Five Things You Need to Know: 7/17, Tuesday Edition


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1) WA: Asbestos Removal Co. Hit with Workplace Safety Citations and Fines 

Above & Beyond Asbestos Removal, based in Edmonds, has been fined up to $229,700 and charged with multiple citations for “improper handling of asbestos,” according to a news release on the Washington State Dept. of Labor & Industries website. “…In both (inspection) cases, the workers did not use proper safety equipment, required air sampling was not performed, and asbestos-containing material was left exposed to the public and was improperly taken through public areas. Asbestos-containing dust can harm both workers and the public until it is eliminated,” per the article. The window for Asbestos Removal Co. to appeal is a little more than two weeks.   

2) MA: Gubernatorial Campaign Committee Could be Lacking Work Comp Coverage

Democrat Bob Massie is running for Governor in Massachusetts, and it’s possible his Friends of Bob Massie campaign staff aren’t covered by workers’ compensation, writes Joshua Miller of the Boston Globe. When Spokesperson Charlie Pearce, of the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development, was asked by the Globe about the issue, he seems to have confirmed it. “…Our records indicate that the Friends of Bob Massie Committee does not currently appear to have a workers’ compensation policy in place. This matter has been referred to the Department of Industrial Accidents Investigative Unit for further inquiry,” writes Miller.

3) More Opioid Prescribing Guidelines Announced in PA

The state of Pennsylvania has a big problem, along with the rest of the U.S. The opioid crisis has hit everywhere, and Pennsylvania sits at the at the third spot for “…highest percentage of injured workers who became long-term opioid users,” according to a study referenced by state Secretary of Health Rachel Levine at a press conference, writes J.D. Prose of The Times Online. In efforts to aid in fighting the crisis, the state governor’s administration has initiated new prescribing guidelines through its Opioid Prescribing Guidelines Task Force. Gov. Tom Wolf talked about the study as well, “…and also noted that Pennsylvania had more than 17,000 workers’ compensation claims made in 2017,” writes Prose. Gov. Wolf “…re-issued his opioid emergency declaration for the state, which he initially declared in January.” Levine has also said the work comp prescription guidelines weren’t put in place to “…replace clinical judgement,” but perform alongside it.

4) PA: Volunteers with Fire/Ambulance Companies Could See Work Comp Coverage with New Bill

A newly introduced bill could help fire/ambulance volunteers receive work comp benefits if hurt while performing on-the-job tasks, according to WHTM (ABC 27). “…State Sens. Randy Vulakovich (R-Allegheny) and Scott Martin (R-Lancaster) said their bill would settle an ongoing debate and clarify that volunteers qualify for coverage,” per the article. “…The senators said their legislation was developed after a hearing on the issue before the Senate Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee.”

5) Chronwell to Introduce New App in CA, with Intentions to Help Farm Workers Hurt on the Job

Chronwell, with headquarters in Fort Lauderdale, FL, has introduced a new application, as its pilot program begins with Cream of the Crop Cos, according to Insurance Journal. “…ChronWell, a mobile platform for the workers’ comp industry, announced on Monday that it will launch its pilot program with CFM utilizing hybrid human/artificial intelligence technology designed to help workers recover and return to work faster at a lower cost to the employer,” per the article. CFM involves about 90,000 farmer members that self-insure, based on a community “pooling of resources.”


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