Posts Tagged ‘Ohio’

News roundup: complex care, WV, VT, obesity & more

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

Happy post holiday weekend. This is a big vacation week, but if you are one of the many who is on the job today, here’s a serving of a few news items that caught our attention.
Complex Care – here at Lynch Ryan, we focus on helping injured workers to recover and get back to normal life activities, including work, as soon as possible. But the reality is that some workers have serious injuries that require long-term recovery or permanent care. The Work Comp Complex Care Blog focuses on issues related to injured workers who require ongoing care. A few notable recent posts on things that can have a positive impact on outcome over the long term: Success Story: Simple Change Makes A Big Difference For Injured Worker and Standing Improves Mobility and Wellness in Patients Confined to Wheelchair.
West Virginia – We’ve been seeing a spate of stories about state workers comp programs moving from BrickStreet to private carriers. BrickStreet has been the sole provider of such insurance for government agencies, but that changed as of today, July 1. BrickStreet says this is to be expected, the same thing happened when competition went into effect for private sector clients two years ago.
Vermont is cracking down – Vermont employers who don’t carry workers comp beware: your business may be shuttered. Previously, when an employer was found to be without workers comp coverage, there was a five-day grace period to obtain coverage before business closure, along with a fine of $150 a day. The Vermont legislature recently increased penalties for noncompliance – employers found without workers comp coverage must now be closed immediately and fines have been increased to $250 per day. In addition, as of September, the Labor Department will add four limited service positions to step up enforcement.
OSHA challenge – CalOSHA is convening a panel on how to better protect workers in the adult film industry. OSHA’s existing state blood-borne pathogens regulations already cover condom use in productions filmed in the state, but many in the industry oppose mandatory condom use. It’s a serious issue — Los Angeles health officials have linked eight of as many as 22 possible HIV infections identified between 2004 and 2008 as tied to the industry.
Economic indicators – Roberto Ceniceros offers a roundup of recent economic news. In another post, he cites a recent news report noting that five Ohio pension funds and the state’s Bureau of Workers’ Compensation owned 30 million shares of BP stock, and wonders whether other state comp funds might be similarly affected.
Catastrophic risk scenarios – Jared Wade of Risk Management Monitor tells us about 7 potential disasters worse than the BP spill.
Obesity – At Booster Shots, the LA Times health blog, Tami Dennis notes that the obesity rate now tops 25% in two-thirds of the states, with Colorado being the only state coming in under 20%. The data is from a recent report F as in Fat: How obesity threatens America’s future (pdf), which was issued by the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
DC court says no to PTSD – the D.C. Court of Appeals denied benefits to a former Pepco employer who sought benefits for a work-related case of post-traumatic stress disorder. Benjamin Ramey claimed that he suffered fear and embarrassment that resulted in PTSD after being tested for being drunk on the job. After the drug testing, Ramey was placed on suspension and enrolled in a rehabilitation program, but fired when he was ejected from treatment due to continued drinking.
Note to fraudsters – If you are out on workers’ comp disability benefits, you may want to think twice about accepting a part in a Hollywood film.

