News Roundup: Cavalcade of Risk, safety, traffic losses, fraud, and more

January 5th, 2007 by Julie Ferguson

Cavalcade of Risk – Jason Shafrin hosts Cavalcade of Risk #16 at Healthcare Economist. This issue has a heavy focus on health-care, so if that’s a topic on on your 2007 agenda, go there now! Jason is a pretty smart guy, currently getting his PhD. in Economics at the University of California-San Diego. He regularly blogs on health care policy and economics, the health insurance market and its relationship to labor markets, and public finance in general. He’s also a regular contributor to Health Wonk Review. After you’re done with the Cavalcade, check out some of his other healthcare posts.
Top Ten Workplace Safety Stories of 2006 – Jordan Barab of Confined Space issues his annual wrap-up of the the year’s most important work safety stories. According to Jordan, “It’s always an educational experience for me because I get to look back at everything that’s happened over the past year. But something struck me this year: for thousands of people there was really only one top story of the year – the senseless loss of a husband or wife, daughter, son, father or mother, brother or sister, friend or co-worker. (See number 6 below). The rest is just commentary.”
Traffic-related losses are growing – NCCI recently issued a report showing that traffic accidents’ share of workers’ comp losses is growing. While traffic accident injuries account for about 2 percent of all workers comp claims they represent more than 5.5 percent of total losses due to severity. NCCI also notes that work-related accidents are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of losses. Aggregate costs to employers for both on- and off-the-job motor vehicle accidents topped $60 billion per year from 1998 through 2000; work-related traffic incidents cost about $2 billion per year. Given the combined cost, NCCI suggests that preventive programs hold the potential for enormous loss reduction. NCCI’s full report: Traffic Accidents – a Growing Contributor to Workers Compensation Losses. (PDF)
Fraud watch -Pennsylvania just released its Top 10 Insurance Fraud Cases of 2006, an interesting list, although not specific to workers comp. Workers comp fraud is an industry-wide problem that cuts a wide swath in terms of culprits. Here are a few items that came to our attention that clearly show that it’s a game all parties can play, Curiously, both are crustacean related:
The case of a Maine man trapped by lobsters is a case history of a three-year investigation that led to a felony conviction and a jail term for a claimant.
The case of the shell game of $7 million in under-reported wages that led to $1.8 million in restitution and fines for a California framing business.
Short takes
Indpendent Contractor or Employee PDF, a handy IRS Guide, thanks to Workplace Prof Blog.
Sidecars – new risk management term of the day
Ten reasons employees want to stay with a company – good to keep in my at the start of a new year!
Worst Comic Book Medicine of 2006 – a fun read!
The Executive Coloring Book – more silliness.