“But We’ve Always Done it This Way: Top Ten List”

We've Always Done It This WayWhat does that really mean?

Perhaps you just asked a question at a committee meeting. The room went silent and at least one person pointedly explained to you that “We’ve always done it this way”. The rest of the group either chimed in or nodded their heads in arrogant approval. Some might even have glanced at you with that dismissive look of lost causes.

For many people change is painful. It doesn’t matter how silly their current path or how promising the opportunity of other possibilities. Change hurts. It is also painful to admit that what you have been doing needs to be changed. Accepting change means accepting the possibility that you are not currently doing things the best way.

While you bite your tongue or fume at that response consider this Top Ten List of the Real Meanings of “But we’ve always done it this way”.

What might people be thinking as they state that lame defense?

10. I haven’t got a clue why we do it this way and I never thought about it before. But I’m not going to admit that to you.

9. Your question is a good one. But I never asked it and wish that I had. As much as your question disturbs me I won’t admit that out loud.

8. You’re new aren’t you? You new people just want to change our perfect little world. We like it the way it is. We can outlast you.

7. How dare you question the wisdom of your predecessors? It was good enough for them why isn’t it good enough for you? Have you no blind respect and subservience to those who were here before you?

6. You clearly don’t know how we do things around here. It has nothing to do with logic, fairness and openness.

5. If you are a team player you will go along with us without asking embarrassing questions like that.

4. We don’t like questions like that. And right now I don’t like you for asking it.

3. Perhaps you believe that you have the right to ask questions… but you’re wrong. Shut up and go with the flow.

2. It’s working the way it is. Leave it alone. Can we go now?

1. Despite what you were told, this is not a democracy. We don’t care about your ideas. Just do what you are told to do. And do it the way that you are told to do it.

When you try to change things you will hear the response “But we’ve always done it this way.” Don’t hate people for that response. Consider the list above to understand what they might be feeling. Recognize that your questions might be disturbing them and they might not be ready to give you an honest and thoughtful answer.

“But we’ve always done it this way” is likely the response of a person who feels threatened.

When faced with this challenge you will need to find a less threatening way to make change. The other alternative is to expose the status quo as the bigger threat.

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“Nursing Our Injured Workers’ Ain’t No Hooey”

I was intrigued by this article in my daily Workers Compensation.com – CompNewsNetwork on how Traveler’s Insurance has taken a bold step in hiring Nurses for a “Concierge Claim Nurse Program which guides an injured worker back to work quicker and saves money by working one on one with their Concierge Claim Nurse. Seems that Unions might not be in agreement with the program. Now, don’t get me wrong, I have no issue with Unions…But, isn’t the ultimate goal when an employee gets hurt is to get them back to work sooner? Read on!



A recent article in the Houston Chronicle likely provides a glimpse at what an element of workers’ comp will look like in the not too distant future. The subject concerned the use of what is called the ConciergeCLAIM Nurse program run by Travelers Insurance. Travelers touts it as a program that has both lowered cost and improved care for the injured workers’ who elect to enter it.

Those injured workers are assigned a nurse who helps them navigate the complex and confusing world of workers’ compensation, and assists them in setting appointments, communicating with doctors and employers, overseeing physical therapy sessions, arranging medical equipment deliveries and making sure treatment proceeds smoothly.

Travelers’ reports that employees in the program returned to work 24 percent faster and workers’ comp costs were cut by 5 percent in cities where the program is employed. They also claim that the program better steered injured workers through their provider network and sped up workers’ compensation claim initiation.

Not everyone, of course, is a fan of this concept. True to form, the United Steelworkers Union has come out opposing programs such as this, calling them “an intrusion into what should be a sanctuary where doctors and patients make decisions unfettered by corporate concerns”. A spokesman for a United Steelworkers Local told the Chronicle that he believes it is just “another attempt by the insurance company to override doctors and patient care to try to cut costs”. Specifically, he said, “I think it’s a load of hooey”.

That statement is clearly the quote of the week for Bob’s Cluttered Desk.

As visionary as that statement seems on the surface, we must recognize that “hooey” is a rather subjective term. I am not sure which Union Spokesman School is still utilizing it as part of the curriculum for their students. It largely went out of favor after the “Making cars cheaper in Mexico is a bunch of hooey” debacle of the 1980’s. That embarrassing faux pas of course was preceded by the 1960’s version, known as “Making clothing in Southeast Asia will never fly and is a bunch of hooey”.

The union simply sees these services as “interference” that is preventing the injured worker from getting to the doctor and receiving the care they need.

That, quite simply in my opinion, is a classic example of an organization clinging to the past, and championing what has become a failed medical provision model. Workers’ comp is confusing. Medical costs are soaring, and outcomes have been declining. Disabilities are on the rise. We are paying much more, and getting much less for the effort. Health care reform will only increase pressures on this failing fee for services system.

Nurses and Nurse Practitioners will be a major component of workers’ comp medical care in the future. This style program makes too much sense to ignore. This is not about preventing care; it is about targeting and expediting care. It is about personalizing the process, and assisting people on a path to recovery. It is about lower cost and better outcomes.

With the pressures that exist within modern medicine today, clinging to an archaic vision of a time “where doctors and patients make decisions unfettered by corporate concerns” is just a bunch of hooey.

