News

The Tedrick Group Recognizes Bolin Enterprises, Inc. as a Wellness Partner and Champion

Casey, Ill. (February 27, 2015) – Bolin Enterprises, Inc. a pipeline maintenance company in Casey, Ill., was recognized by The Tedrick Group as its first annual Corporate Wellness Partner. Additionally, Bolin Enterprises, Inc. HR and Marketing Manager, Deb Bohannon, was recognized by The Tedrick Group as its first annual Wellness Champion recipient.

 

The Tedrick Group Risk Management Consultants, Scott Giles and Chad Brandon, presented the recognition during the weekly Monday morning safety meeting on February 23, 2015.

 

The Tedrick Group, Risk Management Solutions, is committed to the growth and success for their customers throughout their initiatives involving Healthcare, Human Resources & Benefits and promoting a safe working environment. The Tedrick Group created the Wellness Partner and Champion Recognition Awards in 2014 as a way to acknowledge how companies are challenging themselves to accommodate the recent healthcare industry changes and to improve the overall health of their employee base.

 

“I am honored that Bolin Enterprises, Inc. has received these recognitions,” says Judy Bolin, President. “We have always had a Safety First moto in which our goal is that each day concludes with completing the circle of excellence and all employees return home safely.  Getting annual Wellness checks and being aware of health risks is part of that too.”

 

Bolin Enterprises, Inc. (BEI) a major pipeline company was started in 1986 as a family owned paint and body shop. In 1987, BEI began performing sandblasting and painting of exposed pipe locations. This rapidly expanded to include a variety of pipeline maintenance projects that propelled BEI into the pipeline maintenance arena with contracts with several pipeline companies. In 2003, BEI expanded services to include Underground Storage Tank (UST) and Aboveground Storage Tank (AST) Inspections / Cleanings / and Coatings. They are currently performing UST and AST Tank Inspections in all 50 states and Puerto Rico.

 

BEI is centrally located between Indianapolis, IN and St. Louis, MO on Interstate 70, placing the company in the heart of many major pipelines and communication hubs in St. Louis, Chicago, Detroit, Columbus and various Kentucky markets.  For more information visit Bolin Enterprises, Inc. website at www.bolininc.com.  General inquiries can be emailed to info@bolininc.com or call BEI direct at 1-800-650-7834.

 

 

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Rollback of Hours of Service Restart Rule Creates Potential for Confusion

One of the most controversial pieces of the Hours of Service (HOS) rules put into place in 2013 was a limitation on the 34-hour restart for drivers. In July 2013, the 34-hour restart rule was restricted so that drivers could only restart once every seven calendar days (168 hours) to reset the 60 or 70 hour clock. In addition, the restart needed to include two nighttime periods of 1 a.m. to 5 a.m., using the driver's home terminal time zone.
 
Those restrictions were overturned as part of the congressional budget bill passed in December 2014, returning the restart and other HOS regulations to pre-2013 requirements. In the wake of the legislation, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) immediately suspended the requirement that each restart contain two 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. overnights and the prohibition on using the provision more frequently than once every seven days.
 
While the suspension was immediate and the FMCSA is required by the law to produce a Federal Register notice to alert drivers, enforcers and other stakeholders of the change, it may take those charged with enforcement of the regulations a while to catch up. Truckers should be aware that current legislation means that:
 

There is no limit on the number of restarts a driver or motor carrier can use: the 2013 limitation of one restart every 168 consecutive hours in 7 days requirement is now gone.
The 34 consecutive hour restart can begin and end at any time during the day or night, and the two 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. consecutive nights requirement is also gone.
The 34 consecutive hour restart can commence at anytime regardless of the number of cumulative hours worked.


Although restart limitations were overturned, the 30 minute rest break required for all drivers who complete records of duty status is retained. This rule is not applicable to 100- or 150-air-mile radius operations. For more information on the hours of service rule visit the FMCSA web page on the subject by clicking the link below.

