Office Chatter: Your Doctor Will See You In This Telemedicine Kiosk

Original Post from KHN.org

By: Phil Galewitz

On the day abdominal pain and nausea struck Jessica Christianson at the office, she discovered how far telemedicine has come.

Rushing to a large kiosk in the lobby of the Palm Beach County School District’s administrative building where she works, Christianson, 29, consulted a nurse practitioner in Miami via two-way video. The nurse examined her remotely, using a stethoscope and other instruments connected to the computer station. Then, she recommended Christianson seek an ultrasound elsewhere to check for a possible liver problem stemming from an intestinal infection.

The cost: $15. She might have paid $50 at an urgent care center.

The ultrasound Christianson got later that day confirmed the nurse practitioner’s diagnosis.

“Without the kiosk I probably would have waited to get care and that could have made things worse,” she said.

Endorsements like Christianson’s demonstrate how technology and positive consumer experiences are lending momentum to telemedicine’s adoption in the workplace.

Less than a decade ago, telemedicine was mainly used by hospitals and clinics for secure doctor-to-doctor consultations. But today, telemedicine has become a more common method for patients to receive routine care at home or wherever they are — often on their cellphones or personal computers.

In the past several years, a growing number of employers have provided insurance coverage for telemedicine services enabling employees to connect with a doctor by phone using both voice and video. One limitation of such phone-based services is physicians cannot always obtain basic vital signs such as blood pressure and heart rate.

That’s where telemedicine kiosks offer an advantage. Hundreds of employers — often supported by their health insurers — now have them installed in the workplaces, according to consultants and two telemedicine companies that make kiosks, American Well and Computerized Screening, Inc.

Employers and insurers see the kiosks as a pathway to delivering quality care, reducing lost productivity due to time spent traveling and waiting for care, and saving money by avoiding costlier visits to emergency rooms and urgent care facilities.

Jet Blue Airways is adding a kiosk later this year for its employees at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. Other big employers providing kiosks in the workplace include the city of Kansas City, Missouri.

Large health insurers such as Anthem and UnitedHealthcare are promoting telemedicine’s next wave by testing the kiosks at worksites where they have contracts.

Anthem has installed 34 kiosks at 20 employers in the past 18 months. John Jesser, an Anthem vice president, said kiosks are a good option for employers too small or disinclined to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in creating an on-site clinic with doctors and nurses on standby.

“This technology should make it more affordable for employers of many sizes,” Jesser said.

Kiosks are typically used for the same maladies that lead people to see a doctor or seek urgent care — colds, sore throats, upper respiratory problems, earaches and pink eye. Telemedicine doctors or nurse practitioners can email prescriptions to clients’ local pharmacies. Employees often pay either nothing or no more than $15 per session, far less than they would pay with insurance at a doctor’s office, an urgent care clinic or an emergency room.

Despite kiosks’ growing use in telemedicine, it’s unclear whether they will be supplanted as smartphones, personal computers and tablets enable people to access health care anywhere with a Wi-Fi connection or cell service. Some employers already offer kiosk and personal device options, including MBS Textbook Exchange in Columbia, Missouri, which has 1,000 workers.

Workplace kiosks’ appeal is they are quiet, private spaces to seek care. Consumers can get their ailments diagnosed remotely because the kiosks are equipped with familiar doctors’ office instruments such as blood pressure cuffs, thermometers, pulse oximeters and other tools that peer into eyes, ears and mouths. The instrument readings, pictures and sounds are seen and heard immediately by a doctor or nurse practitioner.

“The kiosk gives the doctor more tools to diagnose a wider range of conditions,” Anthem’s Jesser said.

The downside is that the machines cost $15,000 to $60,000 apiece, which may still be too much for some employers.

“Telemedicine kiosks look promising and may still take off, but I don’t see explosive growth,” said Victor Camlek, principal analyst with Frost & Sullivan, a research firm.

Employers’ experiences are mixed.

