting look at WC this week:
 
 
Ronald E. Weiss and Ronald Balter analyze in “New York Workers’ Comp Stakeholders Continue to Absorb 2007 Reform Changes,” found here, “During the past year, stakeholders in the workers’ compensation system in New York have continued to absorb legislative and administrative changes initiated by the 2007 reform. Maximum indemnity rates are now indexed to two-thirds of the State Average Weekly Wage.”
 
 
The Law Community also takes a look at the Workers Compensation Board policy on firearms here by examining what the policy is, how it affects law enforcement and what notification rules are.
 
 
They also take an insightful look into a Florida pizza delivery man who was fired after being robbed. See complete article here. Reporter Michael Miller notes the man is suing Domino's, his former employer, “claiming (they) cruelly denied him workers' compensation for his injuries from that night and then unlawfully fired him.”
 
 
In the Pittsburg Post-Gazette, writer Gina Passarell comments on how the Steelers football team does not have to pay attorney fees in a workers' comp case. The incident (see full story here) is related to a former player's WC case in which he suffered injuries while with the team. “The team argued he was not ‘disabled’ since he went on to play for other pro teams, the Commonwealth Court has ruled,” Passarell wrote. “Pennsylvania law automatically provides attorney fees to prevailing claimants when employers contest a claim for workers' compensation benefits, unless that protest is ‘reasonable.’ “
 
 
Working Immigrants Blog Looks at Pew Study
Working Immigrants, a weblog about the business of immigrant work: employment, compensation, legal protections, education, mobility, and public policy writes this week that net migration from Mexico fell to zero.
 
 
“According to a report by the Pew Hispanic Center, ‘The largest wave of immigration in history from a single country to the United States has come to a standstill. After four decades that brought 12 million current immigrants—more than half of whom came illegally—the net migration flow from Mexico to the United States has stopped—and may have reversed, according to a new analysis by the Pew Hispanic Center of multiple government data sets from both countries.’ “The blog takes a deeper look into this study here.
 
 
TDI-DWC Approves 7 Companies to Self-Insure for Workers’ Compensation Claims
According to Stuart Colburn, shareholder in Downs Stanford, P.C. , the Texas Department of Insurance, Division Workers' Compensation reports here The Texas Department of Insurance, Division of Workers' Compensation (TDI-DWC) approved seven renewals of the Certificates of Authority for companies to self-insure their workers’ compensation claims for a one-year period under the TDI-DWC Self-Insurance Program. These companies collectively employ approximately 27,900 employees in Texas.
 
 
The report notes, “Under Texas law, certain large, private companies can self-insure for workers’ compensation claims, while retaining the protection of the Texas Workers’ Compensation Act for the company and for its employees. To qualify, a company must have a minimum workers’ compensation insurance unmodified manual premium of $500,000 and meet other requirements subject to annual review.”
 
 
Capital Community College Offers Live Classes in Risk Management
Capital Community College of Hartford, CT is now offering these live instruction classes in ARM:
 
ARM 54: Risk Assessment (PRFD 5359-2176)
Tuesdays/Thursdays from 5 PM – 9 PM
May 8 – June 14, 2012
$699 plus textbook
 
ARM 55: Risk Control (PRFD 5360-2177)
Tuesdays/Thursdays from 5 PM – 9 PM
June 19 – August 2 (excluding July 3 & July 5)
$699 plus textbook
 
ARM 56: Risk Financing (PRFD 5395-3602)
Tuesdays/Thursdays from 5 PM – 9 PM
September 25 – Nov. 1
$699 plus textbook
 
To register by phone, call (860) 906-5130. Contact Carol Vassar-Pettit with questions, cpettit@ccc.commnet.edu.
 
 
Advisen’s Casualty Insights Conference Coming May 1
Register here for keynote speakers, Allied World’s Lou Iglesias, Navigators’ Stan Galanski, and Arch’s Mark Lyons and an all-star Risk Manager panel.
 
 
The casualty conference at the McGraw Hill Conference Center is free for risk managers and insurance buyers; Advisen Clients are $395; general registration is $495. Further, eight CE credits are available for $125.
 
 
Other speakers include: Mitchell J. Auslander of Willkie Farr & Gallagher, Alfred Bergbauer of Marsh and Carmelite Bertaut of Stone Pigman Walther Wittmann LLC
 
 
Broadspire Promotes Erica Fichter to Senior Vice President of Medical Management
Broadspire, a TPA WC claims administrator and medical management service provider, has named Erica Fichter to senior vice president of medical management services.

[WCx]

Fichter will oversee a staff of more than 500 clinical professionals and support personnel located throughout the United States. Broadspire has the fifth largest medical management company in the country, with integrated services including: medical bill review, field and telephonic case management, utilization review, physician review, the BOLD® Network preferred provider offering and chronic pain management. “With this array of services, Broadspire's cost containment results are typically 10 to 15 percent better than those produced by other TPAs and managed care companies,” they claim.
 