Sorry if I got too technical on you.

This seems to be Travelers’ view as well. In a written statement, VP of Travelers’ Workers’ Compensation Claim Services, Jim Wucherpfennig, whom we will refer to as Jim W as we have no idea how Wucherpfennig is pronounced, said, “Increased demands on the health care system, an aging population and a limited supply of physicians could mean increased time out of work for injured workers because of longer waits to access medical care. The local and responsive nature of the ConciergeCLAIM Nurse program helps employees return to work sooner and reduces employers’ workers’ compensation-related costs.”

That statement is absolutely correct. Innovative use of medical professionals such as nurses can smooth the path to successful recovery for these injured workers. They should be utilized. The unions should learn that before all their jobs end up in Hooeyville, Malasia. The stats back it up, and that ain’t a bunch of malarkey.

Source: http://www.workerscompensation.com/

“OSHA’s Regulatory Agenda ‘Aggressive’ With 29 Rulemakings”

by Paul Lawton

Monday, June 16th, 2014

In all, OSHA’s ambitious regulatory agenda sets out action on 29 rulemakings. Here are the highlights.
Final rule stage. Final rules expected this year or later:

  • Occupational injury and illness recording and requirements—NAICS update and reporting revisions. OSHA anticipates a final rule in June 2014 that would update the list of industries partially exempt from injury and illness recordkeeping requirements by using the newer North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) rather than the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) system. In addition, the rule would revise the requirements regarding employers’ obligations to report fatalities and certain injuries to OSHA.
  • Confined spaces in construction. The current confined space regulations apply only to general industry; OSHA plans to issue a final rule for confined space operations in the construction industry in August 2014.
  • Walking and working surfaces and personal fall protection systems. OSHA plans to issue a final rule in October 2014 that will incorporate current technology into its standard for preventing slip, trip, and fall hazards and establish requirements for personal fall protection systems.
  • Improve tracking of workplace injuries and illnesses. OSHA plans to issue a final rule requiring employers subject to its requirements for injury and illness recordkeeping to electronically submit certain information from the OSHA 300 Log, OSHA 301 Incident Report, and OSHA 300A summary. Currently, employers are only required to submit this information upon request, typically as part of an inspection or survey. OSHA anticipates the final rule by March 2015.

Proposed rule stage. Among those actions:

  • Occupational exposure to crystalline silica. OSHA proposed in September 2013 to lower the permissible exposure limit (PEL) for crystalline silica and create comprehensive standards for silica exposure. The post-comment rule period on occupational exposure to silica extends through July 18.
  • Occupational exposure to beryllium. OSHA plans to publish a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on beryllium exposure in July 2014.
  • Amendments to the cranes and derricks in construction standard. OSHA is proposing corrections and amendments to the standard for cranes and derricks in construction published in August 2010. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking is expected in July 2014.
  • Cranes and derricks in construction: Operator certification. OSHA plans to address problems with crane operator certification requirements in an earlier rulemaking with a possible separate rulemaking on crane operator certification. While these issues are addressed, OSHA has extended existing requirements for employers to ensure crane operator competency by 3 years to November 2017. A Notice of Proposed Rulemaking was issued in February 2014, and public hearings were held in April and May.
  • Updating OSHA standards based on national consensus standards for eye and face protection. OSHA intends to publish a direct final rule by September 2014 that will update references in its eye and face protection rule to incorporate the 2010 edition of the ANSI Eye and Face Protection consensus standard (ANSI Z-87.1).

Prerule stage. Prerule actions include:

  • Combustible dust. The combustible dust rulemaking has been shifted from the proposed rule to the pre-rule stage. A required small business impact review on combustible dust has been pushed back about eight months.
  • Bloodborne pathogens. OSHA plans to consider whether its bloodborne pathogens standard is necessary and whether it overlaps, duplicates, or conflicts with other regulations.
  • Infectious diseases. OSHA is considering the need for a standard to protect workers from exposure to diseases such as tuberculosis, measles, varicella, and other infectious diseases. Analysis under the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA) began in May 2014.
  • Preventing backover injuries and fatalities. OSHA is seeking information about backover injuries and the hazards of reinforcing concrete operations in construction. Stakeholder meetings have been held on backovers, and OSHA is conducting site visits to employers; SBREFA analysis is projected to begin in August 2014. OSHA is continuing to seek information about the injuries and hazards of reinforcing steel operations.
  • Chemical management and permissible exposure limits. OSHA is requesting information to help the agency identify effective ways to address occupational exposure to chemicals, as many of the permissible exposure limits (PELs) currently in effect are widely considered outdated.
  • Process safety management and prevention of major chemical accidents. OSHA issued a request for information in December 2013 aimed at modernizing the process safety management standard to meet the goal of preventing major chemical accidents.
  • Communication towers. OSHA plans to issue a request for information on communication tower safety in response to a dramatic increase in fatalities linked to this type of work.
  • Emergency response and preparedness. OSHA plans to conduct stakeholder meetings beginning in July 2014 to address possible deficiencies in its emergency preparedness regulations. A previous request for information resulted in many comments on the need for further action to protect emergency responders, as current standards do not address the full range of hazards these workers face.

- See more at: BLR – http://bit.ly/1iOgxU9


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