Finding: Injured workers are more inclined to seek workers comp coverage to avoid out-of-pocket health expenses when “facing a substantial financial burden” of group health deductibles.
Finding: Prescription drug prices continue to increase, but there is lower utilization.
Finding: There are vast differences in states’ workers’ compensation treatment guidelines and how those guidelines are enforced.
Finding: NSAIDs overtake opioids as the top workers’ comp drug group; dermatologicals are most costly.
Finding: Certain job tasks may expose construction workers to silica dust at levels more than 10 times the permissible exposure limit set by OSHA.
Finding: Nearly 40 percent of pregnant nurses don’t wear protective gowns when administering powerful cancer drugs, putting their own health and that of their unborn babies at risk.
Finding: The effect of bullying and violence on the incidence of cardiovascular disease in the general population is comparable to other risk factors such as diabetes and alcohol drinking.
Finding: Topical creams were not effective in reducing pain in a study of 399 pain patients at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
NIOSH updates Sound Level Meter app
NIOSH has released an updated version of its free Sound Level meter app, designed to measure noise exposure in the workplace. It is available from the Apple App Store.
NIOSH releases software tool for hazard recognition training in mines
This new training tool is a beta release developed by NIOSH’s Mining Program. It is a PC-based software application that allows both novice and experienced miners to test their examination skills in a simulated, interactive environment with more than 30 panoramic photos from a real surface limestone mine, or with uploaded images taken by smartphones or digital cameras in their own mine in any sector.
Download a beta version of the EXAMiner software.
American Society of Safety Professionals issues guidance on workplace violence
The document, “How to Develop and Implement an Active Shooter/Armed Assailant Plan,” contains recommendations from more than 30 safety experts on how businesses can better protect themselves ahead of such incidents. There is a related free video and infographic.
NSC publishes Managing Fatigue
Managing Fatigue, gives employers specific, actionable guidance on implementing an effective fatigue risk management system.
NSC releases The State of Safety
The State of Safety assesses states’ safety efforts by examining laws, policies and regulations around issues that lead to the most preventable deaths and injuries. In addition to receiving an overall grade, states earned grades in three different sections:
- Road Safety
- Workplace Safety
- Home & Community Safety
NIOSH publishes new skin-hazard profiles for five chemicals
The new profiles are:
- Chlorinated camphere
- Sodium fluoroacetate
- The Division of Workers’ Compensation has given medical providers who treat injured California workers free online access to the state’s drug formulary and treatment guidelines.
- The Workers’ Compensation Agency has published its Health Care Services Rules and Fee Schedule, which took effect on Jan. 8. It includes a new definition and rule language regarding telemedicine services. The health care services rules and fee schedule may be found here, on page 238. More information
- Rules approved by the North Carolina Industrial Commission regarding workers’ comp settlement agreements, which were effective January 1, were published in the North Carolina Register on page 1583.
- Some 15 insurance carriers, including Pennsylvania’s largest workers’ compensation writer, have now agreed to retroactively cut rates, part of a do-over requested after a data-reporting error led to higher premiums last year.
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