Five Things You Need to Know: 3/15, Wednesday Edition

                               

1) REMINDER: Upgraded CompNewsNetwork Went Live This Week (Update your bookmarks!)

A new and improved news center went live on Monday, March 13, 2017. The upgraded news area features two new sections featuring original content and opinions. The two sections are called “Featured News” and “The Experts View." Previous features of the CompNewsNetwork, current news, Workers’ Comp Blogwire, From Bob’s Cluttered Desk, and more are still offered. The new streamlined look will be the first phase of a complete redesign for the entire website. New Premium Services require user registration in order to access content, but it remains a free service. All existing areas before the upgrade are freely available without registration. All content and articles from the current system are available in the new format. The old CompNewsNetwork area will remain accessible for a limited time. Click here to see the new site, and here to sign up!

2) Rousmaniere: Liberty Mutual Transformed

Dear assembled guests: I have happily looked forward to today, March 1, 2025, when Liberty Mutual sells to the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities its corporate quarters on Berkeley Street in Boston. The token price of one bitcoin, valued at $10,000, reflects the transformation of our great company into a truly 21st Century enterprise. To read more, click Here.

3) NJ Bill to Give Corrections Officers Full Benefits if Attacked by Inmates Heads to Governor's Desk

S596, a New Jersey bill created to give corrections officers full benefits if they are attacked on the job by inmates, is headed to Gov. Chris Christie's desk this week, writes S.P. Sullivan of NJ Advance Media (NJ.com). "Currently, officers injured in on-duty attacks receive only workers' compensation, which is less than their full salary. The measure would bring their pay in line with many police agencies in the state, who provide full pay for those hurt in the line of duty," according to the article. A push for reforms goes back multiple years, including a staged "mock-funeral" two years ago with pall bearers masked as Christie himself. "Advocates for the bill say inmate attacks are far more serious than the usual workplace slip-and-fall and officers shouldn't be forced to take a pay cut if sidelined by workplace violence," writes Sullivan. Along with officers/employees who deal directly with inmates, the bill would cover other state law enforcement officers who don't currently receive these benefits, including state park officers, campus police and medical security officers, according to the article.

4) AZ Pool Contractors Look to Protect Clients from 'Fly-by-Night' Operations
 
A number of pool contractors out of Phoenix, AZ had their work cut out for them this week: Sway the House Commerce Committee to repeal a law created 15 years ago to protect homeowners from "fly-by-night pool contractors," writes Bob Christie of the Associated Press (The Tribune, San Luis Obispo, CA). "...The association representing pool builders wants to keep the law requiring payment schedules for pool construction. It passed 15 years ago after fly-by-night pool contractors ripped off homeowners across metro Phoenix by taking large deposits and never completing the work." Committee Chairman Jeff Weninger pulled the proposal for now, ."..saying he was working with the sponsor of Senate Bill 1116 to make changes addressing the contractors' concerns. Weninger declined to say if that part of the bill will be completely withdrawn," writes Christie.

5) Oregon On-the-Job Death Rates Increased by 30 Percent From 2015-2016
 
The Dept. of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS) released a preliminary report in March, with data showing Oregon deaths in 2016 had increased by more than 30 percent from 2015, writes Colin Fluxman of the SUN (Safety Unlimited News-Service). Deaths went from 41 in 2015 to 61 in 2016. "The new Workplace Fatalities in Oregon (WFO) program tracks on-the-job deaths, regardless of workers’ compensation status," according to the article. "As a result, the program now also includes workplace deaths involving self-employed people, City of Portland police and fire employees, federal employees and incidents occurring in Oregon to workers with out-of-state employers." DCBS has suggested that no conclusions be drawn on single-year fatality data. Fluxman noted that the WFO preliminary numbers will be finalized later in 2017.

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