News roundup: Cavalcade of Risk, Tower Deaths, Aging Workforce, TPAs & More

October 16th, 2013 by Julie Ferguson

Risk Roundup – Claire Wilkinson makes her hosting debut with this week’s Cavalcade of Risk #194: Is this just fantasy? at Terms + Conditions, the Insurance Information Institute’s blog. We’re fans of Claire’s great blog so if you aren’t familiar with it, check it out. She regularly covers topics such as insurance market conditions, issues related to business risks, and catastrophes. Well written and well sourced – her blog is a must-read on the insurance circuit.
In other news:
Cell Tower Deaths – At Risk Management Magazine, Caroline McDonald has an article about how Cell Tower Deaths Get OSHA’s Attention:

“Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for OSHA, told the Wall Street Journal, “OSHA is taking a close look into factors that may be responsible for this tragic increase in fatalities and, based on those findings, we will initiate additional measures to improve safety in the cell-tower industry.” He added that one measure would be to explore whether increased deadline pressure to quickly build and service more towers has also become a contributing factor in worker fatalities.”

We hope OSHA will make this a priority. See our prior post: The high price for fast phones: Cell tower deaths
Aging WorkforceSedgwick Connection offers a good two part series on the aging workforce, noting a recent AARP report in which 70% of those surveyed said they planned on working past retirement age. The second part of the series offers considerations for job accommodation for aging workers.
Getting the lowdown on workers’ comp – at Managed Care Matters, Joe Paduda has some advice for workers comp execs and consultants if they really want to understand workers comp: spend a day sitting next to a claims adjuster.
TPAs – Roberto Ceniceros is looking for opinions on whether TPAs have a conflict of interest in managing workers’ comp claims. He notes, “Sure, the more claims the more a TPA gets paid. But do TPA’s also have an incentive to drive revenue by adding more services onto their claims management process and how concerned should employers be about that? How should employers monitor for that?” His query prompted an interesting discussion at LinkedIn’s Work Comp Analysis Group.
Drug Testing – At Risk & Insurance, Peter Rousmaniere looks at the issue of profiteering in drug testing: “Testing, while necessary, has engendered a new malady of profiteering. The body-contact sales style of testing labs and opportunism by doctors, albeit a small share of them, have carved out an exciting and extractive industry, funded out of claims budgets.”
Opioid Abuse Report – At Evidence Based blog, Michael Gavin looks at a new report from the National Safety Council on state efforts to control prescription drug abuse. “The news is not good. According to the report, only three states (Washington, Kentucky, and Vermont) met the standards outlined in the report. ” See more at Rx Abuse: Where Does Your State Stand?
Cool tools – Firefighter Toolbox is a good resource for fire departments – we point yout particularly to the sections on safety and resuce and health & fitness.
Job respect – Here’s an excerpt from a BLS release on a recent report about America’s opinions of occupations:

A recent study offers a glimpse into the way American adults perceive the contribution to society of 10 selected occupational groups. The results, reported in “Public esteem for military still high” (Pew Research Center, July 11, 2013), show that members of the military are held in the highest regard; 78 percent of respondents to the spring 2013 survey said that military personnel contribute “a lot” to society’s well being, compared with 84 percent 4 years earlier. Next highest on the 2013 list in terms of contributing “a lot” to society were teachers (72 percent), medical doctors (66 percent), scientists (65 percent), and engineers (63 percent).
At the bottom of the list of 10 selected occupations were lawyers. Only 18 percent of survey respondents reported that lawyers contribute “a lot” to society.

Other news of note