Officials in Kansas City, Missouri, estimate the kiosk placed in city hall almost a year ago has saved the local government at least $28,000. That’s what Kansas City hasn’t spent because employees and dependents chose the telemedicine option instead of an in-person doctor visit. The city also estimates it has gained hundreds of productive work hours — that’s the time employees saved by not leaving work to see a doctor.

In contrast, fewer than 175 of the 2,000 employees at the Palm Beach County School District headquarters have used the kiosk there in its first year, said Dianne Howard, director of risk management.

Howard remains hopeful: “This is the future of health care.”

The district’s kiosk was supplied at no cost by UnitedHealthcare, as part of a test also involving two other employers in Florida.

Those kiosks connect employees to nurse practitioners at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in Miami. The hospital employs an attendant at each kiosk location to help workers register and use some of the instruments, such as the stethoscope.

Other telemedicine kiosks, such as those made by America Well, are designed to be totally self-service for employees. They also offer users immediate access to a health care provider. American Well has deployed about 200 kiosks and is in midst of rolling out 500 more, mostly to employers, the company said. It also places kiosks in retail outlets and hospitals.

Telemedicine’s increasing sophistication is winning over some traditional-minded physicians.

The WEA Trust in Madison, Wisconsin, a nonprofit that offers health coverage to public employers, installed a kiosk for the benefit of its 250 workers last fall.

Dr. Tim Bartholow, a family doctor by training and chief medical officer for the trust, said he was cautious about physicians treating patients they haven’t seen in person. After observing employees using it, Bartholow is convinced it can help them get good care.

“I don’t think telemedicine is making a doctor being on site quite agnostic, but it is certainly reducing the premium on being in the same space as the patient,” Bartholow said.

Insurers declare they are moving carefully, too, recognizing that telemedicine has its limits and they must depend on practitioners to tell patients when they have to see a doctor — in person.

“We have to rely on their experience and judgment,” Jesser said.


Core Benefits Drive Satisfaction More Than Niche Offerings

Original Post from SHRM.org

By: Stephen Miller

Improving traditional core benefits could be the best way to increase employees’ satisfaction with their rewards mix, new research suggests.

The three offerings with the greatest effect on how employees rate their benefits are health insurance, 401(k) retirement plans and vacation/paid time off. Among these, health insurance was by far the biggest driver of employee satisfaction, according to a new study, Which Benefits Drive Employee Satisfaction?, from Glassdoor Economic Research, the research arm of career website Glassdoor.

At organizations where employee ratings of the employer-provided health coverage increased by 1 star (out of 5), there was also a statistically significant increase in average employee satisfaction with the overall benefits package. (See graph above, from Glassdoor Economic Research. *Denotes that the increase in the overall benefits rating was statistically significant.)

Notably, 4 in 5 U.S. workers report they prefer new benefits or perks to a pay raise. This finding supports a recent Glassdoor survey that found health insurance, paid time off and 401(k) plans are among the top benefits employees would prefer over a pay increase.

Benefits with Narrower Appeal

Two benefits that did not seem to have a significant impact on overall employee satisfaction were maternity/paternity leave and employee discounts.

“Though many employers have added generous maternity/paternity leave plans, it is possible benefits that are not used by a large subset of employees do not impact overall benefits package satisfaction,” the researchers suggested.

“We know benefits and perks are an important recruiting tool in today’s challenging hiring landscape, and this study shows that the flashiest or trendy benefits aren’t always better,” said Andrew Chamberlain, chief economist of Glassdoor. “Investing in core benefits programs like health care coverage, retirement plans and paid time off will go far with new and current employees. Other benefits, like maternity/paternity leave, are important to recruit and retain smaller subsets of employees—like new parents—though we saw little impact on overall satisfaction related to benefits that don’t touch a wide variety of employees.”

He advised, “Employers who have well-rounded compensation plans that include core benefits, fair and competitive pay, and desirable perks stand to attract and retain top talent.”

