Work Comp

March 15, 2019

The Daunting Challenge of Maintaining A Drug-Free Workplace

With a national opioid crisis that defies holistic solutions, the legalization of medicinal marijuana in more than 30 states and recreational marijuana in 10 states, increases in deadly overdoses in the workplace, changing state laws, confusion over OSHA’s anti-retaliatory drug testing rule, and concerns about medical privacy, no employer should think they are immune to the problem. In fact, according to the National Safety Council (NSC), 15.6% of American workers live with a substance disorder and The Hartford reports that 64% of HR professionals are ill-prepared to help a worker with an opioid addiction. These factors, coupled with a tight labor market and low unemployment, have led some employers to soften zero-tolerance policies for jobs where safety is not critical and there is a low […]
November 13, 2018

Preliminary list of top ten OSHA violations includes eye and face protection for first time

Preliminary list of top ten OSHA violations includes eye and face protection for first time While the preliminary list of the Top 10 violations for Fiscal Year 2018 (Oct. 1, 2017 – Sept. 30, 2018) remains largely unchanged from 2017, there is a newcomer in tenth place. Eye and face protection surpassed electrical – wiring methods, which dropped off the top ten. Also, fall protection – training requirements, which was a newcomer last FY moved up from #9 to #8. Topping the list for the fifth year in a row is fall protection, a general requirements standard, which saw a 19.7% increase in citations from the previous FY. There was a significant increase – 25.4% – in citations related to ladders and a 30.1% increase […]
December 15, 2017

Christmas Light Safety

Christmas is just around the corner and some of us still haven’t put up Christmas lights. For some of the single-story houses, a step ladder can do the job, but for others, an extension ladder is needed. Ladders use can be an everyday occurrence on a job site and we wanted to take this time to go over some things to remember when using extension ladders, along with care and maintenance.   Using the Ladder When selecting an extension ladder, know that the top of it must extend at least 3 feet above the roof eave. Ensure that you are not setting up an extension ladder upside down with the fly section at the bottom and the base section at the top, rung locks engaged. […]
June 1, 2017

FMLA and Workers’ Compensation – Common Questions Answered

FMLA and Workers’ Compensation – Common Questions Answered The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and state workers’ compensation laws may both cover an employee who suffers a serious health condition while on the job. The Department of Labor (DOL) has issued revised regulations that implement the FMLA. Though the interplay between the FMLA and workers’ compensation leaves was addressed within those regulations, a number of DOL letter rulings have also clarified the interaction of these laws. Does FMLA leave run concurrently with a workers’ compensation absence? The employee’s FMLA leave entitlement may run concurrently with a workers’ compensation absence when the injury is one that meets the criteria for a “serious health condition.” Thus, an employee could receive workers’ compensation benefits to replace […]
June 2, 2016

Are Your Work Comp Claims Properly Monitored?

As UNICO continues to be recognized as the workers’ compensation experts dedicated to lowering costs we are amazed at how many companies are not getting any assistance to help them ensure their open workers’ compensation claims are monitored properly. This can have a dramatic impact on how the NCCI experience modification factor is developed. When a workers’ compensation claim is submitted the adjuster will set up a reserve amount which is an estimate of what may be paid out for that claim. That reserve number may change as the claim develops and the adjuster learns more about the status of the injured employee. This reserve will likely be what the ultimate settlement may be which can be inflated. However, there are many cases where communication […]
May 25, 2016

Why Do Injured Employees Seek An Attorney?

A recent study found that if an injured employee seeks out legal representation for a workers’ compensation case, the costs will be much higher. Permanent disability claims involving attorneys, or 80% of permanent disability claims, averaged $66,208 in benefits and expenses, compared to $25,300 for claims that did not involve attorneys. Time away from work because of disability also was substantially higher and claims were slower to close. The severity of the injury, the claims process and the perception of the injured employee. While the correlation between severity of injury and attorney involvement is difficult to mitigate, employers can do a lot to minimize the other two factors. A Workers’ Compensation injury is not just a medical problem, there are complex psychological and social issues […]