Archive | May, 2012

Study Says Cal/OSHA Inspections Do No Harm

27 May

Are Cal/OSHA and other safety regulations bad for business? Not according to a just-released study by economic researchers from the University of California at Berkeley, Harvard University and Boston University.

Comparing companies that received random Cal/OSHA high-hazard inspections with those also on the Highest Hazard Employer list, but not inspected, employers receiving attention from the Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) experienced an almost 10% decline in injuries and illnesses and a 26% reduction in injury cost.

These gains did not take a toll on business, however, the researchers report. “We find no evidence that these improvements came at the expense of employment, sales, credit ratings for firm survival,” they say. Continue reading

Are You Paying the Price of Failing to Comply?

23 May

For many employers, the difficult economy seems to continue – regardless of the news stories about a slow recovery from the recession.  Struggling with these challenges, along with all of the pressures of time, competitive demands, etc. seem to take some much attention and effort that some compliance steps with employment and safety laws can be forgotten. 

After all, who has time to train, when you are working so hard just to finds sales?  Why is it so important to have “start and stop” time records when you are paying employees anyway?  Why do the details of the wage and hour laws or OSHA matter?  Do they make you any money?

Well- just like the FRAM commercials used to day, “pay me know or pay me later”.  Only in failing to comply with these lows, later is often not only quite expensive but painful as well.  Continue reading

Cal/OSHA – Written Safety Plans Still Most Violated Regulations

21 May

The annual report from Cal/OSHA once again indicates that the Injury & Illness Prevention Program, a requirement of every single California employer, continues to be the most Cited Cal/OSHA regulations for violations. The general industry and construction industry IIPP rules (GISO Sec. 3203 and Sec. 1509) accounted for almost 2,500 violations in the past year.

Whenever Cal/OSHA inspects a workplace (about 40,000 times a year) the very first thing the Cal/OSHA inspector asks for if the company’s IIPP. Even if the company has one, are they following it and is it effective?

Have they any records of hazard inspections in the past 12 months. Are there any records of safety training in the past 12 months? If employees are aced, do they know the company has a safety plan? If there has been a work injury in the past 3 years, is there a record of any accident investigation? All these are required elements of an effective Injury & Illness Prevention Program.

If you need help reviewing your company’s plan, or in preparing one, just send an e-mail to DonDressler1@hotmail.com

How Can You Measure Safety at Your Company?

17 May

There are many ways to measure safety. 

  • Have injuries decreased?
  • Has exposure to potential hazards decreased?
  • Have attitudes changed? This is hard to gauge unless surveys and open discussions are conducted and recorded.
  • Have changes been made to increase safety?

Consider this: Do you feel safe at work? If the answer “no,” then you’ve got your work cut out for you.  If you would like help to improve things, just e-mail DonDressler1@hotmail.com.  I would be happy to send to a FREE Guide to writing your company’s written safety plan, and can offer more help if you need.

With thanks to  Jack Rubinger, jarubinger@graphicproducts.com for the ideas of this article.

Five Keys to Controlling Your Workers’ Comp Ex Mod

11 May

Employers usually get the experience modification they earn, even if they don’t know how to act to control it. Here are several ways to controll workers’ compensation claims, and thus your ex mod.

  1. File  the First Report of Injury – within 24 hours
  2. Physician’s network – know and control where  the employee  receives medical care
  3. Return to work program – in 99% of the instances, have the employee back to work the very next day, and always have the employee back on a job as soon as possible.
  4. Keep informed about employee treatment by their  Doctor, keep in touch with the claims adjuster – reduces malingering and fraud
  5. Making workers’ comp a priority – do you just write a check to the or insurance company.

In a study of 7,000 Workers’ Compensation files, that if an employer does not do just one of #’s 1 – 4, the claim cost will increase by 400%.

Don Dressler Consulting has had excellent sucess in helping clients lower ex mods.  Email DonDressler1@hotmail.com to learn more.

Workplace Fatalities in California Drop 20% – Look At 3 Leading Causes:

10 May

Workplace fatalities in California decreased by 20% in 2010 from the prior year, according to the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries released by the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. In 2010, there were 326 reported workplace occupational deaths, down from 409 in 2009.

The leading cause of workplace fatalities in California was transportation or driving accidents (98 of the 326 deaths.  In close second place as a cause was workplace violence with 80 deaths.  Coming in 3rd place were slips and falls, accounting for 66 occupational deaths in California in 2010.

