Things you should know

Holding multiple jobs increases injuries: Liberty Mutual

Researchers with the Liberty Mutual Research Institute’s Center for Injury Epidemiology have concluded that individuals who work multiple jobs – approximately 14 million U.S. residents – have a greater likelihood of injury than those holding a single job.

According to the findings published in the American Journal of Public Health, multiple jobs holders have a 27 percent higher rate of work-related injury and a 34 percent higher rate of non-work-related injury compared to single jobholders.Employers should be alert to the greater risk exposures of those who work multiple jobs.

Why the use of back surgery differs across states: study

Back pain is a critical issue in workers’ compensation, representing nearly one-fifth of the injuries. A new study from the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) found the probability of injured workers getting back surgery varies widely from state to state. Nearly 20 percent of injured workers with back pain had surgery in Oklahoma and Tennessee but less than 10 percent of workers in California and Florida with the same diagnoses had surgery.

Among the study’s many findings is that more surgery-intensive local practice norms, higher reimbursement rates for surgery, and more surgeons in an area each independently were associated with higher likelihoods that an injured worker had back surgery. The study analyzed workers who had work-related back injuries in 13 states: California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Texas.

NSC launches free cell phone policy assessment tool

The National Safety Council (NSC) has released a free Cell Phone Policy Assessment Tool to help employers keep workers safe from motor vehicle crashes, which are the leading cause of workplace death. The tool provides employers with instant feedback on their company’s policy on cell phone use while driving. Employers complete a short survey, and a report is generated showing how the policy matches up with best practices.

Recycling workers exposed to unnecessary hazards: report

A new report, released June 23 by anti-incinerator group GAIA, the Partnership for Working Families and the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health, found workers face hazards that include repetitive motion, extreme heat and cold, heavy machinery, and moving vehicles. Also, many recycling facilities rely on temporary workers, who have a greater risk of on-the-job injuries. The report authors recommended several measures to improve safety for workers at recycling facilities.

NIOSH provides hearing protection tips for musicians

NIOSH has released guidance to help protect those in the music industry.

Grain entrapments on the rise: report

Worker grain entrapments in the United States increased 15 percent in 2014, according to a report from Purdue University.

DOT updates drug and alcohol testing guidelines

The Department of Transportation (DOT) has issued updated employer guidelines on drug and alcohol testing.The updated guidelines include a new employee category, a new example of when to submit management information system reports and the removal of outdated resources for medical review officer training.

Kansas updates Workers’ Comp guide

The Kansas Department of Labor (KDOL) recently updated the Workers’ Compensation Practice and Procedure Guide to reflect 2011 and 2013 changes in the Kansas workers’ comp laws and regulations.

PEER unveils database on workplace chemical exposures

A new database from watchdog group Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) lists workplace chemical exposure readings taken during OSHA inspections.Users of the Worker Right-to-Know website can search for exposures by year, state, establishment type and substance.

NSC updates ‘Odds of Dying’

NSC has released its annual Odds of Dying list, which uses fatality data for the entire U.S. population to explain the average person’s lifetime odds of dying from various causes.

The list includes the odds of the following fatal events:

  • A motor vehicle crash (1 in 112 chance)
  • Overdosing on opioid prescription painkillers (1 in 234)
  • Walking down or crossing the street (1 in 704)
  • Complications from surgical or medical care (1,532)

NIOSH offers guidance on avoiding silica exposure from fiber-cement siding

Researchers have found that crystalline silica measurements dropped below the NIOSH recommended exposure limit when workers attached a regular shop vacuum to a dust-collecting circular saw. NIOSH has issued recommended controls pertaining to local exhaust ventilation systems, circular saws, circular saw blades, work practices and respirators.

Rheumatoid arthritis carries high costs for employers

Employees with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are 30 percent more likely to have work absences, leading to high excess costs for employers, reports a study in the June Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, official publication of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM).

Multiple chronic conditions on the rise

Adults who suffer from arthritis and other chronic health conditions may be more likely to miss work and have difficulty socializing, according to a study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The percentage of adults with two or more chronic health conditions increased to 25.5 percent in 2012 from 21.8 percent in 2001. Chronic health conditions included arthritis, hypertension, heart diseases, diabetes, cancer and asthma.


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