Changes in how doctors are paid for treating some injured employees covered by workers’ compensation are expected to address the long-term use of pain relievers and help cut medical costs for Michigan job providers, according to state officials.
The new rules prevent reimbursements for opioid treatment beyond 90 days for non-cancer-related chronic pain unless physicians meet detailed reporting requirements, the Michigan Workers’ Compensation Agency said.
via New Workers’ Comp Reimbursement Rules Take Effect In Michigan.
For many workers, their jobs may be the most dangerous activities they engage in on a regular basis. On average, twelve people died each day last year from workplace incidents—amounting to over 4,300 deaths. Moreover, nearly 3 million workers suffered injuries or became ill at work last year.
These statistics actually represent some of the lowest workplace mortality and injury rates in decades, but Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez has urged that the government “can and must do better.” To Perez, the statistics “aren’t just numbers and data – they are fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, who will never come home again.”
In an effort to reduce workplace hazards and prevent injuries, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently proposed a new rule that would add requirements for the electronic submission of workplace injury and illness information. In announcing the agency’s proposal, David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, indicated that the new requirements should provide “better access to data that will encourage earlier abatements of hazards and result in improved programs to reduce workplace hazards and prevent injuries, illnesses and fatalities.”
via Workplace Injury Reports to Go Online | RegBlog.
With more baby boomers postponing retirement, the effects of an aging workforce are becoming a concern for many organizations. By 2020, it is projected that 25% of workers will be over the age of 55, and since older workers are more likely to have disabilities, employers will have to adjust to meet the shifting needs of their workforce. According to a survey by the Disability Management Employer Coalition and Cornell University’s Employment and Disability Institute, most employers recognize the issue. Just over 85% said they were very or somewhat concerned about the impact of an aging workforce. However, their concern has not translated into universal action-—64% of businesses have not considered the aging workforce in designing absence and disability management programs. To close this gap, researchers suggested that employers concentrate on certain key elements of disability management, including practicing flexibility in scheduling and work location, maintaining and enhancing benefits, implementing wellness and return-to-work programs, instituting proactive safety checks, making certain physical and strategic accommodations for older workers, and improving corporate communication and culture to take an aging workforce into consideration.
via Accommodating an Aging Workforce | Risk Management.
Ammonia is considered a high health hazard because it is corrosive to the skin, eyes, and lungs. Exposure to 300 parts per million (ppm) is immediately dangerous to life and health. Ammonia is also flammable at concentrations of approximately 15% to 28% by volume in air. When mixed with lubricating oils, its flammable concentration range is increased. It can explode if released in an enclosed space with a source of ignition present, or if a vessel containing anhydrous ammonia is exposed to fire. Fortunately, ammonia has a low odor threshold (20 ppm), so most people will seek relief at much lower concentrations.
via Safety and Health Topics | Ammonia Refrigeration.
Most people associate the term Lean with the Toyota Production System. This combined management and production system helped a small company grow to world-class size and market share. As they did so, most of the auto manufacturers and other industries studied their methods and tools to learn how to improve their own organizations. What does this method of lean thinking have to do with employee health & safety? Here are a few examples:
- Integrates employee safety health and well-being into the business
- Marries waste elimination (injury and illness) to making $$ in non traditional way
- Simple and easy for supervision and employees to think and apply lean tools –Hands on experiential learning
- Builds culture of critical thinking – It’s not “what” you do but “how” and “why”
You can trace the roots of Lean back many years but there are still many companies that have not fully implemented it. They are missing a huge opportunity to improve their business and even their long term survival.
The top four causes of construction fatalities are: Falls, Struck-By, Caught-In/Between and Electrocutions.
- Wear and use personal fall arrest equipment.
- Install and maintain perimeter protection.
- Cover and secure floor openings and label floor opening covers.
- Use ladders and scaffolds safely.
- Never position yourself between moving and fixed objects.
- Wear high-visibility clothes near equipment/vehicles.
- Never enter an unprotected trench or excavation 5 feet or deeper without an adequate protective system in place; some trenches under 5 feet deep may also need such a system.
- Make sure the trench or excavation is protected either by sloping, shoring, benching or trench shield systems.
- Locate and identify utilities before starting work.
- Look for overhead power lines when operating any equipment.
- Maintain a safe distance away from power lines; learn the safe distance requirements.
- Do not operate portable electric tools unless they are grounded or double insulated.
- Use ground-fault circuit interrupters for protection.
- Be alert to electrical hazards when working with ladders, scaffolds or other platforms.
via Top Four Construction Hazards.
Thousands of accidents occur throughout the United States every day. The failure of people, equipment, supplies, or surroundings to behave or react as expected causes most of them. Accident investigations determine how and why these failures occur. By using the information gained through an investigation, a similar, or perhaps more disastrous, accident may be prevented. It is important to conduct accident investigations with prevention in mind.
via Safety and Health Topics | Accident Investigation.
Safety cultures consist of shared beliefs, practices, and attitudes that exist at an establishment. Culture is the atmosphere created by those beliefs, attitudes, etc., which shape our behavior. An organizations safety culture is the result of a number of factors such as:
- Management and employee norms, assumptions and beliefs;
- Management and employee attitudes;
- Values, myths, stories;
- Policies and procedures;
- Supervisor priorities, responsibilities and accountability;
- Production and bottom line pressures vs. quality issues;
- Actions or lack of action to correct unsafe behaviors;
- Employee training and motivation; and
- Employee involvement or “buy-in.”
via Safety and Health Management Systems eTool | Module 4: Creating Change – Safety and Health Program Management: Fact Sheets: Creating a Safety Culture.
Employees must know before they get hurt who they should talk to when they suffer an injury. Immediate injury reporting is a key to keeping injury costs as low as possible. Studies have shown that the costs of an injury go up when there is a delay in reporting. Make it your policy that any employee injury is reported before the end of the shift.
via IWCP: Institute of WorkComp Professionals.
Zero work-related injuries and illnesses have been long-standing goals for Alcoa. But when zero first became the target, it seemed unreachable. “Accidents are inevitable” was often the response.
It’s not. They felt they could attain zero. That it is possible, and, in many locations, it is already there, thanks to dedicated effort and a firm commitment to their core values, one of which is to work safely, promote wellness, and protect the environment.
via Alcoa: Worldwide: Sustainability: Enhancing Our Workplace: Safety.