Below is a recap of recent news from the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry. DLI oversees the state’s programs for apprenticeship, construction codes and licensing, occupational safety and health, wage and hour standards, and workers’ compensation.
Legislation approved in May and signed by Gov. Mark Dayton will cut workers’ compensation inpatient hospital costs by 10 to 15 percent and slow future medical cost increases.
“This is the most significant workers’ compensation cost control measure in two decades,” said Ken Peterson, commissioner, Department of Labor and Industry. “Proper care will continue to be provided to injured workers, while costs will be driven down and the system made more efficient.”
The legislation requires Minnesota’s workers’ compensation system to use the same payment system Medicare uses to reimburse hospitals beginning in January 2016. The system bases a hospital’s reimbursement on a patient’s diagnosis using Medicare Severity — Diagnosis-Related Groups (MS-DRGs). This replaces the current system in which reimbursement is based on charges billed for treating a patient.
The legislation enhances electronic billing, reduces information hospitals must submit with bills and reduces payment disputes. It also ensures injured workers are granted the right to have disability benefit payments electronically deposited into their own accounts.
The 2015 Workers’ Compensation Summit, “Keeping Minnesota Safe and Healthy,” will feature two half-days of general sessions and breakout sessions focusing on current issues affecting the workers’ compensation system and ways to improve processes and services that affect employers and injured workers.
General session speakers will be DLI Commissioner Ken Peterson; Bob Wilson, president and CEO, WorkersCompensation.com; Dick Beardsley, inspirational speaker; and Susan Brower, state demographer, Minnesota State Demographic Center.
The 2015 Workers’ Compensation Summit will be at Cragun’s Conference Center in Brainerd, Minnesota. No taxpayer dollars are used to fund this event.
Expiration date for construction contractor registration renewals moved to Dec. 31, 2015The expiration date of all current contractor registrations has been changed from June 30, 2015, to Dec. 31, 2015. Contractor registrations now need to be renewed by December 31 of each odd-numbered year.
DLI’s registration system will allow contractors to renew their registrations through the DLI website beginning Oct. 1, 2015. Renewal instructions will be posted on the DLI website in the fall.
DLI hosts resilient buildings workshop Experts share ideas for long-term construction practices
Sara Hoverter, pictured, of the Georgetown Climate Center, speaks during a Resilient Buildings Workshop at DLI on May 21, 2015.The event, organized by DLI’s Construction Codes and Licensing Division and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, drew representatives from construction, design, inspection and architecture.The goal was to learn and share ideas about aspects of safer, healthier and more productive buildings and communities that are better adapted to handle weather extremes, economic turbulence and crisis conditions. Douglas Pierce of AREA Research, Perkins+Will also presented.
Keeping employees safe in when temperatures soar: MNOSHA provides heat-stress prevention tips, resources
Heat stress can result in several illnesses — from the more minor transient heat fatigue to the medical emergency of heat stroke. It may also decrease productivity and increase the likelihood of injuries. Minnesota OSHA’s heat-stress standard is designed to protect employees against the risk of heat-induced illnesses and unsafe acts.
Minnesota OSHA urges employers to be weather-aware, learn the signs of heat stress disorders and use preventive measures to keep employees safe. The two most important methods of preventing heat disorders are hydration and acclimatization.
“Labor and Industry is committed to ensuring equitable, healthy and safe work and living environments in Minnesota. Through outreach, education and compliance efforts, we strive to improve the quality of life for Minnesota workers and their families.”