Health Wonk Review, work fatalities, flu vaccines, litigation, kudos & more

September 27th, 2012 by Julie Ferguson

Being Washington DC denizens, Jennifer Salopek and the folks over at Wing of Zock have had a hard time focusing on anything besides the playoff, but they’ve taken their eyes off the ball long enough to compile a stellar Health Wonk Review: Nationals Playoff Edition! – check out the biweekly best of the health policy blogosphere.
Work Fatalities – Preliminary results from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that workplace fatalities declined in 2011. The number of workers who died from on-the-job injuries was 4,609 in 2011, down from a final count of 4,690 in 2010. Good news, but that is still 13 workers too many, on average, who die at work every day. Liz Borkowski looks at what the report does and doesn’t tell us.
Flu vaccines & workers comp – Jon Gelman has a good post on Compensating Adverse Flu Vaccine Reaction Victims. He notes, “In many jurisdictions, vaccinations afforded to employees resulting in a benefit to the employer against possible disastrous business consequences, have been considered to be “a mutual benefit.” Therefore, any disease arising from such vaccination has been deemed compensable.”
Global warming & productivity – Will climate change affect worker productivity? According to recent research, 2% per degree Celsius is the magic number for how worker productivity responds to warm/hot temperatures. In addition to citing specific research on the topic, the poster cites a recent real-life scenario: After the Fukushima earthquake and tsunami knocked out a big chunk of the country’s nuclear power, the Japanese government mandated reduced energy consumption, and found that when you lowered the AC, it had an effect on output: “every degree rise in temperature above 25 Celsius (77 degrees Fahrenheit) resulted in a 2 percent drop in productivity.”
Litigation – Insurance journalist/blogger Anne Marie Lipold has a good pair of posts on how good communication practices when a worker is inured can minimize the friction that all too often leads to preventable litigation. See Why Injured Workers Hire Attorneys (and What Employers Can Do About It) , part 1 and part 2. In the same vein, we refer you to one of the best pieces we’ve seen on this topic – written by someone who ought to know, plaintiff attorney Alan S. Pierce: Top Ten List as to Why Injured Workers Retain Attorneys.
Kudos – Congratulations to Bob Wilson and crew — today marks year 13 for A landmark worth celebration – Bob was quite the visionary to be out there on the web and very smart to have purchased such a great web address! His site has always been in the forefront of what’s happening in the work comp arena – it’s an online staple. In his post, he waxes nostalgic about some of the developmental highlights over the highlights. Good on you, Bob – thanks for being a steady resource!
More news of note