 
Note: If your company has any developments you'd like to share, please send them to us at: mbstack@gmail.com

 

 

Author Rebecca Shafer, JD, President of Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is a national expert in the field of workers compensation. She is a writer, speaker, and publisher. Her expertise is working with employers to reduce workers compensation costs, and her clients include airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality, and manufacturing. She is the author of the #1 selling book on cost containment, Workers Compensation Management Program: Reduce Costs 20% to 50%. Contact: RShafer@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.

Respirators Keep Roofers Safe and Keep Comp Costs Down

Roofers seldom think of their respiratory health. Having worked closely with roofers for over 20 years, I can say with certainty that most feel that this area of OSHA compliance and heath is not on their “top ten list”.

 
 
I will address this issue from the perspective of a group of roofers I have worked with recently for a large roofing contractor.
 
 
 
I can honestly say that I am always aware of these hazards, but in the interest of overall risk management, there were always just “bigger fish to fry”. Keeping roofers from falling off a roof just seemed more important all along.
 
 
Why Now?
As a whole, roofing
has seen the highest level of improvement in safety of any part of construction. However, we all have areas we need to address. If fall protection is conquered and other critical areas of safety in your trade, but respiratory health has not been addressed, it might be a worthwhile choice. But, why a formal respirator program? The reasons are many and varied. Let us look at a sampling of some critical items.
 
 
1.  Hazards
From the first cut of a saw into concrete, the silica requirement is met. And thanks to a recent addition to the welding standard, any welding will now put us into the hexavalent chromium standard. The very act of burning the welding rods makes for sufficient H/C to put us in the action level of the standard.
 
 
2.  Adhesive hazard
It is quite easy to get into trouble with PEL’s (permissible exposure limit) of these chemicals. The exposure will be higher on low wind days. Often, a false conclusion is made that wind direction or use of local ventilation is sufficient; however, a close read of the MSDS on newer adhesives will show that “respirator protection is recommended for all days, not just windy ones!
 
 
3.  Re-roof hazards
Other hazards face us on “re-roofs”. Hazards, such as mold, bacteria and unknown particles (asbestos, fiberglass) arise when disturbed while removing old covering layers. This is critical, as many roofing situations can create sufficient dust and unknown particles to be of real concern. Total dust and particulates alone can easily become a respiratory hazard. (You may want to scream,” I QUIT!”) Not so fast, though.  A compliant respiratory program can be simple and affordable, with proper thought and implementation.
 
 
Costs
First, who gets selected to be the respirator users? Cost is a considerable factor, here, so it is not advisable to use new employees. Can you say, “increased turnover costs”?
 
The costs are real. First, the employee(s) chosen are sent to a doctor, who performs respiratory testing including spirometry ( Read more about spirometry from Lowerwc.com here). OSHA requires employees be tested to see if their health is sufficient to use a respirator. Working, while breathing through a respirator, is harder than one might think. It is important to choose employees in excellent health preferably non-smokers, when possible.
 

Cost at an occupational medical center should be about $125 for first check and somewhere between $75 and $125 each year thereafter for OSHA required annual follow up. This is another reason why it is important to choose employees looking toward longevity.
 
 
Quality counts
Next, purchase “quality protection”. N-95 dust masks will suffice for exposure other than just that dust mold, and particulates in low levels.  We recommend a quality half-mask respirator, around $90, with interchangeable cartridges ($50 per exposure). This way, one mask can serve welding, adhesives and particulates, by changing the filter cartridge for the task at hand.
 
 
Training
Now the employee will need to be trained and fit-tested for the respirator. Cost?  $125, tops. So, that is around $500-$650 per trained and certified employee per year. This is a pittance compared to even the first medical claim or OSHA violation!

 
The OSHA Inspection
It makes for a compelling risk assessment; even if in your area (large city as opposed to rural costs) you find it on the high side of these estimates. But, make no mistake about it—YES the OSHA inspector will ask even a roofer about compliance with this standard, especially if the roofer is using the concrete saw or adhesives at the time the inspector is on site.
 
 
Summary
Now that the fall protection and other threatening safety “dragons” are slain, it may be time to look at the respiratory health and compliance in your company. [WCx]
 
 
The roofing industry is more aware of risk and compliance  as time passes . Also we are learning that some of our worst fears about compliance were unfounded and can actually make for good business. Stay safe!!
 
 
Brian Hill is owner of OshaSure in Birmingham Alabama and has over 20 years as a workplace safety and risk consultant. Brian was previously a pilot for a major US airline and member of the company’s interdepartmental safety committee. He found his new career in safety after the closing of the airline in 1991. Brian has found the same passion he had for flying in assisting companies with safety, heath and risk issues. Contact Brian by email at:  oshasurebh@aol.com  For more information click on www.oshasure.com  or call 205-296-0601
 

 


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.

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