When the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) passed down the final rule that would eventually require employers to electronically submit all of their employee injury and illness data, it garnered a lot of attention. We discussed the rule and its potential impact and implications in depth last year. Since then, OSHA has proposed that the original start date of July 1, 2017, be delayed until December 1, 2017. Additionally, the rule has faced legal troubles of its own. For now, OSHA says it will launch its web-based form, the Injury Tracking Application (ITA), on Aug. 1, 2017. The ITA will allow employers to electronically submit required injury and illness data from their completed 2016 OSHA Form 300A.
The use of opioid painkillers has skyrocketed to epidemic levels in the United States in recent years. According to the Centers for Disease Control, there were enough opioid painkillers prescribed in 2012 for every American to have their own bottle (almost 260 million prescriptions). Opioids are highly addictive, and taking them can lead to dependence and overdose, which is now the primary cause of accidental death in the U.S.
In November 2016, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a final rule updating Walking-Working Surfaces standards, with a focus on slips, trips and falls hazards. The rule, which OSHA estimates will prevent 29 fatalities and more than 5,842 injuries annually, is not expected to become a target of President Donald Trump and the Republican Congress as part of their pledge to “eliminate unnecessary regulations,” according to industry experts.
New technologies are developed at a feverish pace in today's world, and business technology is no exception. Among the areas in which technological solutions are advancing rapidly is workplace safety. Given the ever-growing workers' comp costs faced by companies today, new, more effective tools for reducing injuries are certainly welcome. Here's a quick overview of some of the latest technology designed to help you decrease on-the-job injuries and improve workplace safety.
Controlling workers' compensation costs is always important to the profitability of businesses, and it becomes more important every year as those costs rise. According to OSHA estimates, employers are paying out nearly $1 billion per week in direct workers' compensation costs today. In 2013 and 2014, the median cost of claims open for more than 7 days was $34,516, according to figures collected from 16 states. Unfortunately, those startling direct costs aren't the whole story. Indirect costs of those workplace injuries are even higher – anywhere from 1.1 to 4.5 times higher – than direct costs, according to OSHA.
Improving your company's experience modifier, better known as your "mod rate," is a critical factor in controlling workers' compensation expenses, which, given the steep rise in those costs in recent years, is essential to increasing profitability. Reducing the number of reportable on-the-job injuries – and the workers' comp claims they initiate – is the key to keeping your mod rate favorable and your workers' comp premiums reasonable.
According to Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety, slips, trips, and falls are a top cause of workplace injuries as well as the leading cause of workers' comp claims. In a report titled Pace Yourself: What You Should Know About Slips, Trips, & Falls, the Institute places the annual direct cost of disabling occupational injuries due to slip, trips, and falls at more than $11 billion and states that in 2005, workplace falls alone accounted for over 200,000 injuries involving more than two days away from work and more than 700 deaths.
Implementing a well-designed, effective transitional duty program in your company is a winning proposition for everyone, beneficial for both your employees and your business. So what, exactly, does an effective program consist of? Helpful guidelines on best practices for these programs are offered by a variety of insurance and risk management professionals. Here is an outline of some of the most important aspects of effective programs, as identified by these professionals.
Communication is essential when it comes to resolving workers' compensation cases as quickly and efficiently as possible. In fact, comprehensive case management – which requires effective communication between all parties involved – is nearly as important as the extent and severity of injury in determining how long an injured employee will take to recover and reenter the workforce. According to a study conducted by the Rand Center for Health And Safety in the Workplace, comprehensive management of employee injuries can reduce out of work time by as much as 42 percent.