Ironically, the government employee sector had the most workplace deaths (44 ) followed by transportation and warehousing (43).  Perhaps Cal/OSHA should spend more time in the public sector and less time focusing on private employers?

What To Do After A Vehicle Accident

10 May

Employers who have trucks on the road should make sure their drivers know the proper procedures for what to do if there is an accident. Basic rules include the following:

  • Drivers should immediately stop their vehicle after an accident of any kind. They should never leave the scene of an accident.
  • Drivers should immediately activate flashers. If it’s possible to move the truck, it should be pulled off the road or as far to the side as possible to prevent further collisions.
  • If the driver is injured, he or she should remain in cab (unless necessary for safety) and wait for emergency medical assistance to arrive. Moving could cause further injury.
  • If the driver is uninjured, he or she should check the accident scene for others who might be injured.
  • Drivers should notify authorities, calling 911 or the highway patrol.
  • It’s also important to take steps to prevent further collisions and injuries. Uninjured drivers should set out reflective triangles or flares to warn other traffic.
  • In some cases it may be necessary to deal with an emergency situation such as a fire or hazardous material spill. Drivers should check their vehicle to make sure no emergency situation exists.
  • Drivers should also try to assess any damage to the vehicle and/or the cargo.
  • Drivers should report the accident to their employer at the earliest opportunity, answer questions, and provide the following information:
    • Location of the accident
    • description of the driver’s condition—for example, OK or injured, able to continue driving, and so on.
    • Extent of damage to vehicle and/or cargo
    • Any assistance needed—for example, a tow truck or another truck to transfer cargo 

Continue reading

New Website for California Injured Workers From CA Dept. of Work. Comp

8 May

The California Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) has launched a new and improved website for injured workers. The site guides workers through the workers’ compensation process from the point of injury through resolution. The goal is to provide clear and relevant information in a user-friendly format.  The site is at: http://www.dir.ca.gov/dwc/InjuredWorker.htm,

“When a worker is hurt on the job, they need more than a doctor. They need accurate information and assistance, and they need it quickly,” said DWC Administrative Director Rosa Moran. “Too often injured workers are unaware of their rights or how to proceed with their claim. The new site will take them through the entire process in clear and precise language.”

The new Web pages are the latest effort by DWC to assist workers, employers and claims administrators. Online users can find information about benefits and procedures with links to frequently asked questions as well as to the Information and Assistance offices. The fact sheets and guides available in printed form at the DWC’s 24 district offices are also available on the division’s website. The new Web pages will soon be available in Spanish.

Thanks to Floyd, Skeren & Kelly, LLP for this information, see them at www.fsklaw.com

Monitor Your Workers’ Compensation Loss Reports To Improve Safety

7 May

The loss reports provided by your workers’ compensation insurer can be one of the most helpful tools in improving safety.

Of course, you are keeping a complete OSHA injury log 300, but the loss report from your insurance carrier provides important additional information – such as – the dollar value of each injury, a summary of open and closed claims, a summary of body parts involved in injuries, and usually a short recap of the activity involved in the injury.

Also, by reviewing when injuries occured, how how in took to report them, and whether some employees are involved in multiple injuries (a frequent occurance) you can gain additional insight into how to focus your safety efforts.

If you would like some help in analysis of your loss reports, just send an e-mail to DonDressler1@hotmail.com and I would be glad to provide a FREE initial visit to most who ask.

The Number 1 Cause of Work Related Deaths Is …

5 May

(Thanks to Jon Wonder of the Insurance Company of the West who wrote this article May 1, 2012)

Motor vehicle crashes are among the top three causes of death throughout a person’s lifetime and are, in fact, the number one cause of death in the United States for 3 to 34-year-olds. They also are the number one cause of work-related deaths. An average of 115 people die each day, one every 13 minutes from vehicle crashes.

Each year since 1994, between 39,000 and 46,000 people have been killed in motor vehicle crashes. In over 31% of accident cases, speeding was the cause of the crash. The factors most often noted in multiple-vehicle crashes were driving too fast for conditions, exceeding the speed limit, and following too closely. In addition to the thousands of fatalities, many more people suffer serious life-changing injuries in motor vehicle crashes. More than 2.2 million injuries resulted from vehicle crashes in 2008 alone.

These statistics stress the importance or reminding your drivers to remain alert and aware when they are behind the wheel. This month, we will continue to provide information regarding distracted driving and we encourage you to share this information with your employees.

For additional information on the dangers of distracted driving please visit the following websites: