Cal/OSHA Issues Emergency Rules for Posting Injury Forms Electronically

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

Cal/OSHA is implementing emergency regulations that require California employers with 250 or more employees to submit their 2017 Form 300A summaries electronically by the end of this year. That’s the form that you signed and posted in your workplace from Feb. 1 to April 30. Form 300A contains only the summary of injuries and is not the actual log, which contains the names of the employees who were injured. For the electronic filing, you will simply take the same information on the form you posted earlier this year and enter it into an electronic database. The short ramp-up period will…
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Do Return-to-Work Programs Work?

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

Employers who have an injured worker are caught in a bind – especially if the injury occurred on the job. As the worker recovers, employers are faced with a decision. Here are the options: Settle the workers’ comp claim and let the employee go, Continue to have the worker stay home, pending a full recovery, or Bring the worker on in a lighter-duty assignment unlikely to aggravate the injury. Each, of course, has long-term consequences. If you settle too many claims, your workers’ compensation premiums are likely to go up. This is because premiums are typically based on your claims…
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Half of Business Floors Too Slick, Pose Slip Risk: Study

| posted in Blog

Despite many businesses taking measures to reduce the chances of one of the most common workplace injuries – slip and fall incidents – nearly half of workplace floors fail to meet safety criteria, according to a new study. While well-intentioned employers may take steps to reduce slip and fall injuries by ensuring that walking surfaces don’t have standing water on them or are free of clutter, many overlook flooring selections and ongoing maintenance on slip resistance, the study by CNA Financial Corp. suggests. When testing workplace floors in a number of industries, the insurance company found that 50% failed to…
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When Injuries at Work Don’t Equal Workers’ Comp

| posted in Blog

While injuries and deaths that occur while someone is carrying out their work on behalf of their employer are compensated by workers’ comp coverage, not all workplace injuries or deaths are compensable, as a recent court case shows. In the case, a heating and air conditioning technician died of a heart attack while working in an attic. But his wife was denied workers’ comp death benefits by the insurance company and a workers’ comp judge on the basis that the heart attack was not related to work. The decision by the judge was appealed and a state court recently ruled…
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How Management Can Demonstrate Safety Buy-In

| posted in Blog

We’ve had many articles about workplace safety and that in order for you to have a successful workplace safety program you need not only employee buy-in, but also management buy-in. If the management can show its leadership and commitment to promoting and ensuring a safe workplace, getting staff to fall in line is easier. Dr. Isabel Perry, CEO of The Safety Doctor, a workplace safety app, recently posted a blog about the 18 examples of management involvement she has observed visiting job sites and conducting workplace safety interviews, benchmarking, safety conferences and more. These are the specific examples she identified…
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Will OSHA Conduct an Inspection after an Employee Complaint?

| posted in Blog

OSHA will make inspections of a workplace for a variety of reasons, including following a worker injury and always after a worker’s death. Inspections may also occur randomly or part of a program aimed at a particular industry that OSHA has decided to target. The other way an inspection may occur – and the main focus of this article – is if an employee contacts the agency to complain about possible safety violations. These complaints may or may not result in an inspection of your workplace based on certain conditions, including the timing of the complaint. Under OSHA regulations, a…
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OSHA Sets Limits on Drug Testing Injured Workers

| posted in Blog

Employers are not allowed to have a blanket policy of requiring drug and alcohol tests after a workplace injury as it may discourage injury reporting, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration has said in an interpretation letter. It issued the letter in response to a company’s blanket policy after some intoxicated workers had been injured on the job, and it comes as a new OSHA regulation on post-injury testing is slated to take effect at the start of 2017. These recent actions should spur any employer with a policy of testing its workers post-accident to revisit its rules so…
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Many Small Businesses Can’t ID Workers’ Comp Fraud

| posted in Blog

Fraud eats away at workers’ comp costs for all businesses, but it hits small businesses the hardest as they may not have the resources to identify bogus claims. According to a new study by workers’ comp insurer Employers Holdings Inc., about 20% of small-business owners are not sufficiently prepared to identify workers’ compensation fraud. It’s estimated that at least 10% of claims are fraudulent, so identifying those illicit claims would keep your workers’ comp claims in check and reduce your workers’ comp premiums. Claims fraud happens when an employee tries to gain workers’ comp benefits by falsely stating that an…
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