A separate Glassdoor Economic Research study, The Best Industries for Benefits, found that the best benefits packages, according to employees, are found in the finance and technology industries.

Stephen Miller, CEBS, is an online editor/manager for SHRM. Follow him on Twitter @SHRMsmiller.


4 Ways Benefits Administrations Can Stop Cyberattacks

Original Post from BenefitsPro.com

By: Tom Pohl

There are reports of data breaches in the news every week, impacting a range of organizations and industries. These cyberattacks are costing businesses, both large and small, a great deal to resolve — from financial expenses to IT and legal resources to reputation recovery efforts.

According to a new study by the Ponemon Institute, data breaches are costing the health care industry $6.2 billion annually. Nearly 90 percent of health care organizations were victims of a breach in the last two years, raising concern for patients, employees, and others involved in the health care system.

Today, the leading cause of health care data breaches are targeted criminal attacks that seek to place valuable personal information into the hands of malicious actors. The personal information given out to health care organizations can be some of the most valuable to cybercriminals. For example, when enrolling in benefits, the information submitted can include patient names, family history, Social Security numbers, and billing information.

It’s important to also note that not all breaches are malicious. Human error is often a cause of breaches, asCompTia’s International Trends in Cybersecurity report found the 58 percent of security breaches are typically due to human error.

So what can benefits administration technology providers do to keep sensitive data secure from human error and malicious threats?

Conduct extensive user testing on your security systems

Implementing user testing through a third party vendor allows benefits administration technology providers to discover gaps or holes in their security systems. This can be done via a user testing group, which is comprised of individuals trained to discover the predominant methods that cybercriminals would abuse to compromise web-based applications.

The group is given a platform with authorized access and fake scenarios, all set up to act as if the system was running as usual. As these experts go into the system and know what areas to try and hack, the organization is able to develop plans to combat or repair these issues. User testing is similar to proofreading a paper; getting a second set of eyes on a program allows companies to see the full risks of its security system.

Educate employees on cyberthreats

As data breaches become a daily concern for IT departments, educating employees on the risks and dangers of cyberattacks becomes even more of a priority. Benefits administration technology providers need to prioritize educational resources and programs to teach employees how to spot potential cyberattacks, especially as they are handling their customers’ private information.

An effective and simple way to train employees on how to spot strange activity can be done via an email phishing awareness campaign. This involves delivering emails to employees with mocked up links or downloadable materials that, if real, would have the potential to open users’ accounts up to cyberattacks. Organizations should also consistently remind its employees to report any suspicious activity and to change their passwords regularly for a more secure system.

Automate processes to reduce the risk of human error

Recently, Google was in the news for a suffered data breach via its benefits provider. Yet the reason for this incident was human error, in which an email sender accidentally sent a document to the wrong contact. Fortunately for Google, the damage was limited, but human error is not always so forgiving.

With automation, benefits administration technology providers have the ability to decrease the chances of sensitive information getting into the wrong hands. This can be done by sending dummy files before sending the actual files to contacts. Another option is to implement triggers on email accounts when certain information is involved. For example, if a file is attached to the email, prompt the sender to confirm it is the correct file before sending. Implementing automation is a key factor in combatting human errors that could increase the risk of a cyberattack, especially when it comes to personal data.

Beware of the insider threat

While public perception is that these attacks result solely from the actions of malicious hackers outside of an organization, insider threats are a growing and serious concern. Vormetric’s 2015 Insider Threat Report reveals that over 90 percent of U.S. organizations believe they are vulnerable to insider threats such as stolen passwords or email spam. In fact, the National Association of Manufacturers released a statement in April 2016 stating the theft of trade secrets has cost businesses $250 billion per year.

Benefits administration technology may want to go a step further to ensure employees are operating in the correct space. Requiring background checks and limiting access to sensitive data will provide an extra level of security for patient, employee, and others’ personal information.


Have You Taken Any PTO Lately?