A killer edition of Health Wonk Review & other noteworthy news

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

Our Boston neighbor Tinker Ready hosts this week’s edition of Health Wonk Review at Boston Health News and it’s a killer edition – check it out.
Awkward – Making the web circuits, many have been posting about the Bollywood safety dance video by Transocean’s CEO. We encourage CEOs and senior managers to ensure that safety is top company priority – so on the one hand, we applaud the attempt. But in light of the recent explosion that resulted in 11 deaths, this video is ironic and embarrassing. This, coupled with the recent news that the company’s disaster response plan was riddled with egregious errors leaves one to think that BP’s risk management efforts were not as substantive as they might have appeared on the surface. The folks over at Risk Management Monitor have been posting about various aspects of the BP story. Jared Wade gives us the rundown on BP’s pattern of neglect and corner cutting as well as an infographics style rundown on the spill. Also, if you haven’t seen the wildly popular fake BP PR Twitter account, it might give you a chuckle if you are into black humor. BP is not amused by the parody.
Truck drivers & sleep apnea – A study on sleep apnea and truck drivers that was recently published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine found that treatment for sleep apnea led to more than $6,000 in total health plan and disability cost savings per treated driver. “On average, researchers found that for treated drivers, health plan costs decreased an average of $2,700 in the first year and another $3,100 in the second year compared to no change for untreated drivers. The treated drivers also missed fewer workdays (average 4.4 days in the first year) and had lower short-term disability costs ($528 over two years).”
Battle of the pharma giants – Joe Paduda keeps an eye on the Caremark vs Walmart pharma fight and offers informed commentary about what’s going on.
No go in Ohio for Noe – The Ohio Supreme Court has rejected Thomas Noe’s request for an appeal of his convictions. You may recall that Noe got in trouble for the theft of $13 million from $50 million that he invested in rare-coins and beanie babies for the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. His capers were a contributing factor in bringing down Governor Taft and various other state officials. Stories like this don’t surface often in workers comp – we have quite an archive from the early days of the scandal through conviction and the early days of the appeal.
Octomom settles WC claim – From California comes the news that Nadya Suleman (aka “Octomom”) settled her workers comp lawsuit for $23,120. The injury occurred more than a decade ago. See my colleague’s prior post: Comp as Enabler: The Nadya Suleman Story
Tooting our own horn – thanks to Evan Carmichael for including Workers Comp Insider in his listing of theTop 50 HR Blogs: 2010 – it’s a good list and worth checking out. EvanCarmichael.com is a good resource for entrepreneurs and small businesses.
Also, our post on N.Y.’s domestic workers bill of rights was reprinted at Today’s Workplace, an excellent group blog on issues of workplace rights and employment law sponsored by Workplace Fairness, a non-profit organization helping to preserve and promote employee rights. Both resources are well worth your attention.

Noe Go: Con Man in a Corner

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

Four years ago (time flies when you’re having fun!) we blogged the saga of Thomas Noe, the power broker who parlayed his relationships with highly-place politicos into lucrative contracts with the Ohio workers comp bureau. The state invested $50 million of comp funds in his coin business. Unfortunately, Noe’s inventory of coins and his tracking of the funds fell short of bookkeeping standards. He was convicted on both federal and state charges. The “Coingate” scandal brought down some heavy hitters, including the governor.
In an article in the Columbus Dispatch by Mark Niquette and Joe Hallet, Noe outlines his next moves.
“God has a plan for me, and what I’m going to do (is) I’m going to make the best of my time in Hocking {Correctional Facility],” he says. Much of his time is tied up in his appeal, which is wending its way to the Illinois Supreme Court, where he subliminally hopes the judges remember him fondly: last time around, five of the seven judges removed themselves from a previous case because they had taken campaign contributions from the ever-generous Noe.
His appeal appears to be based upon a technicality: “Believe me, I’m not sitting here saying I didn’t make mistakes. I made a lot of mistakes. I’m just saying I’m not guilty, in my opinion, of what they said I’m guilty of.”
To put it mildly, the prosecutors aren’t buying Noe’s claiming of innocence.
Assistant Lucas County Prosecutor John Weglian says: “He’s a liar.”
“There isn’t a single embezzler in the history of embezzling, I think, who has not intended to pay the money back,” Weglian said. “They all say that. … He’s a salesman; he’s trying to market himself.” (With all due respect, Mr. Weglian, Bernie Madoff knew all along he was never going to pay people back.)
Accentuate the Positive
For the disgraced Noe, the marketing options from a jail cell are clearly limited. But Noe prides himself on being a positive person.
“I’ve always said a negative thought’s a down payment on failure. I’m not going to fail. I’m not going to fail on the outside. I’m not going to fail as a prisoner.”
One might argue that Noe’s conviction on multiple charges of corruption was a failure on the outside, and that his prospects for success from the “inside” are remote. But as Noe says, it’s just part of God’s plan – a plan, at the moment, that calls for another decade or so in Hocking. The former high roller used to enjoy steaks and cabernet at the best restaurants in Ohio. His current fare falls rather dramatically short of that standard, but, heck, it’s free and there’s no tipping.
It would be nice to think that if he ever gets another opportunity to make business decisions on the outside, Noe will have learned how to say “no way” to the Noe Way. I’m not exactly holding my breath.

