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Knowledge at Work - UL Workplace Health & Safety

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Occupational Health

Asking the tough questions: spinal fusion in workers’ compensation patients

October 10, 2011 - Posted by Dr. Bill Newkirk

Trang Nguyen MD, PhD and her colleagues from the University of Cincinnati, using their own money to avoid funding bias, conducted an important study to determine whether lumbar fusion was a useful treatment for workers’ compensation patients with herniated or degenerating lumbar discs. Since the FDA approved the use of interbody cages in 1996, the rates of lumbar fusion surgery have increased dramatically. With an average cost per procedure of greater than $60,000, physicians and hospitals have a strong economic incentive to perform the procedure.

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Topics: occupational health, healthcare, return to work, employee health, workers' compensation, employees

When states require wrong answers

September 08, 2011 - Posted by Dr. Bill Newkirk

Colorado is the only state that still requires physicians to use the out-dated, third edition of the AMA’s Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment, published in 1990. The most recent, sixth edition of the Guides, was published in 2008. The Guides instruct physicians how to assign percentage ratings of impairment, which is defined as the loss, or loss of use of a body structure or function. The third edition of the Guides was important because it introduced a new way, called the “range of motion method”, to assign impairment to for the lower back. This method relied on the physician using two inclinometers (circular, plastic devices that register motion) simultaneously to record the amount an injured worker could move in flexion, extension, left lateral flexion and right lateral flexion. The method required numerous measures and a series of computations after the measures were recorded. Physicians frequently got it wrong.

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Topics: occupational health, workplace safety, healthcare, return to work, workforce, employees

Knowledge sharing from the workplace health and safety industry

July 06, 2011 - Posted by Eric Glass

If you missed any of our recent webinars, you can access the recorded versions via the links below.
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Topics: occupational health, workplace safety, OSHA, healthcare, return to work, OSHA 300, injury prevention, OSHA recordkeeping

Building a successful return-to-work program

June 27, 2011 - Posted by Kathy Dayvault

A few days ago we hosted a webinar focusing on integrating safety and health to build a return to work program.

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Topics: wellness, occupational health, workplace safety, healthcare, return to work

Employee health - absence management programs

May 08, 2011 - Posted by Kathy Dayvault

Employers who understand the impact of employee absenteeism can take steps to control it. A total absence management program is a very effective tool for managing the issues relating to employee absences.

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Topics: training, occupational health, workplace safety, healthcare, return to work, employee health, injury prevention, absenteeism, safety culture