Five Things You Need to Know: 2/27, Monday Edition

1) OH Winery Utilizes 2016 Safety Grant
Buckeye Lake Winery in Thornville, OH installed a safety system after receiving a $40,000 Safety Intervention Grant from the state Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) last year, according to The Buckeye Lake Beacon. The BWC Administrator/CEO Sarah Morrison visited the winery last week to check out the catwalk, pallet lift, and guard rails/stairs that reduced/eliminated a need for ladders/forklifts. “Buckeye Lake Winery knows that investing in workplace safety is smart business and the right thing to do for workers,” Morrison said in the article. “Greater safety means fewer injuries and a more stable workforce. I urge other Ohio employers to join this winery and BWC in creating a culture of safety across this state.”
2) OH Norton Employee a Contender for Safety Award
Paul Hunt, an employee with Norton-based ICP Adhesives & Sealants, formerly known as Fomo Products Inc., has come up with a way to prevent large spill and slip situations, writes Katie Byard of the Akron Beacon Journal/ "Hunt, a process improvement engineer who said he has a 'knack for tinkering,' used spare parts in the plant’s maintenance department to come up with a solution to the problem," according to the article. "Now, his innovation — an improved clamping system — is a finalist for a 2017 Safety Innovation Award bestowed by the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (OWC)." He will go to the OWC Safety Congress & Expo in Columbus to present March 8-10. First place will be awarded $6,000.
3) NJ Fire Captain Caught Shoveling Snow While on Workers' Comp Benefits
A Paterson, NJ fire captain has been fired after being caught on camera shoveling snow "for months" while on injury leave, writes Jayed Rahman of the Paterson Times. "Fire Captain James Reyes was terminated following a February 17th, 2017 decision rendered by hearing officer Philip H. Mizzone, a former Passaic County Superior Court judge," according to the article. "The city brought administrative charges against Reyes after surveillance footage revealed he was allegedly active, shoveling snow, bending, lifting, and carrying while on leave from work due to work-related injuries, according to city officials." The cause of the captain's injuries are unknown, and he couldn't be reached before publication. "Reyes has worked for the city’s fire department for almost 25 years. His salary was $148,922, according to city payroll records. It’s not clear how much money Reyes collected through workers' compensation," writes Rahman.
4) Parents in NY Support Increasing Wages for Daycare Workers
With daycare costing upwards of tens of thousands of dollars per year in some situations, parents in New York expect daycare workers to be paid more (including in workers' compensation benefits). Dave Carlin of CBS New York reported that when Ryan and Rebekah Weiner realized four of their daughter's daycare teachers quit at Bright Horizons due to low wages, they needed to say something. "They joined other parents in sending a letter to CEO David Lissy, objecting to the company’s infant and toddler teachers earning as little as $11 an hour, which they compared to compensation for fast food workers," writes Carlin. Although Bright Horizons said they pay more than the market average, better pay might mean the parents see higher costs. “If it meant that the people who took care of my daughter were paid a fair wage, yes!” Ryan said in the article. 

5) UPCOMING: Five Things to Watch For will attend the Workers' Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) annual conference March 2-3. Stay tuned for conference coverage. WCRI President and CEO Dr. John Ruser told in January that the conference “has no fluff.” With the short time given to get through a lot of information, he said the conference is a series of solid presentations representing a variety of research and policy issues. “The sessions and programs are timely, covering what most significantly will challenge workers’ compensation now and in years to come: impacts on health reform, the election, the ‘Grand Bargain,’ opioids and referendums across the country.” To read more about the conference and Dr. Ruser, click here.


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