DWC Form 005 Due by April 30 for Texas Nonsubscribers

DWC Form 005 Due by April 30 for Texas Nonsubscribers

Nonsubscribers must file DWC Form-005, Employer Notice of No Coverage or Termination of Coverage, each year by April 30, or when they end their coverage. Employers may file their form electronically by clicking on this link and following the instructions. For a static version of the form to mail or fax, click here. For help filling out this form, you may check out DWC’s video tutorial. 

Nonsubscribers with five or more employees must also report on-the-job injuries and illnesses when they happen. To avoid penalties, employers must report these incidents using DWC Form-007, Employer’s Report of Non-Covered Employee’s Occupational Injury or Disease. A DWC 007 video tutorial is available. 

Texas Mutual Releases Stats on 2023 Claims

Texas Mutual reports there were nearly 6% more severe injuries reported to them in 2023 than in 2022. Most of the reported claims were in the construction industry, which had more than three times the number of claims of any other industry. Texas Mutual says it shares serious workplace injury trends based on catastrophic injuries and fatalities reported to its claims department.  

While construction and mining businesses reported more claims in 2023, most other industries reported fewer claims compared to 2022. 

Here are a few key takeaways from the Texas Mutual update: 

The construction industry was responsible for 39% of reported claims. The mining sector and waste management/remediation sectors were tied for the next highest, with each responsible for 11% of reported claims.  

During 2023, there was an increase in incidents for employees who have been on the job between one and six years, with Texas Mutual reporting a nearly 24% increase over 2022. Claims involving employees who have been on the job for six or more years fell about 11% over the year previous.  

Among serious reported claims in 2023, there was a nearly 50% increase in claims where an employee was struck by an object or heavy equipment. 

More information is available here 

Studies Report Complexities With Return-to-Work Policies

Many CEOs are throwing up their hands when it comes to getting workers back into the office full time. Just 4% of U.S. CEOs say they will prioritize a full-time return to the office in 2024, according to a survey from The Conference Board. 

The survey is a part of The Conference Board’s “C-Suite Outlook 2024: Leading for Tomorrow” and is available here. It finds attracting and retaining talent remains the No. 1 internal focus for CEOs globally.  

More than 1,200 executives, including 630 CEOs, across the United States, Latin America, Japan and Europe, were contacted for the survey. 

Meanwhile, a survey from HR research firm BetterUp indicates that returning to the office can disrupt one’s routine, foundational work, and overall life experience. BetterUp surveyed 1,400 full-time U.S. employees who were mandated to return to in-office work and found that they had higher burnout, stress and turnover intentions. They also had lower trust in their organization, engagement and productivity levels. 

Respondents noted that return-to-office mandates result in pressure on employees’ flexibility, time and even bank accounts. The average employee returning to the office spends $561 per month on transportation, additional child and pet care, and domestic assistance. That is comparable to what the average two-person household spends on groceries for an entire month. 

The Challenge of Noncompliant Workers

Almost three-quarters (71%) of HR and business leaders surveyed recently said they think staff are likely breaking rules, but often don’t know until something goes wrong. Policies relating to HR, data sharing, and health and safety were cited as the areas where employees are most likely to cut corners. 

Although 98% of respondents said employees would be more likely to understand and comply with policies and procedures if training were more engaging, some 87% said barriers such as a lack of time, funding and urgency prevent them from making training more engaging. 

The findings are contained in a report from CYPHER Learning about employee education around workplace compliance with regulations, policies and procedures. The report, “The True Cost of Rule Breakers in Workplace Compliance,” found that the most common causes of policy breaches were employees either not knowing or not understanding the rules. 

The survey of 400 HR and business leaders across the U.S. and U.K. found 88% of respondents agree that greater employee accountability would mitigate business risks. However, 71% believe staff don’t appreciate the importance of policies and procedures, making engagement an ongoing battle. Some 68% say getting workers to comply with policies is a struggle. 

The research also showed that: 

  • Email updates and company newsletters are the most common ways (47%) employees learn about policies and procedures. 
  • Only 56% of companies continually educate employees on policies, with 65% admitting to treating training as a “one and done information dump” during the onboarding process. 
  • Fewer than half of the companies surveyed (44%) test employees’ knowledge to ensure they have fully understood a procedure or to educate them on the purpose of each policy to aid understanding (45%). 

The report is available for download here.

Gallup Releases Results From Annual Employee Engagement Survey

Employee engagement stagnated during the last six months of 2023, according to research from Gallup, dipping to 33% of employees who were engaged, compared to 34% during the first half of 2023. 

