One day from now we will finish putting the last few memories of this year in a box, we'll mark it 2016, and put it in long term storage. At some point, we might go back to the 2016 box and open it to reminisce during a moment of melancholic reflection, but that time seems far off and unlikely to occur right now. At the same time, the delivery of a new box will arrive on our doorstep. The box will be clean and new, void of any marks, scratches, or other imperfections. Unlike the many packages that have arrived at our door in the past year from Amazon and other places that seem only to exist on the Web, we're not completely sure what we will find inside.
We've all seen the different solutions that have evolved in the name of office ergonomics to prevent musculoskeletal injuries. Better chairs, standing desks, and rubber balls. Even chair/desk combos that look more like a device for plugging into The Matrix rather than getting the weekly corporate update written. And there is the occasional odd coworker who will randomly take naps on the office floor. (He didn't last very long!)
OSHA estimates that businesses spend $170 billion annually due to on the job illnesses and injuries, and that around 3.7 million employees are hurt every year. Many companies treat workplace injuries as an annoyance that just suddenly occurs. However, workplace injuries do not just happen as they are often preventable and predictable. Data from the Injury Impact Report reveals the most common occupational injuries and accidents.
Topics: Preventing Injuries
I started Frank's case in early May of 2013. Frank was a 43 year old out of work carpenter. He had injured his lower back after falling about 12 feet off some construction staging (scaffolding). Frank's DOI was in 2005 and by the time I had received his case it had already settled. Prior to his case settling Frank had been through the normal treatment pathways which included activity modification, oral medications including opiates, physical therapy, and interventional pain management (injections).
Windham Group exists because of great people. People who work tirelessly. People who despite the challenges in our industry continue to champion our cause of getting injured workers' back to work. Windham Group can be traced back to one person who had a vision, who knew she could make a difference, who found a problem that she knew she could solve. With that vision, Windham Group was born. For twenty-seven years we have used the springboard she built, we continue to refine how we help people find meaning in life from helping them get back to work.
We lost one of our greatest people this week, Teresa E. Craig, our founder.
Topics: Return To Work
Sometimes it's difficult to fathom how in a physically demanding work environment like a construction site, that there are options for Return To Work. Add to the fact that you may be dealing with a small employer who does not have a surplus of other positions an injured worker could fill, and people quickly write off the possibility to return someone to work until they are 100% recovered. In this Return To Work Spotlight, we have a three-man crew consisting of the owner, working foreman and another employee. They were licensed for both commercial and residential jobs. The concrete construction foreman was out of work with a work release, with a left upper extremity injury. The work release stated that two-handed duty was required, he could not lift anything over 50 lbs. with his left upper extremity, no pushing/pulling over 50 lbs. with his left upper extremity and no working or driving while on narcotics.
The work environment influences the return to work outcome regardless of the injury or medical condition (Kosny et al., 2013). Employers as well as co-workers of an injured employee have a meaningful role in the return to work process of an injured colleague. What’s important is how an injured worker is supported during the acute and rehabilitative phases after an injury. Co-workers are indispensible in supporting an injured worker during the transition from being disabled, through the complete injury recovery process and returning to full duty employment.
Topics: Return To Work
The workers’ compensation professionals that attended the Alliance of Women In Workers’ Compensation event prior to the WCRI conference in Boston last month, were treated to a thoughtful and engaging session about how hugely successful multi-billion dollar self insured companies have effectively created work environments where workers are supported at all times pre and post injury.
Topics: Advocacy Based Claims Model
...said every Claims Adjuster.
The past few months we’ve been talking about Return To Work, and specifically a changing industry working hard to overcome the musculoskeletal shift that is the root cost driver in the workers’ compensation insurance segment. What we know is that the moment a negative psychosocial component is introduced at the onset of a claim, that “6-figure eye roll," naturally causes the injured worker to go into benefit preservation mode.
Topics: Life of an Adjuster
Aging Workforce Statistics
In 2012 20.9% of the United States workforce was aged 55 or older, and estimates project this percentage to increase to 25.6% by 2022 (U.S. Department of Labor, 2014). Older employees continue to be active members in the workforce so they may postpone retirement, maintain income for financial reasons, or simply preserve a productive and social presence. As workers age, a reciprocal relationship develops between experience and knowledge, and physical functioning and cognitive abilities. These life resources typically need to be managed and supported in order to maintain an effective occupational role as employees age.
Topics: Aging Workforce