Archive | Worker’s Compensation RSS feed for this section

OSHA Reporting Deadline – Update

December 19, 2017

0 Comments

You may recall our recent blog post on OSHA’s new online reporting requirements. Last Friday, December 15th, had been the cut-off date for submitting your information. On Monday December 18th OSHA issued a press release indicating they would continue to accept electronic reporting of the mandatory information until midnight on December 31, 2017. OSHA will not take action against employers who submit their logs between now and the 31st. However, effective January 1, 2018 you will no longer be able to submit your 2016 data.

Working with various clients over the past few days, a few questions consistently came up among several:

What is an establishment?
For recordkeeping purposes OSHA defines an establishment as “a single physical location where business is conducted or where services or industrial operations are performed” for one year or longer. For online recording, this establishment is also required to exceed 20 employees at some point in the reporting year. You will need to report your required information for EACH INDIVIUAL ESTABLISHMENT.

If the establishment is fewer than 20 employees AT ALL TIMES during the year, do I need to submit my information online?
No. However, you continue to keep a log for any facility that is in operations for longer than 1 year.

What if I am part of a state OSHA program?
To further complicate matters, OSHA approved state plans have not yet adopted the requirements. It is our understanding the state plans will adopt the requirements within 6 months of publication of the final rule.

Where do I create an account and submit my data?
On the Injury Tracking Application Page.

As always, if you have any questions regarding this information please reach out to the J.W. Terrill Loss Control department at losscontrol@jwterrill.com.

Continue reading...

Medical Requirements of the OSHA Silica Rule

December 6, 2017

0 Comments

The new OSHA rule governing respirable crystalline silica calls for medical surveillance screenings to allow for identification of silica exposure-related health effects in your workers. But who exactly must be surveilled, when and how often do you conduct the surveillance?

For purposes of this article, our focus is the construction industry.  This new rule requires that medical surveillance be made available to employees who use respirators for 30 or more days per year in situations where those respirators are required by OSHA for protection against silica hazards.

Of course, our first question is – how do you count a day?  OSHA offered some clarification of this in their enforcement guidelines issued earlier this fall.  These guidelines stated that even on days that employees wear a respirator for only a portion of the day; are counted as full days towards the medical surveillance requirements.   It should be noted that progression toward the 30 day rule resets with every new employer.  The only exception is when you hire, release, and re-hire the same employee for several short-term assignments during a year, with a day count totaling 30 days or more.

Now, you have an employee who you know needs to be included in the medical surveillance and you ask yourself – what does that entail?

First, you must select a medical provider who is capable of providing an exam which will include the following components –

  • A review of the patient’s history – work and medical
  • A physical examination with an emphasis on the respiratory system
  • A chest x-ray interpreted and classified according to the International Labour Office (ILO) International Classification of Radiographs of Pneumoconiosis by a NIOSH-certified B Reader
  • A pulmonary function test administered by a spirometry technician with a current certificate from a NIOSH-approved course
  • Testing for latent tuberculosis
  • Any additional tests deemed appropriate by the provider

It is your responsibility as the employer to provide the physician with –

  • A copy of the exposure standards in the OSHA respirable crystalline silica rule
  • A description of the employee’s former, current, and anticipated duties as they relate to the employee’s occupational exposure to respirable crystalline silica
  • The employee’s former, current, and anticipated levels of occupational exposure to respirable crystalline silica
  • A description of personal protective equipment used or to be used by the employee, including when it will be work and for how long the employee
  • Information from records of employment-related medical examinations previously provided to the employee and currently within the control of the employer

Once the exam is completed, you will obtain a written medical opinion from the physician which contains:

  • The date of the exam
  • A statement that the exam has specifically checked for silica exposure according to the requirements of the standard
  • Any recommended limitations on the employee’s exposure to respirable crystalline silica

Remember, this baseline examination must be made available within 30 days of initial assignment, unless the employee can show they received an examination that meets the requirements of this section within the past three years.  In addition, you must also conduct this same exam at least every three years and more frequently if recommended by your healthcare provider.

If you have any questions regarding this information or any other safety and health topic please contact the Loss Control Department at J.W. Terrill – losscontrol@jwterrill.com.

Continue reading...

OSHA Delays Deadline for Crane Operator Certification

November 13, 2017

0 Comments

OSHA announced they are delaying the deadline for employers’ to ensure that crane operators are certified to operate cranes.  The deadline for the certification of operators has been postponed by one year until November 10, 2018. You can find all the details here.

