News roundup: Letters of credit, nuclear workers, NY construction, collaborative whiteboard, and more

February 9th, 2009 by Julie Ferguson

Another side effect of the bad economy – Roberto Ceniceros of Business Insurance points to another side effect of the credit crunch – higher collateral costs for many self insureds, particularly those in financially challenged industries, who are scrambling to secure alternatives to their letters of Credit (LOC).

“Typically, state regulators require employers to post bonds, letters of credit, securities or cash as collateral to self-insure their workers comp obligations.
But now bond insurers are asking some employers to post more collateral just to secure the bonds, insurers and brokers said. Surety contracts often allow insurers to call for additional collateral to secure their bonds during the contract term.”

Shameful – nuclear workers issues still unresolvedThe Rocky Mountain News reports that legislation to improve the federal nuclear weapons workers compensation program is gathering steam. Hopefully, this time, it will work. In 2000, Congress passed The Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act (EEOICPA) to provide assistance to those cold-war era workers who became ill as a result of on he job exposure to radiation. Since that time, it’s been a story of bungling and snafus, with many workers dying before getting any federal help.
Safety winners – The National Safety Council announces their 2009 list of CEOs Who ‘Get It’, an annual program that recognizes corporate leaders who have demonstrated that employee safety is a core corporate value, and who have supported that belief by cultivating safety leadership at all levels of their organizations and supporting their employees with extensive safety training. Read about some of the practices they’ve implemented to see how your organization measures up.
NY construction rules beefed up – in the wake of last year’s deadly crane collapses, New York’s Department of Buildings set more than 40 new rules to heighten safety at high-risk sites. “The city spent $4 million hiring engineering consultants and inspecting more than 600 construction sites before rewriting the regulations.”
Workplace burns – we missed National Burn Awareness Week last week, but still thought this article was worth passing along: Teach Workers How to Treat Workplace Burns.
Avoiding layoff pitfalls – from The Employment Law Chronicle, tips for employers to consider before restructuring the company’s workforce: Layoffs & Reductions-in-Force: Avoiding the Legal Pitfalls & Perils
Insurer insolvency – We’ve talked about this issue a few times, but here is another take on what happens to your insurance policy if your carrier goes under.
Another bad actor – Last week, we blogged about the Fraud Hall of Shame “winners.” We have a new nominee for next year’s honors – yikes.
Cool tool – try this at your next phone meeting: Scriblink, a free digital whiteboard that users can share online in real-time. The board is open only to the people you choose to invite and you can print, save, and email your work.