News

Accurate Ergonomics enjoys sharing! We would like the opportunity to share news and strategies with you on a variety of related subjects. Topics such as: How and why an organization may cultivate and maintain a balanced workforce; How to build a healthier, happier team of workers; Tips on building a Culture of Prevention and more. Tweet with “Herman the Spine” and follow his journey through a, “Day in a Life.” Please subscribe below so that you are always part of the solution and never left behind:

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We are always looking for good news and “best practice” tips to share for all, regarding how companies are able to nurture a healthy and safe work environment, so please share your good news with us. You will also benefit from “best practice” tips from others in a concise and consistent way. In addition, if you have news about employee health tips, how to prevent injuries or illnesses, or have general questions about creating a Culture of Prevention in your organization, please email us at: info@accurateergonomics.com.

Accurate Ergonomics and Balance and Motion for Health would like to be your must, “Go To” daily Resource!

Our goal is to help you create the opportunity to weave Injury Prevention awareness into each and every moment of your company work day, no matter what industry! This topic is so important (and so expensive) that it should not be a “stand alone” safety topic but more a critical part of every moment, every day. Allow us to show you how….

The Workers’ compensation system is designed to take care of those who cannot take care of themselves! Personal/professional ethics must be upheld by both the employer (doing the right thing for the people they count on), as well as each and every employee. Following, please find examples of, “bad behavior” which take the wind out of the sails of any employee who complains unnecessarily and/or tries to abuse the system. Unless we are all able to eliminate fraud, we will never have the resources necessary to help those who really need it!

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Greenville fire Capt. Chip Fashner injured his shoulder in October while extinguishing a blaze.

Fire protection is one of the most dangerous types of work in the nation. Last year, almost 71,000 injuries to U.S. firefighters occurred in the line of duty, and the rate of nonfatal injury and illness in fire protection was more than three times the rate for all industries, according to government and industry estimates.

“It’s just part of the job,” Fashner said. But injuries can occur in any workplace, and there were more than 3.8 million work-related injuries and illnesses last year. Manufacturing industries used to be the most dangerous types of work because of the machinery involved, but injuries today frequently occur in occupations that involve repetitive physical tasks, such as bending, lifting and carrying heavy objects.

In Ohio, nursing home workers account for the largest number of serious workers’ compensation claims in the private sector, largely because employees must lift and move disabled, uncooperative and elderly patients. Other industries with high frequencies of injuries and illnesses include steel foundries, ice manufacturing, skiing facilities and police protection.

Job-related deaths are rare. Far more people are injured or become ill as a result of their jobs. Last year, fire protection was the most dangerous type of work. Nationwide, there were about 13.5 nonfatal injuries and illnesses for every 100 full-time workers at local fire departments, according to labor department data. The incident rate of injury and illness for all industries was 3.8 cases per 100 full-time workers.

Battling fires is very hard, physical work, because firefighters must wear about 80 pounds of gear, and they must lift and carry heavy ladders and hoses up staircases or feed them through high windows, said Mark Sanders, president of the Ohio Association of Professional Fire Fighters, which has 12,000 members.

It’s a physical job, both on the fire and EMS sides, where some of our patients are bigger, and lifting the cot and lifting patients can strain your back.” Most recently, Fashner sprained his shoulder last month while putting out a house fire. Fashner missed a shift at work and four hours of a second shift, but he said firefighters understand that discomfort and pain are part of the job.
“Strains and sprains lead our injuries by far,” Fashner said. “In the last few months, we’ve probably had three lost-time injuries.”

Strains, sprains and muscular pain were the most common type of injury to firefighters in 2011, and accounted for more than half of all cases, the National Fire Protection Association said. The most common causes of injury at fire scenes were overexertion and strain (28 percent), and falls, jumps and slips (21 percent).

In Ohio, sprains and strains account for about 40 percent of injuries that result in workers’ compensation claims, according to the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation.
And the frequency rate of injuries and illness in fire protection is just slightly higher than in state-run nursing homes and residential care facilities, according to labor department data. The rate of injury and illness in that part of the nursing industry nationwide is about 13.1 cases per 100 full-time workers.

In 2010, employees in private nursing homes in Ohio accounted for about 591 lost-time workers’ compensation claims, more than any other private industry, according to the most recent state data. Lost-time claims are when employees are off from work for at least eight days.
Injuries in nursing homes are often tied to moving and transporting patients and elderly people with limited mobility. Nurses often suffer strains to the back, shoulders or neck from lifting patients and these injuries can develop into more serious conditions, such as a bulging disks.

“There is more exposure for these types of musculoskeletal injuries in nursing homes than in other places.” Many workplaces are getting safer because of new technology and better training.

But many jobs have an inherent potential for injury, and injuries will arise even when workers follow strict safety precautions, said Gary Plunkett, an attorney with Hochman & Plunkett, a law firm in Dayton that handles workers’ compensation cases.