Another Turkey in Ohio

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

The state of Ohio has attained considerable notoriety for its workers comp program. Unfortunately, the fame derives from a scandal, dubbed Coingate, in which high level officials were implicated in the diversion and theft of comp funds. There are a number of political operatives spending this Thanksgiving in jail. Now we read of a state senator who has proposed legislation to explicitly exclude undocumented workers from the Ohio comp system. It appears that one bad turn in Ohio deserves another.
We all recognize the ambiguous state of undocumented workers in the American workforce. But virtually all states – with the exception of sparsely populated Wyoming – have provided comp coverage to illegal workers once they are injured. It’s a matter of common sense and fundamental decency: we may question how these workers came here, but once hired and in the workforce, they must be afforded the same protections given to other workers. Otherwise, we create a second-class workforce subject to exploitation and substandard working conditions – not exactly the American way.
Turkey of a Bill
Enter one Bill Seitz, a state senator who graduated summa cum laude from the University of Cincinnati and from the University of Cincinnati School of Law, where he was Law Review and Order of the Coif. I have no idea what “Order of the Coif” is, but you can see Bill having a reasonably good hair day here.
Seitz says he was shocked to learn that the Ohio Bureau of Workers Comp does not require injured workers to document their status before receiving benefits. (Why is he shocked? No state has any such requirement.)
According the AP:

Seitz’s bill would place the burden of proof on the injured worker to demonstrate he or she is a legal worker by showing documentation such as a birth certificate or a visa. It would establish immunity from civil lawsuits for businesses in cases in which their workers’ claims are denied by the bureau because the worker is illegal, except in cases in which the business knew the worker was illegal or if it intentionally hurt the worker.

I particulary like the immunity from civil suits. This bill would not just eliminate the “exclusive remedy” of comp – it would strip away any remedy for injured, undocumented workers. It’s an invitation to employers to actively recruit illegal workers: they won’t be held responsible for hiring them, they won’t have any responsibility for workplace injuries that occur and they can avoid other forms of liability, provided, of course, that they did not “intentionally hurt” the worker. Seitz has stacked the deck against an already vulnerable population.
David Leopold, a Cleveland attorney and president-elect of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, thinks Seitz is engaged in a publicity stunt. “It seems to me to be a waste of time to even be talking about this. Beyond being cruel, it’s senseless because it’s not going to address the problem. If he has no statistics to back this up, he hasn’t shown a problem exists.”
Thanksgiving
As all of us gather for this most generous of our holidays, let’s give thanks for our many blessings. Let’s say a prayer for all of the families – native born, immigrant, legal and undocumented – struggling to make ends meet in this most difficult of times. And let’s hope that the good people of Ohio focus on fixing the real problems in their comp system, not the imaginary ones that trouble the waking hours of the well-dressed, well-coifed Mr. Seitz.

New Cavalcade of Risk; other news briefs

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

Nancy Germond is hosting this week’s Cavalcade of Risk at her blog, Insurance Copywriter. She should get hazardous duty pay – she tells us that it is 113 degrees by noon on any given day in Phoenix – yikes. Nancy’s post covers topics as diverse as damaged guitars, dog health, and – of course – the health care debate. By the way, you can find more risk-related articles authored by Nancy at AllBusiness.
Other news notes
As we noted previously, Roberto Ceniceros has been attending the Disability Management Employer Coalition annual meeting and has been posting about the meeting on his blog. We found one item that he wrote about in Business Insurance of particular interest: his report that Harley Davidson is using functional assessments to reduce workers comp and disability claims among new hires and in its return-to-work programs. Hanover, Md.-based BTE Technologies Inc. provides the electronic functional assessment testing system and accompanying software and evaluates worksites to perform physical-demand analyses. The “…system evaluates attributes such as range of motion, dexterity, grip strength, lifting ability and tolerance of certain positions. Employees are measured by pushing against a column, lifting weights and other efforts matched to specific job requirements that are recorded electronically.” The company estimates savings of nearly $260,000 in workers comp claims costs by preventing new hire injuries alone, which doesn’t encompass the other benefits and savings from the disability and RTW components.
In Risk and Insurance, Peter Rousmaniere launches a three-part series on health issues facing veterans as they return to the workplace. His first post tells the story of one Sgt. Stephen Kinney of New Hampshire, ho was the victim of an IED explosion on the outskirts of Camp Anaconda in Iraq. Among injuries, Kinney sustained brain injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that left him unable to resume his prior job as mail carrier.
NIOSH Science Blog posts about safe and health green jobs and tells us that, with its partners, NIOSH has launched a Going Green: Safe and Healthy Jobs initiative. The note that as America moves towards energy efficiency and more environmentally-friendly practices, it is likely that there will be changes to traditional jobs and the creation of new kinds of occupations. The purpose of the initiative is to eliminate hazards in the green jobs through planning, organization, and engineering – a concept known at NIOSH as Prevention through Design (PtD).
Supporting Safer Healthcare posts that U.S. News & Word report has issued its 2009 list of best hospitals.
The Ohio Department of Insurance has a new web address – update your bookmarks accordingly: www.insurance.ohio.gov/ (Please note – we had previously said that it was the Ohio Bureau of Workers Comp that had a new web address but we were wrong – that stays the same: www.ohiobwc.com – sorry for any confusion!)