FMCSA - Hours of Service


Have a great day!
ACUITY Trucking Team

InGear Express Trucking News

 

Please join us for the Reducing Your Total Cost of Risk seminar

Are you aware of your organization's Total Cost of Risk?

Many companies do not know the real direct and indirect cost of incidents, claims, and losses within their organization. Understanding the Total Cost of Risk is essential to help organizations reduce exposure, save money, and streamline and evaluate the effectiveness of their risk management program.

We're pleased to invite you to an in-depth and engaging review of the trends, issues, opportunities, and solutions for proactive enterprise risk management. Learn more and open your eyes to the Total Cost of Risk. This workshop also provides you and your organization with a comprehensive and practical overview of strategies and tools that your organization can apply within your Risk Management Center.

Please plan on attending the Reducing Your Total Cost of Risk seminar.

Location: Drury Inn & Suites Mt. Vernon
145 North 44th Street
Mt. Vernon, IL, 62864

Date: Wednesday, December 17th
Time: Registration at 8:30 AM,
Speaker begins at 9 AM.

Cost: Free

Click to RSVP

Questions? Contact Carrie Wheeler at carriew@tedrickgroup.com or 618.244.5800.

This informative seminar is being brought to you through a partnership between The Tedrick Group and Succeed Management Solutions, LLC. The class will be led by Curt Shaw, President/CEO & founder of Succeed. Curt Shaw has over 35 years of experience in key management positions with Fortune 500 organizations and insurers, and founded the Succeed team as a successful consulting business. Curt is a retired Board Certified Industrial Hygienist and Safety Professional of 30 years, and an Environmental Engineer with an industry-wide reputation as the expert on risk mitigation and compliance.

                Powered by Succeed Risk Management Solutions, LLC
 

 

 

OSHA Introduces New Requirements for Reporting Severe Injuries

Starting January 1, 2015, in addition to notifying the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) of all work-related fatalities, employers under federal OSHA jurisdiction will be required to notify OSHA when an employee suffers a work-related hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye. Fatalities must be reported within 8 hours, and hospitalizations, amputations, and loss of an eye must be reported within 24 hours. Previously, OSHA's regulations required an employer to report only work-related fatalities and in-patient hospitalizations of three or more employees. Reporting single hospitalizations, amputations, or loss of an eye was not required under the previous rule.

All employers covered by the Occupational Safety and Health Act, even those who are exempt from maintaining routine injury and illness records, are required to comply with OSHA's new severe injury and illness reporting requirements. To assist employers in fulfilling these requirements, OSHA is developing a Web portal for employers to report incidents electronically, in addition to the phone reporting options. Find the text of the final rule and additional information on record-keeping requirements on OSHA's website. Contractors must act quickly to update their compliance procedures and train field supervisors on these new reporting requirements.

IRMI Construction Risk Manager|  October 9, 2014 | Issue 58 | ISSN: 1949-419X

New Partnership with Succeed Management Solutions

We wanted to announce a new partnership with Succeed Management Solutions, the provider of a comprehensive Risk Management Software Platform. Clients of the Tedrick Group have access to our Risk Management Center - a web-based risk management software platform that includes the following:

  • The Library -  containing thousands of turn-key risk management documents, in both English & Spanish.
  • Training Track – an online training application that makes a selection of training modules freely available.
  • Incident Track OSHA 300 – an online application that makes OSHA recordkeeping easy.
  • HR Essentials – access to Bloomberg BNA’s comprehensive library of human resources materials.

All of the above are made available to our clients at no additional charge.

Illinois Marketplace / Exchange Open Enrollment

Illinois HealthCare Exchange / Marketplace open enrollment period is approaching. The proposed Open Enrollment Period is November 15, 2014–February 15, 2015, for benefits effective January 1, 2015. Open enrollment is the only time of year you can get a major medical plan that will count as minimum essential coverage in the individual and family market without qualifying for a special enrollment period.

