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

Heat-related workplace injuries, fatalities
By Grant Martin, Research Analyst Research and Statistics

The tragic death at the Viking’s training camp in August Every year, about 27 people die at U.S. workplaces showed just how dangerous working in high heat and from heat-related causes, according to the Census of humidity can be. Fatal Occupational Injuries, also conducted by the BLS and DLI. Minnesota had two workplace fatalities During 1993 through 1999, an average of 23.4 heat- caused by heat during 1993 through 1999 – a machine related workplace injuries and illnesses were reported operator working for a construction company in 1993, each year in the state, according to the Annual Survey and a laborer at a scrap-material facility in 1995. on Occupational Injury and Illness conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) with the Heat-related injuries and illnesses account for a small assistance of the Department of Labor and Industry number of workers’ compensation indemnity claims every (DLI). These workplace injuries include heat stroke, heat year. During 1993 through 1999, an average of five exhaustion, heat fatigue and loss of consciousness workers’ compensation indemnity claims were reported associated with heat. as a result of heat-related injury, according to data from the Minnesota workers’ compensation database. About Nationally, during the same period, about 2,400 cases 34,000 indemnity claims are filed each year. of heat-related injuries and illnesses were reported each year; about three cases for every 100,000 full-time- Minnesota workers and employers need to take the equivalent (FTE) workers. In Minnesota, the rate is about threat of high heat and humidity seriously. Symptoms of 1.4 cases per 100,000 FTE workers. heat exhaustion are fatigue, weakness, dizziness, clammy skin, nausea and headaches. Heat stroke is characterized by hot and dry skin, confusion, loss of consciousness, convulsions, rapid pulse and high body temperature. Treat heat-related illnesses as a medical emergency and seek immediate medical treatment. Minnesota OSHA has a rule that regulates indoor heat stress and requires all employers to provide a safe workplace for all its employees. In addition, OSHA regulations require that workers exposed to hot environments receive regular training about heat stress, the symptoms of heat illness and appropriate medical treatment.

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August 2001