Collision course: the potential impact of Chrysler’s bankruptcy & sale on state workers’ comp systems

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

Roberto Ceniceros of Business Insurance has been tracking the potential impact that a Chrysler bankruptcy and sale could have on state workers comp systems. In a story last week, he reports that Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox has taken legal action to protect the state. Cox stated that Michigan’s Self-Insurers’ Security Fund could face insolvency as a result of Chrysler’s bankruptcy and sale.
Now, Ohio state officials are raising concerns about how the Chrysler sale could affect Ohio’s workers comp system. This week, Ohio’s Attorney General Richard Cordray has filed a “limited objection” to the pending sale. “While Chrysler’s bankruptcy filings show the automaker is committed to fulfilling its workers comp obligations, the filings do not hold a new owner to the same conditions, the attorney general said.” According to a news report in Columbus Business First, there are about 5,000 Chrysler workers in the state.
It is likely that this issue is on the radar screen for other stat attorneys general, too. Ceniceros states that, “As of Dec. 31, Chrysler had 38,257 U.S. employees. It purchases workers comp insurance in some states while self-insuring in others, according to various state regulator databases.”
And beyond Chrysler, there is the matter of whether General Motors is another likely candidate for bankruptcy – many expect this to be the case – see key dates in GM run-up to bankruptcy deadline. GM is a much larger company so problems could be multiplied, a matter that we discussed in our December posting about Maryland officials monitoring GM solvency related to workers comp.
For more on the way bankruptcy works for both insured and self-insured entities, see our postings of Robert Auerbach’s three-part series on bankruptcy and workers compensation, part 2, part 3.

Cavalcade of Risk #66 and sundry workers comp news notes

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008

Cavalcade of Risk #66 is posted at Political Calculations, where the blogger who goes under the alias of Ironman takes an innovative approach by offering two editions with all posts presented in a grid-like format, applying a blog post rating system. See Investment Grade and Kit and Caboodle versions for this week’s entries.
State cost variationsRisk & Insurance looked at variations in state workers comp costs for employers in all 50 states and determined that in this regard, Arizona is the most favorable place for employers. Other states with low workers’ comp costs include Arkansas, Indiana, Virginia, North Dakota and South Dakota. Michael Keating reports on survey results and discusses various structural factors within a state system that contribute to workers compensation costs. Note: my colleague Jon Coppelman was quoted in the article.
Ohio – another scandal brewing? – According to The Cleveland Plain Dealer, “Federal agents are investigating links between Cuyahoga County Auditor Frank Russo and a politically connected firm that manages medical claims of injured workers and employed Russo’s son, according to subpoenas and interviews.” It’s a complicated story, and apparently part of a larger story on a federal investigation into Cuyahoga County corruption.
The $18 million fraud charge – The CEO and CFO of Staffing Services, a firm based in southern California, are being charged with conspiracy to defraud the State Compensation Insurance Fund of $18 million in premium payments. While news reports aren’t specific as to how, the pair are being charged with providing false information. While we can’t know specifics in this case, such charges often relate to misclassification of employees. The stakes for this type of fraud are high – if convicted, each of the two men face the potential for 20 years in prison and up to $40 million in fines.
Weathering the storm – worth your time: The Financial Crisis & the P/C Insurance Industry: Challenges Amid the Economic Storm – a presentation and analysis by Robert Hartwig of the Insurance Information Institute. This was presented to the Excess/Surplus Lines Claims Association in late September.
Blood-borne disease and healthcare workers – the Centers for Disease Control has recently issued the results of a study showing that health care workers face an increased risk of dying from blood-borne diseases, such as HIV, and related illnesses compared with workers in other fields. The study encompassed data over a 20-year period, including 248,550 deaths from HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B and C, liver cancer and cirrhosis. Researchers were unable to determine how much of the increased risk is related to occupational versus non-occupational exposure.