The qualifying events listed below will result in a special enrollment period under Affordable Care Act (Healthcare Reform).

  • Getting married
  • Having, adopting, or placement of a child
  • Permanently moving to a new area that offers different health plan options
  • Losing other health coverage for example, due to a job loss, divorce, loss of eligibility for Medicaid or CHIP, expiration of COBRA coverage, or a health plan being decertified. (Voluntarily terminating/dropping other health coverage due to a premium increase or being terminated for not paying your premiums will not be considered loss of coverage.)

 

Symposium June 19-Academy of Risk Management

Academy of Risk Management – Symposium

Please join us for a complimentary symposium on Thursday, June 19th at Cedarhurst Center for the Arts, Mount Vernon, Illinois.

Affordable Care Act: Where are we Now?

Due to the many rules and regulations associated with the health care reform law, many employers are seeking further guidance and various health care reform topics to determine how their organization will be affected.

Presented by David S. Smith, Rogers Benefit Group

David has an extensive understanding of the needs of the insurance distribution channel, recently focused on consulting and developing strategic solutions and tactics in response to the passage of the Affordable Care Act.

 

Workers' Compensation/Back & Spinal Injuries

Back injuries account for over 25% of workers' compensation claims and the related costs are estimated in the billions for employers.

Speakers: Dr. Franklin Hayward and Darrell Coleson of the Heartland Spine Institute

Dr. Hayward is a highly regarded surgeon who specializes in spine and neurosurgery. His charismatic and down to earth manner has made him the ideal presenter and keynote speaker for many educational and safety programs. He makes critical information easily understood and his high impact content is applicable to every segment of industry.

Darrell Coleson is a Workers' Compensation professional at Heartland Spine Institute who specializes in return to work strategies and best physician practices regarding occupational injuries. His work compliments Dr. Hayward as he addresses occupational injuries and is positioning Dr. Hayward as the premier occupational spine surgeon to the region. He is a frequent presenter for workplace safety programs and is a speaker concerning physician relations with employers and employees.

 

AGENDA

June 19, 2014
Registration-8:30
Speakers begin-8:45
Closing 11:30

Located at Cedarhurst Center for the Arts, 2600 Richview Road, Mt. Vernon, Illinois 62864

Please RSVP by email (contactus@tedrickgroup.com) or by phone 618.244.5800

Many employers are changing strategies when it comes to employee healthcare benefits

You could argue that the "rising cost of health care" has become a clichéd phrase in the benefits arena; it is used so frequently that it doesn't seem to elicit much of a reaction anymore. But healthcare costs are obviously an ongoing concern for benefits professionals—a concern that is not likely to go away anytime soon.

Past practice

For the past decade or so, employers generally have combatted rising healthcare costs using a traditional "managed trend" approach, which includes aggressive management of costs through vendor management and employee cost sharing, says Jim Winkler, chief innovation officer for Health & Benefits at Aon Hewitt (www.aonhewitt.com).

By making a series of tactical decisions regarding whether to change deductibles and copays, increase employee contributions toward premiums, and switch from one plan to another, employers have achieved significant—and relatively quick—cost savings year after year, Winkler explains. However, "they're running out of runway. It's hard to save enough money anymore."

As a result, many employers are changing strategies when it comes to employee healthcare benefits. While 95 percent of participants in Aon Hewitt's 2014 Health Care Survey expect to continue offering healthcare benefits to active employees over the next 3 to 5 years, an increasing number plan to migrate away from a managed trend approach to a "House Money/House Rules" approach or a private health exchange.

"Traditional cost management tactics do not address foundational issues in health care, including worsening population health and misaligned provider payment methodologies," says Winkler. "Employers remain committed to providing health benefits, but recognize the need for new approaches that fix those problems." The "house money/house rules" approach and private exchanges "have elements that allow you to start addressing those issues."

House money/house rules

Forty percent of the more than 1,230 employers that participated in Aon Hewitt's survey reported that they currently use a house money/house rules approach, and 36 percent plan to do so in the next 3 to 5 years.

