Archive for August, 2012

Cleantech comes under greater scrutiny

It’s been two years since Solyndra LLC filed for bankruptcy, but the fallout from the case has only just begun. Back in 2011, the company received $500 million in stimulus funding from the U.S. government’s $20 billion stimulus package to help stay afloat amidst the economic recession. Despite the failure and criticism from Republican lawmakers, the Obama industry pledged support to renewable energy companies like Solyndra in order to boost job growth and popularize the project amongst the public.

In the past, governments have been quick to embrace Cleantech – not only for the reduced impact on the environment, but also for the innovation of new industries through cutting edge technology. Cleantech companies also bring new life to older industries, by introducing them to more efficient and sustainable practices, which in turn helps Read more…

California redux

As most employers will recall, even those with limited California exposures, the states workers’ compensation system underwent a fairly large-scale overhaul in 2004. Unfortunately, as most experts and casual observers will agree, the underlying inefficiencies and inequities of the California system remain and seem to be getting worse by the year.

Fast-forward to the current legislative session – two California lawmakers are working to pass a new Workers’ Compensation reform bill before the legislature adjourns at the end of August. The proposed bill will address the following:

  • Restore permanent disability awards, which were significantly cut back in the 2004 reform Read more…

Drug heists and supply chain theft: a lesson in susceptibility

August 21, 2012 Leave a comment

The FBI recently outlined a high-profile drug heist investigation in which they caught the team responsible for stealing $80 million worth of commercial drugs in 2010, making it the largest in U.S. history. The same thieves were also responsible for several other similar warehouse break-ins, including a $4.3M theft of Advair Diskus from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in August 2009 and a multi-million cigarette heist in July 2009.

Looking back at these incidents through this valuable report, some important lessons for anyone involved in the drug supply chain can be learned by applying some obvious risk management and loss prevention procedures to help prevent a break-in or at least minimize a property loss: Read more…

Wellness 2.0: Outcome-based financial incentives for getting healthier

Until recently, most employers tied wellness incentives to participation. Take a Health Risk Assessment, get a gift card. Submit to biometric screening, pay less for health insurance. Go to a seminar, get points towards rewards. Still, questions remain on whether participation truly improves health. As a result, the next generation of wellness programs will continue to try to improve the health of at-risk people by providing rewards for improving health scores, also known as outcomes-based incentives.

So far, there has been no real consensus on how these programs should look, act or be measured. In order to help organizations further develop their wellness initiatives, six leading organizations recently released guidance in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine on A Reasonably Designed Employer-Sponsored Wellness Read more…

Workers’ Comp exemption for corporate officers – is exemption ever safe?

Business owners today are trying to reduce their operating costs, and sometimes, insurance is one of the first places they go to look for savings. Agents and Brokers are being consulted daily on proper coverage, limits needed and ways to reduce costs. Recently, the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America, aka the Big I, answered the often-asked question: Should Officers Exempt Themselves from Workers Comp Coverage?

The issue is not black and white, and answering the question can be complicated since each state applies different rules, definitions and statutes when it comes to exemption from workers’ compensation.

Many businesses see this payroll exemption as an opportunity to cut expenses and the total cost of their Workers’ Compensation Insurance. But as the Big I notes, doing so can have catastrophic Read more…