October 22, 2008

Cavalcade of Risk, plumbers, illegal immigrants, cranes, contractors, and more

Cavalcade of Risk #63:The WABAC edition hosted by John Cogan at Regulating Health Insurance. John is the Executive Counsel-Executive Assistant for Policy and Program Review for the Rhode Island Office of the Health Insurance Commissioner. He's a first time host of Cavalcade so you might kick the tires at his blog after catching up on the news.

One of this week's posts we found noteworthy is from Louise at Colorado Health Insurance Insider entitled Business 101 For Joe the Plumber, in which she analyzes how Joe's business would fare under the Obama and the McCain tax health care reform plans.

In other news:
Illegal immigrants and workers comp - Peter Rousmaniere posts about a new analysis of workers comp laws and illegal workers recently issued by the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers. His post summarizes some of the key issues in the report but the bottom line is that 38 states offer at least some type of benefits to illegal aliens. The report is available in chart form (PDF) from WorkCompCentral.

High comp costs for defense-based contractors - The Pentagon is looking to curtail workers compensation costs for overseas defense-based contractors. Costs went from $7.6 million on 430 claims in 2002 to $170 million on 11,887 claims in 2007, according to the Congressional Research Service, with the Defense Department accounting for 90% of those costs. One of the ways that they are looking to cut costs is to consolidate to a single insurer.

Van pool risks - Nick Whitfield of Workforce looks at the risks involved with company-sponsored van pools. In response to skyrocketing gas prices, many employers adopted measures to help defray their employees' costs of commuting, with van pools being one of the options. A van pool can have potential workers comp exposure depending on the way the pool is established. While injuries sustained during a commute would not normally be compensable under workers compensation laws, many state laws treat employer-sponsored transportation differently so injuries sustained in a commute might indeed be compensable. Many employers turn to third party contractors to run van pools and while this would generally mitigate the risk, experts suggest that employers who sponsor programs first consult with their broker, insurer and state workers' comp authority.

OSHA and cranes safety - Celeste Monforton of The Pump Handle looks at the OSHA proposed rule on crane safety, which was published in the Federal Register on Oct 9 and will be in public comment phase until December 8. She notes that, curiously, the estimated 55 lives saved annually with the improved standard is not mentioned in the proposal.

Health & safety blogs - The Pump Handle referred to above does a great job covering health and safety issues in the workplace. We'd like to do a shout-out to a few other blogs that are on the health and safety case: long-time blogger rawblogXport; Tammy Miser at Weekly Toll; the vigilant folks at OSHA Underground; GotSafety Blog and The Safety Blog.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Julie Ferguson published on October 22, 2008 9:32 AM.

Make way for the cyborgs: robotic mobility devices was the previous entry in this blog.

Down the Rabbit Hole: The Economic Crisis and Workers Comp is the next entry in this blog.

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