Five Things You Need to Know: Monday Edition
By 01/09/2017 07:00:00
Rates Down in Louisiana
- Workers' Compensation rates in Louisiana are on the decline for the fourth year in a row. "The Louisiana Department of Insurance has approved a rate filing from the National Council on Compensation Insurance for a statewide decrease of 9.8% in workers’ compensation rates," according to the Business Buzz section of the Shreveport Times. Lower claims can be attributed to less nonfatal injuries and illnesses on the job. According to a yearly survey by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, incidents decreased from 40,000 in 2005 to 26,000 in 2015 for private industry workers. "The total Louisiana workers’ compensation market is estimated to be more than $950 million in total premium," the Shreveport Times writes.
New York Shifts Focus to Ride-Hailing Drivers
- Gov. Andrew Cuomo spoke to New York on Sunday in Albany, addressing some of his State of the State priorities. One of his topics included workers' compensation protection for ride-hailing drivers, according to the Buffalo News. Reporter Tom Precious writes, "His plan would not require Uber and others to pay for those costs, but would charge consumers a 2.5 percent surcharge on each ride." Multiple ride-hailing-related bills have already been drafted for New York's 2017 legislative season. Other issues include the question of background checks and auto insurance liability coverage for taxi companies vs. companies such as Uber and Lyft.
Danger in Arkansas: Transportation-Related Deaths on the Rise
- Arkansas is one of 21 states with a increase in work-related deaths, according to the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (conducted by the Arkansas Department of Labor, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics). Transportation-related deaths make up a majority of the state's 74 work-related fatalities in 2015, up from 67 in 2014, according to the Times Record. The 2015 national fatalities total was 4,836. Reporter John Lovett writes, "More than half, 55 percent, of the 74 work-related fatal injuries in Arkansas for 2015 were the result of transportation incidents. There were 33 transportation deaths in 2014 and 41 in 2015." What was the second most deadly job hazard? Falls.
OSHA Looks at Dental Safety
- Risks can be high in dental offices both from a patient and staff member perspective. According to Dental Economics, dental practice inspections by Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) are on the rise in recent years. Lee Law Offices, P.A. out of North Carolina writes, "In spite of this wide range of issues, OSHA doesn’t have any specific standards when it comes to dentistry. Some of the dangers that would apply to dentistry are addressed in general industry standards." Physical risks can include blood-borne pathogen and chemical agent exposure, excessive noise and workplace violence. Psychological risks can include difficult patients and large workloads.
Workers' Compensation Fraud in California
- Fraud is an issue every state battles in some sort of capacity on a daily basis. California is no stranger to this fraud, and has made steps to counteract it. Sacks & Zolons LLP chose to elaborate on this topic in their blog this weekend. According to the California Department of Insurance, the Workers' Compensation Fraud Program was born in 1991 to combat reports of false or exaggerated injuries. Sacks & Zolons writes, "In just a one year span California’s fraud division was responsible for the arrest of 240 workers suspected of fraud, and estimates that possible losses could have amounted to $277,032,462. Additionally, the district attorney’s office was involved in 1,409 fraud cases during that same time period, which culminated in the conviction of 650 individuals." The Fraud Assessment Commission was created to assist in funding for proper fraud review and potential prosecution.