COMPACT

The Newsletter for Workers’ Compensation Professionals February 2002

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

Inside ...
Articles
Department’s settlement action program .. 5 Adjuster training sessions announced ....... 5 Highlights: Workers’ Compensation System Report ..................................... 6 Certified managed care organizations: Role of nonparticipating providers ............ 9 DHS ‘Rule 101’; workers’ compensation health care providers ............................ 10 Claims for slips and falls slide upward in winter months ................................... 11 CompFact: Teachers and assaults .......... 12 Department action on medical issue complaints ................................... 13 Common misperceptions about workers’ compensation coverage ............. 18 Workers’ compensation indemnity claimants’ age, 1990-2000 ..................... 20 Amputation claims: Worker and injury characteristics ............................. 23 Analysis of independent medical exams filed with DLI .............................. 25 Rehabilitation provider conduct and accountability ................................ 27

Tables
• Paid claims per 100 full-time-equivalent workers, injury years 1984-2000 ........... • System cost per $100 of payroll, 1984-2000 ........................................ • Percentage of paid indemnity claims with a vocational rehabilitation plan filed, injury years 1991-2000 ................ • Incidence of disputes, injury years 1984-1999 ........................................ 6 7 7 8

• Slip and fall claims as a percentage of all indemnity claims, annual average, 1996-2000 ........................................ 12 • Assault claims as a percentage of indemnity claims, teachers compared to all other occupations, 1995-2000 ...... 12 • 2001 medical issue complaint cases closed ..................................... 13 • Mean and median age by gender and injury year .................................. • Distributions of age groups by injury year ........................................ • Mean age by occupation, injury year 2000 ................................. • Mean age by industry, injury year 2000 ................................. • Mean age by employment status, injury year 2000 ................................. 20 21 22 22 22

• Most common events producing amputations, 1999 and 2000 ................ 24 • Most common sources of amputation injuries, 1999 and 2000 ....................... 24 • Percentage of claims with a filed-adverse IME report ...................... 26

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
Level 1 Adjuster Training registration ....... 35 Publications order form .......................... 37

Summaries of decisions
Workers’ Compensation Court of Appeals ........................................... D-1 Minn. Supreme Court decisions................ D-23

Amputation claims: Worker and injury characteristics
By Brian Zaidman, Senior Research Analyst Research and Statistics

The mention of amputation conjures images of people and 22 percent occurred during the initial three months losing significant parts of their extremities. Fortunately, of job tenure. In contrast, for all indemnity claims, only these are very rare occurrences in the workplace. Most 35 percent occurred during the first year and only 16 amputation claims involve the worker losing all or part percent occurred during the first three months of job of a finger. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics data, tenure. about 10,000 occupational amputations occur nationally each year. Most amputations occur to workers who • Manufacturing and construction account for two-thirds operate and maintain machinery. of the amputation claims. The manufacture of industrial equipment and OSHA administrators believe that amputations are machinery, fabricated preventable injuries and that additional safety training, metal products and food use of machine safeguards and heightened awareness of products accounted for 29 the risk of amputation will reduce the number of percent of the claims. amputations. Federal OSHA issued a compliance directive in November, to create a national emphasis • The occupations of the program aimed at reducing amputations (directive CPL amputation claimants 2-1.33). The OSHA program expands the current were concentrated among program about mechanical power presses to include operators (38 percent), saws, shears, slicers, slitters and power presses of all crafts (28 percent) and types. laborers (17 percent). The detailed occupation This article describes the characteristics of the injured code with the highest workers who receive amputations, their jobs, the number of amputations was “unspecified machine accident events and the tools, objects or machinery operators,” with 43 amputations (15 percent). involved. The statistics are based on analysis of all amputation indemnity claims occurring in Minnesota • Nearly all the amputations were to the finger or thumb during 1999 and 2000. There were 150 amputation (94 percent). Three percent involved a hand or an claims in 1999, and 145 claims in 2000. arm, and 3 percent involved a leg or foot. Analysis of the claims showed that: • The injured workers were caught in or compressed • Amputation claimants were more likely to be male. by equipment or objects in 83 percent of the accidents Eighty-seven percent of the claimants were male, with reported information. (Figure 1, page 24) Being compared to 66 percent males among all indemnity caught in running equipment or machinery was the most claimants in 1999 and 2000. common of these types of events. Another 13 percent involved the worker being struck by an object. • The average age of the amputation claimants was 39.1 years, slightly younger than the average for all claimants, • Machinery was the accident source of 72 percent of 39.8 years, and the average for male claimants only, the claims with reported information. (Figure 2, page 39.3 years. 24) The most commonly identified type of machinery was sawing machinery, followed by presses and food • Amputations are more likely to occur within the and beverage processing machinery. Parts and worker’s first year on the job. Forty-eight percent of materials accounted for another 9 percent of the claims, the amputation claims occurred during the first year, followed by tools and equipment and vehicles.
Amputation claims, continued on page 24 COMPACT 23 February 2002

Amputation claims, continued from page 23

Figure 1
Most common events producing amputations, 1999 and 2000

Event type Caught or compressed by equipment or objects Running equipment or machinery Equipment or objects, n.e.c.[2] Rolling, sliding or shifting objects Unspecified objects Struck by object Struck by falling object Struck by or slammed in swinging door or gate Struck by slipping handheld object Struck against moving object

Percentage [1] 83.3% 53.6 15.0 11.2 3.4 12.5% 3.4 3.0 2.6 3.9%

1. Percentages based on number of claims with reported events. Injury descriptions for 21 percent of claims were missing event information. 2. Not elsewhere classified. Source: DLI claims database.

Figure 2
Most common sources of amputation injuries, 1999 and 2000

Source Machinery Metal, woodworking, special material machinery Stationary saws Presses Bending, rolling, shaping Boring, drilling, planing, milling Special process machinery Specialized food and beverage processors Material handling machinery Parts and materials Building materials Machine, tool, and electric parts Tools, instruments, and equipment Handtools -- powered and nonpowered Vehicles Highway vehicles Plant and industrial vehicles Structures and surfaces Doors

Percentage [1] 72.1% 39.4 15.1 11.6 4.0 2.4 9.6 7.6 2.4 9.2% 3.2 2.8 6.4% 5.6 6.4% 2.8 2.8 3.6% 2.8

1. Percentages based on number of claims with reported events. Injury descriptions for 15 percent of claims were missing source information. Source: DLI claims database.

COMPACT

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February 2002