WorkComp Advisory
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Things you should know

DOL poster for FMLA – Military Family Leave Notice
The Department of Labor has released a Military Family Leave Notice that is to be posted by covered employers along with the general Family and Medical Leave poster. Covered employers must display the new Military Family Leave Notice poster along side the department's general FMLA poster in a conspicuous workplace location and accessible to both employees and job applicants. Employers must also display both the FMLA poster and the new Military Family Leave Notice at all their locations, even if there are no eligible employees at the particular location.

To access
The Military Family Leave Notice poster:
The general FMLA poster:

Special report on depression in the workplace
In April 2008, the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine presented a special report on depression in the workplace. Noting that more than 6% of the working population is affected by depression (not including workers with bipolar disorder), the study calls for an integrated approach that incorporates clinical, community and workplace programs to better manage depression in the workplace. This approach can lead to better employee retention and increased hours worked.

Depression is linked to higher absenteeism and lower productivity as well as disrupted work organization and increased health care and disability costs. According to the studies, employers may be able to influence the treatment and recovery of workers suffering from depression with programs to improve coping and stress management skills, identifying employees at risk, and promoting early treatment to prevent or lessen the severity of depression.

Smoking adds to Workers’ Compensation costs
Data continues to support the findings in the June 2001 edition of The Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine that found businesses paid an average of $2,189 in Workers’ Compensation costs for smokers compared with $176 for non-smokers. Smokers, on average, miss 6.16 days of work per year due to sickness (including smoking related acute and chronic conditions), compared to nonsmokers, who miss 3.86 days of work per year.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) puts a $3,391 price tag on each employee who smokes: $1,760 in lost productivity and $1,623 in excess medical expenditures. In addition, estimated costs associated with secondhand smoke effects on nonsmokers can add up to $490 per smoker per year.

The American Lung Association reports that smokers suffer on-the-job injuries at twice the rate of nonsmokers. And, when smokers fall sick, are injured or have surgery they take longer to heal, creating more absenteeism and a higher health-care tab for employers.

Smoking cessation programs can be a valuable benefit for both employers and employees.

The multitasking myth
Multitasking may seem like an efficient way to get things done, but it actually can be doing more harm than good. Researchers at the University of Michigan found:
• People who spend time starting and stopping tasks took 2 to 4 times longer to complete them.
• Brain scans showed juggling tasks reduces the brainpower available for each; constantly switching back and forth is a less efficient use of your neurons.
• Over time, stress from multitasking can damage memory centers in the brain.
With many competing demands on your time, it’s easy to think that multi-tasking will keep tasks under control. The findings suggest that focusing on one task at a time will increase efficiency and strengthen the memory.