Best of the healthcare blogosphere - Looking for your biweekly fix of health wonkery? Check out Health Wonk Review: Muppets Edition! - posted by Joe Colucci at The New Health Dialogue blog.
Health Care Costs - The Kaiser Family Foundation's 2011 Employer Health Benefits Survey revealed that average annual premiums for family health benefits are up 9%, topping $15,000. According to the report, "Premiums increased significantly faster than workers' wages (2.1 percent) and general inflation (3.2 percent). Since 2001, family premiums have increased 113 percent, compared with 34 percent for workers' wages and 27 percent for inflation." It's pretty jolting, and even more so when you check the graphic depiction of rising costs. You can find additional report documents here.
Drug deaths - Los Angeles Times reports that drug deaths now outnumber traffic fatalities in U.S.. Apparently, we've been so busy fighting "the drug war" that we've overlooked the creeping and insidious threat of the prescription pain and anxiety drug problem. Deaths related to these drugs now outpace deaths from heroin and cocaine combined.
Mark Walls pointed this article out and he has a discussion going on the LinkedIn Work Comp Analysis Group. He also links to several related resources - here's a sampling: ACOEM - Comments to State WC Officials on Prescription Opioid Abuse in the U.S.; Joe Paduda - Understanding Opioid Abuse; and Mark Walls - It Starts with the Regulators
Safety tools - The Federal Highway Administration has a portal for Work Zone Safety. It includes some good highway safety tools and resources for you safety program.
Time Capsule - What was work life like in 1943? Check out The Ropes at Disney's, an employee handbook from 1943. Pop quiz: How many current labor law violations can you spot?
And in another look back at days of yore, Oregon's Willamette River Bridge Project posts an historic construction photo of the Willamette Bridge, inviting readers to spot the safety hazards. The answers are already posted, so if you want to play along, don't peek at the comments.