New York Revisits 2007 Reforms to Battle Rising Work Comp Costs

 

Rising Cost of Workers Compensation for New York Employers

 

The Public Policy Institute of New York State Inc. (PPI), the research arm of The Business Council of New York State Inc., has released a new study, Workers Comp Costs – Revisiting the Reforms, that examines the rising cost of workers compensation for New York employers and how costs have been influenced by 2007 legislative reforms.

 

2007 Workers Comp Reforms

 

In Revisiting the Reforms, PPI explores several provisions of the 2007 workers comp reforms, including:

 

  • Increasing and indexing the maximum weekly benefit.
  • Capping non-schedule permanent partial disability payments.
  • Closing the Second Injury Fund.
  • Implementing medical treatment guidelines.
  • Instituting an expedited hearing process.
  • Promoting return to work rates.

 

“The crux of the 2007 workers compensation reforms in New York in terms of added benefits to employees – an increase in the maximum weekly benefit – was immediately implemented. However, major provisions intended to result in real cost savings for employers were developed and implemented years after the legislation was approved, and in some cases, are still not yet in full effect,” said Heather Briccetti, president and CEO of The Business Council. “Our concerns include delays in the classification of claims that would be subject to durational caps, and a substantial increase in the cost of schedule loss-of-use awards.”

 

Recommendations to Help Remedy System

 

After speaking with numerous workers comp professionals, PPI has formulated a list of recommendations to help remedy current inequities in the system.

 

Such measures include:

 

  • Modernizing the rating system through which schedule loss-of-use awards are determined by updating applicable medical treatment guidelines.
  • Eliminating or modifying the indexing of maximum weekly benefits to control growing program costs, allow for future necessary program reforms and reduce any unintended disincentive for claimants to return to work.
  • Limiting the duration of temporary disability benefits by assuming, with a rebuttable presumption, that maximum medical improvement is reached two years from the date of an accident to help incentivize quicker classification.
  • Mandating the use of employer provider panels of health care professionals for the first 90 days of treatment.
  • Eliminating the Aggregate Trust Fund deposit mandate for commercial carriers.

 

“New York employers and taxpayers face the fifth highest overall workers’ compensation costs in the nation and must pay five times the national average to fund the system,” added Paul Jahn, executive director of the Workers Compensation Policy Institute. “The Public Policy Institute’s comprehensive look at Workers Compensation in New York details the many problems confronting employers and taxpayers and lays out a sensible agenda for reform.”

 

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. Contact: mstack@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.

New York State Fund Is Not The Carrier You Want To Owe Money

New York State Fund Has More Power Than Any Carrier

 

If a NY employer owes unpaid premium to the State Insurance Fund (NYSIF) and the employer is owed money by a branch of New York state government, the State Fund has an expedited method of collecting. It can, and almost certainly will, see that the premium is withheld from payments due on any contract with state government, an advantage no private carrier possesses. Furthermore, this method bypasses such details as a lawsuit.

 

The basis for this is contained in a decision this week from the Appellate Division, Third Department – “Suburban Restoration, Inc. v Office of the State Comptroller”, NY Slip Op 070221. The decision recognizes that NYSIF is, for nearly every purpose, a state agency, although it is uniquely paid by assessments on insurance companies, not by taxes.

 

 

 

Connected to Inner Workings of Central Computer

 

That might seem to be a small distinction but it leads to a feature which confers upon it enormous power – it, alone among comp carriers, is connected to the inner workings of the central computer of the State of New York. It is, therefore, a mouse-click away from all the information it needs to collect any unpaid premium from a contract with the State of New York.

 

It is generally supposed that the decision will mainly affect construction contracts, but it could equally apply to selling pencils and paper to SUNY. In turn, many employers might wish to rethink using a comp carrier that can bypass every legal protection and unilaterally demand, and collect, payments.

 

 

 

Disputes Heard in Court of Claims

 

If the employer wishes to dispute the charges and collections there is a double surprise awaiting. As long as there is unpaid premium (or ALLEGED unpaid premium) access to new state contracts may be cut off. And legal disputes cannot be brought in the regular state courts – they must be heard in the Court of Claims, a court which handles suits against the state and which, it is rumored, tends to see the state’s point of view a bit more clearly than other courts.

 

 

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.

 

Ghost Policy May Be the Answer For Business Start-Ups

 

Business Start–Ups Can be Great Reason for Ghost Policy

 

Ghost policies, a comp policy for a business that has no employees and the owners opt not to be covered, seems to be aptly named – but why would anyone pay for  one?

 

Nearly always, they are purchased by the owner of a small business who is required to have a comp policy in order to get business from larger companies, even though the smaller company has no employees. But there is another good reason to have them – business start-ups.

