News Digest 7-22-2021


Flash: Workers’ Comp Rate Decision

Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara made quick work in issuing his workers’ comp pure premium rate decision just two weeks after the record closed. How big is the decrease? Workers’ Comp Executive


Pennsylvania task force wants to crack down on unfair labor practices in construction

In 2018, the City of Pittsburgh set out to create a tax fraud task force to address alleged illegal practices in the construction industry. Earlier this month, representatives from the task force got state lawmakers involved. The task force defines tax fraud as either using “unscrupulous subcontractors” who operate without proper licenses and pay employees off the books or misclassifying them as independent contractors. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


Fed-OSHA signs alliance with Ohio Agribusiness Association on grain handling hazards

Fed-OSHA this month signed a two-year safety alliance with the Ohio On-Site Consultation Program, the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation and the Ohio Agribusiness Association intended to train employees on the grain industry’s six major hazards: engulfment, falls, auger entanglement, “struck by,” combustible dust explosions and electrocution hazards and Fed-OSHA’s Grain-Handling Safety Standard. Ohio’s Country Journal


Colorado contractor sentenced to 10 months for fatal trench collapse

An Avon, Colorado construction contractor has received a 10-month jail sentence for felony manslaughter and negligent homicide charges following a trench collapse at a residential worksite that fatally injured an employee, who was installing a water service line, in June 2018. The employee’s son also was working at the site and helped responders dig his father out. CBS Denver


Florida deputy denied workers’ comp for COVID

An insurer has denied two workers’ compensation claims filed by a veteran Florida sheriff’s deputy who has been severely affected by COVID-19. If he cannot return to full-duty work, the sheriff office’s policy could force him into early retirement, just a few months prior to his 25-year mark with the agency which would cause him to lose 30 percent of his pension and retirement benefits. WFTS (Tampa)


Employers plead guilty in 2015 deaths of two employees in railcar explosion

An Omaha company and its owners have pleaded guilty in federal court to charges stemming from a 2015 railcar explosion that killed two employees. Fed-OSHA investigators determined the company blatantly ignored air quality warnings before the blast and that the men did not have proper safety equipment. Sentencing is scheduled for late October. WOWT (Omaha)