Posts Tagged ‘Minnesota’

News roundup: Cavalcade, immigrants, TRIA, NIOSH and more …

Tuesday, July 24th, 2007

Cavalcade – Catching up with news after being on vacation for a week, I find a good place to start is with last week’s Cavalcade of Risk, ably hosted by Richard Eskow of The Sentinel Effect.
Illegal immigrants and WC – Peter Rousmaniere of Working Immigrants posts about a review of workers compensation coverage of illegal workers that was compiled by the International Association of Industrial Accident Boards and Commissions (IAIABC). He notes that, “… 6 states have statutes that expressly authorize coverage for these workers – CA, FL, NV. NY,TX and UT, while two states’ laws expressly do not – ID and WY. Twelve states have had court decisions in favor of coverage – IL, MI, MN, ND, OH, AL, AZ, CO, MT, NC, SC and VA. Two of these states – MI and VA – also have court decisions going the other way. Two other states have had court decisions which go against coverage — KS and PA.”
NIOSH research programs saved – David Michaels of The Pump Handle reports that with the defeat of The Barton Amendment, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health programs have been saved. The bill would have cut more than 20% of the NIOSH budget and would have effectively eliminated the National Occupational Research Agenda.
TRIA – Mark Hofmann of Business Insurance reports that the markup of the TRIA extension bill is expected this week. TRIA – a federal terrorism backstop due to expire Dec 31 – would extend for 10 years.
MN groups sue AIG – Roberto Ceniceros of Business Insurance reports that Minnesota workers comp groups are suing AIG seeking $100 million in damages. The Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Reinsurance Assn. and the Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Insurers Assn. state that the $1.2 million that was earmarked for Minnesota in the settlement AIG reached with Eliot Spitzer for AIG’s alleged underreporting of premiums over 22 years is insufficient. Ceniceros notes that they are not they only entity filing suit – the National Workers Compensation Reinsurance Pool, representing about 600 insurers, also filed suit in May.
Kudos – congratulations to Michael W. Fox of Jottings By An Employer’s Lawyer for his 5-year blogiversary – that’s a lot of blogging. Michael’s blog has long been one of our favorites – drop on by and see why.
Gasoline safety – over the summer there is an increased risk of gasoline-related injuries for workers because gas-powered equipment is prevalent in outdoor work sites. OSHA offers the following safety tips:

  • Wash any skin or clothing that comes in contact with gasoline thoroughly with soap.
  • Avoid inhaling gasoline fumes by keeping all gas in approved sealable safety containers.
  • Know initial symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, such as headache, fatigue, dizziness, drowsiness, nausea, and tightness across the chest.
  • Do not use gasoline for any purpose other than fueling a motor.

OSHA’s Gasoline Safety and Health Topics outlines standards for working safely with gasoline, including healthful exposure limits for employees. Also, to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, see OSHA’s Carbon Monoxide Fact Sheet (PDF).

Minnesota Issues Workers Compensation System Report

Tuesday, August 10th, 2004

Minnesota’s Department of Labor and Industry just issued a Workers’ Compensation System Report that covers data and trends in the state’s system from 2000 through 2002. The good news? Claims fell by more than 15% during that time. The bad news?
” … cost per $100 of payroll rose 18 percent during the same two-year period. The report estimates the cost rose to $1.58 per $100 of payroll in 2002 from $1.34 in 2000.
This echoes a national trend of a decrease in frequency and an increase in severity. Also, for the first time in the state, the medical portion of the claim eclipsed the indemnity portion in terms of overall costs. The full report can be accessed online through the link provided above.

Fraud or lack of worksite controls?

Monday, October 6th, 2003

Minnesota is getting tough on fraud. They estimate that about 10% of all claims are fraudulent. If fraud is that high in the state, it’s a clear sign that employers aren’t making the most of basic worksite controls – communicating and establishing expectations with employees, managing injuries immediately, bringing employees back on RTW. Generally, in our experience, when fraud is high, employer controls are being underutilized.