Original post benefitspro.com

Americans might be workaholics, but not necessarily because they’re in love with work. Studies show Americans yearn for vacation time, but some of them can’t bring themselves to take it.

A survey commissioned by Namely, a payroll and benefits company, finds that a majority of U.S. workers intend to take 15 days of vacation per year. It also found that 40 percent of employees have or would be willing to sacrifice pay to gain more paid time off. Similarly, more than two-thirds of workers said that vacation policies were at least somewhat critical when considering a new job.

But as a statement accompanying the survey from the company points out, another recent study found that the average American worker only take 11 days off per year.

The lower average is largely driven by the fact that many employees receive far less than three weeks of vacation a year, but there is some evidence to suggest that some workers who are entitled to generous PTO do not make use of it.

A quarter of  workers in the Namely survey cited strict company policies as an obstacle to taking vacation, while a fifth cited “stress at the thought of missing time at work” and 16 percent reported a “negative perception” in their organization of taking time off.

“What this tells us is that despite the best intentions to take large chunks of time away from work and unplug from technology, employees are feeling confined and are using vacation time differently than previous generations,” said Matt Straz, founder and CEO of Namely.

In recent years, a number of major companies have made a point of offering generous vacation benefits. Some offer unlimited vacation, while others have put in place policies to encourage workers to make use of their vacation, including bonuses for taking time off.


Small Businesses See Big Hikes in Health Plan Costs

Original post ubabenefits.com

Health insurance premium renewal rates increased an average of 6.2 percent for all plans in 2015, up from the previous year’s 5.6 percent increase, according to new survey data released from United Benefit Advisors (UBA), the nation’s leading independent employee benefits advisory organization. Small businesses with fewer than 25 employees, which account for five million U.S. employers, were hit the hardest, finds UBA.

“In 2014, employers overwhelmingly utilized early renewal strategies to delay moving to higher cost ACA- compliant plans and keep increases in check,” says Les McPhearson, CEO of UBA. “These delay tactics ran out in 2015 and, as a result, these small businesses (that make up the majority of American businesses), were forced into higher-cost, community-rated ACA plans. Without the negotiating power of bigger groups or the protection from grandmothering, many small employers were left with no cost containment strategies other than reducing coverage.”

Health Plan Costs

In line with previous years’ findings, UBA finds there are significant regional differences in health plan costs. The Northeast continues to be the region with the highest average annual cost per employee in the country, but Alaska tops the chart with an average annual cost of $12,822 per employee.

“To put that in perspective, that is 27.4 percent above the national average of $9,736 per employee annually,” says Matt Weimer, Director of Strategic Solutions for Diversified Insurance Solutions, a UBA Partner Firm. “In fact, Alaska is 11.1 percent above the fifth highest cost state of Massachusetts, which comes in at $11,468 average per employee annually.”

On the other end of the spectrum, Hawaii has the lowest average annual cost per employee, which is 24.5 percent below the national average at $7,610, finds UBA. Put another way, Alaska’s average annual cost is 51.0 percent higher than Hawaii.

“Hawaii is a state that was on the forefront of managed care and adopted an integrated care model as a strategy to address cost, quality, and access over 40 years ago,” explains Lon Wilson, President & CEO of The Wilson Agency, a UBA Partner Firm in Alaska. “Alaska, on the other hand, has resisted most forms of care management, not the least of which is the carrier’s limited ability to contract with physicians. We are just now beginning to see collaboration between payers, providers, and hospitals, but we are way behind the rest of the country. This, coupled with our small population, geographic size, lack of transportation infrastructure, and cultural diversity, add up to a perfect storm of high cost of care, large variations in quality and access challenges,” says Wilson.

Other states that fare better than the national average, and are among the five best states for health plan costs, include Arkansas, New Mexico, Virginia, and Oklahoma at $7,704, $7,793, $7,858, and $7,915, respectively.