 

 

Get It Before You Need It

 

When people start their own businesses for the first time, and have no employees, they realize that they do not have to purchase a comp policy, and few do. The problems start, however, when the very first “employee” is hired. Many people assume that the occasional part time helper, who may very well be a relative, does not have to be covered.

 

Such situations grow more dangerous with time and the occasional part time help might turn into a full time helper. Racing to get a policy for these people after an event is a sure invitation to up close and personal meetings with the labor bureaucracy. The solution is to start off with a ghost policy. The cost, fully tax deductible, is more than justified by the protection afforded.

 

 

Owner Only Policy is Another Option

 

There is also the owner only policy, plus a declaration that employees, if any should appear, are also covered. Owners of new businesses have many excellent reasons to cover themselves but, in an effort to hold down start-up costs, elect not to take it. But a comp policy, for the owner, is perhaps the best protection against serious injury during the start-up period, when a loss of earnings for even a few weeks can doom the start-up.

 

In addition, the policy comes cheaply, since the owner, to the chagrin of many new business owners, makes little or nothing in the first year. True, the wage loss benefits wouldn’t be great, but the medical protection would be. The owner also acquires the flexibility to hire relatives for casual work with full protection from lawsuits in negligence.

 

 

Many Small Family Businesses Have No Coverage

 

Every comp lawyer has received phone calls from small family businesses involved with an injury. Almost always, there is no comp policy covering the person injured – often the spouse or a child – and there is no viable negligence claim. If a younger relative, under age 26 in New York, is involved the comp policy would have covered wage expectancy – which would have made maximum comp rates possible, even though wages were a quite small. And many young business owners have spouses under age 26.

 

So the “ghost” can become a very guardian angel for new businesses.

 

 

 

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.

 

3 Reasons New York Workers Comp Assessments Are Through the Roof

NY Fees over 18%

 

An employer pays, in addition to the comp premium, an assessment for the operating costs of the Workers’ Compensation Board and certain “special funds”, principally the Second Injury Fund  and a fund for claims that have been closed for several years and reopened. Other states have these surcharges, amounting to a few percent of premium, but only New York has an assessment over 15% (currently over 18%). Why?

 

 

Reason #1: Bigger is Better

 

The answer, if it can be called an answer, seems to lie in a “bigger is better” attitude which has been part of New York comp for over 80 years. New York comp is also superlative in number of comp hearings, trials and appeals, so much so that at one time the annual number of hearings was over 600,000 and the number of appeals, 40,000 per year, exceeded the number of hearings in even the largest of states.

 

The number of hearings was so great that a research institute studying the NY comp system at first concluded that the number of hearings had an extra zero added by mistake. (Hearings are currently at 200,000/yr, or less.)

 

To manage all this, the NY comp board required over 1,500 employees, which was more than the combined comp board staffs of all states east of the Mississippi (if Florida is not included).

 

 

Reason #2: Second Injury Fund Payments

 

NY also led in second injury fund payments. A second injury fund pays most of an employer’s comp claim if the worker had a previous serious permanent injury. What drove the payments to the highest in the nation was the NY board’s stunning number claims for “permanent partial disability”, an award that was infrequent to rare in other states but was present, or at least possible, on nearly every claim in NY involving a back. Since extended disability on back claims was greater for older workers, second injury fund was usually involved. Older workers have the bulk of preexisting disability.

 

 

Reason #3: Reopened Cases

 

Finally, the assessments for “reopened cases” were anomalously high in NY. A back claim which remained open would in all likelihood continue to be litigated. But if the attorney asked that the claim be declared a permanent partial disability, but be closed without awards, the board would grant the request.

 

Such claims would be “warehoused” by the law firms as future assets. When the worker retired, the claim would be reopened and considered for permanent partial disability settlement since, it was claimed, the worker had retired in part due to the disability. (This has since been changed and future claims are more likely to be treated as voluntary retirements not qualifying for settlements, but many still in the pipeline must be paid for by the fund for reopened claims.)

 

 

Can Assessments Ever Come Down?

 

That, in brief, is why the assessments are so high. Can they ever come down to the level of the national average? Certainly, when it is recognized how they came to be so high in the first place, and there is hope for the future.

 

First, the number of reopened claims will diminish, since the new law for maximum amounts of future payments for permanent disability are a hindrance to “warehousing”. Then, the Second Injury Fund is in the process of being closed. Although that will take years there will be a steady decrease in payments each year.

 

The last factor, board expenses, will be a bit more difficult. The board has never shown an interest in substantial reduction of its total staff. It was predicted that the change from paper files to e-files would greatly reduce the staff, but that is still in the future, if ever. (Imagine the work hours which were necessary to transport paper files for 600,000 hearings a year to hearing points dozens of miles from the point of storage.)

 

So, the assessments, slowly, will come down. But they have a long way to go.

 

 

 

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.