Winkler describes house money/house rules as a strategy in which employers promote healthy behaviors by offering a suite of services, such as wellness programs, health screenings, and health improvement programs (e.g., smoking cessation), along with an array of financial incentives and communication.

The rationale is, "If you follow the house rules, you get more of the house money," Winkler says. That is, while employees who participate in wellness programs, health screenings, and health improvement programs benefit from a health standpoint, they also benefit from associated financial incentives, such as:

  • Lower premium rates,
  • Lower out-of-pocket costs (e.g., the employer puts an extra $200 each in participants’ health savings accounts), and
  • Cash incentives (e.g., a gift card or extra cash in their paychecks).

In addition, this approach changes the way primary care physicians are paid. Rather than paying them solely on the basis of volume, they are rewarded for coaching patients on wellness, Winkler says.

Unlike the managed trend approach, savings from the house money/house rules approach are achieved in the long term. "It's complex. It requires a multi-year game plan, and it may not deliver a meaningful short-term cost saving," he says. "You have to build the infrastructure and put the program in place and then engage people. Obviously, they won't get healthy overnight."

The biggest risk of using this approach, Winkler says, is, "if it's not well communicated, and, in particular, if the employer does not do a good job explaining how the individual employee will benefit from this, then employees might view it as an intrusion into their personal life."

For this approach to be effective in the long run, Winkler suggests doing the following:

Market it to your employees. "You have to think about your messaging in a way that a marketer does"—not in a traditional HR explanation of benefits," he says. You also need to be aware that "we're more inclined as humans to do something if others around us are doing it, too." So, for example, if you have a running group at work, you might consider including a feature story in your benefits materials about how a particular employee got started in running.

Make incentives easy to understand. "Make them really transparent and easy to understand, straightforward. I shouldn't need a calculator to figure out what I'm going to get," he says. Plus, financial incentives should not be excessive—use a couple of hundred dollars rather than a couple of thousand dollars so that the incentive is "meaningful enough that I'll pay attention but not so significant that I get stressed about whether I have to do this or not."

Keep it fun. If you're trying to get employees to be more active, don't make the activity a chore. Instead, get them excited about participating, see the value in it, and recognize that the activity can help them improve their health, Winkler says.

For example, he says an Aon Hewitt client encourages its employees to be active throughout the workday by handing out cards containing exercises that can be done in 5 minutes at their desks, such as stretching exercises. It’s top of mind, because employees keep the cards on their desks, and they are more likely to do the exercises because they see their colleagues exercising at their desks, too.

Exchanges

Exchanges are piquing employers' interest, because, under a well-run private health exchange, "the insurance carrier assumes the financial risk of managing health care costs," Winkler says.

As a result, carriers "become more motivated to address the foundational issues" of declining health in the U.S. population and the way that providers are paid. They have a vested interest in making sure employees in the exchange have access to cost-effective, high-quality health plans. Insurance carriers in a private exchange must make their premiums competitive, so their plans are attractive to consumers, Winkler says.

Five percent of employers in Aon Hewitt's survey have already moved to a private exchange, and 33 percent expect to do so within the next 3 to 5 years. Winkler attributes the current low adoption rate to the fact that private exchanges are so new. For example, although Aon Hewitt's exchange for employers was one of the first to be offered, it is only in year 3.

However, Aon Hewitt is already seeing measurable cost savings. Companies that returned to its private exchange in 2014 saw a 5.1 percent average cost increase in fully insured premiums, including the reinsurance fees levied on all group health plans under the Affordable Care Act. Meanwhile, average healthcare cost increases of approximately 6 percent to 7 percent are expected for large U.S. employers in 2014, before employers make changes in deductibles and copays, Aon Hewitt reports, citing its own estimates and other industry reports.