Premiums increased the most for singles in Louisiana (23.5 percent) and California (17.2 percent), and families saw the biggest premium increase (7.6 percent) in South Carolina. Connecticut was the only state to see a modest decrease in single premiums (5.1 percent) and decreases in family premiums were largely nonexistent, according to the survey.

Costs and Contributions by Industry

Total costs per employee for the retail, construction, and hospitality sectors are 8.6 percent to 21.2 percent lower than the average, making employees in these industries among the least expensive to cover. Surprisingly, the finance industry eclipsed the government sector—the perennial leader in the highest costs per employee— and now pays, on average, $11,842 per employee, a 16 percent increase from 2014. Government plans still have the third highest average cost per employee ($11,817), yet employee contributions are 45.2 percent ($2,105) less than the average employee contribution of $3,333.

Health Plan Options

UBA finds that more than half (53.7 percent) of all employers offer one health plan to employees, while 28.7 percent offer two plan options, and 17.6 percent offer three or more options.

“The percentage of employers now offering three or more plans is of particular interest since it represents nearly a 28 percent increase over the past five years,” says McPhearson. “More and more, employers are offering expanded choices to employees either through private exchange solutions or by simply adding high-, medium-, and low-cost options, a trend we believe will continue to increase. Not only do employees get more options, but employers can introduce lower-cost plans that ultimately may attract enrollment and lower their costs.”


Group Healthcare Premiums by State: How does your plan stack up?

Original post ubabenefits.com

We recently highlighted the top five best and worst states for group health plan costs. See below for your state's average monthly premiums.

 2015 Monthly Premium by State© 2016 United Benefit Advisors, LLC. All rights reserved.

Contact us to benchmark your plan by industry, region, or employer size today.


Top Five Best and Worst States for Group Health Plans

Original post ubabenefits.com

Health insurance premium renewal rates increased an average of 6.2 percent for all plans in 2015, up from the previous year’s 5.6 percent increase, according to UBA’s Health Plan Survey. Small businesses with fewer than 25 employees, which account for five million U.S. employers, were hit the hardest.

When looking at the data regionally, the Northeast continues to be the region with the highest average annual health insurance cost per employee in the country, with four of the five highest cost states in that region. Plans in the Northeast continue to cost the most since they typically have low or no deductibles, contain more state-mandated benefits, and feature higher in-network coinsurance, among other factors. But the state with the highest average annual cost per employee is on the other side of the continent.

Alaska tops the chart with an average annual cost of $12,822 per employee. To put that in perspective, that is 27.4% above the national average of $9,736 per employee annually, and 11.8% above next highest cost state of Massachusetts, at $11,468. Rounding out the top five are New York at $12,162, New Jersey at $12,059 and Vermont at $11,920 per employee per year in average annual health insurance costs.

Average Annual Health Care Cost per Employee

Highest Cost States Lowest Cost States
Alaska $12,822 Hawaii $7,610
New York   12,162 Arkansas   7,704
New Jersey   12,059 New Mexico   7,793
Vermont   11,920 Virginia   7,858
Massachusetts   11,468 Oklahoma   7,915

On the other end of the spectrum, Hawaii has the lowest average annual cost per employee, which is 24.5% below the national average at $7,610. In contrast, Alaska’s average annual cost is 51.0% higher than Hawaii. Other states that fare better than the national average and are among the five best states for health plan costs are Arkansas ($7,704), New Mexico ($7,793), Virginia ($7,858), and Oklahoma ($7,915).


Case Study: Using Data to Identify Healthcare Savings for a Mid-size Manufacturer

Original post ubabenefits.com

Historically, companies have struggled with the best way to package and deliver benefits to attract talent and retain staff. Today, companies understand that they need to leverage a variety of solutions to provide meaningful healthcare coverage, promote wellbeing and mitigate cost. UBA Partners offer innovative product and service solutions to identify medical spend waste and improve efficient spend, allowing employers to reinvest in the correct resources that will improve employee health. For one mid-sized manufacturer, UBA Partner LHD Benefit Advisors used Vital Incite risk scoring tools to coordinate efforts between the employer HR and C-suite, the advisor and the population health consultant.

