Posts Tagged ‘workers comp’

I had a conversation this week with a Workers Compensation Insurance Representative and an Insurance Broker regarding safety and accidents.   Both of these individuals have 25+ years of experience in occupational safety – therefore I consider them EXPERTS.   It was interesting to hear their perspective on accidents, culture, and various safety programs.   The one thing that was loud and clear from my conversation with the EXPERTS – you must involve your employees.

When you involve employees in your safety program you create ownership, buy-in and participation.    These items lead to a positive safety culture where employees do the right thing even when nobody is watching and employees look out for one another.   Isn’t that what we are trying to achieve?   All it takes is involvement – just ask the EXPERTS.

I will continue to involve all employees in safety – what will you do ?

STAY SAFE!     **  Jeff  **   214-215-2434

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According to National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) data, every day more than 2,000 American workers are treated for occupational eye injuries.  AS EYE SEE IT – that’s 2,000 too many!   2,000 per day equates to 500,000 eye injuries per year!   According to NIOSH – 70 percent of these eye injuries were caused by contact with an object/equipment, 26 percent were caused by exposure to harmful substances, and the remainder was due to scrap, waste, debris, chemicals, welding torches, etc.

Where is the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in all this?   A simple pair of safety glasses costs less than $5 and a face shield less than $20!   Why are employers not requiring their employees to wear proper PPE?   An average worker’s compensation claim cost is running $10,000.  If you reduce one claim by wearing safety glasses – that buys you 2,000 pairs of additional safety glasses.  If you reduce one claim by wearing a face shield – that buys you 500 new ones!

Is this the lack of safety culture?  Is it the lack of accountability?  Or the lack of caring?  I don’t care what it is – we have an obligation to provide a safe work environment!   It is unacceptable for any employee to be injured on the job, no matter how minor.  Each and every employee has the right to go home to their family and friends in the exact same condition in which they showed up to work.   That’s how EYE SEE IT – how do you see it?

STAY SAFE!     **  Jeff  **   214-215-2434

I recently read an article where a painter consumed “a small bottle of whiskey and more than half a fifth of vodka” while at work.  The painter then proceeded to nap in a closet for a few hours, subsequently woke up and fell down an elevator shaft.  The painter applied for workers’ compensation benefits, the employer denied workers compensation benefits, and the case was taken to court.

Ultimately, the painter was denied workers compensation benefits because the painter “was not fulfilling work duties and was not engaged in an activity incidental to his work.”   WHAT IF he picked up a paint brush and started painting before he fell into the elevator shaft, but was still drunk?  Would he be eligible for workers compensation?  According to the courts:  Yes – the painter would have been

In my opinion, the entire workers compensation system in the United States needs a major overhaul.   While I completely understand and support the rationale for a workers’ compensation system, it is abused, misused, and costing companies millions of dollars, which ultimately cost consumers money.

Individuals, who file fraudulent claims, and the medical professionals associated with such claims, should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.   Penalties need to be substantially increased for individuals who file fraudulent claims.   Medical certifications need to be revoked for medical professionals who are associated with fraudulent workers compensation claims.   Put some teeth in the system – not just a slap on the wrist.

As a consumer, reduced workers compensation costs mean lower prices (or smaller increases).  I am in favor for saving money – what about you?

STAY SAFE!     **  Jeff  **   214-215-2434