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BLS releases third report on 2013 injury data; same-level falls up

The rate of fall injuries leading to days away from work increased in 2013, according to data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Falls on the same level occurred at a rate of 15.4 per 10,000 full-time private-sector workers in 2013, up from 14.8 in 2012. The construction, wholesale trade, and transportation and warehousing industries in particular saw a jump in fall-related injury rates.

The data is part of the annual BLS report on nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses requiring days away from work. The overall incidence rate in 2013 for injuries requiring time away from work was 109.4 per 10,000 full-time employees, down from 111.8 in 2012. For private industry alone, the rate was 99.9 - statistically unchanged from the previous year.

Other key points from the report:

Michigan workers' compensation rules aim to curb opioid abuse

Amendments to the Workers' Compensation Health Care Services rules and fee schedule, which went into effect December 26, 2014, prevent reimbursements for opioid treatment beyond 90 days for non-cancer related chronic pain, unless detailed physician reporting requirements and other processes are met. The new rules adopt the most recent Medicare-based schedules in conjunction with the state's updated medical practices and provide limitations on the reimbursement for custom compounded topical drugs.

Texas officially becomes NCCI state

Texas has adopted the NCCI experience rating plan manual to be effective on 7/1/2015. What does this mean?

Congress suspends restart provision on trucker hours of service

Truckers no longer will be subject to a 34-hour restart provision that includes a pair of rest breaks between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. Congress agreed to suspend the restart provision pending further research, as part of a $1.1 trillion spending bill that was approved Dec. 13. The effort to suspend the provision was led by Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), who said mandatory rest breaks ending at 5 a.m. could push too many trucks onto crowded roads during the early rush hour.