Key information unique to this employer:

  • Japanese owned and multiple nationalities employed with little knowledge of the American health care system other than in the HR team
  • Manufacturing company with predominately male employees
  • Onsite clinic opened April 2014 with initial services including primary care, physical therapy, massage therapy, lab, nurse health coaching
  • Increase in medical plan participation due to growing workforce and rich medical plan offered at a low cost to employees.

Value of what was delivered:

  • Improved risk migration of high/very high risk members (total population and same cohort)
  • Improved efficiency of medical plan utilization and improved unit cost
  • Improved care coordination (decreased ER visits, decrease in multiple medications, increase in number of members with a primary care physician)
  • Targeted outreach from onsite clinic to improve overall health of members

Problem 1: Increase in medical plan spend

Prior to the clinic opening, the medical plan saw utilization of ER visits and imaging services along with associated costs above benchmark. The number of covered lives (employees and spouses) was also increasing as well as the average employer paid amount per member due to high cost utilization of an unmanaged workforce. Current medical plans were two low deductible, PPO plans with little consumerism and offered at low cost to employees.

Problem 2: Low onsite clinic utilization

The first six months the clinic was open showed low utilization for several services resulting in the employer reducing services effective January 1, 2015, through March 31, 2015, to help reduce costs. The suspended services included patient advocacy, evening clinic hours, reduced health coaching hours and physical therapy. In order to fully recognize the benefit of an onsite clinic, employees needed easier access to the clinic during working hours, a better understanding of services provided (i.e. labs, medications and nurse coaching) and targeted outreach to key members.

Problem 3: Increase in risk migration of member population

Data revealed employees carried the majority of the high/very high risk, and risk migration from 2013 to 2014 showed a neutral to slight increase (Figure 1). Further analysis showed a higher than average percentage of untreated chronic conditions, including diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Cost information from a disease perspective showed the potential impact specific disease programs within the clinic could have on employee health and medical cost.

Risk Distribution - high to very high riskRisk distribution bar chart

Analysis of Avoided Costs

The data reported from the population health team was instrumental in developing a strategy to have an impact on the member population and a successful onsite clinic. Once there was an understanding of the prospective risk and impact of chronic disease management by the employer C-suite, the HR team gained support for the initiatives developed by the population health and HR teams. A key illustration (Figure 2) to this point was showing a cost avoidance calculation for key services provided by the onsite clinic.

Avoided cost calculation


Employee Relations: Don't Bring Me Down!

Original post ubabenefits.com

Every workplace has its fair share of slackers and goof-offs, but it’s what an employer does with those employees that solidifies its corporate culture as one of high or low performance.

Employers that ignore low-performing employees risk more than just productivity. In an article titled, “Study: Beware ‘Toxic’ Influence of Low-Performers” on the Society For Human Resource Management’s website, research found that low-performing employees hurt overall morale and increased their co-workers' workload. Furthermore, innovation and motivation are stifled and mediocrity is deemed acceptable.

What may be of most concern is that a mere 60% of survey respondents looked at their co-workers and would rehire them. Their motto should have been: we may hire the best, but we keep the rest.

Successful companies know how to weed out their weakest links, while rewarding and retaining high-performing employees. They know that employees who perform poorly can cause high-performing employees to seek jobs elsewhere. Successful companies are able to identify their best employees, then they establish incentives, opportunities, or other ways of ensuring they stay.

 

So, how do you identify the best, or even the best of the best? It’s not as easy as it may seem. These are the top 10% to 15% of the organization. A company must first determine a set of guidelines that mark an employee as a high performer. Once the guidelines are in place, observation of these employee traits should be done in order to ensure uniformity and that the guidelines were set correctly.

