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Workers’ Compensation

OSHA concerned about construction suicides, drug overdoses

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The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration is increasingly concerned about suicides and opioid-related deaths in the construction sector, according to agency officials. The construction sector has one of the highest rates of occupational fatalities, with a rate of 9.5 fatalities per 100,000 workers and was responsible for 18.9% of the 5,147 workplace fatalities that occurred in 2017, according to…

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Judge says won’t let opioid defendants use slow federal process to ‘avoid litigating’ opioid claims in IL court

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An organization which helps Illinois local governments pool their workers’ compensation insurance has won the chance to sidestep the federal courts’ “black hole” as it pursues its own legal claims against the makers and distributors of so-called opioid painkillers. On July 15, rather than waiting on others in the federal judiciary to decide what to do with the case, U.S….

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Bill aims to require OSHA to develop heat standard

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A House of Representatives bill would direct the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration to adopt a standard to prevent occupational exposure to excessive heat in both indoor and outdoor environments. However, some observers say it is unnecessary, given that OSHA can issue its own regulations. Rep. Judy Chu, D-Calif., and Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva, D-Ariz., on Wednesday introduced the…

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NIOSH develops exposure management strategy for harmful chemicals

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The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has released a strategy for managing potentially harmful chemicals that would assign them into categories to help protect workers. A vast number of chemical substances in commerce do not have occupational exposure limits, meaning that workers may be exposed to these substances at potentially harmful levels, John Howard, director of NIOSH, said…

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Gig economy expected to shake up workers comp: NCCI

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The number of workers who fall outside of workers compensation is likely to rise in the future, potentially impacting workers compensation, according to a report released Thursday by the National Council on Compensation Insurance. The Boca Raton, Florida-based NCCI released its quarterly economics briefing, which revealed that more people are relying on nontraditional work as a secondary source of income,…

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Illinois Metal Treating Facility Cited

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The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Hudapack Metal Treating of Illinois Inc. – based in Glendale Heights, Illinois – for 21 serious health and safety violations. The company faces penalties of $181,662. OSHA inspected the company in December 2018 after an employee was electrocuted while using a damaged portable lamp when cleaning the…

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Comp drug spend decreases in most study states: WCRI

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Workers compensation payments in all drug categories — including opioids — dropped in 25 of 27 states studied by the Workers Compensation Research Institute over the last three years, and dermatological agents are making up a larger percentage of the drug spend in many states. Researchers at the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based WCRI evaluated workers compensation drug payments in the first quarters…

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Appeals court: Woman’s suit OK questioning if handicap space painted on pavement caused slip-and-fall

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A state appeals panel has revived a lawsuit brought by a woman who alleges she slipped and fell at a Lakeview gas station on an icy patch atop a handicap symbol emblazoned on pavement, which she said was designed in such a way that it would become unnaturally slippery and dangerous. Although the case was tossed out in Cook County…

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Chicago mayor announces reforms to city’s comp system

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Chicago’s mayor plans to impose “sweeping” reforms to the city’s workers compensation program by partnering with insurer Gallagher Bassett Services Inc. Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Thursday announced the city has contracted with Rolling Meadows, Illinois-based Gallagher Bassett to implement changes to the workers comp system that aim to improve services for injured workers and reduce fraud, waste and abuse in…

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