Archive for September, 2015

Hot off the press: Fresh Health Wonk Review at Colorado Health Insurance Insider

Thursday, September 24th, 2015

If you had a choice about what day would be best to be admitted to the hospital, which day would you pick? Check out the recent study on hospital mortality rates at the freshly posted Fall Colors Health Wonk Review, hosted by Louise Norris at Colorado Health Insurance Insider. This week’s edition is a real smorgasbord, with posts about physician ethics, ACA signups, ACA replacement ideas, health insurance rates, lifetime medical records, work comp spending and more. It’s your one stop shop for the best in the health policy blogosphere. Plus, it’s nicely illustrated with photos from Louise and Jay’s collection!

Do’s and Don’ts of an OSHA Inspection

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015

A recent news item in struck us as a cautionary tale of what not to do when OSHA comes to visit: don’t try to hide production lines by turning off the lights and instructing workers to hide and be quiet. Don’t threaten employees.

This reminds us of the poster child of what not to do when OSHA comes to visit, a textbook example: Don’t keep two sets of books.

OSHA inspectors arrive unannounced and an inspection is not something you can reschedule to a more opportune time. It’s important to be ready, to know what will occur, to understand your rights and obligations and to have a plan in place. Shortly after reading about the Nebraska employer, we also found this helpful 5 minute video, Why Are OSHA Inspectors In My Lobby, And What Should I Have Already Done To Be Prepared? Attorneys Neil Brunetz and Mike Mallen from Miller & Martin walk you through being ready for an OSHA inspection.


See also: Preparing for an OSHA Inspection, an article by Kyle W. Morriosn in Safety + Health, which includes this handy infographic.

Near-miss trench collapse in dramatic video

Monday, September 14th, 2015

OSHA inspectors were on the scene at a construction project with a 21 foot trench. The on-site inspector was issuing a warning that no workers should be in the trench since there was no shoring. No sooner did he say the words when the trench collapsed, narrowly missing a worker.

We came across this clip courtesy of a post by Fred Hosier at Safety News Alert:
Viral video: Partial trench collapse narrowly misses worker. Fred explained that it’s not a new video:

“Oregon OSHA had been making this video taken by one of its inspectors available for training purposes for a few years. After being posted recently on Facebook, the video has now received almost 1 million views.”

We’re glad that this clip is attracting attention – it may save lives. But it doesn’t need to be a 21 foot trench to claim a life — it could be as little as 6 feet: Read Eric Giguere’s gripping story of 10 minutes buried alive.

Related posts:

“An unprotected trench is an open grave”

It’s spring … and the start of trench death season

Selfie Edition of Health Wonk Review; 9-11 Remembrance

Friday, September 11th, 2015


It’s the Health Wonk Review Selfie Edition! Kicking off the back-to-school season, our health wonkers have their collective noses to the grindstone. Steve Anderson has an excellent Selfie Edition of Health Wonk Review posted at blog. It includes a great roundup of posts running the gamut from new medical technologies to developments in the Affordable Care Act, a look back at Medicare on its 50 year anniversary, and much more. It’s a robust kickoff for the new season – check it out.

In other news, on this date, we remember 9/11

Our condolences to all who lost loved ones on 9-11, with a particular tribute to the many heroic 9-11 first responders – both those who lost their lives, and those who continue to suffer today with the mental and physical after-effects.

A few weeks ago, we saw the passing of Marcy Borders, a 9/11 survivor who was captured in a riveting photo that became iconic of the tragedy. She was on the 81st floor of the WTC North Tower when the plane struck. Borders was 42 years old at her death – she died of cancer.

Writing about Borders and the high incidence of 9-11 related cancers, Mollie Reilly of Huffington Post notes:

“The number of cancer cases linked to Sept. 11 has grown in recent years. As of May 2015, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported more than 4,000 first responders, rescue workers and survivors who have been diagnosed with cancer linked to the attacks. According to the CDC, skin cancer, prostate cancer and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma are among the most common illnesses among those individuals.”

For a graphic and sobering account of living with the legacy of having experienced the toxic chemical cloud of 9/11, see Michael McAuliff’s first-hand report: September 11 Toxic Dust: Deciphering My Pocketful Of Terror


Our thoughts also turn to the many in our industry who lost their lives while doing their jobs. Marsh lost 293 colleagues and 63 consultants and Aon lost 176 colleagues. Astounding still today. Hug a colleague in their memory. Be kind to those around you.

Robert Hartwig and Claire Wilkinson of the Insurance Information Institute have produced some reports on the impact of 9/11 on the insurance industry.