This Week in Comp, July 17

7 tips for working out fatigue

Most adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep. Lack of sleep can affect your performance at work, which is especially dangerous when you get behind the wheel.

Most adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep. Lack of sleep can affect your performance at work, which is especially dangerous when you get behind the wheel.

If swimsuit season and a longer life aren’t enough motivation to break a sweat, consider this: Exercise can help you ward off fatigue…MORE

Study shows cell phone message alerts are as disruptive as using phone
The findings are significant because many public information campaigns emphasize waiting to respond to messages and calls. However, even waiting may take a toll on attention. Simply remembering to perform some action in the future is sufficient to disrupt driving performance…MORE

WCIRB says California has most prolonged treatment in nation
About 17 percent of the studied claims lasted three years or more, accounting for $1.5 billion, or 35 percent, of total medical payments…MORE

Why back surgery rates vary by location
Back injuries account for approximately one-fifth of injuries covered by workers’ compensation. Workers are more likely to have surgery for back injuries in states that have surgery-intensive local practice norms, higher reimbursement rates for surgery and more surgeons in an area, according to a Workers’ Compensation Research Institute study…MORE

Fate of Florida’s work comp system may fall on state supreme court
The court will rule on whether the “exclusiveness of liability” provision of the Florida Workers’ Compensation Law that immunizes an employer and its employees from lawsuits for covered, work-related injuries is unconstitutional…MORE

Minnesota approves marijuana for use in workers’ comp claims
Business Insurance reports that the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry adopted a rule establishing criteria for long-term opioid treatment that also said medical marijuana is not an “illegal substance” for injured workers under state law. Marijuana use remains illegal under federal law, however. Some stakeholders consider marijuana an effective alternative to long-term opioid use…MORE

NSC calls for comprehensive workplace policies on painkiller use
In some cases where injured workers have gotten addicted to prescription painkillers, courts have ordered employers and workers’ compensation insurance carriers to pay for detoxification, medication-assisted treatment and death benefits to surviving family members. The National Safety Council has issued best practices for protecting workers and mitigating liability, including the use of use prescription drug monitoring programs…MORE

Missing word leads to reversal of Nebraska workers’ comp ruling in employee’s favor
The employee was injured during a cookout for the company’s customers. The workers’ compensation court found that his injury occurred in the course of employment because “the co-op received a substantial benefit from his attendance.” But the Nebraska Supreme Court said  the standard for whether an employee is entitled to benefits when injured at a social event tied to employment is “a substantial direct benefit,” not merely a “substantial benefit…” MORE

More than 1 in 10 small businesses concerned about fraud, study finds
Handcuff FraudMore than 1 in 10 small businesses that participated in an Employers Insurance poll said they are concerned their employees will commit workers’ comp fraud. The study also found that nearly one-quarter of small-business owners have installed surveillance cameras to monitor employees for fraudulent activity…MORE

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

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