This Week in Comp, January 9, 2015

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

Senate passes TRIA; bill goes to President Obama’s desk
In addition to reauthorizing the TRIA program for six years, the bill raises the trigger amount needed in total losses before the TRIA program kicks in from the current $100 million to $200 million, over five years, beginning in calendar year 2016. Also over five years, starting Jan. 1, 2016, the mandatory recoupment rises from $27.5 billion to $37.5 billion, increasing by $2 billion each year. For all events, the bill raises the private industry recoupment total from the current 133 percent of covered losses to 140 percent of covered losses…MORE

Peters named president, exec. director of Texas independent agents group
peters-marit-4x6-120dpi-150x150The Independent Insurance Agents of Texas (IIAT) has selected Marit Peters as its president and executive director. Before joining the IIAT, Peters worked as chief strategy officer for the Independent Insurance Agents of New Mexico…MORE

The downside of cheaper gas: more accident fatalities
A 2.00 drop in gas prices can translate to 9,000 additional traffic fatalities per year, according to a recent study. The study partially attributes the phenomenon to how higher prices change driving habits. For example, people simply drive less when they’re paying more for gas. Furthermore, they tend to drive slower and accelerate gradually to conserve fuel, which in turn reduces their chances of crashing…MORE

Temporary worker suffers permanent disability after packaging machine crushes him
An OSHA investigation found that the employer allowed workers to bypass machine safeguards. The man had been on the job 12 days when the accident occurred…MORE

Texas officials want drug database moved from DPS
Some Texas lawmakers say prescription drugs can be bettered monitored if the database is moved to the State Board of Pharmacy…MORE

Regulatory roundup
Texas Mutual’s weekly digest of health and safety regulatory news…MORE

ICT produces recruiting video

The Insurance Council of Texas (ICT) has produced a six-minute video highlighting the variety of job opportunities available in the insurance industry for recent college graduates and current undergrads…MORE

Top 10 ways to improve your safety program in 2015
We know you’ve got your hands full with resolutions to get healthier, read more and learn a new language. Texas Mutual hopes you will also find time to improve your workplace safety program in 2015. Here’s a handy list that can help…MORE

Texas lowers maintenance tax rate
Texas Workers’ Compensation Commissioner Ryan Brannan has lowered the maintenance tax rate to 1.533 percent of gross premiums collected by workers’ compensation insurance carriers from Jan. 1, 2014, through Dec. 31, 2014…MORE

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