December 14, 2017

Ohio Employers Receive $373,000 in Workplace Safety Grants

Columbus, OH – Sixteen Ohio employers will share $372,967 in grants from the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) to purchase equipment designed to substantially reduce or eliminate workplace injuries and illnesses. “Ohio businesses recognize the value of investments in new safety tools and equipment that can protect their workers from injury,” said BWC Administrator/CEO Sarah Morrison. “Safe, healthy workers are key to a successful business.” BWC approved…[Continue Reading]

TX Companies Earn DWC Lone Star Safety Program Awards

Austin, TX – The Division of Workers’ Compensation recently recognized multiple companies for exemplary workplace safety programs and low rates of work-related injuries and illnesses. Lauren Concrete was honored for reaching those goals at their Brenham, La Grange, and Waller locations. Workers’ Compensation Commissioner Ryan Brannan presented the company with their Lone Star Safety Program Award. Lauren Concrete manufactures ready-mix concrete. Commissioner Brannan…[Continue Reading]

Ohio Carpenter Nailed for Workers’ Comp Fraud

Columbus, OH – A southeastern Ohio man must reimburse the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) more than $23,000 after investigators found him working several jobs while collecting injured worker’s benefits. Ernest Shawn Baker, 45, of Pomeroy in Meigs County, also must serve five years of community control after pleading guilty to a fifth-degree felony count of workers’ compensation fraud Nov. 29 in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas. His probation could terminate sooner…[Continue Reading]

WA L&I: Cost of Workers’ Compensation Insurance Dropping for Many Next Year

Tumwater, WA – The state Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) recently announced that the average amount employers and workers pay for the coverage will drop by 2.5 percent in 2018. After proposing the decrease in September, the agency hosted several public hearings around the state to take input. L&I Director Joel Sacks made the final decision last week. “We’ve made several improvements that are helping injured workers heal, return to work sooner and avoid long-term disability,” said Sacks…[Continue Reading]

Former Postal Employee Gets Prison, Must Pay Almost $1.0 Million for Fraudulently Obtaining Workers’ Comp Benefits

Great Falls, ID – The United States Attorney’s Office recently announced that Deborah Joy Durand, a 55-year-old resident of Fruitland, Idaho, was sentenced to 15 months in prison, two years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $903,316.48 in restitution and forfeiture. U.S. District Court Judge Brian Morris Morris presided over the sentencing hearing. At trial, the government presented the following evidence. Durand had a back injury from her job at the Post Office. She had back surgery and…[Continue Reading]

MT Workplace Injury and Illness Rates Decline for Fourth Straight Year

Helena, MT – For the fourth straight year, Montana’s workplace safety has improved, while injury and illness rates have declined. The annual Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses conducted by the Department of Labor & Industry’s Data Management Unit showed that private industry workplaces in Montana have reported an incidence rate of 4.2 injury and illness cases per hundred full-time workers in 2016. The 2015 incidence rate was 4.3 cases per hundred full-time workers…[Continue Reading]

Ohio Convict Adds Workers’ Comp Fraud to Criminal Record

Columbus, OH – A Cleveland garbage hauler and construction worker serving time in a federal prison for fraud, money laundering and violating the Clean Air Act pleaded guilty to workers’ compensation fraud last week. Christopher Gattarello, 53, pleaded guilty Nov. 22 to a fifth-degree felony count of workers’ compensation fraud for working while receiving temporary disability benefits from the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. A judge in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas sentenced…[Continue Reading]

NY Heavy Equipment Operator Gets Prison After Stealing Workers’ Comp Benefits & Leaving Employees Without Coverage

Auburn, NY – New York State Inspector General Catherine Leahy Scott and Cayuga County District Attorney Jon E. Budelmann recently announced that a central New York heavy equipment operator has been sentenced in Cayuga County Court to 1-to-3 years in State prison and full restitution for stealing more than $83,000 in Workers’ Compensation insurance benefits, to which he was not entitled, while also failing to provide his own logging company’s employees with required Workers’ Compensation…[Continue Reading]

Safety National Awards 2017 Safety First Grant for Creative Risk Control Solutions

St. Louis, MO – Safety National awarded the annual Safety First Grant to three policyholders for their creative risk control solutions. The first-place grant, in the amount of $10,000, was awarded to Alliance of Schools for Cooperative Insurance Programs to purchase garbage can assistive lifting devices to alleviate injuries due to heavy lifting while emptying garbage cans into dumpsters. The second-place grant, in the amount of $5,000, was awarded to Capital Region Educational…[Continue Reading]

WY State Occupational Epidemiologist Releases Annual Report on Workplace Fatalities

Cheyenne, WY – The Wyoming Department of Workforce Services (DWS) recently released an updated Work-Related Fatal Injuries report. The report, which provides analysis over years 2012-2016 and is the second multi-year report, reveals a complete view of recent fatality patterns in the state by industry and cause. Wyoming continues to have one of the highest occupational fatality rates in the country. In 2016, the State Occupational Epidemiologist identified 27 workplace fatalities…[Continue Reading]

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