Better Get Serious About Wellness – Obesity Contributes to Workers Comp Claims and Absenteeism

If I figure out effective ways to get tired warehouse and construction craft employees to exercise before or after work, I deserve a Nobel Prize.  It’s tough to focus on good eating and diet when you work 8 or 10 hours in a physical job.  The EHS Magazine articles below discuss the relationship between obesity and workers comp claims and the difficulties in establishing an effective wellness program outside of an office setting.

Study: Obesity Increased Workers’ Comp Costs

According to the results of a new study, obese workers filed twice the number of workers’ compensation claims, had seven times higher medical costs from those claims and lost 13 times more days from work injuries or work illnesses than non-obese workers.

 Study: Obesity Surpasses Smoking in Employee Health Care Costs

A study of more than 30,000 employees suggests that when it comes to racking up additional health care costs, obesity surpasses smoking.

Apr. 18, 2012 Laura Walter

Obesity Linked to Job Absenteeism, Study Says

A recent study suggests that issues related to obesity and morbid obesity go far beyond the waistline. The health conditions also are associated with increased rates of work absenteeism, with estimated costs of $4.3 billion per year in the United States.

Dec. 26, 2007 Katherine Torres

About mavity2012

I am a Senior Partner operating out of the Atlanta office of Fisher & Phillips LLP, one of the Nation’s oldest and largest management employment and labor firms. My practice is national and keeps me on the road or in one of our 28 offices about 50 percent of the time. I created and co-chair the Firm's Workplace Safety and Catastrophe Management Practice Group. I have almost 29 years of experience as a labor lawyer, but rely even more heavily on the experience I gained in working in my family's various businesses, and through dealing with practical client issues. Employers tell me that they seldom meet an attorney who delivers on his promise to provide practical guidance and to be a business partner. As a result, some executives probably use different terms than “practical” to describe my fellow travelers in the profession. I don't enjoy the luxury of being impractical because I spend much of my time on shop floors and construction sites dealing with safety, union and related issues which are driven by real world processes and the need to protect and get the most out of one's most important business assets ... its employees. That's one of the reasons that I view safety compliance as a way to also manage problem employees, reduce litigation and develop the type of work environment that makes unions unnecessary. Starting out dealing with union-management challenges and a stint in the NLRB have better equipped me to see the interrelationship of legal and workplace factors. I am proud also of my experience at Fisher & Phillips, where providing “practical advice” is second only to legal excellence among the Firm’s values. Our website lists me as having provided counsel for over 225 occasions of union activity, guided unionized companies, and as having managed approximately 450 OSHA fatality cases in construction and general industry, ranging from dust explosions to building collapses, in virtually every state. I have coordinated complex inspections involving multi-employer sites, corporate-wide compliance, and issues involving criminal referral. As a full labor lawyer, I oversee audits of corporate labor, HR, and safety compliance. I have responded to virtually every type of day-to-day workplace inquiry, and have handled cases before the EEOC, OFCCP, NLRB, and numerous other state and federal agencies. At F & P, all of us seek to spot issues and then rely upon attorneys in the Firm who concentrate on those areas. No tunnel vision. I teach or speak around 50 times per year to business associations, bar and professional groups, and to individual businesses. I serve on safety committees at three states’ AGC Chapters, teach at the AGC ASMTC
This entry was posted in aging workforce, OSHA, wellness, workers comp and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Better Get Serious About Wellness – Obesity Contributes to Workers Comp Claims and Absenteeism

  1. Pingback: Focus on Wellness: For Our Workers, It’s a Critical Life or Death Issue | Howard Mavity

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