Contact the J.W. Terrill loss control department at losscontrol@jwterrill.com with any questions or concerns.

Continue reading...

Selecting a Risk Sharing Partner

September 26, 2017

0 Comments

The insurance industry is based on risk sharing.  Premiums are primarily based on average statistical industry losses.  This profile of a scaffolding contractor demonstrates the value of selecting the right partners.  D.C. based Scaffold Resource is a member of a group captive insurance program.  39 best in class construction companies owning an insurance captive to drive profits and manage risk.

This captive member profile is a great example of the option to share risk with an entire industry, or partner with a company that has completed 1.4 million hours of accident-free work.

Self Insurer Magazine is published by the Self Insurance Institute Of America.  SIIA represents the self insurance and captive insurance industry for both benefits and casualty insurance.

Continue reading...

Construction Safety Update: Crystalline Silica Standard

May 2, 2017

0 Comments

OSHA has announced that they will delay enforcing the crystalline silica standard on the construction industry. This delay is due to the need of additional training for employers to understand the complexities of the new standard. The original date of enforcement was set to be June 23, 2017, but has now been changed to September 23, 2017.

Since employers have the responsibility of providing safe and healthy workplaces for their employees, construction employers should continue to take steps to be in compliance with the new allowable exposure limit. This can be done through training as wells as employee supervision.

For any questions or concerns please contact J.W. Terrill’s Loss Control Department at: losscontrol@jwterrill.com.

Continue reading...

California Rating Bureau Announces Changes in Reporting of Small Medical Only or First Aid Claims

January 25, 2017

0 Comments

The Insurance Commissioner recently approved amendments to the California Workers’ Compensation Uniform Statistical Reporting Plan—1995 (USRP) effective January 1, 2017, to clarify the reporting requirements for small medical only or “first aid” claims. The Insurance Commissioner’s Decision (CDI File No. REG-2016-00018), dated October 14, 2016, approved amendments that specifically reference first aid as defined in California Labor Code Section 5401(a), to clarify that insurers must report the cost of all claims for which any medical care is provided and medical costs are incurred, including those involving first aid treatment, even if the insurer did not make the payment.

ALL injuries for which medical care is provided and medical costs are incurred MUST be reported to your insurance carrier – including reporting any and all amounts paid directly by the employer for medical expenses – so that your insurance carrier can (a) reimburse the employer for any covered medical expenses that the employer has paid directly and (b) fulfill their statutory reporting obligations.

Continue reading...

OSHA Further Extends Anti-Retaliation Provisions

October 27, 2016

0 Comments

OSHA_logoOSHA has announced that it will again delay enforcement of the anti-retaliation provisions in its injury and illness tracking rule until December 1, 2016.  This extended deadline is in response to a request from a federal judge in the Northern District of Texas who is presiding over the legal challenge of the new rule.

Employers now have until December 1, 2016 to comply with OSHA’s anti-retaliation provisions, which require employers to inform employees of their right to report work-related injuries and illnesses without fear of retaliation; to implement reasonable procedures for reporting injuries and illnesses that do not discourage employees from reporting work-related injuries or illnesses and prohibit employers from retaliating or discriminating against employees for reporting injuries and illnesses.

For more information you can view OSHA’s notice.

Continue reading...

A Deep Dive into the Casualty Group Captive Space

March 15, 2016

0 Comments

Duke Niedringhaus with the Captive Practice Group at J.W. Terrill, a Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC company interviewed Rob Walling, Principal and Consulting Actuary with Pinnacle Actuarial Resources.

Pinnacle is the leading actuarial firm for the casualty group captive industry. This interview highlights some of the most compelling stats of this fast growing segment of the insurance industry. The A/B captive formula created by Pinnacle in 1985 has proven to be the most efficient mechanism to finance long tail casualty exposures of Work Comp, General Liability and Auto.

This interview provides insight into some of the more technical components of the group captives, as well as differences compared to the self-insured work comp industry.

Read the interview

 

Continue reading...

OSHA’s New Construction Subpart for Confined Spaces

July 15, 2015

0 Comments

OSHA has issued a new standard for construction work in confined spaces, which will be effective August 3, 2015*.  The new standard, Subpart AA of 29 CFR 1926, will help prevent construction workers from being hurt or killed by eliminating and isolating hazards in confined spaces at construction sites similar to the way workers in other industries are already protected.

How does the new rule differ from the rules that previously applied to construction work in confined spaces?