News roundup: Health Wonk Review, OH, NY, fraud, BP and safety

Thursday, August 23rd, 2007

Health Wonk Review – Daniel Goldberg is this week’s host of Health Wonk Review and he offers up an abundance of varied links with interesting context and commentary. And while visiting HWR, please be sure to check out Daniel’s excellent Medical Humanities Blog. In today’s posting, he offers a good introduction to the nature of medial humanities as a discipline and the role that medical humanists play in health care. His blog is well worth an extra look-see, encompassing a literature review, a medical humanities lexicon, and an information exchange on events and conferences, among other things. His sidebar links are extensive and also give a good window into the multi-disciplinary nature of medical humanities as a subject matter.
Ohio – One of our readers kindly sent us a link to an interview with the new Administrator of the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, Marsha Ryan, who says that the state’s $21 billion system is “pretty broken.” She also states that it may take years before public trust is restored, unsurprising in the wake of wide-ranging corruption in the Bureau that led to 16 convictions. She also indicated that she plans to review group discounts that have been offered to business alliances, such as the Ohio Chamber of Commerce or National Federation of Independent Business. According to a recent investigation, some companies were given discounted rates, a practice that raised questions about fairness but which turned up no illegalities.
California – In news of another state workers comp body that is seeking to restore trust and transparency, the State Compensation Insurance Fund (SCIF) has named Janet Frank as new president as of October. She will take the reins from interim president Lawrence E. Mulryan who was appointed after the prior president, James C. Tudor, and vp, Renee Koren, were fired. Sally Roberts of Business Insurance reports that there are a number of ongoing investigations to learn if misconduct or illegal activities occurred, particularly in relation to the payment of administrative fees in connection with SCIF’s group insurance programs.
More on fraud – On Tuesday, Tom Lynch blogged about a judge indicted for insurance fraud. One of our readers noted that the same issue of Insurance Journal also included another fraud item about four workers comp claimants in Texas sentenced for cheating the system. The four claimants collected a combined total of $17,346 for double-dipping, or collecting benefits while gainfully employed. Unlike the case of the judge, there was no suspension with pay for these folks: Penalties for the four included probations ranging from 1 to 5 years, community service requirements, and restitution. While fraud is certainly wrong and to be condemned under all circumstances, we agree with our reader that the juxtaposition of the two fraud cases and the disparity of the consequences present a study in irony. Presumably, the judge will have his day in court, and if the charges are proven, will have a steeper penalty imposed.
BP contests OSHA fines – According to Occupational Hazards, BP is contesting $92,000 in recent OSHA penalties for violation of safety rules related to process safety management and hazardous conditions at the Texas City refinery. This is the site of the March 2005 disaster in which 15 workers were killed and many others injured. For a recap of the investigations of that event, see Josh Cable’s excellent article, Anatomy of a Tragedy, a sad case study in safety and prevention gone awry. He notes, “Perhaps the real tragedy is that federal investigators believe that the accident – like so many other workplace accidents – was entirely avoidable.”
Health & safety resources
OSHA added a Health Care module to its Compliance Assistance Quick Start tool, which offers online free compliance assistance resources. The purpose of the module is ” …to help employers understand OSHA regulations applicable to the healthcare industry, including recordkeeping, reporting and posting requirements. It also contains information on developing a comprehensive safety and health program and on training employees.”
Dale Lindemer offers a practical overview of Scaffolding Good Practices in the August issue of Occupational Health & safety – a good resource on “dos and don’ts” to help prevent the most common hazards: falls from elevation; collapse/overturning of the scaffold;being struck by falling tools, work materials, or debris; and electrocution, principally due to proximity of the scaffold to overhead power lines.

