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Top 5 Workers’ Compensation Injury Types

OSHA compliance assessment 1Data recently collected from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the National Academy of Social Insurance shows that 65% of workers’ compensation costs can be traced to five common workplace injury types. By knowing the top five Workers’ Compensation injury types, employers can target those injuries and take action to prevent them.

According to the data, the following are the top five injury types:

  1. Overexertion injuries which are caused by pushing, pulling, carrying, holding or throwing.
  2. Falls on the same level that may happen for a variety of reasons, such as a wet floor or a tripping hazard.
  3. Being struck by equipment or an object, or even a vehicle. These injuries are common in the construction industry.
  4. Falls to a lower level, which can be prevented by using proper fall protection, ladder safety or scaffolding.
  5. Other exertions or bodily reactions, which can cause strains and sprains.

A safe workplace and injury prevention are vital to keeping your workers’ compensation costs down. If your company has an increased number of claims compared to previous years, this can directly affect your experience modification factor (also known as your mod factor) and increase your workers’ compensation premium. On the other hand, decreasing your number of claims can lower your mod factor and your premium.

For more information on workplace safety, including implementing or updating a safety program in your workplace, contact me at (310) 373-6441. We have the tools to help you take control of your workers’ compensation costs.

-JK

2014 Most Frequently Cited OSHA Standards

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently unveiled its top 10 most frequently cited violations at the annual National Safety Council Congress and Expo. The agency reports the leading causes of workplace injuries during its fiscal year (October through September).

The 2014 top 10 list of most frequently cited standards did not change significantly from 2013, with fall protection violations remaining at the top of the list. In fact, the top four most cited violations remained the same. The 2014 top 10 most frequently cited standards are as follows:

  1. Fall Protection (29 CFR 1926.501)
  2. Hazard Communication (29 CFR 1910.1200)
  3. Scaffolding (29 CFR 1926.501)
  4. Respiratory Protection (29 CFR 1910.134)
  5. Lockout/Tag out (29 CFR 1910.147)
  6. Powered Industrial Trucks (29 CFR 1910.178)
  7. Electrical – Wiring Methods (29 CFR 1910.305)
  8. Ladders (29 CFR 1926.1053)
  9. Machine Guarding (29 CFR 1910.212)
  10. Electrical – General Requirements (29 CFR1910.303)

This is kind of the abbreviated version. If you’re interested in seeing the definitions/explanations of these violations, you can contact me direct and I’ll send.

-JK

Travelers Insurance: Insuring Technology Companies

Travelers Insurance Company has joined the ranks of other major carriers such as The Hartford in writing coverage for technology companies. Travelers Global Technology President Ronda Wescott and Chief Underwriting Officer Mike Thoma provide their perspective:

If you have a Life Science or Software and Information Technology Company and would like a review of your current insurance portfolio, feel free to contact me anytime. I can help market your coverage’s with all the major carriers specializing in this sector.

Some of the most common insurance coverage’s important to the Life Science or Software and Information Technology industry are:

  • Property
  • Commercial General Liability
  • Professional Liability (Errors & Omissions)
  • Workers’ Compensation
  • Commercial Automobile
  • Commercial Umbrella/ Excess Liability
  • Cyber Liability & First Party Data Privacy Expense
  • Directors and Officers Liability (D&O)
  • Employment Practices Liability
  • Fiduciary Liability
  • Crime
  • Kidnap and Ransom
  • Group Medical Insurance
  • Group Life and Disability

-JK

Bank Robbery Conspirator/ Deadbeat Charged With Workers’ Comp Fraud

One of the various reasons we see Workers Compensation Insurance rates on the rise are due in part to deadbeats like this. Not only in aiding of the robbery of her on bank branch of $565,500, Aurora Barrera, 33, later filed a claim for post-traumatic stress disorder. “The bank’s insurance company subsequently paid her more than $35,000 in disability benefits and covered more than $9,000 in medical bills associated with the alleged workplace injury.”

See the full story from the Los Angeles Times. More than happy to see her locked up for 9 years. Honest employers pay the price for frauds like Aurora Barrera.

-JK

Is Sitting The New Smoking?

Some doctors are saying that sitting is the new smoking. According to the Mayo Clinic, sitting, like smoking, is a pervasive problem that harms your health. Approximately 80% of Americans work a non-active job, making all-day sitting a common occurrence.

Lengthy, uninterrupted periods of sitting cause poor circulation and low calorie burn and are linked to various health problems, including obesity, hypertension, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, as well as stiffness, headaches and sluggishness.

Your job may require you to spend a considerable amount of time at a desk, or maybe you’re fond of all-day movie marathons. Try these tips to sit less, move more and improve your health:

  • Stand while talking on the phone or watching television.
  • Have a walking or standing meeting at work.
  • Stand up and stretch at least every hour.
  • Wear a pedometer and find ways to add steps into your daily routine.
  • Take the stairs when possible.
  • Consider walking or biking when commuting to work or running errands.