 

Now that a company knows what it expects in its employees, it’s time to announce that to everyone so that they either know they’re doing the right things, or can make a plan for improvement. At the same time, employers should conduct surveys on employee satisfaction. Their focus should be on their top performers and what makes them happy.

 

Plenty of data should be collected regarding the criteria that not only make an employee a top performer at the company, but also what he or she prefers in terms of job satisfaction. Going forward, this data should be matched to potential recruiting candidates for new positions. In addition, surveys that measure the quality of a new hire (i.e., whether the recruiter hired the right candidate) should be completed at predetermined intervals of three, six, nine, or 12 months.

 

In jobs where there is high demand and lots of attrition, correctly recruiting and retaining the best performers could be the key difference in a company’s success.

Here are the top 10 most costly U.S. workplace injuries

Original post lifehealthpro.com

Workplace injuries and accidents are the near the top of every employer’s list of concerns. Here is the countdown of the top 10 causes and direct costs of the most disabling U.S. workplace injuries. The definitions and examples are found at the BLS website.

  1. Repetitive motions involving micro-tasks

Some of these tasks may include a word processor who looks from the computer monitor to a document and back several times a day or the cashier at the local grocery store who is scanning and bagging groceries for several hours at a time.

  1. Struck against object or equipment

This category of workplace injury applies to workers who are hurt by forcible contact or impact, for example, an office worker who bumps into a filing cabinet or an assembly line worker who stubs a toe on stacked parts.

  1. Caught in or compressed by equipment or objects

These workplace injuries result from workers being caught in equipment or machinery that’s still running as well as in rolling, shifting or sliding objects.

Picture the scene in a movie in which wine barrels topple over, catching the bad guy beneath them, only in this case, it’s the employee whose job it may be to stack the barrels. Perhaps it’s the experienced worker who removes a machine guard to dislodge material that’s stuck and gets a finger caught when the machine starts moving again.

  1. Slip or trip without fall

Occasionally, workers do slip or trip without hitting the ground. Think of the employee entering the workplace who slips on icy stairs but is able to grab the handrail to prevent hitting the ground. But the action of grabbing the handrail may cause the employee to injure his shoulder or wrench her knee.

  1. Roadway incidents involving motorized land vehicle

The worker may be the driver, a passenger or a pedestrian, but the cause of the injury is an automobile, truck or motorcycle.

  1. Other exertions or bodily reactions

These motions include bending, crawling, reaching, twisting, climbing or stepping, according to the BLS. Consider, for example, a roofing contractor’s employees who are continually climbing up and down ladders.

  1. Struck by object or equipment

This category covers a range of possible injuries, from being struck by an object dropped by a fellow worker to being caught in a swinging door or gate. Picture the construction worker on a scaffold dropping a hammer on the worker below.

  1. Falls to lower level

The roofer could fall to the ground from the roof or ladder, or an office worker standing on a stepstool, reaching for a heavy file box, could fall to the floor.

  1. Falls on same level

The second most costly workplace injury, surprisingly, is a fall on the same level. Picture the employee who is walking through the office and falls over an uneven floor surface or someone leaning too far back in an office chair and toppling over.

  1. Overexertion involving an outside source

The BLS explains that overexertion occurs when the physical effort of a worker who lifts, pulls, pushes, holds, carries, wields or throws an object results in an injury.

The object being handled is often heavier than the weight that a worker should be handling or the object is handled improperly. For example, lifting from a shelf that’s too high, or in a space that’s cramped. Within the broad category of sprains, strains, and tears caused by overexertion, most incidents resulted specifically from overexertion in lifting.

Risk managers should work with their carriers and workplace safety specialists to minimize injuries, lost work days and workers’ compensation costs. With a little effort, employers can understand more about the causes of accidents and injuries in their organizations, identify the appropriate actions to reduce the number of injuries and minimize employee disabilities from workplace accidents.

 

 

Workplace injuries and accidents are the near the top of every employer’s list of concerns. Here is the countdown of the top 10 causes and direct costs of the most disabling U.S. workplace injuries.