Things you should know

CSB finalizes rule outlining accidental release reporting requirements

Although the CSB has been in existence for more than 20 years, it never promulgated a rule outlining accidental release reporting requirements as required by its statute. On Feb. 4, 2019, a court ordered the CSB to promulgate the rule within 12 months. Under the proposed rule, the owner or operator of a facility must submit accidental release reports to the Chemical Safety Board within eight hours of the release. The final rule extends by four hours the agency’s proposal of four hours due to several comments CSB received that were generally critical of the shorter timeframe.

NCCI launches Solutions web portal

The National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) launched a new Solutions web portal, which is part of NCCI’s Power Up program and is designed to assist industry stakeholders in decision making.

AmTrust’s 2019 Retail Risk report

In addition to comprehensive data on injury rates, types, and costs in the retail sector, AmTrust’s Retail Risk report offers several tips for retailers on how to make their businesses safer.

Some findings:

  • Lifting was the top reported injury type, accounting for 22% of claims and the highest total payout at $22 million.
  • The top three injuries with the highest average payouts were falls from ladders or scaffolding with an average $21,000 payout; repetitive motion with a $14,000 average payout; and motor vehicle collision with a $13,900 average payout.
  • Injuries that cause employees to file a lost-time claim resulted in an average of 24 days out of work.
  • Four types of businesses – meat, fish, and poultry retail sales; hardware stores; automobile parts and accessory stores; and beauty and hairstyling salons – were the most dangerous.
  • For men, the average cost of a claim totaled $11,641, while for women it was $7,030.

U-Haul implements nicotine-free workforce policy

Beginning Feb. 1 in 21 states U-Haul will not hire anyone who uses nicotine. The first in the field to implement such a nicotine-free workforce policy, U-Haul will not subject existing employees who smoke to the new rules.

Reducing sale of soda in workplace improved health: study

Researchers from the University of California studied 214 UCSF employees to determine if the school’s ban on the sale of soda positively impacted their health. Half of the participants were randomly selected to help them cut back on consumption, but all were allowed to buy soda elsewhere.

Over the course of the study, nearly 70% of the employees saw their waistlines recede, with all the participants losing an average of 0.8 inches. Additionally, workers who reduced their intake of soda and sugary beverages tended to have lower total cholesterol and improved insulin resistance.

FMCSA increases percentage rate for random drug testing of CMV drivers

Effective Jan. 1, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration doubled its minimum rate for random controlled substances testing to 50% of the average number of commercial motor vehicle driver positions.

State News


  • The Labor and Workforce Development Agency has launched a website intended to help employers and workers navigate the state’s recently enacted employment status law, A.B. 5.
  • new study from the Workers’ Compensation Bureau Insurance Rating Bureau (WCIRB), “Physical Medicine Treatments and Their Impact on Opioid Use and Lost Time in California Workers’ Compensation” shows that as physical medicine utilization increases, opioid utilization decreases.


  • The Workers’ Compensation Research Institute’s (WCRI) report on outcomes found that 16% of workers reported not returning to work for at least a one-month period predominantly due to the injury, and 20% reported no substantial return to work within one year of the injury.


  • WCRI’s report on outcomes found that 19 percent of workers had “big problems” getting the services that they or their provider wanted.


  • Registration for CompFile, an electronic filing system, is set to go live this week, and the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission is urging attorneys and law firms to comply. More information.


  • Health Commissioner recently authorized a significant expansion of medical cannabis usage to include those with “chronic pain” as well as macular degeneration. Currently, the most common qualifying condition to be eligible for medical cannabis is a diagnosis of “intractable pain.” For more information.


  • The Workers’ Compensation Court has posted changes to its Rules of Procedure, including new rules on filings, fee schedules, reports of injury and lump-sum settlement. For the revised, 99-page Rules of Procedure.

North Carolina

  • The Workers’ Compensation Research Institute’s (WCRI) “CompScope Medical Benchmarks, 20th Edition,” shows that medical payments per claim in the state have decreased year after year since 2014. The authors of the study attribute that to fee schedule changes in hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) and for nonhospital (professional) services.


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