Lynch Ryan's weblog about workers' compensation, risk management, business insurance, workplace health & safety, occupational medicine, injured workers, insurance webtools & technology and related topics

July 1, 2009

Cavalcade of Risk and other news notes

Cavalcade of Risk #81 is posted at Jaan Sidorov's Disease Management Care blog. Check it out, covered topics include health care, information technology, personal risk, market risk and more.

Confined space - three sanitation workers died when they were overcome by hydrogen sulfide gas in an 18 foot hole at Regal Recycling Company in Queens. The deceased included a father and son. The three were draining waste from the hole when one fell in and was overcome. As is so often the case in confined space deaths and trench deaths, his would-be-rescuers also became victims. OSHA: Confined Space

Insurance industry - According to the ISO and the Property Casualty Insurers of America, the first quarter of 2009 was the worst on record for the property casualty industry. Of course, it should be noted that records only go back to 1986, but since then, this is the industry's worst net loss - some $1.3 billion - and its worst net written premium growth. Net written premiums dropped $4 billion, or 3.6%, in the first three months of 2009 from $110.4 billion in the first three months of 2008.

Independent contractor vs employee - Roberto Ceniceros of Business Insurance tells us that 8 attorneys general -- from Iowa, Kentucky, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, Ohio, Rhode Island, and Vermont -- have expressed their concern to FedEx about potential misclassification of workers. We've blogged on this issue numerous times - here are a few past posts related to the new administration , shareholders , NH, CA, CT, federal courts, and MA.

OSHA - Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA and erstwhile blogger Jordan Barab recently outlined key challenges that OSHA is addressing and urged safety professionals to get involved when he spoke before a group from American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE). He emphasized that workers will have a voice and that " ...unions and safety professionals like you will have a seat at the table." Some of the priorities include developing a Severe Violators Program, addressing critical problems with construction fatalities and injuries, and developing a National Emphasis Program (NEP) for the chemical industry.

Hazmat - Training programs and tools developed by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) to help communities develop sound, evidence-based assumptions in preparing for hazardous materials (HazMat) emergencies and disasters: HazMat Emergency Preparedness Training and Tools for Responders

Arc Flash - Safety Daily Advisor tells us that more than 2,000 workers a year are treated for severe burn injuries from arc flash, a short circuit through the air. In a follow-up post, they discuss arc flash prevention and related safe work practices.

Disability - What's your PDQ? Find out now.


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