CONTENTS

3 3 4 5 6 7 9 14 18 25 Online resource: Research Reporter New work comp directors named CompFacts: Non-Minnesotan claims; child labor in the 1800s; medical fee schedule Under construction: Administrative changes New additions to www.doli.state.mn.us Research highlights: Minnesota Safety Report Will the recession affect work comp costs? Return-to-work policies and average claim duration Explaining claim denials Case update: Certification of medical disputes under Jorgenson v. Novak-Fleck, Inc., 638 N.W.2d, 760 (Minn. 2002) Free publications available online

TABLES
4 7 8 Estimated fee schedule coverage of work comp medical payments Injury and illness case incidence rates, Minnesota, 1985-2000 Industry groups and detailed industries with the highest total case rates, Minnesota, 1998-2000

11 Short-term effect of change in hours on work comp costs per hour 12 Changes in hours worked and predicted changes in annual work comp costs 15 Average claim duration for establishments by employee size, 19952000 15 Average claim duration for establishments by insurance type, 1995-2000 16 Distribution of average claim duration for manufacturers with more than 250 employees, 1995-2000 17 Distribution of average claim duration in weeks 20 Estimated effects of different factors on the denial rate

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FORMS
27 Level 1 Adjuster Training

New online: Research Reporter

Under construction: Administrative changes

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Research highlights:

Minnesota Safety Report

By Brian Zaidman, Senior Research Analyst Research and Statistics

In May, the Department of Labor and Industry (DLI), Research and Statistics unit, will release the Minnesota Workplace Safety Report, detailing injury and illness rates and workplace fatalities for 2000. 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 (CFOI). The Research and Statistics unit collects the Minnesota data for the BLS survey and the CFOI. Highlights of the report are presented here; the entire report is on the DLI Web site at www.doli.state.mn.us/ rsreport.html. A printed copy of the report can be ordered by calling the workers’ compensation publications line at (651) 284-5030.
Nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses

• Minnesota’s total incidence rate of workplace injuries and illnesses remained at 6.8 per 100 full-timeequivalent (FTE) workers in 2000. This is Minnesota’s lowest rate in the history of the state survey. (See Figure 1, below.) • The rate of cases with lost workdays (days away from work or restricted work activity) increased to 3.4 per 100 FTE workers in 2000, from 3.2 in 1999. • The rate of cases with days away from work fell steadily from 3.1 in 1985, to 1.8 in 1999, and increased slightly to 1.9 in 2000. Research highlights, to page 8
Figure 1
Injury and illness case incidence rates, Minnesota, 1985-2000 [1]

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Total cases

Cases per 100 FTE workers

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 '00

1. Includes injuries and illnesses in the private sector and state and local government. Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics "Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses."
May 2002 • COMPACT •

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Research highlights, from page 7

• Minnesota’s case rates were below their U.S. counterparts until the early 1990s, but have been above the U.S. rates since that time. For the private sector in 2000, the total case rate was 7.0 for the state versus 6.1 for the nation. The rate of cases with lost workdays was 3.2 for the state versus 3.0 for the nation. • Minnesota’s rate of cases with days away from work was roughly equal to the national rate starting in 1996. In 2000, the private sector rate of cases with days away from work was 1.9 for the state and 1.8 for the nation. • Data for 1998 through 2000 indicates that among industry divisions (the broadest industry grouping), Minnesota’s highest total injury and illness rates per 100 FTE workers were in: 1. construction (12.2); 2. manufacturing (9.9); and 3. agriculture, forestry and fishing (9.8). • Seven of the 10 industries with the highest total case rates were in the manufacturing division. These 10 industries had total case rates more than double the three-year average for all industries (7.0). (See Figure 2, below.)
Fatal occupational injuries

Figure 2
Industry groups and detailed industries with the highest total case rates, Minnesota, 1998-2000
Industry Motor vehicles and equipment manufacturing Poultry slaughtering and processing Nursing and personal care facilities (private) Nursing and personal care facilities (local gov't) Primary metal manufacturing industries Metal forgings and stampings Furniture and fixtures manufacturing Nonresidential building construction Millwork manufacturing Fabricated structural metal products manufacturing Total case rate 35.3 21.1 20.8 19.9 17.7 16.8 16.3 16.0 15.6 15.1

The CFOI covers all fatal work injuries in the private and public sectors, regardless of program coverage; thus, it includes federal workers and self-employed workers, along with all others. However, fatal illnesses (such as asbestosis) are excluded. • In 2000, 68 Minnesotans were fatally injured on the job. For 1996 through 2000, Minnesota had an average of 78 fatal work injuries a year, consisting of 57 wage-and-salary workers and 22 selfemployed workers. In recent years, the number of fatalities for self-employed workers has decreased while the number for wage-and-salary workers has remained steady.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics "Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses."

• The highest numbers of fatal injuries a year for 1996 through 2000 were in: 1. agriculture, forestry and fishing (21.2); 2. construction (14.4); 3. transportation, communication and utilities (10.4); and 4. manufacturing (10.0). • The most frequent causes of Minnesota’s fatal work injuries for 1996 through 2000 were: 1. transportation accidents (46 percent); 2. contact with objects and equipment (24 percent); and 3. falls (12 percent).

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• COMPACT • May 2002