“People who do physical things for a living will have a certain percentage of accidents that will happen no matter what you do — period.” “If you are a nurse or nurse’s aide and you are lifting, carrying and washing people from time to time, there is a risk you will throw out your back and get seriously hurt.”

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Workers’ compensation swindler ordered to repay state $8,687

November 27
Workers’ compensation swindler ordered to repay state $8,687

AUGUSTA — A 47-year-old Charlotte man has been ordered to repay the state $8,687 for illegally collecting workers’ compensation benefits last year. The restitution was ordered last week as part of the sentence imposed on Clinton J. Ashby II, who was found guilty by a jury in September of committing theft by deception.

Ashby was sentenced last week in Kennebec County Superior Court to 15 months in jail, with all but 30 days suspended, and two years of probation. The state, through Assistant Attorney General Leanne Robbin, requested Ashby be sentenced to two years in jail with all but an initial 90 days suspended.

“We think a 30-day sentence is a significant deterrent to others who would seek to cheat the workers’ comp system,” Robbin said Tuesday. “He has also suffered other serious consequences as a result of his lying: He has lost his job, his house is in foreclosure and he plans to file for bankruptcy.”

Attorney Walter McKee, who represented Ashby at trial, said, “The state’s request for a 90-day sentence didn’t make sense given Clint’s total lack of any record. As much as this was a hard-fought trial, the 30 days in jail was a fair sentence.”

McKee said Ashby is expected to begin serving the 30 days this weekend.

According to documents filed with the court by Robbin, Ashby collected the benefits “based on his false claim that he did not have work capacity due to a neck injury.” However, on surveillance videos, it appeared “he was able to perform full-time, full-duty work,” she said.
Investigators looking into possible fraud took the videos, which were played for jurors during the two-day trial. They showed Ashby swinging a sledge hammer, using a crow bar and running heavy equipment between May and November 2011 while he received benefits because he was reportedly too disabled to work.

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Surveillance Video Exposes Workers Compensation Fraud

November 28, 2012

Surveillance Video Exposes Workers Compensation Fraud

COLUMBUS, Ohio –

A Columbus man has been sentenced for workers’ compensation fraud after the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) caught him on camera working at his lawn care business while he claimed he was unable to work due to a workplace injury.

Michael Dickerson was sentenced in a Franklin County courtroom and must repay nearly $30,000 in restitution and investigative costs.

“Despite claiming to be permanently disabled, Mr. Dickerson was observed performing physical labor inconsistent with his supposed condition,” said BWC Administrator/CEO Steve Buehrer. “As a business owner, he should have understood the potential for severe consequences of misrepresenting his ability to work.”
BWC’s Special Investigations Department (SID) received an anonymous allegation that Dickerson was operating a lawn care business while receiving workers’ compensation benefits following a workplace injury. The allegation also indicated Dickerson was asking his customers to pay him in cash so he would not be traced by BWC.

SID conducted surveillance on multiple occasions and observed Dickerson using a push mower, riding mower, leaf blower and weed trimmer at residential, retail and church properties. This work activity all occurred while Dickerson was receiving Permanent Total Disability. SID interviewed customers who confirmed they paid Dickerson by check and cash for mowing their lawns. Dickerson acknowledged during an interview that he knew he should not have been working.

Dickerson was indicted in June and pleaded guilty to one felony count of workers’ compensation fraud November 14. He was sentenced to 12 months in prison, suspended for a three year period of community control. He was also ordered to pay $18,673.06 in restitution and $10,000 in investigation costs.

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Us Postal SErvice

U.S. Postal Service:
The Senate overhaul is allowing for the closure of hundreds of Post Offices nationwide. The overhaul is an attempt to chart a pathway to solvency for the agency while avoiding severe austerity measures. One of the biggest factors is its bloated workers’ compensation costs.

Update 7/22/12: US Postal Service can’t afford to pay its workers’ comp insurance payments.

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June 2012: What’s Next

When asked what’s next in the evolution of safety, the President of the American Society of Safety Engineers stated that “we must establish a prevention culture.”

“It is up to us to establish a culture of prevention in organizations, in our own lives, and in our communities. The future is in our hands.”

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ORANGE COUNTY FACES WORKERS’ COMP DEFICIT… MOVES TO BOOST RESERVES:

May 2012

ORANGE COUNTY FACES WORKERS’ COMP DEFICIT… MOVES TO BOOST RESERVES:

The Orange County Board of Supervisors is taking action to remove the county’s self-funded workers’ comp from the economic roller coaster that has left it funded at just 60% of its expected losses. Moving forward the program will have to be funded at 80% of its expected losses, under a resolution adopted by the board. The change will be phased in over the next five years to lessen the hit on county departments.

As it stands, the new funding policy will result in a 10% increase year over year, while the fund erases the deficit. This works out to an additional $2 million to $3 million being taken from departmental budgets each year and earmarking it for the workers’ comp fund.
The county had $81.6 million in reserves for workers’ comp liabilities estimated at $122 million to $145 million as of June 30, 2011.

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