Posts Tagged ‘risk’

Navigating extreme height, Chinese workers build cliff walks

Tuesday, March 7th, 2017

China has many incredible cliff walks – some for necessity so that remote villagers can connect with the world beyond and some for tourism so visitors can connect with vistas of natural splendor. Check out this 300m glass bottomed cliff walk that is proving popular with intrepid tourists. Even more terrifying – a death-defying hiking trail some people are willing to undertake all to get a cup of tea.

So much for the trails, what about the workers who construct them? We get a short glimpse in this video of Chinese construction workers building a glass-bottom walkway on Laowang Mountain, Jiangxi, China. The clip says workers are in their 50s and work a 10 hour day, earning between $43 and $58 dollars a day. They build about 65 feet a day. Other than hard hats, they don’t appear to have much in the way of safety equipment.

The workers aren’t the only ones braving these heights – look at the extremes these tiny, brave Chinese kids are willing to go through to get an education!

It wasn’t that long ago that U.S. workers were climbing the cliffs of the skyscrapers to build our cities here in the U.S., and safety equipment wasn’t to be seen. Check out this clip of workers building the Empire State Building – not only did they have no safety equipment, they played catch with red hot iron rivets!

Thankfully, safety standards have come a long way in our country since. Fall protection at 1776 feet: One World Trade Center. Although we’ve come a long way in terms of safety, we haven’t come far enough: The high price for fast phones: Cell tower deaths.

If you are a as fascinated with working at extreme heights as we are, you might enjoy more from our prior posts.

Dangerous Jobs: window washing at extreme heights.

You think your job is tough? Climbing Up The Tallest Antenna Tower 1,768 feet

Safety Nets, Hard-Boiled Hard Hats & The Halfway to Hell Club: Safety Innovations in the Golden Gate Bridge Construction

 

Healthcare providers struggle with violence-related risk management

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2016

There’s no question but that healthcare workers face a growing threat of violence from patients while going about their day-to-day jobs. In a 2015 survey, the International Healthcare Security and Safety Foundation reported a 40% increase in violent crime from 2012 to 2014, with more than 10,000 violent incidents mostly directed at employees. High stress, armed patients and visitors, drug and alcohol intoxication, mental health issues and more all contribute to an increasingly dangerous environment. OSHA reports that:

From 2002 to 2013, the rate of serious workplace violence incidents (those requiring days off for an injured worker to recuperate) was more than four times greater in healthcare than in private industry on average. In fact, healthcare accounts for nearly as many serious violent injuries as all other industries combined.

Recently, Susannah Levine reported on the challenge that healthcare facilities face in her Risk & Insurance article, Hospitals Struggle with Security Risks. The article discusses the pros and cons of an armed approach to healthcare security, as well as the insurance implications of various risk management and security measures. Liability insurance may be a determining factor as to whether healthcare facilities opt for armed security or rely on less lethal tools like Tasers and sprays.

“Barry Kramer, senior vice president, Chivaroli & Associates, a health care insurance broker, said that armed security in health care settings is more of a risk management concern than a coverage issue.

“It would be highly unusual for our clients’ liability policies to exclude claims involving security guards, whether or not they’re armed with guns,” he said.

He said many health care risk managers are not equipped to manage exposures associated with licensing and certifying guards or registering the facility’s own firearms.

For facilities that lack the bandwidth to manage, train and track certifications for in-house security staff, Kramer said,third-party vendors, such as local law enforcement or private security companies, can be contracted, since they have firearms experience as well as liability insurance coverage.”

In February, the New York Times discussed various approaches and philosophies that healthcare facilities employ to mitigate risk. The article by Elisabeth Rosenthal – When the Hospital Fires the Bullet – centers on the case of a 26-year-old mental health patient who was shot by police in a Houston hospital. In the course of the article, Roenthal presents various approaches to security:

To protect their corridors, 52 percent of medical centers reported that their security personnel carried handguns and 47 percent said they used Tasers, according to a 2014 national survey. That was more than double estimates from studies just three years before. Institutions that prohibit them argue that such weapons — and security guards not adequately trained to work in medical settings — add a dangerous element in an already tense environment. They say many other steps can be taken to address problems, particularly with people who have a mental illness.

Rosenthal contrasts the approach of Boston’s Massachusetts General Hospital, where the strongest weapons its security officers carry is pepper spray to that of the Cleveland Clinic, which has its own fully armed police force and also employs off-duty officers.

Guns in hospitals

Meanwhile, as risk managers struggle with the dilemma of whether to arm or not to arm, patients and visitors are often armed, enabled by state and local gun laws – just one more factor that healthcare facilities are coping with. At of the beginning of the year, Texas law allows for guns in state mental health hospitals. Campus Safety Magazine reports on how Kansas College Hospitals are preparing to allow guns on campus to comply with a new law. Gun laws in health systems vary by state – while a federal law bars guns from schools, there is no such law about firearms in hospitals.