Source: Zywave, Inc.

JK

Access Your UV Index With This Online Tool

Did you know that you can access your UV index, which provides a forecast of the risk of overexposure to UV rays? This is a helpful tool for employers with outdoor workers.

Protect your outdoor employees from UV rays; check your UV index here: http://www2.epa.gov/sunwise/uv-index

As we speak, the temperature in long beach is 91+ degrees right now. The UV Index is 11 which is extreme:

UV Index

At 11, protection against sun damage is needed. If you need to be outside during midday hours between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., take steps to reduce sun exposure. A shirt, hat and sunscreen are a must, and be sure you seek shade. Beach-goers should know that white sand and other bright surfaces reflect UV and can double UV exposure.

Check your UV index for yourself and be sure to keep outdoor employees protected from the sun.

-JK

Download OSHA’s Heat Safety Tool To Keep Workers Safe

When you’re working in the heat, safety comes first. With the OSHA Heat Safety Tool, you have vital safety information available whenever and wherever you need it—right on your mobile phone.

The app allows workers and supervisors to calculate the heat index for their work site, and, based on the heat index, displays a risk level to outdoor workers. Then, with a simple click, you can get reminders about the protective measures that should be taken at that risk level to protect workers from heat-related illness.

For more information about safety while working in the heat, see OSHA’s heat illness Web page, including new online guidance about using the heat index to protect workers. Download the app directly from OSHA’s website.

Photo by: CAL-OSHA

Photo by: CAL-OSHA

The Ins and Outs of Small Business Insurance

Being an entrepreneur makes you the boss, but along with getting to choose your own hours, location, and business plan, it also means that you’re responsible for a lot of other things like commercial/business insurance. There’s a lot more to business insurance than getting the lowest business insurance quotes. It means understanding your business’s unique needs and the potential hazards that can threaten its success.

This brief video from the Insurance Information Institute touches on the ins and outs of small business insurance, including coverage for:

Credit: Insurance Information Institute

-JK

Dramatic Rescue of Construction Worker From Blaze

A construction worker is rescued from a giant fire at AIG campus in Houston, Texas, on Tuesday. The amateur footage, filmed by onlooker Karen Jones, shows a man trapped on a top-floor balcony of an apartment complex that had been under construction. He manages to escape as fire destroys the building. No injuries were reported as a result of the blaze. It is still unclear what caused the fire. You’ll get some sweaty palms watching this one! Especially when the construction worker swings down to the lower level balcony!

-JK

Forklift Operator Knocks Over $100,000 Worth of Liquor

As seen in this Youtube video, “in a Russian liquor warehouse, a forklift driver hits the gas in reverse and plows into a warehouse rack filled with liquor, causing a domino effect that brings down half the warehouse. There was over a hundred thousand dollars in damage. The driver survived. No report if he is still employed.”

All joking aside, an accident like this can have a vast impact on your business operations such as Property Damage with the destroyed product. Think about the extensive clean up and reorganization; the suspense of business operations/ business income/interruption exposure. Also, from a Workers Compensation and Employee Disability standpoint, there are injured employees which means lost time, recovery, employee shortage, and training costs for other employees to fill the void. This can have a devastating impact on your bottom line.

Here are some Safety Tips For Forklift Drivers:

Maintenance

  • Each day, check that the forklift is ready for the day’s work and perform any necessary maintenance before operating.
  • Report any malfunction or poor performance to your supervisor immediately.

Loading

  • Use reverse when going down inclines and go forward up inclines.
  • Do not travel with the load elevated, and keep the load stable and as close to the floor as possible.
  • Avoid raising or lowering a load while the forklift is moving.
  • Always keep the load tilted back towards the carriage while raising and lowering.
  • Make sure the load is balanced and is within the capacity of the truck.
  • Never use the forks as a personnel elevator unless properly equipped.

Driving

  • Always make sure your driving path is clear.
  • Slow down for corners, blind spots and doorways.
  • Drive defensively by always being aware of your surroundings and watching for the unexpected.
  • Be aware of ground conditions and always take the smoothest possible path.
  • Never try to turn on an incline.
  • Cross tracks diagonally and slow down for uneven surfaces.
  • Keeps legs, arms, feet, hands and head inside the forklift.
  • Be aware of others around the job site, in case they do not see you.
  • Always give those on foot the right of way.
  • Stay out from under forks and loads.
  • Never show off or use the machine for anything other than your specified job tasks.
  • Never give anyone a ride or allow anyone who is untrained to operate the forklift.

Finally, here’s a Sample Performance Test for Forklift Operators for reference to monitor your employee forklift drivers.

Minimize, monitor, and control the probability and/or impact of unfortunate events before they happen. That’s what Risk Management is all about.

-JK

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