Now Regarding IAIABC, a Clarification

06 Aug, 2018 Bob Wilson


It seems I inadvertently ruffled some feathers last week when I posted what was intended as a humorous article regarding the growth of SAWCA, the Southern Association of Workers’ Compensation Administrators. In that article I made some comparisons to that organization with another group, the International Association of Industrial Accident Boards and Commissions, the IAIABC. I heard from someone that I truly respect that the comparisons were viewed as unfair given the nature of the article. I really did not intend to offend anyone with that, and having apologized to the party in question, thought I should publicly clarify a few points.

My inability to see potential offense must be why the people at SAWCA are always “blessing my heart.” I did not understand that until now. The points that seemed to rankle some the most appear to be those where I referenced EDI and international influence. They may have also have had a problem with bacon being designated as preferable to fresh fruit; I’m just not sure on that point. 

In the SAWCA article I made the comparison that “Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) standards are the domain of the IAIABC, and SAWCA attendees and participants can be blissfully ignorant of the technobabble required to understand it.” With that comment I in no way intended to denigrate the importance of EDI. The IAIABC had the courage to tackle this nearly impossible project over two decades ago, and it has developed standards that have been helpful in the processing and management of important data for the industry. I say it is a nearly impossible task simply because it is a system that requires about 30 states to actually agree on something. In a world where some jurisdictions would struggle to agree that today is Monday, what they have accomplished is no small task. Their efforts should be respected.

Similarly, the international influence on the IAIABC offers balanced viewpoints and the sharing of best practices from around the world. In my post last week, I made the comment that SAWCA only needed to “concern themselves with domestic policies and issues. IAIABC generally takes a broader view of occupational issues and incorporates standards and policies that take into consideration their international members. SAWCA members must only deal with US proclivities, which is fine, since, damnit, we're Americans and we just know better, anyway.” Not surprisingly, that statement may not have been viewed favorably by some members of the IAIABC. 

I consider that segment to be an “over the top” example of my particular brand of humor. I employ that method at times when I am specifically intending that the statement NOT be taken seriously. It appears that I may have failed in this particular instance. International participation in discussions involving injury management, workplace safety and disability prevention are important, and this realm is a particular strength of the IAIABC. 

SAWCA and IAIABC are two different organizations, but both are important in facilitating communication and improvement for the workers’ compensation system. I did not intend, nor do I intend to declare that one organization is better than the other. They are both good groups; they just go about their business in different ways. I wanted to make that clarification and my position crystal clear, especially on the EDI and international points I have detailed. 

My stance on breakfast, however, remains unchanged. Bacon rules, baby, and it beats fresh fruit any day of the week. Even Monday’s; or days considered to be Monday-like depending on your particular jurisdictions point of view.

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