Workers Who File Claims More Likely to File Subsequent Ones

| posted in Blog

A new study has found that people who have had workers’ comp claims in the past are more likely to file future claims compared to those who have never suffered an on-the-job injury. The study – the subject of an article published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine – concluded that a past claim is the most predictive factor in determining the likelihood of future workers’ comp claims. While the findings shed light on a significant driver of workplace injuries, employers are in a difficult position as asking prospective employees about past claims experience is illegal in most…
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Workplace Distractions Hurt Your Employees and Your Business

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

Workplace distractions are ever-present. They reduce workers’ productivity, increase their stress, cause injuries and lower morale. Some are the result of modern technology, but others have been around a lot longer. Following an interruption, it typically takes a couple of minutes to return concentration to work. These short interruptions and recovery periods add up to large amounts of lost productive time. There are a multitude of distractions that can affect employee safety and productivity that employers need to be aware of. Smartphones– Smartphones and tablet computers are a major distraction, especially in office environments. Text messages, alerts and the urge…
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Protecting Your Workers in Wildfire Areas

| posted in Blog

If you have workers in a wildfire zone, you need to have measures in place to protect them in the event of a catastrophe. Smoke from these wildfires is dangerous as it contains chemicals, gases and fine particles that can lodge deep in people’s lungs. This can make it difficult to breathe, aggravate asthma as well as existing heart and lung conditions – not to mention all the coughing and wheezing that most people would experience. To protect workers exposed to wildfire smoke, Cal/OSHA recommends that employers take the following measures: • Engineering controls like using a filtered ventilation system…
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Sexual Harassment Lawsuits: How to Protect Your Company

| posted in Uncategorized

By now, employers should all realize and understand that sexual harassment is illegal. However, what they might not be aware of are two 20-year-old rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court that: • Expanded what is termed sexual harassment; • Expanded the responsibility that employers have to provide a work environment that’s non-hostile; and • Did away with harassed employees having to prove that their company holds some responsibility or that their career suffered from lack of promotion, firing, demotion, or other such action. Employers are now directly responsible for employee behavior, thereby giving harassed workers more recourse in bringing about…
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Trump Administration Writing Regs to Loosen Rules on Health Plan Tax Credits for Small Employers

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The Trump administration is crafting regulations that will allow small employers to bypass government-run exchanges to purchase coverage and still be eligible for a tax subsidy. Part of the Affordable Care Act provides for small employers to be eligible for a tax credit if they purchase health insurance for their workers on federally operated exchanges for small businesses. However, the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit is only available to employers that bought coverage on the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP), leaving those who bought plans on the private market out of luck. Now the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid…
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Indoor Workers Can Also Get Heat Illness; Here’s How to Protect Them

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As temperatures soar this summer, it’s not only outdoor workers that toil under the sun who are at risk of heat illness. Workers in warehouses, boiler rooms and factories are also susceptible to heat illness, which can cause severe symptoms – and even death. The temperature inside these facilities can often exceed 80 degrees, the threshold at which employers with outdoor workers are required by Cal/OSHA to take certain steps to protect their workers from heat illness. And on extreme heat days, even the air conditioners can sometimes not keep up with cooling down the building, making workers uncomfortable and…
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Workers’ Comp Referral Ring Busted: How You Can Keep Your Employees from Being Ensnared

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

One of the hidden cost drivers in workers’ comp is fraud and while many employers feel that fraud by “injured workers” is the biggest problem, there are also vendors in the system that do their part to skim money from employers and insurers. Most recently, law enforcement in California busted a fraud ring that required attorneys to pay a monthly referral fee to a company that brought the lawyers new clients and then used the same company for a number of services that were later billed to insurance companies. Prosecutors estimate that the ring encompassed 33,000 injured workers and netted…
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Creating a Strong Safety Program for Your Fleet Drivers

| posted in Blog

While most operations with an automotive or trucking fleet focus on safety, few businesses are actually monitoring their drivers to make sure they are adhering to the company’s rules, a new study has found. Many companies only pull reports on their drivers’ records on an annual basis, which means they miss important developments like a DUI or a few moving violations that will increase the cost of insuring them. In fact, 70% of companies with fleets do not even monitor their drivers and 60% don’t have a safety program in place, according to the study by SambaSafety, a firm that…
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Drug Use Skyrockets among American Workers

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Drug use is rapidly increasing among American workers, as more states liberalize marijuana laws, cocaine makes a resurgence and more people abuse amphetamines and heroin. A new study by Quest Diagnostics Inc., a workplace drug-testing lab, found that the number of workers testing positive for illicit drugs is higher than at any time in the last 12 years. That puts employers in a tricky predicament, particularly if employees are using at work, which could reduce productivity and also make them more susceptible to workplace injuries since they may not be as focused as they should be on their work. In…
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Employee Texting Blows Holes in Your Company Communications Policy

| posted in Blog

If you are not aware, your employees are most likely communicating with each other and clients using texting or instant messaging. While the immediacy of texting and instant messaging is great for business as it allows faster communications, better collaboration and more responsiveness, the downside is that your organization likely can’t track and retrieve those communications. It becomes even harder if the communications are via instant messaging apps like Whatsapp! and Facebook’s Messenger. As an employer, it’s important that you understand the issue and that you have clear rules for communications among employees in order to protect your company’s interests….
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