News Roundup: Cavalcade of Risk; Terrorism bill; new OSHA PPE rule

November 21st, 2007 by Julie Ferguson

Jay Norris of Colorado Health Insurance Insider has the Thanksgiving Cavalcade of Risk posted, and it’s a great edition – good reading to ease you into the holiday hiatus. At least, I am making the assumption that many non-retail, non-essential services folks have Friday off, but that is not necessarily the case – just ask some 80,000 state workers in New Jersey.
Terrorism backstop – Mark Hoffmann of Business Insurance reports that the Senate passed a 7-year extension of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act. This will need to be reconciled with the House version, which called for a 15-year extension, as well as a $50 million threshold for triggering aid. The Senate version raises the threshold to $100 million. According to AP, the White House has threatened to veto the House version, so it remains to be seen whether the compromise between the Senate and the House version that is expected to be hammered out before the end of the year will be more palatable to the President.
New OSHA rule: employers must pay for PPE – Most employers pay for employee personal protective equipment (PPE) – it just makes good sense in terms of reducing both the human and economic costs of injuries. But some employers don’t, they hold employees responsible for the purchase of PPE. It’s largely been a matter of employer discretion. Beginning in six months, it will no longer be discretionary, employers will be required by OSHA to cover the cost of protective clothing and safety gear needed on the job. It is estimated that this will save more than $200 million per year in medical and insurance bills. This rule has been sitting in limbo since 1999, until the threat of a suit by the AFL-CIO and the United Food and Commercial Workers brought the matter to some prominence.
Thanksgiving – Have a good one, and a safe one! This amusing ad clip reminds us there can be unexpected hazards at home.