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The New Impacts on Workers’ Comp for 2017

In our last post we discussed some of the that every employer should know.  This time, we are going to examine what factors contribute to the majority of today’s claims, and what that means for employers.  As these factors impact costs, understanding and recognizing them can protect your bottom line.  Ensure your business is protected with Workers’ Compensation Insurance, a fundamental part of our FabriCare Advantage Insuranceprogram, and ensure your policy is up-to-date and provides adequate coverage.

Drug testing post-accident.

In May 2016, OSHA published a final rule to “improve” the reporting and tracking of workplace injuries. While the rule imposes some new electronic reporting requirements, perhaps its most significant aspect is that it limits the reporting of results of certain post-accident drug testing.  This is not explicitly stated but falls under the provision that a procedure for reporting workplace injuries is not reasonable “if it would deter or discourage a reasonable employee from accurately reporting a workplace injury or illness”, states Industry Week.

Mandatory post-accident drug tests are considered violations as this process could deter accidents from being reported.  However, not all post-accident drug tests are prohibited.  However, if the policy is universal, and requires any type of incident to be followed by a drug test, the employer is likely in violation of OSHA rules.  In addition, the new rule requires that all post-accident drug testing identify impairment caused by the drug use, not just the presence of the drug, explains the article.

Use of opioids.

Studies have indicated that the over-prescription of opioids to treat workplace injuries has led to an increase in claim costs.  In addition, the use of these drugs has also been linked to an increase in risks while operating machinery under the influence of opioids.  What’s more, opioid use and abuse has also increased the chances that the employee will suffer more injuries.

Employers should work with their carriers, adjusters and workers’ compensation attorneys to utilize CDC issued guidelines to reduce the cost of opioids, recommends Industry Week.

About Irving Weber Associates

At Irving Weber Associates, we understand what it takes to run a successful dry cleaning business, including the risks of legal claims and challenges that exist.  We offer laundry insurance programs such as the FabriCare Advantage program to ensure that your clients are financially protected the best way possible, so that their business can continue to thrive.  Our specialized coverage extends beyond standard policies to include Unlimited Bailee with coverage included for work in process and human error as well as Boiler Coverage and Workers’ Compensation.  For more information about our program, please contact us today to learn more at (855) 764-7406.