The biggest drawback with this approach, Winkler says, is that the employer gives up the ability to select providers and plan design. Plus, although employees enrolled in the private exchange are pleased to have so many plans to choose from, he says broad choice can be overwhelming for some employees, making it important for employers that are migrating to a private exchange to make sure the process is explained properly to employees.

Benefits for part-timers

Although employers have the ability to direct part-time employees to buy health coverage through federal and state-run public exchanges, nearly two-thirds of surveyed employers plan to continue offering part-timers the same level of benefits that they offer to full-time employees—with or without an employer subsidy. Only 38 percent of survey participants don't plan to offer benefits to part-time employees in the next 3 to 5 years.

"I think, in general, employers are conservative and somewhat risk averse as it relates to their employees," Winkler explains. In mid-2013 (when employers were preparing for open enrollment), "it was unclear how the public exchanges were going to operate." Coupled with access problems on healthcare.gov, many employers may have decided to let the marketplace mature a bit before going that route, he says.

"I think the biggest thing employers will try to figure out is, where are their employees truly better off?" Winkler says. For example, as the public exchanges mature, an employer might find that it is more beneficial for an employee working 15 to 20 hours per week to obtain insurance through a public exchange, and qualify for a tax subsidy, than to continue on employer-sponsored benefits, he explains. "I think we'll see that part-time space evolve over the next 3 to 5 years, but it will be slow"—unless the public exchanges mature quickly or "health care economics get significantly worse."

Benefits for retirees

Meanwhile, in a separate report on retiree health benefits, Aon Hewitt found that only 3 percent of 424 surveyed employers have moved all or some of their pre-65 retirees to the public exchanges, but 20 percent favor doing so within the next 3 to 5 years.

"Employers will be moving at least some portion of their pre-65 retiree populations to state and federal exchanges, but they are waiting for these marketplaces to become more robust, competitive, and mature," says John Grosso, leader of Aon Hewitt's Retiree Health Care Task Force. "This movement will be slow and methodical, as the public marketplaces evolve and as employers understand the implications of the 2018 excise tax, which will only impact group-based health insurance plans."

Regarding post-65 retirees, Aon Hewitt reported that the number of employers offering subsidized retiree health benefits has dropped from about 50 percent in 2004 to just 25 percent in 2014. Many of those employers have turned–or are planning to turn—to the individual Medicare plan market to provide health benefits.

In fact, 30 percent of employers already have sourced benefits through the individual market—mainly through a multicarrier private health exchange. Two-thirds of employers that are considering future changes to their post-65 retiree strategies are also considering that approach, the survey found.

"A growing number of employers are leveraging multicarrier private exchanges for Medicare beneficiaries, because they see the value in both the competitive mix of plans offered and the Medicare-specific navigation and advocacy offered by these private exchanges," says Grosso.

"The competitive nature of the individual Medicare market has resulted in more moderate year-over-year rate increases than what employers have experienced on their own," says Winkler. "As health insurers regain control for creating a competitive market that is accountable to the consumers within it, we expect to see similar cost moderation across the system, including the new competitive markets emerging for pre-65 retirees and active employees."

Key takeaways

Aon Hewitt's research offers some valuable lessons for benefits professionals. "If you haven't done something strategic in the last 3 to 5 years, it's OK. You're not alone yet," says Winkler. However, "you need to be working on a strategy now for how you're going to change the direction you're going in [and travel] down one of those paths" (i.e., the house rules/house money approach or private exchanges)—especially with the so-called Cadillac tax on plans above a certain threshold looming in 2018. "That's not that far away."

"You need to start thinking about this," he says. "These are complex, sophisticated, multi-year strategies that take some planning and socialization within your organization."

He recommends thinking about your employees as consumers, who need to be vested in your strategy, and creating a plan to market it to them just as your company markets the products it sells.