News Roundup” Cavalcade of Risk, networks, docs & drugs, scandal watch & more

Friday, May 11th, 2007

Carnival timeCavalcade of Risk #25 is posted at Getting Green. Among other fine entries, we note there are two posts about data security. In one case, the Transportion Security Office lost the records of 100,000 workers – great, that speaks well to their ability to protect us! And in another item, we learn that Chase is careless in disposing of sensitive client materials – and they are obviously not the only ones. Not good. Is your agent, insurer or TPA properly disposing of any claim-related data and records for your organization? You may want to add this item to things you check for in renewals or RFPs.
WC networks – Joe Paduda has some thoughts on the future of workers compensation networks. After meeting with several network executives at the recent RIMS meeting, he sees a definite continuation of the trend away from the national broad-based, discount-oriented networks to regional hybrid networks. Not sure what a Hybrid network is? Joe offers a good explanation in his post. His expert analysis on these matters is worth your attention.
Docs & Drugs – Those free drug samples that physicians hand out may not be such a good idea after all, or so says a recent article in the New York Times. Critics see these as just another example of the close ties between physicians and drug companies, and say that ” … they may actually drive up the cost of health care in the long run, because the drugs being promoted are the most expensive brand-name medications.” We’ve talked about docs and drugs a few times before. (Thanks to HealthLawProf Blog for the pointer to the article)
Scandal watch – We’ve written quite a bit about the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation Coingate scandal. Today we learn that the BWC’s former CFO faces 5 years in prison. His sentence was reduced based on cooperation with authorities, so there is the potential for further shoes to drop. There have been 16 public officials and money managers convicted of various offenses thus far. In other state news, trouble is brewing in the North Dakota workers comp system too.
Geek safety25 Free health Tips for Computer nerds This blog may focus on work-related risks, but play can be dangerous too – In 2005, a 28-year-old South Korean man who played computer games for straight 50 hours died of heart failure. Pass this article on to your IT folks and the bloggers in your life. Via Ergonomics In the News
Notes from the Blogosphere – Congratulations to Michael Fitzgibbon at Thoughts from a Management Lawyer ob his 4-year Blogiversary. Michael is a Toronto-base attorney and professor who keeps us informed about the employment-related goings on in our neighbor to the North. And speaking of Canadian bloggers, we told you that rawblogXport had announced the blog was winding down, but we are happy to note that items are still being posted daily.

News roundup: Premium rates, ADA, disability awareness, OHIO privatization, and more

Wednesday, October 26th, 2005

RIMS Benchmark Survey: downturn in commercial rates
Commercial insurance renewal premiums in the third quarter were down by more than 5% from rates in the same quarter last year, although the survey notes that workers comp was the only major line to drop by less than 5%, with an average reduction of 3.75%. However, for many respondents, the effects of hurricane season hadn’t yet been factored into prices.
ADA protects persons “associated with” the disabled
Diane Pfadenhauer discusses a less widely recognized provision of the Americans With Disabilities Act that extends legal protections to those individuals who are associated with a disabled person.
October is Disability Awareness Month
According to the Society for Human Resource Managers (SHRM), there are 33 million people in the United States with disabilities and the unemployment rate for this population is 44%. SHRM notes that many employers fear high costs associated with making accommodations for workers with disabilities, but 38% of employers have not had to spend any money on accommodations and an additional 17% have spent less than $500.
For a whole different outlook on disability, you may want to see a film called Murderball about a team of quadriplegic rugby players. Some time back, Larry King featured a very compelling interview with a few of the charismatic team members – what an inspiration!
Ohio: many oppose privatization of workers comp
Despite the recent investment scandals, it seems that many employers, attorneys, and unions are unified in opposition to the idea of privatizing the state workers’ compensation system. Ohio is one of a diminishing number of monopolistic states. The current Bureau of Workers Compensation system was established in 1995 with a nine-member Workers’ Compensation Oversight Commission. Since then, it has been credited with speeding up claims and reducing premiums by an average of more than 30%.
The Best-laid Disaster Plans Are Merely Works in Progress
Workforce features an article offering an overview of problems and issues that HR departments faced in the aftermath of the Katrina disaster. The article profiles the experiences of three large employers – Entergy, Sodexho USA, and McDonalds – and some of the creative problem-solving that was required to locate and retain workers, communicate with workers despite the collapse of the communication infrastructure, arrange payments and administer benefit programs, and assist workers and their families in resolving various psycho-social issues.
12 picks for America’s Safest Companies of 2005
Occupational Hazards recognizes a dozen companies that set their own standards for safety excellence, exceeding OSHA and EPA regulations and industry norms. Safety efforts in these companies were generally characterized by high employee involvement and superior management commitment.
Insider View of the Vioxx trials in NJ
Robert Ambrogi and J. Craig Williams from Law.com’s arsenal of law bloggers offer first hand accounts from inside the courtroom at the VIOXX trial underway in New Jersey.
Also. from Legal Talk Network’s Workers Comp Matters:
Latex allergies in the workplace with Sandra Jutras, a career clinical nurse who developed a serious level one latex allergy; Attorney Jim Brady, and Dr. Gail Lenehan, national advocate and member of the Massachusetts Nurses Association’s Congress on Occupational Health and Safety.
Medicare set-aside allocations – Jean Feldman of CHOICE Medical Management discusses the complex issue of workers compensation Medicare set-aside allocations.
Making a difference
We can all sometimes get bogged down in the status quo and wonder if it’s still worth it to try to effect a change. It’s good to be reminded how one person can make an enormous difference – rest in peace, Rosa Parks. The LA Times has a wonderful tribute to this remarkable woman. (free registration required)