Latest news on personal injury and workers’ compensation.

Workers comp medical cost trends vary: WCRI

Medical payments for workers compensation claims grew in several states between 2012 and 2017, but legislative changes in some states have reduced comp payments, according to studies released Thursday by the Workers Compensation Research Institute. The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based WCRI examined trends in payments, prices and utilization of medical care for injured workers in 18 states, representing more than 60% of…

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Opioids cost employers $96B in lost productivity: Study

U.S. employers lost $96 billion in lost productivity costs between 2015 and 2018 due to the opioid epidemic, according to a study released Tuesday by the Society of Actuaries. The Schaumburg, Illinois-based association concluded that costs associated with absenteeism, reduced labor force participation, opioid-related incarceration and employer costs for workers compensation and disability benefits make up 15% of total costs…

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OSHA proposes beryllium standard changes

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration has proposed changes to its current beryllium standards in the shipyard and construction industries, the agency announced this week. The proposed changes will ensure consistency with general industry standards based on the agency’s July 2017 final rule clarifying requirements for materials containing trace amounts of beryllium, according to an OSHA news release. The…

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Illinois Department of Labor Releases Top 5 Safety Violations for Illinois Fire Departments

Worker safety is the primary mission of the Illinois Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), a division of the Illinois Department of Labor. Documenting dangers is one way to avoid them in the future. With that in mind, Illinois OSHA is releasing the Top 5 safety violations Illinois fire departments received in fiscal year 2019. “We hope that by pointing…

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Reviews of psych claims in comp increase

Requests for independent medical examinations for workers compensation claims with a psychological condition are rising, in part due to greater awareness of post-traumatic stress disorder and an increase in workers seeking treatment for depression and anxiety in conjunction with a physical injury, experts say. While exact numbers are hard to pin down and the increases vary by state, psych IMEs…

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Olin Corp. asks for toxic chemical action dismissal, claims covered under work comp statutes

A widow is barred from taking action over the death of her husband because the claim falls under the “exclusive remedy” provisions of Illinois’ workers’ compensation statutes, the deceased man’s former employer argues. Cathleen Shelton, on behalf of the estate of her husband, Michael, filed suit against Olin Corporation, claiming the company failed in its duty of care by exposing…

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