Category

Workplace Injuries

Cannabis in the Workplace – It’s Decision-Making Time

By | Best Practices, Corporate culture, Driving Safety, Drugs in the Workplace, Employment Law, Worker Disability, Workplace Injuries

With cannabis (“pot”) having been decriminalized or legalized in more than 30 states—in many cases for recreational, personal use—employers are struggling with how to approach the issue. Cannabis has been touted as a medicinal aid for many conditions, from PTSD to Crohn’s disease, nausea, cancer, multiple sclerosis and more. Yet, cannabis can alter worker reaction times and cause other physical changes that could put the worker, the firm, and its customers at risk. In certain…

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Healthcare Workers Are at Significant Risk of Obesity, Yet Employers Must Not Discriminate

By | ADA, Best Practices, Risk Management & Safety, Worker Disability, Workplace Injuries

Healthcare workers are at a much higher risk of obesity than the majority of occupations, according to a 2014 study by the American Journal of Medicine. In the survey, the healthcare category, overall, ranked 5th out of 20 industries with an obesity rate of 32 percent. However, analysts suggested that figure was skewed due to the inclusion of health providers, such as doctors, who have very low obesity rates. Furthermore, ‘Healthcare support’ positions, including home…

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Reducing Work-Related Motor Vehicle Incidents

By | Driving Safety, Risk Management & Safety, Workplace Injuries

Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death and injury for people everywhere, and the workplace is no exception. According to the U.S. Occupational Health & Safety Administration (OSHA) Guidelines for Employers to Reduce Motor Vehicle Crashes: Every 12 minutes someone dies in a motor vehicle crash Every 10 seconds an injury occurs Every 5 seconds a crash occurs Many of these incidents occur during the workday or during the commute to and from work….

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Driving Without Incident: Strategies that May Surprise You

By | Best Practices, News, Risk Management & Safety, Workplace Injuries

We hear a lot about the dangers of drunk driving, but did you know it is only the Number 3 cause of accidents? The Number 1 cause, by far, is distracted driving. Per a study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI), 80 percent of automobile accidents and 65 percent of near-accidents involve some form of driver distraction within three seconds of the incident. Although talking or…

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The Challenge of Employee Obesity: Recent Court Rulings Raise the Bar; Medical Journal Says Home Healthcare Workers Are at Significant Risk

By | Risk Management & Safety, Worker Disability, Workplace Injuries

A March 2018 court decision, Shell v. Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Company, has set a possible precedent for employers to be held liable in actions where they inadvertently classify an obese individual as disabled by making health assumptions based on weight. Per the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) obesity is not a protected status under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) unless the obesity both is outside of a “normal” range and results from…

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Top 10 OSHA Violations for 2017—Is Your Firm Safe from Them?

By | Employment Law, OSHA Regulations, Policies and Procedures, Risk Management & Safety, Workplace Injuries

At the National Safety Council’s September, 2017 Congress and Expo in Indianapolis, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced the top 10 cited violations for 2017.  As you might expect, the number one violation—fall protection—reflects the top cause of workplace injuries—falls. The next three—hazard protection, scaffolding protection and respiratory protection—also related to likely causes of workplace injuries. This list is a reminder to employers that workplace safety is a top priority, and that safety…

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Reasonable Accommodation—Maintain A Paper Trail, and Don’t Assume Anything

By | Best Practices, Risk Management & Safety, Workplace Injuries

One of the most complex issues for employers is the definition of reasonable accommodation. Per the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, reasonable accommodation is “any change to a job, the work environment, or the way things are usually done that allows an individual with a disability to apply for a job, perform job functions, or enjoy equal access to benefits available to other individuals in the workplace.” Evaluating disabled job candidates equitably is difficult enough,…

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Workplace Injuries Are Costing Firms a Fortune

By | News, Risk Management & Safety, Workplace Injuries

Despite decreasing over the past decade, disabling, non-fatal injuries in the U.S. workplace still cost employers approximately $60 billion in direct compensation costs, which equates to $1 billion each week, per the 2017 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index. Direct costs are those that directly impact the bottom line, including workers’ compensation payments, medical expenses and costs for legal services. The index, which ranks the top 10 causes of disabling work-related injuries and their direct costs…

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