 

New York Makes Strides with New Rules for Changing Hearing Point

Hearings Automatically Set for County in which Worker Resides

 
The NY Work Comp Board published on 7/3/12 established new rules for changing the hearing point (“Rule on Request for Venue Change, Subject No. 046-486). The hearings are automatically set for the county in which the worker resides, unless the worker resides out of state, in which case the worker can ask for a particular county. Special rules apply if the employer is a governmental body, in which case, hearings must be held in the same board district where the governmental body has offices.
 
After that, a change can only be made if the worker requests it in writing and gives a good reason for a change. The senior comp judge rules on the request and gives a written opinion.
 
 
New System Significant Improvement from Decades Past
 
In decades past, changes in hearing points resembled a game of dysfunctional musical chairs. The principal reasons for changes, especially in the New York City area, had nothing to do with the wishes of the worker or the convenience of witnesses – it had everything to do with the local culture of the comp system and, most importantly, how attorney fees were awarded.
 
Employers should be kept aware of any requests for a change in hearing points. A change should not be granted for the convenience of a medical witness since medical testimony is now taken by telephone depositions and no longer at hearings. It is no more difficult to take the deposition of doctors in Florida than doctors locally as the procedures are the same.
 
In the past, attorneys would ask that a change of hearing point be made to inconvenience the employer’s witnesses – using a worker’s remote address of a relative. The employer was sometimes directed to have three or four witnesses appear at a point hundreds of miles away, only to be informed, when they arrived, that the hearing was adjourned. Since depositions are now used, that gambit no longer works.
 
 
Employer Should be Updated on Requests for Changes
 
An employer should be kept in the loop on requests for changes of hearing point and should review the application to see if any reasons for a change are given that appear to contradict facts. If the request is not in accordance with known facts, a reply should be made.
 
 
 

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.

New York Corporation Makes Hilarious Decision in Payment of Work Comp Premiums

 

Would you rather be hated or laughed at? A NY corporation chose the latter.
 
J.M.R. Corp. owed NY State Insurance Fund a sum for work comp premiums. To make a suit and collection difficult, it thought, all that needed to be done was to dissolve the old corporation and form a new one – to be called J.M.R. of Long Island Corp.
 
The officers were the same, the titles were the same, the salaries were the same. Need we even mention that the address and even the very office furniture were the same?
 
This article is short. The final opinion of the court was even shorter.
 
“To paraphrase famous legal dicta, this Court cannot define b.s. but it knows it when it smells it.” “ Commisioners of State Insurance Fund v Ramos”, NY Slip Op 31674(U), 6/6/12.
 
Cost containment of comp premiums can be easy – but not THAT easy.
 
There are better ways to be remembered.
 
 

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.

In NY Workers Comp – What You Pay for is What You Get

Data, being released and discussed, shows that assessments for operating expenses made by the NY WCB against carriers (and passed on to employers) are five times higher than the national average for all states.

 
 
Why?
 
 
Well, the number of people employed by the NYWCB is greater (1500+) than the number of people employed by all comp boards east of the Mississippi (if Florida is excluded). By 1990, the NYWCB had 650,000 workers comp hearings per year, a number so large and anomalous that a major comp research institute studying New York twenty years ago at first thought that a zero had been added by mistake. [WCx]
 
 
In addition, NY has had for decades far higher assessments for second injury funds. (One eastern state has a second injury fund law that, for several decades, had only a single claim which qualified for reimbursement.)
 
 
The reasons for the New York anomaly can be traced back to a highly broad interpretation of a requirement that no claim for workers comp could be closed without affording the parties to a hearing. It did not say that more than one hearing was required, nor did it say that a hearing had to be automatically scheduled if no one requested it.
 
 
However. New York gradually drifted into the practice of automatically scheduling at least one hearing on every claim. If any party (claimant, carrier or an attorney) for some reason failed to attend, an adjournment was automatically granted. Lawyers, whose fees were, and are, proportional to the number of hearings, were never heard to complain about such policies.
 
 
By the 1980s, some claims were breaking all records for administrative tolerance. In one claim (and probably a lot more) a claimant was granted eleven consecutive “final opportunities for the claimant to appear. In 2009, a case was reported where two law firms, and the Board, required seven years of hearings and two years of court appeals to decide which of two carriers was responsible for a claim. (A board clerk had made a key stroke error which placed the wrong carrier on notice for the first hearing. No one ever thought to contact the Compliance Bureau.)

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The message for employers is to avoid thinking that others (carriers and the Board) will be the first to limit unnecessary costs on claims. A principal reason (more likely, an excuse) for hearings is that necessary information is not in the carrier’s claim file or the WCB e-file. Yet much of the information (payrolls, lost time information) is obtained from the employer.
 
