This Week in Comp, May 19 – 23

By David Wylie, Senior Technical Writer

By David Wylie, Senior Technical Writer

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

Safety

Petroperil: Hazards of drilling
There are 1,000 ways to die in the oilfield. Vehicle accidents are the leading causes, followed by struck by, caught in-between, falls, explosions and electrocutions…MORE

Oh God for one more breath
In 1902, a huge explosion ripped through Fraterville Coal Mine in Tennessee, killing all but three of the city’s adult men. The miners were not the only victims. The blast left 100 widows and 1,000 children without fathers. Read the letter one miner wrote to his wife during his final moments before succumbing to suffocation…MORE

Oilfield deaths spur safety agency to study fracking
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health is asking oil and gas drillers to help assess the risks of exposure to chemicals used in fracking…MORE

Thinking about the unthinkable: workplace violence
For more than a decade, violence has been the second leading cause of workplace fatalities in the United States, yet few companies take active roles in identifying and addressing the risk of workplace violence. Why? Because most companies think the same thing that you are probably thinking right now: It just couldn’t happen hereMORE

Claims

NFL suits bring awareness
From the hippocampus to opioids, David DePaolo wonders how the recent rash of lawsuits brought by professional football players will affect workers’ compensation law…MORE

Experts cite exceptions to downward frequency trend
While widely reported data reveals an ongoing, nationwide decline in workers’ compensation claims frequency, risk managers experiencing a departure from the long-term trend shouldn’t feel alone. An aging workforce and rebounding economy are driving increased claims frequency for some employers…MORE

You will smile when you see the work comp savings of onsite cameras
Was your driver really at fault in that auto accident? Did failure to follow safety procedures cause that on-the-job injury? Onsite cameras can pull back the curtain on workplace accidents and save you money…MORE

Managing workers’ comp exposures as the workforce ages
An aging workforce could mean higher workers’ compensation costs. Businesses can control those costs by offering wellness programs, designing jobs with older workers’ limitations in mind, and reducing strain through engineering controls…MORE

Fraud

Is surveillance your only work comp fraud prevention technique?
Sound hiring practices and claim-handing techniques are critical to keeping fraud out of your workplace…MORE

Opioid epidemic

Prevalence of opioids in California workers’ comp holding at near-record highs
Despite efforts to curb the use and cost of opioids in California workers’ comp, new research finds the use of these drugs has remained at record levels since 2010. As a result, since 2005, payments for these painkillers have increased from about 4% to nearly 20% of all California workers’ compensation prescription dollars…MORE

ACA

Advancements in healthcare technology and what they mean to workers’ comp
There are several potential implications of the Affordable Care Act on the workers’ comp system. For example, the Act could push more Americans into the system, resulting in access to care issues. Relief could be in sight in the form of telemedicine, Google Glass, wearable monitoring devices and other technology…MORE

Nonsubscription

TX court puts agreement in fryer
Nonsubscribers who use arbitration agreements to control the risk of lawsuits filed by injured workers may not be covering all their bases. That is particularly true of agreements between nonsubscribers and minors…MORE

About the author
David Wylie is the senior technical writer 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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