This Week in Comp, April 7 – 11

By David Wylie, Editorial Coordinator

By David Wylie, Editorial Coordinator

This Week in Comp provides an overview of workers’ compensation news from across the country.

Safety

CDC study highlights safety and health issues for working women
Levels of stress-related illness are nearly twice as high for women compared to men, according to a report issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The NIOSH Science Blog reviews the most common health and safety risks women face on the job…MORE

1 in 10 small businesses report workers under influence of alcohol, drugs
Small-business owners reported that alcohol, marijuana and prescription painkillers were the most common substances employees used, according to a study by Employers Holdings Inc…MORE

NIOSH follows workers as they age
Older workers tend to be experienced and productive. But chronic conditions can make them more susceptible to workplace injuries. NIOSH recently rolled out a Web page promoting healthy aging among America’s workforce…MORE

Wearable technologies: the next frontier in workplace safety
A North Carolina firefighter has developed an app that that displays incoming emergency dispatches, where incidents are, nearest fire hydrants, and even building plans. His work foreshadows a probable explosion in wearable technology solutions for the safety industry…MORE

OOIDA speaks out against electronic logging device proposal
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association is encouraging truckers to comment on – and address safety issues related to – a recent proposal that would require truck and bus drivers to use electronic logging devices to track their compliance with hours-of-service regulations…MORE

New website helps workers ‘choose hand safety’
The Choose Hand Safety website features information on hand tools and gloves, types of injuries, preventive measures, and training. Resources include toolbox talks, handouts and ergonomics videos…MORE

The illusion of being invulnerable
No matter how many safety training courses emphasis how dangerous it may be to work with electricity, chemicals or cargo unless proper safety protocols are followed, there is always a percentage of employees who believe they aren’t vulnerable to such risks — until it’s too late…MORE

Opioid epidemic DWC commissioner testifies closed formulary helping reduce opioid use, cost
Opioid prescriptions are down 10 percent since Texas implemented its pharmacy closed formulary, according to DWC Commissioner Rob Bordelon. Bordelon testified this week before the Texas House Committee on Public Health that Texas’ closed formulary has also contributed to a 74 percent reduction in drugs with “N” status and an 82 percent drop in costs associated with those drugs…MORE

Washington man gets more than 2 years in jail for defrauding hospital to get painkillers
A Washington State man is accused of making 51 visits to more than two dozen emergency rooms and urgent-care clinics to get prescriptions for Vicodin, Percocet and other painkillers…MORE

Claim management UR Nation, Pt 2: A Tale of Two States Trying to Control High Medical Costs
Lisa Hannusch offers three keys to successful utilization review based on California’s journey…MORE

Legal

Oklahoma’s workers’ comp administrative redesign takes effect
The transition of Oklahoma’s workers’ compensation system from a court-based system to an administrative one became effective Feb. 1, 2014, a change that proponents believe will lower costs and help make the state more competitive in attracting businesses…MORE

Victoria man sues construction companies after malaria outbreak
A Victoria man is suing two construction companies after he said he contracted malaria while working for them in Africa about a year ago. One company carries workers’ compensation insurance. Under Texas law, employees cannot sue their employers over workplace injuries in most cases…MORE

About the author
David Wylie is the editorial coordinator at Texas Mutual Insurance Company. He works closely with Texas Mutual’s safety professionals to teach employers and their employees how to prevent workplace accidents and their associated costs. David holds the OSHA 10-hour general safety certification and a degree in journalism from Southwest Texas State University.

Links to and from this blog do not reflect any affiliation between Texas Mutual Insurance Company and third parties, and are not an endorsement by Texas Mutual Insurance Company of the linked sites (or their owners or operators) or of any content located there. Texas Mutual Insurance Company does not vouch for the availability or accuracy of any information contained on linked sites.

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