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DOL withdraws independent-contractor rule

The Labor Department withdrew a Trump-era rule that would have made it easier for businesses to classify workers as independent contractors instead of employees under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. The DOL has not proposed a new independent contractor rule, relying instead upon the economic realities test to determine worker status under the FLSA.

CMS releases new version of WCMSA Reference Guide

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released their latest version of the WCMSA Reference Guide (Version 3.3, April 19, 2021). Among other changes, it clarifies the calculation of seed money for an annuity - seed money should include "the first surgery or procedure for each body part, and/or replacement and the first two years of annual payments."

CMS orders nursing homes to track worker vaccination

On May 13, CMS published a rule that now requires long-term care facilities to report weekly COVID-19 vaccination status data for both residents and staff.

CPWR releases series of infographics

The Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) recently released a series of infographics related to several leading causes of construction injuries and fatalities, as well as resources related to falls, struck-by hazards, and head protection.

New resources for reducing the risk of MSDs from overhead work

New resources from the Center of Research Expertise for the Prevention of Musculoskeletal Disorders (CRE-MSD), are intended to help employers and workers address MSD risks caused by overhead work.

There is also an MSD Prevention Guideline website, which features a section on risk assessment and controls.

New report identifies states with highest rates of severe workplace injuries

North Dakota, Arkansas, and Nebraska have the dubious distinction of having the highest rates of severe workplace injuries per capita according to a new report by HelpAdvisor.

Musculoskeletal injuries in construction workers change with age

An analysis of Ohio workers' compensation claims filed between 2007 and 2017 for work-related musculoskeletal disorder (WMSD) claims brought on by overexertion found that workers in the 45 to 54 age category had the highest cost per full-time employee. When broken out by diagnosis category, however, the age category shifted. For example, the cost per full-time employee for back and lower extremity sprains was higher for the 35 to 44 and the 25 to 34 age categories.

Study: Reducing physical work demands for older workers can lead to fewer injuries

A Danish study of more than 69,000 workers concluded, "the health consequences of high physical work demands increase with age. Workplaces should consider adapting physical work demands to the capacity of workers in different age groups."

Alabama becomes 37th medical marijuana state

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signed a medical marijuana bill into law, making it legal for registered patients with a qualifying condition, such as chronic pain, to use medical cannabis as a treatment.

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