The findings compare with a peak of 40% engagement in June 2020, the highest level since Gallup started reporting employee engagement in 2000. The percentage of actively disengaged workers declined to 16% in 2023, from 18% in 2022. Gallup estimates each percentage point represents 1.6 million full- or part-time employees in the United States and estimates not engaged or actively disengaged employees account for approximately $1.9 trillion in lost productivity nationally. 

According to Gallup, the most fundamental engagement element is knowing what is expected of you. Gallup’s research finds the vulnerability posed by unclear expectations exists across all types of employees in the new workforce. But that vulnerability is particularly acute among hybrid and fully remote workers, who have experienced double the decline in knowing what’s expected of them compared with on-site workers whose jobs could be done remotely. 

According to the report, the decline in clarity of expectations since 2020 could be related to several changes in the U.S. workforce that include: 

  • Employee turnover during the “great resignation” led to restructuring of teams with less familiarity with one another — 51% of managers tell Gallup that restructuring of teams has been a major complication post-pandemic. Layoffs, budget cuts and staffing challenges have likely contributed to this. 
  • Some 64% of managers report that employees now have additional job responsibilities. And many report that customer expectations have changed to demand a more immediate digital experience. 
  • Importantly, 70% of managers report to Gallup that they have had no formal training in how to lead a hybrid team. 

More information is available here. 

Survey Says Workers Place Priority on Safety in the Workplace

More than 48% of both blue-collar and white-collar workers surveyed said they would at least consider a pay cut for a job with a better safety culture, according to a report from Duraplas, a provider of plastic solutions. 

The Duraplas 2024 Workplace Safety Culture Report surveyed 1,000 U.S. workers at least 18 years of age to determine if workers consider safety culture a factor when evaluating a new job opportunity. 

Other key findings from the survey include: 

  • There was a significant difference between genders, with 56% of men being more likely to take a pay cut compared to 42% of women. 
  • Almost 80% of American workers say a strong safety culture is either important or very important when deciding to accept a new job — a critical factor both for blue-collar and white-collar workers. However, very few of the respondents have declined a job because of safety concerns. 
  • Roughly 80% said they were likely to ask about safety in a job interview, something half of those surveyed said employers don’t do a good enough job of communicating during the hiring process. The results show that someone interviewing for a blue-collar position was slightly more likely to ask about safety practices than white-collar. 
  • Over 82% of respondents said a strong safety culture contributed to overall job satisfaction. Workers also indicated that a safe work environment makes them feel more productive. 

The survey is available here 

Robert Half: Staff Exits Are Slowing

The “great resignation” may be ending. New research from talent solutions and business consulting firm Robert Half indicates just 36% of workers plan to look for a new job in the next six months, down from 49% in July 2023. 

Some of the reasons workers cited for staying include: 

  • Their current job offers a level of flexibility that they aren’t willing to lose (44%). 
  • They feel fulfilled in their current role (42%). 
  • They feel well compensated for their work (37%). 

Workers who were asked what would lead them to look for another job cited the following: 

  • A higher salary (55%). 
  • Better benefits and perks (36%). 
  • A job with more remote flexibility than my current company offers (32%). 

A second report from Robert Half indicates workers will have more opportunities to leave for better employment in 2024. According to Robert Half’s State of Hiring report, 57% of companies plan to add new positions during the first half of 2024. Another 39% are hiring for vacated roles. Company growth (66%) and employee turnover (52%) are the top factors influencing hiring decisions. Additionally, 77% of businesses that postponed projects in 2023 said that they plan to move forward with them in 2024. The online survey includes responses from more than 1,275 workers ages 18 and older at companies with 20 or more employees in the United States. 

The State of Hiring report is available for download here. 

Texas News

Insurance Journal 
Texas Woman Sentenced for Workers’ Compensation Fraud 
Texas Mutual Insurance Company recently reported that a Travis County district court sentenced Ruth Castilleja of Baytown, Texas, on workers’ compensation fraud-related charges. Click here for full article. 

State News

Business Insurance 
Connecticut Introduces Presumption First Responder Bill 
Connecticut lawmakers on Thursday introduced legislation that would expand workers compensation benefits for certain first responders who suffer work-related strokes and blood clots in the line of duty. Click here for full article. 

Kansas City Star 
Injured on the Job? Kansas has Lowest Lifetime Workers’ Comp Limit, but that may Change  
In 2017 Jennifer Young, then a radiology technician, was brutally attacked by a patient. She suffered back and brain injuries so severe that she will never work again. Click here for full article. 

NFIB Cheers Vote Reducing Ohio’s Workers’ Comp Rates 
NFIB Assistant State Director Cameron Garczyk released the following statement today in response to the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation’s announcement that the workers’ comp rate for private employers will be reduced an average of 7% effective July 1. Click here for full article. 