The rule requires employers to classify spaces their workers are in, identify potential hazards of the space, and how those hazards should be eliminated, what training workers should receive, and how to rescue those workers if anything goes wrong.

What is different between the General Industry Rule and the new Construction Rule?

There are 5 key differences from the existing General Industry rule:

  1. Detailed provisions requiring coordinated activities on multiple employer worksites to ensure hazards are not introduced into a confined space by workers performing tasks outside the space.
  2. A competent person must evaluate the work site and identify confined spaces, including permit spaces.
  3. Continuous atmospheric monitoring whenever possible.
  4. Continuous monitoring of engulfment hazards.
  5. Suspension of a permit, instead of cancellation, in the event of changes from the entry conditions listed on the permit or an unexpected event requiring evacuation of the space. The space must be returned to the entry conditions listed on the permit before re-entry.

Additional provisions to clarify existing requirements in the General Industry standard include:

  1. Employers who direct workers to enter a space without using a complete permit system must prevent workers’ exposure to physical hazards through elimination or isolation methods, such as lockout/tagout.
  2. If using local emergency services for responders, they need to notify the employer in advance if they will be unable to respond for a period of time (because they are responding to another emergency, attending department-wide training, etc.).
  3. Provide training in a language and vocabulary that the worker understands.
    Finally, several terms have been added to the definitions for the construction rule, such as “entry employer” to describe the employer who directs workers to enter a space, and “entry rescue”, added to clarify the differences in the types of rescue employers can use.

Where can I find more information?
Visit OSHA’s Confined Spaces webpage at: https://www.osha.gov/confinedspaces/index.html for additional information.

* OSHA has announced a 60 day delay in enforcement to ease employers into full compliance. This delay comes in response to requests for additional time to train and acquire the equipment necessary to comply with the new standard. Between August 3rd and October 2nd, construction employers will not be cited for violating the new standard if they are making a “good faith” effort to comply and are in compliance with training requirements under the new or old standard. According to OSHA, good faith efforts include scheduling training for employees, ordering necessary equipment to comply with the new standard, and taking alternative measures to protect employees from confined spaces.

Please contact the J.W. Terrill Loss Control Department at losscontrol@jwterrill.com with any questions.

Continue reading...

Hot Topics in Missouri Workers’ Compensation

January 5, 2015

0 Comments

Below are summaries of some recent Work Comp-related findings from Missouri courts. These summaries were provided by Attorney Chris Archer of Archer, Lassa and McHugh LLC.

Second Injury Fund Liability for Perm Totals
Several decisions recently have helped to define the SIF Liability. The courts in the past looked at the SIF to handle new cases where an employee’s prior condition combined with a work related injury put them at a greater degree of disability than would have resulted in the absence of the prior condition. Recently decisions are that, unless “the last accident alone” was severe enough to cause a perm total condition, then the SIF can be responsible when a work related injury in conjunction with a pre-existing condition renders the employee unable to compete for work in the open labor market.

Retaliatory Discharge or Discrimination-Civil Claim
The Missouri Supreme Court reversed 15+ years of precedent in redefining the statutory burden of proof a claimant/employee needs to sue their Employer for work comp discrimination. In Templemire v. W & M Welding, Inc., the court held that the employee must only demonstrate his/her filing of a workers’ compensation claim was a “contributing factor” to the employee’s discharge and that the trial court had erred in instructing the jury that it had to determine an employee was discharged exclusively in retaliation for filing a workers’ compensation claim. This decision makes it very important for an employer to have solid and concise documentation in their personnel files when terminating employees who have filed workers compensation claims.

Closing out Future Medical-Implications after Frank Pierce v Zurich American
Reactivation of a settled claim is explained in 287.140.8 of the Missouri Statutes. When settling a claim that has exposure of future medical, one option is to have your defense attorney cross out this preprinted section on the stipulation and also designate a dollar amount as consideration for the waiver of the claimant’s right to reactivate. Be clear in identifying that medical causation, accident, and “injury” were disputed issues. In the Pierce case, this statute was not crossed out and there was a dispute of two doctors as to the need for a total knee replacement.

Extension of Premises – Scholastic v. Viley
In this case, the court of appeals affirmed the Commission’s earlier decision that the claimant had sustained a compensable accident when he slipped and fell on ice in the parking lot of his employer when leaving work at the end of the day. The parking lot was not owned or maintained by the employer; however, there was a provision in the lease granting the employer “exclusive use for parking of Tenant’s Automobiles”. The courts ruled that this exclusivity provision was “evidence of control” and found the employer liable for the injuries.

