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The WSIA Weekly, 9.11.15

Two weeks to Fall Conference – get your registrations in!

We’re in the two week countdown to our Fall Conference on September 25th at the SeaTac area Embassy Suites. In addition to the sessions organized around the “Key into Safety” theme, we have two important claims management sessions teed up as well – an update on the DSM-5 conversion and psychiatric claims, and a case study by Safeway/Albertsons on an innovative early-intervention program to minimize lost time. As always, we’ll have a day of the best networking the region has for comp and safety professionals. See the agenda at this link, with registration information included.

 Washington Roundtable puts Washington at 50th in country for workers’ comp costs

The Washington Roundtable, the public policy organization comprised of the CEOs of major Washington private sector employers, including many WSIA member companies, just released their “Benchmarks for a Better Washington” guidance to elected officials. For another consecutive year, the Roundtable notes Washington is 50th in the nation for workers’ comp costs, “a significant deterrent to growth and job creation.” See the benchmarks here.  

 Labor & Industries publishes international travel guideline

Earlier this month, the Department of Labor & Industries published a “fact sheet” for employees who are on international travel for work. The sheet discusses disease/injury avoidance while traveling, what to do if the employee becomes ill or injured abroad, and information to provide foreign health care providers. For affected employers to share with their workers, see the fact sheet here.   

 House Labor Committee to hold workers’ comp and safety hearings next week

In legislative news, the House Labor Committee is holding a multidisciplinary work session on Monday, September 14th at the state capitol campus in Olympia at 10:00 a.m. Topics before the committee for discussion include: Occupational exposure to lead; workers’ compensation fraud by workers; claims management on catastrophic claims; and payroll cards and other wage payment methods. Members interested in listening in live on the work session should save this link to the TVW network website and tune in at 10:00 a.m.

 Workers’ comp ‘gender parity’ law? Collecting time loss while competing in beauty pageants? Check out our Facebook page.

For those members who haven’t already “liked” and follow our Facebook page, it’s an almost daily update of industry news and tidbits. This week we noted a law passed by the California Senate that would prohibit certain gender-based medical conditions from being labeled as “pre-existing” when calculating workers’ comp benefits, as well as an update on the curious case of the high-heeled beauty contestant/time loss claimant nabbed for fraud for appearing on YouTube competing in pageants. Not to mention topics ranging from the effect of automation on the workforce, final rating exams, knee, hip, and spine surgery issues, and more. Take a look.    

 Save the Date: Legal Issues Workshop 2015 coming Oct. 29-29

Our popular annual Legal Issues Workshop, a two-day conference led by a duo of legal experts and guest speakers, is returning October 28th and 29th, at a fun new location: the conference center adjacent the Great Wolf Lodge in Grand Mound. Led by Kathy Eims and Betsy Reeve with guest presentations by employer rep Jack Eng of the Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals and myself, the program has been awarded 10.5 L&I credits (7.5 claims management, 3 legal), and 12.5 credits for CRC, CDMS, WWCP (statutory) and CLE (pending). Registration opens next week – in the meantime, please save the date.