Healthcare Violence Prevention Resources

OSHA: Worker Safety in Hospitals – Caring for our Caregivers

OSHA: Preventing Workplace Violence: A Road Map for Healthcare Facilities

OSHA: Guidelines for Preventing Workplace Violence for Healthcare and Social Service Workers

Mitigating Workplace Violence at Ambulatory Care Sites

Emergency Department Violence Fact Sheet

Healthcare Crime Survey 2015

Prior related posts

More perils for healthcare workers

Violence in healthcare: 61% of all workplace assaults are committed by healthcare patients

Report on violence & aggression to Maine’s caregivers; Injuries include bites, kicks, being hit

Health Wonk Review: Post-Turkey Day edition freshly posted at InsureBlog

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

Hank Stern has posted a lively Health Wonk Review: Post-Turkey Day edition at InsureBlog – and rest assured, it’s not leftovers, it’s stuffed with meaty issues! This biweekly best of the health policy blogosphere is a good way to keep up with the wonkery.
Hank is one of our long-term hosts. He and I were waxing nostalgic over his first time at bat back in 2006. To check out other past editions visit the Health Wonk Review archives
Also, as long as you are making the blog carnival news rounds, check out last week’s Cavalcade of Risk #222 hosted by Van Mayhall at Insurance Regulatory Law. We were goofing off over a long holiday weekend, so we didn’t get around to posting it yet, but it deserves a look-see. .

Risk Roundup x 200

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

Jeff Root of Rootfin hosts Cavalcade of Risk #200. I repeat, 200! That’s a lot of risk covered over the year. Kudos to Jeff for a great issue and also to Hank Stern of InsureBlog for steering the ship for these many years. It’s no small task. These topical blog “carnivals” — as the roundups are sometimes called — are valuable because they expose readers to new blogs, new writers and new topics.
Hats off to Jeff not just for content curation but also for a very attractive and well-designed blog. Jeff’s area of expertise is life insurance and he appears to be doing the social media thing right – check out his Google+ page and we also find him over on Twitter talking about how he just got his Google glass invitation – so we expect a future risk report on the pros and cons of Google glass!

First Cavalcade of Risk for 2014

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

It’s the first full week back to work for many, but some are stranded by the frigid temps gripping the nation. Whether you’re at home or at work, grab a cup of the hot beverage of your choice and hunker down with a fresh Cavalcade of Risk #199 (posted by Michael Stack at Workers Comp Roundup) – it’s a good way to catch up with what’s been happening in the blogosphere over the last few weeks – and to take a peek at what’s in store for 2014.

Thanksgiving Risks

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

Louise Norris had posted a Thanksgiving Cavalcade of Risk at Colorado Health Insurance Insider. The ACA rollout issues play heavily in the topic list, but there are also posts about disability insurance, remembering our vets and corporate social media risks. Don’t miss the outstanding winter landscape photos illustrating the issue, nice!
Have a safe and risk-free holiday – if you plan to fry up a turkey, William Shatner has some advice for you. And unless those turkeys are on your plate, watch out for those pesky birds!
Warm Thanksgiving wishes to all!

Cavalcade of Risk #191: Your Daily Shower Can Kill You

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013

We’re happy to be hosting Cavalcade of Risk #191. Risk is a topic that we think about a lot, so a recent post about risk on the group blog Metafilter caught our attention. It pointed to Jared Diamond’s excellent essay, The Daily Shower Can Be a Killer. The author shares a risk management lesson that he learned in 50 years of field work on the island of New Guinea: the importance of being attentive to hazards that carry a low risk each time but are encountered frequently. He notes:

“Studies have compared Americans’ perceived ranking of dangers with the rankings of real dangers, measured either by actual accident figures or by estimated numbers of averted accidents. It turns out that we exaggerate the risks of events that are beyond our control, that cause many deaths at once or that kill in spectacular ways — crazy gunmen, terrorists, plane crashes, nuclear radiation, genetically modified crops. At the same time, we underestimate the risks of events that we can control (“That would never happen to me — I’m careful”) and of events that kill just one person in a mundane way.”

The Metafilter post also included a link to this fun video on the topic of risk management. I nominate it as the Cavalcade of Risk official theme song.

