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AK safety stats are bogus

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squeemy View Drop Down
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    Posted: Mar 14 2010 at 8:24pm
Page 57 of the current issue of Business Week questions the validity of AK Steel's safety statistics.

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409 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 409 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 14 2010 at 9:28pm
squeemy.....That's not particularly surprising. I've been told that they have been known to bring a person in and let them sit through a shift to keep from having a "Lost Time Accident".
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bill Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 14 2010 at 9:38pm
yep, they practically operate an Urgent Care out there.  A friend's dad once sliced the heck out of his leg and they stitched him up and let him rest on a gurney for a week while reading magazines and watching TV.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote squeemy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 15 2010 at 11:00am
what's surprising is that they're finally getting nailed for it.
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Hermes View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hermes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 15 2010 at 11:09am
Originally posted by 409 409 wrote:

squeemy.....That's not particularly surprising. I've been told that they have been known to bring a person in and let them sit through a shift to keep from having a "Lost Time Accident".
 
 
Lots of companies do this, it's nothing new nor limited to any one company. A steel company next to GE had a guy with a broken leg sit in the guard shack all day and paid him a percentage of his regular pay. The company I use to work for would have you do office work if you were injured. The bad part of this is if the injury is work related and the employee does not retain a workman comp attorney, then the company can make you do this and you don't get workman comp for the injury.
No more democrats no more republicans,vote Constitution Party !!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lrisner Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 15 2010 at 6:45pm
Originally posted by Hermes Hermes wrote:

Originally posted by 409 409 wrote:

squeemy.....That's not particularly surprising. I've been told that they have been known to bring a person in and let them sit through a shift to keep from having a "Lost Time Accident".
 
 
Lots of companies do this, it's nothing new nor limited to any one company. A steel company next to GE had a guy with a broken leg sit in the guard shack all day and paid him a percentage of his regular pay. The company I use to work for would have you do office work if you were injured. The bad part of this is if the injury is work related and the employee does not retain a workman comp attorney, then the company can make you do this and you don't get workman comp for the injury.


Agreed! Unfortunately it is a sign of how Honor is no longer as prevailant in Big Business as it has been in times before. We go thru Cycles. It was bad 100yrs ago until People got sick of it and passed Laws to Regulate Business.

Now 100yrs later, they have figured out how to around the Law, and in some (a lot) paid Lobbyist to influence (in some cases, pay) our Reps to get the Law changed.

A new set of Regs are in order.
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Hermes View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hermes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 16 2010 at 8:51am
I'm not sure if new rules are called for right now. You know how these politicians are, when is the last time you seen one that actually helped the people ? If they get to screwing around with the workman comp rules you better look out they will change to the companies advantage.
No more democrats no more republicans,vote Constitution Party !!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote spiderjohn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 16 2010 at 9:27am
I no nothing about AK, but as a business owner:
If I have an injured worker who cannot perform their usual duties and has to miss work time(paid through Workers Comp), my business pays a premium penalty for that incident for many years.
If I keep that worker on a different job that is approved by the physicians and program(while paying full pay rate), my business saves big time in future Worker's Comp premiums. It is much better to pay the person as usual, whether working or not, than to face the premium spike. If the "light duty" or "restricted duty" is approved by the doctors, then the employee must work the scheduled shifts.
Remember--the business owners and workers didn't make these rules--just have to play them out.
 
I would think that lrisner and many others understand exactly what I am saying.
 
So--if YOU were the business owner, what option would you choose?
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lrisner View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lrisner Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 16 2010 at 10:39am
I understand completely Spider. However, when a Company uses those same "inaccurate" Stats, generated by the light Duty cases, to work against a real Safety Program I have a problem with it.

Let's take your example. What if the Employee on light Duty got injured as the result of a negligent Safety Program or even a irresponsible Supervisor. Would there not be some Liability later if another Employee was injured by the devices that caused the first injury. By putting an Employee on Light Duty, when the Employee might not be able to even remotely perform those Duties, are we not masking a potentially serious problem.

Let's say the Employee was put on light Duty because He fell in an unlighted area that requires an expensive procedure to relight. I have seen this tolerance of lighting issues a lot, especially with Lighting in very high locations that require a man lift or other expensive Equipment to repair. We put the Guy on light Duty and all is well, UNTIL another falls in the same location and this time they break their Neck. Now maybe at your Business, you would fess up about the Hazard, but I promise you that there are a  lot of Big Corps that would fight to the death before even owning up to letting an existing Hazard continue without resolution.

