The WSIA Weekly, 5.1.15

See you next week at the Annual Conference!

Over three hundred WSIA members and friends, and over 40, are headed to the Tri-Cities next week (forecast: sun and 70s-80s!) for golf, wine, and WSIA’s 44th Annual Conference, the “Wild World of Workers’ Compensation!” We’re excited to hear from Bob Wilson of, Dr. Gary Franklin from Labor & Industries, and all of our general session and breakout presenters. The registration cutoff is today, so if you’re still on the fence about going – don’t be. Click here for the conference information and registration, and join us next week.

Encore presentation of the Labor & Industries-WSIA webinar on audit reform May 11

Interest in this past Wednesday’s webinar jointly produced by WSIA and Labor & Industries updating the community on the first quarter results of the new audit reform model surpassed our webinar service’s reserved number of logins. Because of that, we sent out a link to the recording of the webinar to all who registered but may not have been able to login, and we’ve scheduled an encore live webinar with L&I staff on Monday, May 11th from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. This is a complimentary webinar open to WSIA members and non-members alike. Click here to register. If you’re interested in a link to the archive from the April 29th run, e-mail Kari Heinold and request it.  

WSIA President Therese Baxter joins presenters at 2015 Worker Memorial Ceremony

Last Tuesday, Therese Baxter of the Seattle Mariners and Seattle Seahawks, currently serving as WSIA’s president, joined Governor Jay Inslee, and other business and labor representatives at the annual Worker Memorial Ceremony to honor the memory of the 89 workers who died on the job or as a result of an occupational disease last year. Baxter’s message that “an unsafe act is unacceptable in any workplace environment” resonated with the guests, which included families and friends of the deceased, legislators, L&I staff, and others. The ceremony is an important reminder about the importance of preventing workplace injuries and deaths in the future. The roughly hour-long ceremony can be viewed on TVW at this link, with photos on our Facebook page and L&I’s Facebook page.

Governor Inslee signs HB 1496, return to work enhancements

On Wednesday, Governor Jay Inslee signed House Bill 1496, legislation requested by the Department of Labor & Industries to enhance the Preferred Worker Program and the vocational rehabilitation system. Now approved, the law goes into effect July 24, 2015. In addition to adding cash incentives to the predominately State Fund Preferred Worker Program, the bill also expands the “Option 2” settlement in vocational rehabilitation from 6 months of time loss to 9 months of time loss, and makes the election available during the first quarter of a training program. The bill also caps inflationary increases in the retraining benefit level.

“Eye on DOSH” free half-day seminar coming this month

WSIA’s safety committee, in conjunction with the Washington Farm Bureau, is presenting “Eye on DOSH: What to Expect when the Safety Inspector Comes Calling,” a free half-day panel presentation on preparing both for general safety investigations as well as more specialized accident/fatality investigations. The day will feature quite a bit of Q&A with expert panelists from the public and private sectors, corporate and government, and the defense bar. More information is available about the event by clicking this link, and to register, we ask that you e-mail Kari Heinold your intention to attend.

Two new webinars also coming soon this month

Psychiatric Diagnoses

In just under two weeks, on Thursday May 14th, we’re presenting “Getting a Grip on Psychiatric Diagnoses in Workers’ Comp,” featuring Dr. Brian Grant, Medical Consultants Network’s President and Medical Director. Dr. Grant will cover how psychiatric diagnoses become part of claims and how to address them when they do. He’ll focus in particular on diagnoses often associated with claims such depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and malingering, and will take Q&A. Click here for more details and registration information.

Aging Workforce

Did you know that by 2016, the Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts that one-third of the U.S. labor force will be age 50 or above? The following week, on May 19th, we’re featuring Dr. Clyde Wilson, U.S. HealthWorks’ recently retired Medical Director in Washington, for “The Aging Workforce – Will Your Company Adapt?” Dr. Wilson will discuss adapting the workplace environment to deal with demographic changes associated with an aging workforce. Dr. Wilson’s presentation, which has been awarded a Safety and Health Investment Project (SHIP) grant from the Department of Labor & Industries, focus on accident prevention and will be of interest to your colleagues not only in claims, but also safety and human resources. Click here for more details and registration information, and feel free to forward this timely and informative information to your safety and human resource colleagues.  

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