One Employee Incident, Two Worker Compensation Claims?

Do you have any pregnant employees? If so, are you responsible for work related injuries to their unborn child? It is a delicate situation when it comes to injuries involving those in utero. In the late 1980s, there was a case involving a San Francisco Macy’s department store employee who complained to the company nurse of abdominal pain. The pain was misdiagnosed as gas and was later found to be a ruptured uterus. Even after pleas from the expectant mother, the ambulance was not called for 50 minutes and the delay was determined to be a main contributing factor to the severe brain damage and early demise (age 2) of the child.

The mother sued on behalf of her son but lost, because although Macy’s found that it was indeed negligent, the child was not an employee and therefore his surviving family could collect nothing.

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Good Habits are Formed in Health and Wellness Rooms

Learning occurs when the brain creates a pathway of neurological activity through connections and repetition. When actions are repeated, your brain learns patterns of behavior and makes what we call a habit. Our brain acts similarly to a computer, whose cache memory stores frequently used information and makes it faster and easier to process. Fortunately, and sometimes unfortunately, once a habit is formed it is very hard to break.

Continuing the routine of rising for work and participating in a work environment preserves your employees’ daily habits. In the Health and Wellness Room, a full work week and daily schedule is maintained. This prevents a “slump” and/or the potential of developing bad habits.

Physical therapy and mental stimulation keep the mind and body active, all the while providing recuperation and bringing your employees back to the pre-injury workplace. Sometimes, even in better condition than they were prior to the injury. We encourage your employees to create new good habits that will follow them throughout their lives, professionally and personally.

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Believe in Your Employees and Create a Safer Workplace

Do you believe in yourself? Do you believe in your employees? Do you believe that every job assignment makes a company flow and is just as important as the next? Do you believe that if any employee is injured, it affects the entire company? Take time to think that if any one of your employees was injured, who could pick up the slack to keep your business on course? If you are an employer who believes in your employees, then you are already on the right track to creating a safer workplace.

Returning an injured worker back to the assembly line is just as important as returning the CEO to his or her desk. Whether it is a repetitive strain injury such as carpal tunnel, an ergonomic issue such as neck or back strain, or even a fracture from a traumatic injury; recovery and return to pre-injury employment is the most important and mutual goal.

Action should be taken to assist with the needs for your injured worker. Your injured employee needs to have a plan for the beginning, middle and end of his or her recovery. With graduating work, programs like work hardening, and safety classes your workplace can have the chance to prevent future injuries as well.

Contact Proof:Positive for more information about preventing future workplace injuries, and assisting those who have already been injured.

One Less Thing on Your “To-Do” List Next Year

Happy New Year!

What is your resolution? Possibly to be more profitable or to cut overhead costs? It certainly wasn’t to have an injured employee sitting at home, right?

The most common New Year’s resolutions are to lose weight and to get back on the right track. The holidays make a lot of us very conscious of our personal and professional year end goals, and being more productive and healthier should be on everyone’s list.

With the injured employee on your “fix in the new year” list, the major goal is to be fully functioning and that means rehabilitation. The simple discouraging facts of being an injured employee at home and trying to conquer therapy exercises are feeling that you look funny while doing them, the exercises are boring, or even the “I don’t have the time” or “I’m frustrated because I can’t do what I used to” excuses. These excuses may seem silly on paper, but which category do your employees fit into?

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Prevent a Holiday Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) from Occurring

The holidays are here and stress and fatigue are on the rise. Being at work, coming home to write holiday cards, and then sending them out can really tire out those hands of yours. Have you noticed that the repetitive movement has caused pain that you may “work through” just to get the job done?

Repetitive Strain Injuries are real and many working individuals experience them without putting a name to it. The most common symptom of RSI is a feeling of general fatigue, but when your strongest workers go on and ignore these symptoms you may end up with long term and seriously debilitated employees.

