This Week in Comp, August 18-22


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.


Acclimatization key to protecting workers from heat-related illness
Most of the 13 heat-related deaths recently investigated by OSHA happened during the first three days on the job. If your employees work outside or in hot indoor environments, give them time to acclimate to the heat…MORE

Construction workers 22 percent more likely to die on the job in Texas
Untrained, undocumented laborers and the lack of unions contribute to high fatality rates in the Texas construction industry, according to a Dallas Morning News report…MORE

Keeping foreign-born workers safe
When it comes to on-the-job safety, the challenges are many, the issues complex. What are the most effective ways to train a diverse workforce in safety practices? How do you deal with language barriers? How do you avoid cultural miscues? Get answers to these questions and more in this insightful article by workers’ comp thought leader Peter Rousmaniere…MORE

Regulatory Roundup
Texas Mutual’s weekly roundup of EHS-related news…MORE

Lone Star Oil and Gas Roundup
EHS-related news tailored to the oil and gas industry, courtesy of Texas Mutual and the Texas Oil and Gas Association…MORE

State of the industry

Workers’ comp – the near-term outlook
The market and rates are firm, premiums are trending up modestly, frequency is continuing its structural slow decrease, and claims cost inflation appears to be well within acceptable ranges, according to a report released by the National Council on Compensation Insurance…MORE

Claim costs

New obesity issues impacting workers’ compensation
Obesity contributes to a growing percentage of the health care spend in worker’s compensation. Claims professionals should practice a few guidelines to control the impact of obesity on claims…MORE

Postal service workers’ comp costs rise as headcount falls
The postal service cut its workforce by more than 172,000 employees between 2008 and 2013, but its workers’ compensation costs grew 35 percent. An aging workforce and fewer modified duty positions are among the reasons cited for the increase…MORE

Prescription drugs

DEA increases restrictions on painkillers
Under the restrictions, doctors will no longer be able to call in Hydrocodone prescriptions, and patients will not be allowed to get refills on the same prescription. The Drug Enforcement Administration published the rule on August 21; it will take effect in 45 days…MORE

Be wary of compound medications in workers’ compensation
Compound medications are largely unregulated. They can carry serious side effects, and they can cost as much as double the standard market drug…MORE

State compensation funds worry about impact of opioids
Growth in highly addictive pain medications is driving up costs and hampering return-to-work outcomes. In this episode of A.M.Best TV, leaders of state compensation funds discuss the impact of opioids on the workers’ comp landscape…MORE

Agent’s role in WC risk management, claims: Time to get hands-on
Agents should create spreadsheets on every company, with its average claims cost, its percentage of claims litigation, the average adjuster case load, and the percentage of claims closed in 90 days. If the numbers are not comparable to the industry average, it’s time for the agent and company to work together to lower their costs, according to Lew Kachulis, president & CEO of Synergy Comp Insurance Co…MORE

State fund news

Riding the fastest park bench ever at another AASCIF conference
Bob Wilson is excited to cross “being heckled by residents sitting on their porch while waiting at a red light on a completely open trolley full of windblown tourists” off his bucket list. Read Bob’s account of the 2014 AASCIF annual conference, held in Washington, D.C…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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