New Digest 2-14-2020

Quote of the day

“It’s sort of like an iceberg. What we believe that we’re seeing is only 10 percent — the part that’s above the surface.”

Amanda Terry, director of compliance, Tennessee Bureau of Workers’ Compensation

Nashville Scene


Tennessee BWC report details noncompliance in construction

A new Tennessee Bureau of Workers’ Compensation Compliance Program report highlights how construction companies and subcontractors are misclassifying employees in order to avoid paying workers’ compensation, a practice that puts them at physical risk and gives labor brokers an unfair advantage. According to the report, the compliance program assessed more than $4.5 million in penalties from 2018 to 2019, but collected only $1.8 million in assessments. Nashville Scene


New Orleans officials consider contractor accountability rules following hotel collapse

New Orleans City Council members are considering penalizing city contractors who violate local, state and federal laws concerning workers’ safety and wages, following the collapse of the Hard Rock Hotel project, which killed three people and injured dozens. Proposals include fining contractors for breaking rules that bar wage theft, payroll fraud and employee misclassifications. New Orleans Times-Picayune


Ohio House again approves PTSD coverage for first responders

The Ohio House on Wednesday approved a measure covering post-traumatic stress disorder in first responders that would base benefits off of the mental health condition rather than requiring a physical injury. The bill now moves to the Ohio Senate where a similar measure was removed from previous legislation. WKSU [with audio]


Ohio workplace injuries decrease

Workplace injuries in Ohio’s private sector fell by more than 8 percent in 2018, and on-the-job fatalities saw an even larger decline, according to the most recent federal survey data. However, the Dayton metro area saw a 20 percent increase in workplace deaths. Statewide, glass manufacturing workers saw the largest increase in nonfatal injury and illness rates in 2018. Dayton Daily News


Contractor sued for alleged role in 2017 gas explosion in Colorado

A Denver-based energy firm is suing one of its contractors, demanding unspecified damages, on grounds the contractor failed to provide proper safeguards in advance of a 2017 explosion at a wellsite that injured an employee. Daily Camera