Keeping Volunteers Safe During Hurricane Recovery Efforts

I had not seen a good plain English guide for volunteers who come into a hurricane area to do recovery work, so I combined a lot of OSHA and industry tips into one document: Hurricane crew safety.   I hope it is helpful.

Here in Houston, people are starting to put their lives back together.  With more than 185,000 homes damaged on the Gulf Coast, recovery will take a while.   Now Irma threatens to impact thousands of people in Florida.

Continue reading “Keeping Volunteers Safe During Hurricane Recovery Efforts”

Half Of Your Most Expensive Workers Comp Cases May Be Misdiagnosed!

How much of your company budget for workplace injuries is going to fix injuries that are misdiagnosed in the initial phase? A new study by a consulting group called “Best Doctors” estimates that more than 20% of on-the-job injuries may be misdiagnosed and that number climbs to 50% for the most expensive workers compensation case.   All told, the group believes that American industry spends $15 billion a year on cases that were misdiagnosed.  You can review the study here.

Here are a few of the ways that Best Doctors says misdiagnosis costs companies: Continue reading “Half Of Your Most Expensive Workers Comp Cases May Be Misdiagnosed!”

Why Getting In Workers’ Heads May Be Key to Reducing Injury Impact

When many companies think about managing workplace injuries, they may think about OSHA reporting rules, light duty and avoiding litigation, but the real key to improving outcomes and holding down costs is to get inside the worker’s head, according to a new study.

A white paper looks at the RMS Workers’ Compensation Benchmarking Study for 2016, which asked companies to rank the biggest obstacles to improving claim outcomes.   The number one obstacle wasn’t lawsuits, return-to-work problems or late reporting of injuries (although those were high on the list).  The top problem was addressing what the study calls “Psychosocial Roadblocks.” Continue reading “Why Getting In Workers’ Heads May Be Key to Reducing Injury Impact”

Operating Procedures Presentation @ ASSE Bayou Chapter

It was a pleasure and an honor to be able to present at the Bayou Chapter of ASSE at Nicholls State in Thibodeaux yesterday.    I was very impressed with the group, the level of experience and expertise in the membership and the energetic leadership for the chapter.    For anyone who hasn’t visited Nicholls State, I would also add that the school’s Petroleum Engineering Technology and Safety Management is a hidden gem.

My talk was on the importance of operating procedures as a part of a compliant SEMS program and as a underused safety tool.  If you would like more information on the subject, contact me at info@lifelinestrategies.com.

Should Workers Comp Cover Injury from a “Bad Trip?”

What a long strange trip its been when it comes to the advent of legalized (at least at the state level) marijuana.   Pot use has come up over and  over in the area of workers compensation.  Should medicinal use be covered?  Is use at the time of an injury a workers comp deal-killer?

But even among all of these new issues, this case stands out as a head-scratcher.   Continue reading “Should Workers Comp Cover Injury from a “Bad Trip?””

Oil Prices: What Lower For Longer Means

Companies that have been through the brutal downturn in oil are coming to realize that what we thought would be a boom is sounding more like a pop.   Even though we are clearly in a recovery, prices have been stuck in a narrow range (low-to-mid $50’s for West Texas Intermediate) for more than three months.  The slogan has become Lower for Longer and industry needs to think through what that means, including safety departments.

Continue reading “Oil Prices: What Lower For Longer Means”

The Future of OSHA: End of The Shame Game?

The practice has been called Name and Shame or just The Shame Game.   Under the Obama Administration, OSHA would publicize large fines on businesses, usually when the fines were levied. The idea was that the publicity would do as much as a fine to encourage businesses to adopt safer practices.

In December for example, OSHA put out 30 news releases identifying companies that had been cited for safety violations.  For the first three weeks of January, OSHA put out 16 news releases.  And then suddenly, the news releases stopped….right before Donald Trump’s Inauguration.   OSHA is still fining violators; about 50 have been cited since the last public news release.  The citations are still being posted on the OSHA website.  However, OSHA is not going out of its way to call out the violators publicly. Continue reading “The Future of OSHA: End of The Shame Game?”