We hope you find these summaries of interest and we will continue to keep you apprised of further hiccups in the system. If you have any questions, please contact your J.W. Terrill Claims Specialist or Account Executive.

Continue reading...

Is Your Company’s Employee Handbook Up To Date?

October 14, 2014

0 Comments

Did you know that something as simple as a handbook policy could actually violate the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA)?

Over the last several years the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has been taking a closer look at company policies and rules to determine if the policies hinder an employee’s Section 7 rights to “concerted activity”. The first place that the NLRB will look for evidence of this violation is in employee handbooks.

We find that while many of our clients have good intentions of outlining company expectations in an employee handbook, unfortunately they tend to contain outdated practices and/or policies that are contrary to current laws and regulations. One policy in particular that we commonly find outdated is one that prohibits employees from discussing confidential information.

For example, a recent court case involving Flex Frac Logisitics v. National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) serves as a reminder to employers that such a simple statement about confidentiality can put an employer in violation of Section 8(a)(1) of the NLRA. According to the NLRA, employees have the right to “concerted activity” which requires employers to allow employees the opportunity to express concerns or take action regarding the terms or conditions of their employment and working conditions.

In this case, Flex Frac Logisitics had an employee handbook which included a confidentiality agreement. The agreement stated that the disclosure of confidential information could lead to termination, as well as possible legal action. Even though the policy did not specifically refer to wages or specific terms and conditions of employment, the NLRA felt the clause was in violation because it was overly broad and contained language which could reasonably be interpreted as restricting the exercise of the employees’ Section 7 rights under the act.

That said, it is difficult for employers to know just where the line is between a lawful and an unlawful policy. The bottom line is that employers should be familiar with the provisions of the National Labor Relations Act and ensure that their handbooks reflect the appropriate language.

For questions regarding the National Labor Relations Act, or if you would like information regarding our handbook rewriting service, please contact J.W. Terrill’s Human Resources consulting group at hrconsulting@jwterrill.com.

For more information on the National Labor Relations Board, click here: http://www.nlrb.gov.

Continue reading...

OSHA Recordkeeping Updates

September 22, 2014

0 Comments

OSHA-LogoOSHA recently made modifications to their recordkeeping standard that will impact all employers.  Currently, employers are required to report a workplace fatality or the hospitalization of 3 or more employees after a workplace incident. Beginning January 1, 2015 it will also be required to notify OSHA when an individual (no longer requires 3 or more) employee suffers a work-related hospitalization, amputation or loss of an eye.  Employers will still be required to notify OSHA of work-related fatalities within eight hours, but they will have 24 hours to report work-related in-patient hospitalizations, amputations or loss of an eye.  OSHA is allowing online reporting of these events through a Web portal.  All employers covered by OSHA are required to follow these severe injury and illness reporting requirements, even those who are exempt from maintaining injury and illness logs.

OSHA has also updated their list of industries that are exempt to the recordkeeping standard.  This exemption is based on the relatively low occupational injury and illness rates associated with these industry types.  The previous list had been based on the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) system.  Now, the list will use the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) to classify the exempt industry list.  The updated list will also be based on more recent injury and illness data compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  Newly added industries to the recordkeeping standard include the following:

NAICS Code  Title of NAICS Code
3118 Bakeries and tortilla manufacturing
4411 Automobile dealers
4413 Automotive parts, accessories, and tire stores
4441 Building material and supplies dealers
4452 Specialty food stores
4453 Beer, wine, and liquor stores
4539 Other miscellaneous store retailers
4543 Direct selling establishments
5311 Lessors of real estate
5313 Activities related to real estate
5322 Consumer goods rental
5324 Commercial/industrial machinery & equipment rental/leasing
5419 Other professional, scientific, and technical services
5612 Facilities support services
5617 Services to buildings and dwellings
5619 Other support services
6219 Other ambulatory health care services
6241 Individual and family services
6242 Community food & housing, emergency & other relief services
7111 Performing arts companies
7113 Promoters of performing arts, sports, and similar events
7121 Museums, historical sites, and similar institutions
7139 Other amusement and recreation industries
7223 Special food services
8129 Other personal services

or more information about the new rule, visit OSHA’s website at http://www.osha.gov/recordkeeping2014 or contact your assigned loss control consultant.

Continue reading...