WorkComp Advisory
newsletter archive case studies articles

Things you should know:

OSHA letter of interpretation - injury at company event is recordable
In response to an inquiry regarding a case where an employee was injured while participating in go-cart racing during an off-site team-building event. Employees were required to attend the off-site meeting and lunch, but were then free to choose among the following options: (1) participating in the team-building event; (2) returning to the office to finish the workday; or (3) taking a ½-day vacation. The letter of interpretation noted the employee is at the go-cart facility as a condition of employment. Therefore, he or she is in the work environment and any injury or illness that arises is presumed to be work-related and must then be evaluated for its recordability under the general recording criteria. This holds true for both participating in and observing the races.

DOL tool for "On-Call Time"
The DOL has created an online tool to provide guidance on paying for On-Call Time.

CDC program focuses on women's safety and health
A new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) outreach program focuses on four key safety and health issues for women at work - job stress, work schedules, reproductive health and workplace violence.

CDC's Office of Women's Health, together with NIOSH, released a podcast on the issues and NIOSH publishes information on its Website that contains studies related to workplace safety and health for women.

Survey: Cell phone use can lead other motorists to aggressive driving
Cell phone use when driving can impact the driving of other motorists. Drivers who talk on their cell phones may cause other motorists stress, which can lead to road rage, according to results from a survey released June 16 by Affinion Group.

The report, 2009 AutoVantage Road Rage Survey showed 84 percent of the 2,518 people surveyed said the sight of another driver on a cell phone caused them stress and led to aggressive driving.

Working while ill increases absenteeism: study
A study of more than 6,000 workers conducted at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, found that those who worked while sick wound up requiring more future sick days than their colleagues who took appropriate sick leave. Working while ill in one year increased the odds of requiring more than 30 sick days in the two following years by 40-50 percent.

The study was published in the June edition of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

American Trucking Association new safety agenda
In June, The American Trucking Association released a new highway safety agenda that includes 18 policy initiatives intended to improve driver performance and create safer vehicles and motor carriers.

Among the agenda's recommendations:
• Prohibit drivers from use of non-integrated in-vehicle technologies while driving
• Support uniform commercial driver's license testing standards
• Support strategies to increase seat belt use