Source: Business & Legal Resources

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month

​National Safety Council poll: 8 in 10 drivers mistakenly believe hands-free cell phones are safer
Distracted Driving Awareness Month campaign focuses on why hands-free is not risk-free
 
Itasca, IL – New findings from a National Safety Councilpublic opinion poll indicate 80 percent of drivers across America incorrectly believe that hands-free devices are safer than using a handheld phone. More than 30 studies show hands-free devices are no safer than handheld as the brain remains distracted by the cell phone conversation. Of the poll participants who admitted to using hands-free devices, 70 percent said they do so for safety reasons.
 
“While many drivers honestly believe they are making the safe choice by using a hands-free device, it’s just not true,” said David Teater, senior director of Transportation Initiatives at the National Safety Council. “The problem is the brain does not truly multi-task. Just like you can’t read a book and talk on the phone, you can’t safely operate a vehicle and talk on the phone. With some state laws focusing on handheld bans and carmakers putting hands-free technology in vehicles, no wonder people are confused.”
 
Currently, no state or municipality has passed a law banning hands-free use, but 12 states and the District of Columbia have passed laws banning handheld cell phone usewhile driving. Further, an increasing amount of vehicles are now equipped with dashboard infotainment systems that allow drivers to make hands-free calls as well as send text messages, email and update social media statuses. The NSC poll found that 53 percent of respondents believe hands-free devices must be safe to use if they are built into vehicles.
 
To debunk the hands-free myth, the Council has selected ‘Hands-free is not risk-free’ for its April Distracted Driving Awareness Monthcampaign. Help raise awareness by sharing the posters, fact sheets, infographics and more available at nsc.org/handsfree.Take the pledge to drive cell free at nsc.org/pledge.
 
 
About the National Safety Council
Founded in 1913 and chartered by Congress, the National Safety Council, nsc.org, is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to save lives by preventing injuries and deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the road through leadership, research, education and advocacy. NSC advances this mission by partnering with businesses, government agencies, elected officials and the public in areas where we can make the most impact – distracted driving, teen driving, workplace safety, prescription drug overdoses and Safe Communities.
 
 
 
 

 

Secretary Of Labor Has Been Directed To Update Overtime Regulations

On March 13, 2014, President Obama signed a presidential memorandum which instructs the Secretary of Labor to update regulations regarding overtime protections. According to White House officials, and supported by a fact sheet issued on that same date, the President’s memorandum will change the overtime laws so that a number of new workers would be entitled to overtime compensation.

Specifically, the change would amend employers’ wage and hour obligations as spelled out in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to make overtime compensation available to a wider group of employees currently considered to be “exempt” from the FLSA’s overtime requirements.

The new rule is expected to extend the availability of overtime compensation for hours worked over 40 in a workweek to, for instance, managers working at fast-food restaurants, loan officers, computer technicians, and other workers who currently are classified as “executive” or “professional” under the FLSA’s definitions. The change, if implemented, could affect millions of workers.

Just last month, President Obama took action to raise the minimum wage for certain federal contractors to $10.10 per hour. The federal minimum wage currently is $7.25 per hour, but a number of recent proposals for an increase have been made. Many states already have increased minimum wages, with Washington at the highest rate, at $9.32 per hour.

According to Alfred B. Robinson, Jr., a shareholder in the Washington, D.C. office of Ogletree Deakins, “We know that the administration is focusing on the salary basis test for the new regulations. Currently the minimum salary requirement [for exempt employees] is $455 per week . . . . The administration’s position is that inflation has eroded this salary requirement. It has stated, for example, that approximately 3.1 million people would be entitled to overtime if the threshold had kept up with inflation. We anticipate that indexing the salary basis amount to the consumer price index or some comparable index is something that the administration will consider closely.”

Robinson, who previously served as the acting Administrator of the Wage and Hour Division (WHD) of the U.S. Department of Labor, continued, “The administration further has said that if the 1974 salary basis had been indexed, it would approach approximately $1,000 per week in today’s dollar.

The regulation changes proposed by President Obama now will have to go through the notice and comment period required under the Administrative Procedures Act, which may be lengthy.

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