Today we start a new feature, Safety News Summary. Each week, we’ll provide a quick summary of new, useful safety info on the web. This week: workers’ comp fraud, pain medications, using equipment the way it’s meant to be, stranger danger, and OSHA’s I2P2 initiative.
Several types of people can participate in workers’ comp fraud: employees, employers and people in the medical profession. Recently, Workers’ Comp Insider took a look at a California doctor who is accused of running a pill mill. In one instance, a woman used x-rays of her dog to get the physician to prescribe pain killers for her.
Speaking of pain killers, The New York Times published an article noting the war on drugs is shifting from illegal substances to prescription pain meds. More and more, employers have to be concerned not that their employees are under the influence of illicit substances but that they’re out of it at work because they’ve taken large doses of prescription pain killers.
While some workers use medications in ways they aren’t meant to be taken, others use workplace equipment that way. Next time you have to hammer home that equipment should only be used the way it’s meant to be, you might want to show them this video of a woman who tried to ride up an escalator in her wheelchair. Yes, she toppled over in the chair, but luckily didn’t receive any serious injuries.
Occasionally, we’ll also highlight off-the-job safety in this weekly roundup. An incident in Safety News Alert’s vicinity (Philadelphia) recently has focused attention on Stranger Danger and children. An attempted abduction of a 10-year-old girl on a city street was caught on surveillance video. The girl kicked and bit her attacker, causing the man to drop her and run away. The girl’s parents credit having her watch videos about Stranger Danger on YouTube to teach her what to do if she is attacked or approached by an adult she doesn’t know. The girl is OK, and the suspect turned himself over to police.
Finally, OSHA’s Injury and Illness Prevention Program (I2P2) gets a boost from a respected safety organization. In testimony before the U.S. House Subcommittee on Workforce Protections, the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) urged consideration that OSHA require all employers have I2P2s in place. ASSE said this “may be the only way OSHA’s overall approach to workplace regulation can be in line with how the best results in workplace safety are achieved.” I2P2 has been a priority for OSHA administrator David Michaels, although the agency admits it’s nowhere near ready to enact a regulation requiring them.
That’s it for our first edition of Safety News Summary. Have thoughts on any of the above stories? Want to nominate something you’ve seen on the web for consideration on our weekly roundup? Let us know about it in the comments below.