Things you should know

Inflammation causes employees to be away from work longer than other common workplace injuries

The Traveler’s Injury Impact Report provides helpful information on the most common injuries and the costs of injuries. Although strains and sprains are the most common workplace injury, making up 30% of total claims, they lead injured employees to miss an average of 57 workdays per injury compared with inflammation, such as tendinitis, which causes an average of 91 days away from work. Fractures are more expensive than the other most common injuries, costing an average of $42,400 per claim.

 

Opioids: #1 prescribed drug in California; 8.4% of worker comp recipients prescribed opioids also take illegal drugs

  • In a report by the California Workers’ Compensation Institute, studies show that although there is an increased awareness of the dangers in prescribing opioid painkillers due to their addictive quality, they still were the #1 prescribed drug, making up 27.2% of total prescriptions in the state workers’ comp system in 2014.
  • Baltimore-based pain medication monitoring firm Ameritox Ltd.’ conducted an observational study of more than 450,000 urine samples submitted for testing between January 2013 and July 2015. Workers’ compensation was the primary payer for 22,525 of the 450,081 patients included in the study. The urine tests paid for by workers’ comp showed use of illicit substances 8.4% of the time.

Missouri – State prescription drug monitoring program dies in Senate

Missouri’s legislative session ended May 13, leaving a bill that would have enacted a statewide prescription drug-monitoring program to die in the Senate. It’s the only state without such a program.

Report: more employers buying into a healthy culture as a business strategy

U.S. employers are redefining workforce health with an emphasis on workplace culture over program design. By 2018, 94% expect to have a workplace culture that promotes employee well-being to get workers engaged in their health, according to the analysis by Willis Towers Watson P.L.C.

NIOSH releases new edition of Manual of Analytical Methods

NIOSH has released the fifth edition, and first exclusively electronic version, of its Manual of Analytical Methods. The manual is a collection of methods for sampling and analyzing toxins in workplace air and surfaces, as well as in the blood and urine of exposed workers.

Distance between snacks and beverages at work reduces snacking

A study from researchers at Saint Joseph’s University suggests workers engage in more mindless snacking when food and beverage stations are in close proximity to each other. Researchers observed about 400 workers in the break room of a Google office in New York that offers free snacks and beverages to employees.A beverage station was placed about 6 feet from a snack bar containing items such as cookies, chips and fruit and over a seven day period about 21 percent grabbed a food item. A second beverage station was placed about 17 feet from the snack bar and over the same period only 12 percent grabbed a snack.

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