With that preamble on risk management, we delve into this week’s submissions.
Life Insurance – First up to bat, we offer a nod and shout out to Hank Stern of InsureBlog, our fearless leader who has been managing the Cavalcade’s biweekly efforts for close to 200 issues now. Kudos and thanks, Hank. He poses the question: What if you’re diagnosed with cancer while buying new life insurance? Well, as it turns out, there may actually be a decent chance of obtaining coverage. Read how in Underwriting Cancer.
ACA spin vs. reality – Louise Norris of Colorado Health Insurance Insider is on the front lines when it comes to implementing ACA in the real world so we always take particular note of her opinions on the matter. In her post
Early Renewal Provides a Good Alternative for 2014, she takes on some of the misinformation and spin from both the right and the left that can make things confusing for consumers. She cites misinformation about the Aetna plan as one example of spin not matching reality.
Technology – Our colleague Bob Wilson can always be counted on to offer a unique and often humorous take on things at his eponymously named blog Bob’s Cluttered Desk. He notes that mobile technology is making tremendous advances that will speed treatment and lower medical costs, which is critical for those of us paying the bills and managing claims — but he questions the wisdom of having Siri as a Medical provider, and whether she can be trusted to stay on the straight and narrow.
Oral Chemotherapy Parity – David Williams knows his stuff when it comes to the ins and outs of the business of healthcare, and if that is on your radar, there is no better guide than his Health Business Blog. This week, he talks about the oral anticancer parity law, noting that while it’s not necessarily a bad idea to require health plans to charge the same out-of-pocket costs for oral anti-cancer drugs as they do for infused products, the law has unintended consequences, including rolling back co-pays on generic chemo meds used for other indications
Investing – At the blog Mom and Dad Money, Matt Becker says that investing in the stock market carries with it a very large risk, one that is rarely talked about in the financial media. In his post The Real Risk of Investing in the Stock Market, he challenges some of the conventional wisdom about investing, noting that success and failure may not be the only outcomes we should measure.
Risk of incarceration – Here at Workers’ Comp Insider, we recently assessed the risk of jail time for workers comp lawbreakers and advise any claimants with felonious intent to steer clear of Wyoming. Corporate malfeasants, not so much…
That’s it for this week’s Cav. The next host — two weeks from today — will be Nancy Germond at Insurance Writer Blog.

Cavalcade of Risk: Surviving the Mayan Apocalypse Edition

Friday, December 28th, 2012

Did you survive the holidays? You may have thought that your calorie count was your biggest worry, but actually the Mayan Apocalypse was looming. We dodged that bullet, but what’s around the corner? Van Mayhall of Insurance Regulatory Law talks about assorted risky matters in Cavalcade of Risk: Surviving the Mayan Apocalypse Edition.

Risk Roundup and Top 10 Forklift Accidents

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

Michael Stack and Rebecca Shafer make their debut in hosting Cavalcade of Risk, #172 at the Amaxx Work Comp blog. Check out this biweekly smorgasbord of risk!
And speaking of risk, here’s a compilation of the Top 10 Forklift Accidents from the “what not to do” school of risk management.

News roundup: Risk, Dispensing Docs, Costs for Employees, Litigation & more

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

Risk roundup – Our Down-Under friend Russell Hutchinson of Chatswood moneyblog posts this week’s Cavalcade of Risk, with a global roundup of posts. Check it out.
Costs for EmployeesInsurance Journal reports on the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics report on the cost of U.S. employees, noting that the nationwide average cost for private industry employers was $28.80 per hour worked in June 2012. “The costs ranged within each region, with total compensation costs of $24.44 in the East South Central division to $33.47 in New England.” The article offers more detail on the report, noting that costs were collected from a sample of 47,400 occupations from about 9,500 establishments in private industry. Data excludes self-employed and farm and private household workers.
Physician Dispensing – Joe Paduda looks at potential conflict of interest issues in a post about ABRY Partners, he asks, “How is it that an investment firm owns stakes in a TPA, MSA company, subrogation firm – and a physician dispensing and billing company?” Is one company cleaning up a mess that another company makes? In other repackaging news, he notes that Miami-Dade Schools has taken a stand on physician-dispensed repackaged drugs – they are refusing to pay the markups, a move that saved more than half a million dollars. Employers take note: Is this a potential area of savings in your comp program.
Narcotics Studies – Rita M. Ayers reports on a recent study by Accident Fund Holdings and Johns Hopkins University that links opioid use to an escalation in overall claim cost in the Tower MSA Blog. She notes that the study reveals that 55% to 85% of injured workers receive narcotics for chronic pain. She says that the study, “…examined the interrelationship between the utilization of short- and long-acting opioid medications and the likelihood of claim cost escalating to a catastrophic level (> $100,000). Analyzing 12,000 workers’ compensation claims in Michigan during a four-year period, the study focused on whether the presence of opioids alone accounted for the cost increase or whether costs increased because opioids were associated with known cost-drivers, such as legal involvement and injury severity.” Related: WCRI: Nearly 1 in 12 Injured Workers Who Started Narcotics Still Using 3-6 Months Later.
Worst States for Lawsuits – “Lawsuit Climate 2012″ is a study evaluating how fair and reasonable states’ tort liability systems are perceived by businesses in the U.S. It was conducted by the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform. According to those surveyed, Delaware has the best legal climate for businesses.See respondents’ picks for the Top 10 Worst States for Lawsuits, along with more on the study’s results.
High Costs for Police Dept. – The LA Daily News reports that Los Angeles spends more on LAPD workers’ comp claims than for all others combined – some $65 million in 2010-2011 alone. The department averages 250 claims a month. Authorities say that it is “…one of four drivers of the city budget deficit. Others include the costs of salaries, pensions and health care.”
News Briefs

Addendum As a follow-on to yesterday’s post about Shackleton’s Medical Kit, we found more information and a photo of Shackleton’s medical kit at The Science Museum of London, and a related post from NPR’s Health Blog: ‘Cocaine For Snowblindness’: What Polar Explorers Packed For First Aid.
shackleton-medical-kit.JPG