Such Employee related Issues have tremendous long term consequences, even to a much greater extent than you have mentioned. Think about the cost of having to provide some costly new PPE (personal protective equipment) to, perhaps, 100s or even 1000s of Employees thru out a Big Corp. The cost could EASILY get into the millions.

So you can clearly see that my position is not one of disapproving because an Employer lets the Stock Boy with a bit a back Injury work in the Office for a few Weeks as a Gopher. I DO have a problem with limping nearly Crippled People into a Company (which I have seen) where they have no real function other than to skew the Stats.

With all due respect Spidey, I think you and I are talking about completely different scenarios.


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Hermes View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hermes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 16 2010 at 11:09am
Irisner - Could you be refering to "self insured" companies ? I do know by experience because I have a 15% disability due to on the job injury and self insured companies will go to any length to cook the numbers. I always advise anyone hurt on the job to seek an attorney for self protection. I seriously doubt that in Spiders case an employee would need an attorney, but in large corporations like AK & my former employer it is a must. And I agree with you that by having employees on light duty it does skew the numbers. But theres not much that can be done about this because if a doctor says yes your injured but you can sit and type then taking light duty is your only option.
 
Plus self insured companies can lose their insurance rating if they appear to the state as having to many injuries if reported. Thus the need for light duty & the need to keep those numbers down. But again I can't express the importance enough on having a workman comp attorney.
No more democrats no more republicans,vote Constitution Party !!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote spiderjohn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 16 2010 at 5:17pm
lrisner--the only stats that matter my way are those impacting my Workers Comp rate.
I don't play any games about trying to prove any other safety rating other than providing a safe working environment. Granted, your situation involved SERIOUS safety issues in a location where numerous people have been killed. Obviously putting an improperly trained employee into a dangerous situation is not acceptable.
 
By putting an employee on "light duty" is in no way related to the situation mentioned above.
In my case, it is simply a way to accomodate both the employee and the employer.
 
In my history, I have found the majority of on the job injuries to be caused by employees failing to follow mandates and procedures, and simple carelessness. Often supervisors are guilty of allowing or even encouraging dangerous activity. Of course, improper working conditions are a negative contributing factor.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VietVet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 17 2010 at 6:51am
Irisner- I can give you a personal situation on how big corporations handle injuries and how an employee reacts when they think their job is threatened.

In late 1993, I was working for P&G at their Sharon Woods Technical Center on Reed-Hartman in Cincy. At the time, P&G was in a downsizing mode and everyone was fearful for their jobs, not wishing to give P&G any reason to fire them. I felt the same way. I went to a company function at GE Park down off 275 and tore my Achilles Tendon playing softball. I was in a full leg cast for 6 weeks. After sitting at home for one week, I started worrying about my employment, so I ask the Dr. if I could go back into work to perform light duty. He approved light duty and I went back to work in a wheelchair and some crutches. When I got to work, one of the tasks I was asked to do was to go into the pilot plant and weigh some ingredients into a perfume batch. A perfume batch can have approximately 100 ingredients in the formula and one must go to the shelf the ingredient is on, carry it over to the balance and weigh it, then, return it to the shelf and on to the next ingredient. I used one crutch to "hobble" over to the shelf, balance myself on one crutch and "hobble" back over to the bench to weigh the ingredient. Some of the ingredients were in 25 lb. cans. Normally 25 lbs, is no problem, but try carrying that using one leg, a crutch and the "hobble' method. Takes a long time to do and risks a fall and a safety hazard. Now, people would ask, at this point, why didn't you talk to his supervisor about the situation, Answer- employees, when they are intimidated and believe they could lose their job for any reason, will do whatever it takes to hold on to their job. The last thing I wanted to do was to be in their radar sight, giving them ammunition to can me. By the way, my last day was Feb 1, 1994 after 10 years with the company. A year later, they downsized my wife for medical reasons after 15 years with the company. Needless to say, we're not very fond of P&G. This goes to show you what some employers are capable of inside the company walls as to handling injuries.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lrisner Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 17 2010 at 8:36am
As I said Spider, legit Light Duty for legit situations are fine. I was not picking on you but simply trying to explain some of the terrible abuses I have seen.

Vet.....I hear Ya!.  That is one reason I get fired up when I hear anti-Union talk, as if the Unions are in charge. HA!

Companies like AK and P&G have been very successful in negating the "Union Effect" thru Management  tactics an , quite honestly, thru Lobbying.
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