COMPACT

The Newsletter for Workers’ Compensation Professionals August 2001

Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry 443 Lafayette Road N. St. Paul, MN 55155

Inside ...
Articles
Workers’ compensation bill signed into law ..................................... 5 All DLI work comp forms revised July 1 ..... 7 DLI action on medical issue complaints ..... 8 IPC reminders: incomplete forms, blob factor .......................................... 12 Update: Effects of 104-week limit on TTD duration ........................................ 13 Outcomes of occupational burn injuries in Minnesota ........................................ 16 Minnesota Workplace Safety Report highlights ............................................ 23 New Research and Statistics Web pages offer more ........................................... 25 Benefit levels and provider fees increase October 2001 .......................... 26 Heat-related workplace injuries, fatalities .............................................. 28 DLI Customer Assistance gets results ...... 30

Tables
Complaint cases closed .......................... 8 Quarters of TD benefits by injury year ..... 15 Estimated numbers of TTD cases exhausting benefits as of June 2001 ........ 15 Demographic characteristics ................... 17 Injury characteristics: • part of body and cause of burn ....... 19 • age and gender ............................ 19 Incidence of burn injury ......................... 20 Claim characterictics ............................. 21 Lost work time ..................................... 21 Univariate assoc. with fully sustained employment after claim closure ............... 22 Multivariate assoc. with fully sustained employment after claim closure ............... 22 Injury and illness case incidence rates ..... 24 Highest total case rate industry groups .... 24 Statewide average weekly wage ............. 26 Compensation rates as of Oct. 1, 2001 .... 27 CA outcome logs (fiscal-year 2001) ......... 31

COMPACT is a publication of the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry. Its purpose is to provide department news and workers’ compensation case information to professionals who work within Minnesota’s workers’ compensation system. Correspondence should be sent to: COMPACT editor, Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry, 443 Lafayette Road N., St. Paul, MN 55155; by e-mail at DLI.Communications@state.mn.us. Subscription requests should be sent to Customer Assistance Publications, Workers’ Compensation Division, 443 Lafayette Road N., St. Paul, MN 55155; by e-mail at DLI.brochure@state.mn.us. Visit www.doli.state.mn.us/compact.html to view this publication on the Web. Upon request to the editor, COMPACT will be made available in alternative formats such as Braille, large print or audiotape.

Forms
Training: Workers’ compensation insurers’ update .................................... 32 Form R-21 ........................................... 35 Form R-23 ........................................... 37 Publications order form .......................... 39 ‘Rule 101’ order form ............................. 41

Summaries of decisions
Workers’ Compensation Court of Appeals ........................................... D-1 Minn. Supreme Court decisions................ D-20

Minnesota Workplace Safety Report highlights
By Brian Zaidman, Senior Research Analyst Research and Statistics

The Department of Labor and Industry’s Research and Statistics unit has released the Minnesota Workplace Safety Report, detailing injury and illness rates and workplace fatalities for 1999. The report is based on the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses and the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries. The Research and Statistics unit collects the Minnesota data for this survey.

• Minnesota’s rate for cases with days away from work was roughly equal to the national rate starting in 1996. In 1999, the private sector rate for cases with days away from work was 1.9 for both the state and the nation.

• Data from 1997 to 1999 indicates that among industry divisions (the broadest industry grouping), Minnesota’s highest total injury and illness rates per 100 FTE workers were in: construction (12.3); agriculture, forestry and Following are highlights from the report. The entire report fishing (10.4); and manufacturing (10.1). is available on the Department of Labor and Industry Web site at www.doli.state.mn.us/rsreport.html. It can also • Data from 1997 to 1999 indicates seven of the 10 major be ordered using the form on page 39 or by calling the industry groups (the next more detailed classification) with workers’ compensation publications line at the highest total case incidence rates were in manufacturing. These 10 industries accounted for 23 percent of the annual (651) 284-5030. average number of cases. (Figure 2, page 24)
Nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses

• Minnesota’s total incidence rate of workplace injuries and illnesses dropped to 6.8 per 100 full-time-equivalent (FTE) workers in 1999, from 7.5 in both 1997 and 1998. This was Minnesota’s lowest rate in the history of the state survey. (Figure 1, page 24) • The rate of cases with days away from work and/or restricted work activity fell to 3.2 per 100 FTE workers in 1999, from 3.4 to 3.5 for 1996 to 1998. (Days-awayfrom-work cases are those in which the worker would have worked but does not because of the effects of the injury or illness. Unlike the Minnesota workers’ compensation system, the day of injury or onset of illness is excluded, and the days the worker is not scheduled to work are not included.)

Fatal occupational injuries

The nationwide Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries covers all fatal work injuries in the private and public sectors, regardless of program coverage; thus, it includes federal workers and self-employed workers. However, fatal illnesses (such as asbestosis) are excluded. • In 1999, 72 Minnesotans were fatally injured on the job. For 1995 through 1999, Minnesota had an average of 82 fatal work injuries a year, consisting of 58 wageand-salary workers and 24 self-employed workers. • For 1995 through 1999, 29 percent of fatal injuries were to self-employed workers, far higher than the 10 percent self-employed share of total employment.

• The rate of cases with days away from work fell steadily • Minnesota had an annual average of 3.1 fatal workplace from 3.1 to 1.8 from 1985 to 1999, while the rate of injuries per 100,000 workers from 1995 through 1999. cases with restricted work activity only rose from 0.2 • The highest numbers of fatal injuries a year for 1995 to 1.4. through 1999 were in: agriculture, forestry and fishing • Minnesota’s case rates were below their U.S. (23); construction (15); manufacturing (10); and counterparts until the early 1990s, but have been above transportation, communication and utilities (10). the U.S. rates since that time. For the private sector in 1999, the total case rate was 6.9 for the state versus 6.3 • The most frequent causes of Minnesota’s fatal work for the nation. The rate of cases with lost workdays or injuries for 1995 through 1999 were: transportation restricted work activity was 3.2 for the state versus 3.0 accidents (46 percent); contact with objects and equipment (24 percent); and falls (11 percent). for the nation.
COMPACT 23 August 2001

Figure 1
Injury and illness case incidence rates, Minnesota, 1985-99 [1]
10

8 Cases per 100 FTE workers

Total cases

6
Cases without lost workdays

4
Lost workday cases Days-away-from-work cases

2
Cases with restricted work activity only

0 '85 '86 '87 '88 '89 '90 '91 '92 '93 '94 '95 '96 '97 '98 '99

1. Includes injuries and illnesses in the private sector and state and local government. Source: Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics).

Figure 2
Highest total case rate industry groups Minnesota 1997 through 1999
Industry Transportation equipment mfg. Primary metal industries mfg. Lumber and wood products mfg. Furniture and fixtures mfg. Food and kindred products mfg. Fabricated metal products mfg. Stone, clay and glass products mfg. General building contractors Special trade contractors Agricultural production Total cases [1] 25.3 16.4 15.5 14.5 13.2 12.9 12.8 12.8 12.5 12.3

1. Total injury and illness cases per 100 FTE. Source: BLS Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses .

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August 2001