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Injury Recovery is Golden for Baby Boomers

Baby Boomers are still at work, and a larger and older workforce means complete rehabilitation is very important. We all know that due to aging our wounds and injuries don’t heal the way they used to. Keeping that in mind, a Health and Wellness Room is exactly what you need. We provide the environment for your employees to heal properly with education and instruction on a proper recovery, all the while being monitored by staff that has a background in injury care and proper ergonomics.

Nobody likes to be in pain, and no employer wants an injured worker, but when accidents happen or repetitive motion injuries finally catch up, it good to know that your employees are on the road to recovery. Having rooms that provide equipment to strengthen, to educate, and to keep an employee on the right track is being proactive. And, it is so important for older employees to keep active, both mind and body, during recuperation.

We say it over and over that prevention is key, but education is just as vital. With a growing number of workers approaching retirement, it is essential that we prevent further long term injury.  The availability of onsite instruction, and even onsite injury prevention inspection, enables us to help you retire your prized workers into longer and more active golden years.

Get on the Ball and Stay on the Job

Want a quick and easy tip that can help your employees stay flexible and injury free? There are many exercises that can be done during breaks at work that will complete a routine daily workout – and a number of them can be done with this simple tool called an exercise ball (aka: swiss ball).

Employees can do activities such as sit ups, pushups, or placing the ball on the wall, in the small of their backs, and doing rolling squats! There are countless ways to get a full workout in just a few extra minutes throughout the day. These few extra minutes taken by the active employee, instead of getting up an extra hour before work or trying to squeeze the gym in after work, can bring about a reduced stress level and reduced potential for injury. Plus those precious extra minutes are valuable to an employee, and that could mean a happier worker. And we all know a happier worker means a more productive worker. And the long term benefit of having healthy imployees is increased productivity, and more time at the job – so it’s a win/win.

Here’s to getting on the ball and promoting the health of all your employees!

Get on the Ball

Source: Gaiam.com

Is Perfume Sensitivity a Work Comp Concern?

Second hand smoke kills. But what about second hand perfume? Do you have an employee that you know has clocked in because of the cologne or perfume trail leading to their cubicle?  In 2003, there was a disability discrimination claim filed by an employee with perfume sensitivity. The case was eventually dismissed, but only because the employer made reasonable accommodations to help the employee with her situation.

Strong perfume may be easy enough to ignore for many, but some people can experience sneezing frenzies, asthma symptoms, watery eyes, and other allergy symptoms. For most, the symptoms subside when the odor is no longer present, but for some, being exposed over and over leads to sensitivity for longer periods of time even after the scent is gone.

Now, at home those pesky smells are easily gotten rid of. The magazine insert is easily thrown away, maybe the soaps and candles are fragrance free, but at work it is difficult. Employers can help in many ways to make the environment a little easier to breathe in just by doing a few of the following:

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Prescription Drugs: Legal and Lethal

If you are at home watching television during prime time, how many prescription drug commercials do you see in one sitting? One, two, even five will sometimes cross the airwaves in one hour. The concern becomes, if there are so many commercials for these medications, who are the people taking them? Chances are that your employees have seen those prescription commercials and could be tempted to contact their doctor for a prescription. Although it is good for your employees to communicate with their physicians, they could potentially be at risk of abusing prescription medications.

Most of these commercials are for things like cholesterol, diabetes, and osteoporosis – but what about the prescriptions that aren’t advertised like Vicodin, Oxycontin, or Percodan? These medications work by blocking pain perception, and are prescribed for acute pain, chronic pain, or pain following surgery.

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Can I Fire an Injured Employee?

An employee hurts themselves at work resulting in a worker’s compensation arrangement. You have multiple write ups for this individual, but now they are at home. Have you been unable to contact the individual? Is this employee’s position at the job site now on hold? Were you already planning to fire him before the injury occurred? If any of these questions sound familiar you may want to ask, “Can I fire this employee even though they have filed a worker’s compensation claim?” The answer may be YES.

However…proof of business necessity needs to be established. Factors to determine business necessity include (source: reish.com): More…