Insurance Journal 
Pennsylvania’s 7.8% Workers’ Compensation Cut Takes Effect in April 
Pennsylvania workers’ compensation rates will be going down for employers beginning April 1. Click here for full article. 

When Immigrant Dairy Farm Workers Get Hurt, Most Can’t Rely on Workers’ Compensation 
For most workers in Wisconsin who get hurt on the job, the state’s workers’ compensation system is there to cover medical expenses and pay a portion of their wages while they heal. Click here for full article. 

Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel 
Health Care Providers Warn ‘Poison Pill’ in Workers’ Comp Bill Could Jeopardize Needed PTSD Coverage 
Health care providers are raising concerns about what they’re calling a “poison pill” inside a set of bills that would make a number of widely supported changes to the state’s workers’ compensation program. Click here for full article.

General News

The Korea Times  
Foreign Missions to Represent Migrant Workers in Filing Industrial Injury Insurance Claims  
Foreign missions in Korea can now represent workers from their countries who file industrial injury insurance claims. Click here for full article. 

‘Show Me the Money’: Settling Workers’ Compensation Claims When a Worker Can’t Return to Work 
The objective of every workers’ compensation system is to provide an injured worker with reasonable and necessary medical care and wage replacement while they recover from an injury. Click here for full article. 

Number of Occupational Injury Deaths in the U.S. from 2003 to 2021, by Gender 
In the United States, there were far more occupational injury deaths among men than women. In 2021, there were 4,741 male occupational injury deaths in the United States, compared to 448 deaths among women. Click here for full article. 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 
Severe Work-Related Injuries in the Oil and Gas Extraction Industry 
Oil and gas extraction (OGE) industry contract workers incur more work-related severe injuries compared with workers in other industries, based on data from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Click here for full article. 

Business Insurance 
Long COVID Comp Claims Face Challenges as Presumptions End 
Despite the pandemic officially declared over, COVID-19-related workers compensation claims continue to be filed and courts are continually weighing in on compensability and whether workers have suffered temporary or permanent disability due to long COVID. Click here for full article. 

Business Insurance 
Young Workers Injured at Higher Rates in Recreational Pot States 
Younger workers have become injured on the job at higher rates than their older counterparts in states that have legalized recreational marijuana, according to a study published Friday in the JAMA Health Forum. Click here for full article. 

The Washington Post 
CDC Plans to Drop Five-day COVID Isolation Guidelines 
Americans who test positive for the coronavirus would no longer need to stay home from work and school for five days under new guidance planned by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, The Post’s Lena H. Sun reports. Click here for full article. 

Nearly 1 in 4 American Adults Who Get COVID-19 Suffer From Long COVID 
24.4% of Americans ages 18 and over who have received a positive COVID-19 test or diagnosis have experienced symptoms of COVID-19 that persisted for three months or longer. Click here for full article. 

Yale Medicine 
3 Things to Know About JN.1, the New Coronavirus Strain 
As cold winter weather drives people indoors and flu, colds, and other seasonal respiratory viruses circulate, SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, has continued to mutate and spread. Click here for full article. 

Scientific American 
Rampant COVID Poses New Challenges in the Fifth Year of the Pandemic 
COVID’s not in the news every day, but it’s still a global health risk. Click here for full article. 

Science Alert 
One Simple Change May Dramatically Boost The Effect of COVID-19 Vaccines 
Sometimes it’s the simplest solutions that get lost in the kerfuffle of scientific progress. Since the advent of vaccines more than two centuries ago, researchers have studied all sorts of ways in which inoculation with a weakened pathogen (or parts thereof) can prepare the immune system for a full attack – exploring different dosages, vaccine agents, and forms of administration. Click here for full article. 

Had COVID Recently? Here’s What to Know About How Long Immunity Lasts, Long COVID, and More 
More than four years after the emergence of SARS-CoV-2, most people are eager to leave COVID-19 in the rearview mirror. Unfortunately, the virus has far from disappeared. Click here for full article. 

COVID-19 Behind Thousands of Excess US Deaths, Analysis Shows 
A new study from researchers at Boston University School of Public Health and the University of Pennsylvania shows that a substantial proportion of excess mortality numbers counted as deaths from natural causes during the COVID-19 pandemic were actually attributable to the novel coronavirus. Click here for full article. 

News Medical 
mRNA COVID Vaccines in Pregnancy Linked to Lower Risk of Neonatal Issues, Study Shows 
In a recent study published in the journal JAMA Network, researchers investigated the potential association between COVID-19 mRNA vaccine administration in pregnant women and adverse events in their newborns. Click here for full article.