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Workers’ Compensation

Severity, cost of comp claims on the rise

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The workers compensation sector remains a relatively stable and profitable segment of the commercial insurance industry, but some claims are getting pricier and concerns over severity are rising. While a years-long focus on workplace safety and legislative changes has reined in workers comp costs, and the frequency of claims continues to decline, experts say a confluence of factors is driving…

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New employees account for more than a third of workplace injuries

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Thirty-five percent of workplace injuries occur during a worker’s first year on the job, regardless of age or experience, according to a report released Monday by Travelers Cos. Inc. The Hartford, Connecticut-based insurer analyzed more than 1.5 million workers compensation claims over a five-year period (2015-2019). Some of the most common causes of injuries in the first year included overexertion,…

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Prescriptions for opioid disorder meds on rise in comp

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Prescriptions for opioid use disorder medications are on the rise in workers compensation, a trend worth watching, experts say, as most of the drugs being prescribed — buprenorphines — are still considered opioids in some cases. Enlyte Group LLC said in its most recent drug trends report that prescriptions for drugs to manage opioid use disorder saw a 7.4% increase…

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Amazon, builders sued by delivery drivers over warehouse collapse during deadly tornado; Family of deceased driver Deandre Morrow among the plaintiffs

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Two new lawsuits were filed in Madison County Circuit Court against Amazon and the engineering and design companies that participated in the construction of the Edwardsville distribution center that partially collapsed during a deadly EF-3 tornado on Dec. 10. Attorneys Patrick King of MillerKing LLC in Alton and Benjamin O’Connor of Hilliard Martinez Gonzales LLP in Corpus Christi, Texas, filed…

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Illinois Contractor Faces $360,000 in Penalties Over OSHA Violations

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A Waukegan, Illinois contractor – with a history of violating federal safety standards and ignoring safety citations – was cited again by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for exposing workers to deadly fall hazards at two separate job sites in October 2021. Joshua Herion – who does business as ECS Roofing Professionals Inc. –…

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Repetitive motion injuries in remote work drive up comp claims

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When the pandemic first began, Dawn Watkins, director of integrated disability management at the Los Angeles Unified School District, used her ironing board as a makeshift standing desk. Overcoming ergonomics issues has only grown more important since then, she said in a presentation on Tuesday at Riskworld, the Risk & Insurance Management Society Inc.’s annual conference in San Francisco. “Some…

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Amazon’s surge in pandemic business led to increase in injuries

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A coalition of worker unions analyzed injury reports from Amazon Inc. warehouses and found that injuries among workers increased by 20% in the pandemic. The Strategic Organizing Center, a coalition of four labor unions, analyzed the injury data that Amazon submitted to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and found that in 2021, the serious injury rate at Amazon warehouses…

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Opioid use falls, but issues remain

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When the pandemic hit two years ago a years-long strategy in the workers compensation industry was controlling opioid prescriptions — a goal that has continued despite interruptions stemming from COVID-19 claims and disruptions. Experts say opioids in new injured worker claims are continuing to trend downward, as state-mandated formularies, monitoring programs and other protocols appear to be working to curb…

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States step up vocational comp coverage

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More states are aiming to require workers compensation coverage for those enrolled in career apprenticeships and technical schools. Most recently, Indiana, Oklahoma and Wyoming sought to join states where this coverage is required; California, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Tennessee and Texas have passed legislation that calls on local education agencies to provide workers compensation coverage for students participating in work-based learning,…

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Safety risks hit home for employers

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Remote and hybrid work arrangements, which were put in place when pandemic lockdowns forced many workers to stay home, have left employers with lingering safety-related concerns even as COVID-19 fades. Many ergonomics concerns related to remote work were well-known before the pandemic, but with home offices commonplace those issues demand an extra level of attention, sources say. And employers should…

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