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Rates of serious injuries within same industry vary widely by state according a new report

Rates of serious workplace injury and illness vary significantly between states-even for workers in the same industries-according to a new report released by Allsup, a nationwide provider of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).

The new report, "Allsup Study of Workplace Injuries," spotlights the most injury threatening industries by location, based on the rates of injuries that are serious enough to involve "days of job transfer or restriction." The states with the highest rate of workplace injuries that involve days of job transfer or restriction are:

These states all have rates higher than the national average of 0.7 injury or illness cases with job transfer or restriction per 100 workers.

Absenteeism due to depression costs employers $23 billion annually

Absenteeism among employees diagnosed with depression costs U.S. employers an estimated $23 billion annually, according to a Gallup Inc. report.

More than 18 million full- and part-time employees - roughly 12% of the total estimated U.S. workforce - have been diagnosed with depression at least once, according to the report.

Full-time employees who were diagnosed at some point in their lives with depression missed an average of 8.7 workdays annually for health-related reasons, 4.3 more days than employees without a history of depression.

The gap was even larger for part-time workers. Part-time workers diagnosed with depression missed an average 13.7 days of work annually, five days more than workers who had not been diagnosed.

Nurses association releases safe patient handling guidelines

The American Nurses Association has released a set of voluntary standards for the development of safe patient lifting programs to help reduce the risk of injury among health care workers. Safe Patient Handling and Mobility: Interprofessional National Standards is intended for health care settings in which patients need help with mobility, including rehabilitation, home care, hospice care, and physical and occupational therapy.

Nursing assistants and registered nurses ranked No. 1 and No. 5, respectively, among all occupations for injuries and illnesses related to musculoskeletal disorders requiring days away from work in 2011, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

MCSA clarifies off-duty time requirements

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (MCSA) has revised its regulatory guidance on recording meals and routine stops as off-duty time to be more consistent with its hours-of-service regulations.

Under the revised guidance, the driver must be able to leave the vehicle and choose how to spend time during a stop. The revision also eliminates language from the previous guidance that discouraged drivers from taking breaks or recording them, FMCSA stated.

Trucking research institute launches fatigue management website

The American Transportation Research Institute, the research arm of the American Trucking Associations, has launched a website on commercial motor vehicle operator fatigue management.

The North American Fatigue Management Program website provides access to information on helping to treat and prevent driver fatigue and its contributing factors, including sleep disorders and driver work schedules.

The website also features a return-on-investment calculator and accompanying user guide that CMV carriers can use to determine the cost-benefit ratio of implementing the program's suggested fatigue management system.

Florida's ban limiting doctor dispensing cuts opioid use

A July 2011 state ban prohibiting doctors from dispensing strong pain medications has led physicians to write fewer prescriptions for addictive opioids, according to a report by the Workers' Compensation Research Institute. The report also found that doctors were more likely to prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs and less-powerful pain medications in the ban's wake.

New strain of MRSA linked to industrial livestock workers: study

Industrial livestock workers may be more likely to be exposed to certain types of drug-resistant bacteria than workers at antibiotic-free livestock operations, according to a new study from the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health.

The study included participants from two farm operations in North Carolina - 99 participants from industrial livestock operations and 105 antibiotic-free livestock operation participants.

Although methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and multidrug-resistant S. aureus were found at nearly the same prevalence among participants in both operations, new strains known as livestock-associated MRSA and MDRSA were only found among ILO-exposed participants.