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Five risk factors account for more than 53% of disabilities

Disability levels in the United States declined during the 1980s and 1990s, but these declines stalled more recently. Using data for 2013 from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, researchers estimated the percentages of national and state disability that could be prevented through reductions in five modifiable health risk factors associated with disability: cigarette smoking, obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol, and hypertension.

In the 18-54 age cohort, nearly 70% of US adults have more than one of the five risk factors. In the 55-64 cohort, it's about 90 percent; in the 65-79 category, about 95 percent.

Seventy percent of companies with automotive fleets don't monitor drivers

Eighty percent of companies that manage automotive fleets tout driver safety as a top priority, yet 70% do not monitor drivers and 59% do not have a safety program in place, according to research by SambaSafety, an Albuquerque, New Mexico-based company that provides background screening and driver safety records for employers.

The hurdles to improving driver safety include lack of leadership buy-in and the failure to transform employee culture. The company published its findings in a white paper, "Creating a safety culture: Moving from politics to habits."

WCRI survey finds most injured workers' happy with medical care

The share of workers in the 15 states surveyed from 2013 - 2016 satisfied with access to medical services ranged from 65% in Florida to 77% in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Access to their provider of choice was no problem for 83% in Wisconsin, but was a low of 67% of workers in North Carolina.

The share of workers who reported "big problems" getting access to medical services ranged from 12% in Pennsylvania to 21% in Florida. The share of workers who reported big problems getting the provider of their choice ranged from 10% in Wisconsin to 21% in North Carolina.

Yoga as good for low back pain as physical therapy

Chronic lower back pain is equally likely to improve with yoga classes as with physical therapy, according to a new study. Twelve weeks of yoga lessened pain and improved function in people with low back pain as much as physical therapy sessions over the same period.

NSC ranks states by safety: on the road, at home, and at work

Illinois ranked highest among U.S. states from a workplace safety perspective, while Kansas ranked the lowest, according to a new report by the National Safety Council NSC). Only two states received an "A" and twenty states received an "F". Illinois, Washington, Colorado, Minnesota and Washington, D.C., were rated the highest for workplace safety, while Missouri, South Dakota, Idaho, Wyoming and Kansas were the lowest.

The report notes, according to OSHA, 4,836 workers died on the job in 2015, with more than 12,000 injured every day. This means a worker is injured approximately every seven seconds. Leading causes of worker injury include worker overexertion, slips, trips and falls, and incidents involving objects or equipment.

States are also ranked for safety in the home and community category and road safety. An estimated 40,200 people died on U.S. roads in 2016, making motor vehicle crashes the second leading cause of unintentional death in the United States, mostly due to distraction, speed and alcohol, according to the report.

Many dental offices lack plans for controlling bloodborne exposures

Twenty-eight percent of private dental practices have not fulfilled OSHA's requirement for a written, site-specific bloodborne pathogens exposure control plan, according to the results of a recent survey conducted by NIOSH and OSAP, an oral health care advocacy group.

Sleep apnea putting CMV drivers at risk of crashing

More than 40 percent of commercial motor vehicle drivers may have obstructive sleep apnea, potentially increasing their risk of being involved in a crash, according to a review conducted by researchers from the University of California, San Francisco.

American Chemistry Council updates PPE, hygiene guidelines for phosgene

The American Chemistry Council recently released updated guidelines on preventive health measures and the use of personal protective equipment for workers exposed to phosgene a chemical used in manufacturing that is a poisonous gas at room temperature.

State news

Florida laws outline medical marijuana guidelines

New legislation prevents insurers from offsetting PTD payments for workers getting retirement benefits - Minnesota

Major drug manufacturers accused of fraudulently misrepresenting the risks of opioid painkillers - Missouri

Independent rating evaluations suspended - Pennsylvania

State summarizes 2017 workers' compensation law changes - Tennessee