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Things you should know

Employer’s Guide to Employee Assistance Programs

Prepared by The National Business Group on Health (NBGH), An Employer’s Guide to Employee Assistance Programs provides employers with findings, recommendations, and metrics for standardizing and improving the strategic alignment between employee assistance programs, employers' business objectives, and employee needs. The culmination of an almost two-year study, the guide includes recommendations to employers for getting the most value out of their EAP.

OSHA injury at company event is recordable

Employee injuries occurring at offsite work-related events may be recordable, according to an OSHA letter of interpretation.

William K. Principe, an attorney with Constangy, Brooks & Smith LLP in Atlanta, sought guidance from the agency in December about a case in which a worker was injured while go-kart racing during a mandatory offsite team-building event. Principe also requested clarification as to whether the injury would be considered recordable if an employee was injured while watching the go-kart racing but was not a participant.

In the letter of interpretation, Keith Goddard, director of OSHA's Directorate of Evaluation and Analysis, said injuries are recordable if they occur in the "work environment," which agency regulations define as "the establishment and other locations where one or more employees are working or are present as a condition of their employment." In this case, the employee's presence at the go-kart facility was mandatory, and any injuries would be recordable regardless of whether the employee was a participant or spectator.

Video provides fire extinguisher instruction

Developed by the Cleveland-based Fire Equipment Manufacturers' Association, A new YouTube video is now available that demonstrates the proper use of a portable fire extinguisher.

The video also includes a brief outline of the types of fires that can be controlled with an extinguisher and a checklist of other immediate actions to take in the event of a fire.

Effective Date of E-Verify rule delayed again

The effective date of a new rule requiring federal contractors to use the federal government's E-verify electronic employment eligibility verification system has been delayed for the third time. The new effective date is June 30, 2009.

Guideline-based care cost-effective for workers with mental health issues: report

Providing guideline-based care to workers suffering relatively mild mental health issues can result in cost savings according to studies from the VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam.

Researchers analyzed the care given to 240 Dutch police officers on sick leave for stress-related issues. According to reports published in the March 2009 issue of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, half of the officers were offered guideline-based care including a gradual return to work and advice on how to deal with work stress symptoms; while the other half received standard care, including a referral to a psychologist for evaluation. Although both groups of workers averaged 150 lost workdays, the group receiving guideline-based care incurred lower health care costs. Only half as many officers in the guideline-based group ultimately required treatment from a psychologist as those in the standard care group.