This Week in Comp, July 10

New Oklahoma law requires middle school, high school safety training
teen worker
NIOSH partners at the Oklahoma Department of Labor will collaborate with the Oklahoma State Department of Education to make information regarding workplace safety and health available to schools…MORE

Insurance industry explores Google Glass uses
Insurance isn’t likely to crack many lists of up-and-coming, dynamic industries. It may not be long, however, that you can forget everything you thought you knew about our industry, thanks to Google Glass and other wearable technology…MORE

Construction companies: Are you ready for OSHA’s new confined space rule?
The new Occupational Safety and Health Administration confined space rule for the construction industry goes into effect on Aug. 3, 2015. This infographic explains what employers need to know about the new rule…MORE

CDC report uncovers link between opioid abuse and heroin
Opioid abuse is the strongest risk factor for heroin use, according to a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report. The report showed that 45 percent of people who used heroin were also addicted to prescription opioid painkillers…MORE

Opioid use decreasing in workers’ comp
Pills White BackgroundAfter two decades of unprecedented growth, opioid use in workers’ comp is on the decline, according to a new WorkCompCentral report. The report cites strong controls and transparency, as well as the medical community’s reluctance to prescribe opioids without follow-up, as reasons for the decline…MORE

1 in 4 opioid scripts ends up “long term” – Mayo Clinic
In a  Mayo Clinic study, 21 percent of patients prescribed opioids took them for three to four months, and six percent ended up with more than a four-month supply. People with histories of tobacco use and substance abuse were the most likely to use opioid painkillers long-term…MORE

Turning office workers into athletes

Click on the image for more information about the symbiotic relationship between worker wellness and safety.

Click on the image for more information about the symbiotic relationship between worker wellness and safety.

A Montreal kinesiology researcher is looking at ways to help office workers keep their bodies in top working condition and avoid the musculoskeletal disorders that often result from a sedentary lifestyle…MORE

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

Willis Group, Towers Watson agree to $18 billion merger
The firms predict Towers Watson’s relationships will increase Willis’ penetration in the large U.S. property/casualty insurance corporate market. Meanwhile, Willis will help expand Towers Watson’s business internationally. The combined firm will advise 80 percent of the world’s top-1000 companies…MORE

A.M. Best special report: State funds’ net premiums written increased for fourth consecutive year in 2014
Net premiums written among U.S. state workers’ compensation funds grew 11.5 percent to $8.5 billion, the highest level since 2006, during 2014, according to a new report from A.M. Best. Collectively, state funds accounted for 18 percent of workers’ compensation written in the United States in 2014, up from 17 percent in 2013 and a low of 15 percent in 2011. The report points to improved underwriting and overall operating performances since the end of the prior soft market in 2010 and 2011 as reasons for the growth…MORE

AASCIF 2015 whirlwind of change: Where do I begin?
If the presentations at this week’s AASCIF annual conference are any indication, the workers’ comp industry as a whole, and state funds in particular, will witness a whirlwind of change in the not-so-distant future. Bob Wilson promises to share the details on his popular “From Bob’s Cluttered Desk” blog…MORE

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