 
An employer can reduce the costs on claims by submitting as much information as possible prior to the first hearing. The itemized payroll for the year prior to the accident, for example. That information will be required on all claims with significant lost time (more than a week) and a substantial percentage of all adjournment is to “obtain a payroll prior”. [WCx]
 
 
The above suggestion can reduce hearing costs by 10-20% on a claim. Many other suggestions can do the same, but that should do for a start.
 
 
 
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


 


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.

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80 Foot Fall from Scaffold Earns NY Employer OSHA Citation

OSHA recently cited Navillus Contracting Tile Inc. for alleged repeat and serious violations of safety standards at a work site in Brooklyn, New York.

 
 
The Manhattan-based masonry contractor was cited following an incident in which an employee fell 80 feet to a lower level from the top of a 118-foot-high scaffold.  [WCx]
 

"This employee is fortunate to have escaped death, but what is unfortunate is that this fall occurred in the first place," said Kay Gee, OSHA's area director for Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens. "It is effective scaffold maintenance, work practices and fall protection – not luck – that are essential to protecting workers against life-threatening falls."

 

An inspection by OSHA's Manhattan Area Office found that the scaffold platform was not fully planked and lacked guardrails, an aluminum access platform was not secured against displacement, another worker was not tied off to a safe anchorage point, and employees accessed work areas by climbing up and down the scaffold frames. These conditions resulted in citations for six serious violations, with $36,000 in proposed fines. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

 

One repeat violation with a proposed fine of $38,500 involves a lack of guardrails. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. OSHA cited Navillus in 2008 for a similar hazard at a Bronx work site. .[WCx]

 
 


"To prevent hazards such as these, employers should implement effective illness and injury prevention programs in which they work continuously with their employees to identify and eliminate hazards," said Robert Kulick, OSHA's regional administrator in New York.

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.

Lockout Tagout Violation Results in Crush Death at New York Company

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Metalico Rochester Inc. for alleged repeat and serious violations of workplace safety standards following the death of an employee at its 50 Portland Ave. recycling facility in Rochester, N.Y.
 
 
According to an OSHA report, the worker, who operated a large baler, was fatally crushed on June 4 when the machine unexpectedly activated while he was clearing material and he became caught between the baler's pusher block/ram and its return cavity.
 
 
The inspection by OSHA's Buffalo Area Office found that the company had not developed and used procedures to lock out the baler's power source and also did not provide workers with the required training on those procedures. OSHA's hazardous energy control standard requires that machines be shut down and their power sources locked or tagged out to prevent them from activating while workers are cleaning or performing maintenance on them. (WCxKit)
 
 
OSHA had cited Metalico Rochester Inc. in March 2010 for similar hazards at a Pittsburgh, Pa., location. The recurrence of those conditions in this case resulted in citations for two repeat violations. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. Additionally, one serious violation was cited for not providing safe access to the baler. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
 
 
"One means by which employers can prevent new and recurring hazards is for them to work proactively and cooperatively with their employees to develop, implement and effectively maintain an illness and injury prevention program," said Robert Kulick, OSHA's regional director in New York. [WCx]
 
 
Detailed information on controlling hazardous energy, including an interactive E Tool, is available for workers and employers online at: http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/controlhazardousenergy/index.html.
 
 
Proposed penalties total $73,300. Metalico Rochester Inc. has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply with OSHA's Buffalo area director or contest the findings to the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
 
Product liability issues: In cases such as this involving lack of machine guarding and lack of warnings and/or training, adjusters must look carefully for potential to bring in additional parties to cover the loss costs such as machinery manufacturer's with potential responsibility for designing unsafe or defective equipment. If a safer design is available for a machine or it's guarding system, the manufacturer has the responsibility to do so; they must  "design out" the defects not just issue a warning about the defect. Simply slapping a warning on a product with inherent defects will not save the responsible party from being held responsible.
 


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.

New York Corrections Officer Faces Fraud Charges for Working Second Job

A Corrections Officer from New York Mills is facing fraud charges after authorities say he wrongfully collected workers compensation benefits from the State, according to information from the New York State Police.
 
 
The police noted that Frank Caporale, 43, of New York Mills was charged with first-degree offering a false instrument for filing and fraudulent practices, both felonies. 
 

Caporale, a New York State
Corrections Officer at Midstate Correctional Facility, allegedly submitted written statements that contained materially false information to the New York State Insurance Fund as part of a claim for payment.
 
 
According to State Police, the statements indicated that Caporale was not employed, when he in fact was working a second job. As a result of these filings, the defendant did wrongfully collect $10,540 in workers comp benefits from the State Insurance Fund.
 
 
Caporale was subsequently given appearance tickets returnable in the Town of Marcy Justice Court.
 
 
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. See www.LowerWC.com for more information. Contact: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.
 
 

NEW 2012 WORKERS COMP BOOK:  www.WCManual.com
 
WORK COMP CALCULATOR:  www.LowerWC.com/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.
 
©2011 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact  Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

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