Weekly news and updates from Washington's workers' comp and workplace safety leader
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The WSIA Weekly, 6.3.16

Washington Supreme Court incumbents draw strong challengers
We don't only track legislative politics at WSIA. As members know, the Washington Supreme Court makes many significant, and frequently controversial, decisions that shape workers' compensation and other employment laws, but judicial elections are often overlooked. This year, the three justices of the court who are up for re-election to a six year term -- Chief Justice Barbara Madsen, Justice Charles Wiggins, and Justice Mary Yu, have each drawn a credible challenger: Kittitas County Prosecuting Attorney Greg Zemple (Madsen); Federal Way Municipal Court Judge David Larson (Wiggins); and Gonzaga Law Professor David DeWolf (Yu). The Seattle Times has editorialized that the opposition campaigns "serve the public interest" by providing meaningful choices about who is on the top court. This summer, WSIA will be studying the records and positions of the candidates and reporting out recommendations on these important races.

WSIA Safety Committee meets next Thursday
Our Safety Committee's next monthly online meeting is taking place on Thursday June 9th from 2:00 p.m. to approximately 2:45 p.m. The meetings are open to interested personnel from any WSIA member company, and take place online through the GoToMeeting platform. This month's meeting will focus on agenda topics for September's safety-oriented WSIA Fall Conference, as well as topics for smaller programs to drill down more specifically on safety specifics. Suggested topics have included incentive programs, workplace culture, voluntary DOSH consultation step-by-step, new OSHA reporting rules, generational differences in the workplace, and so on. Register for the meeting with this link, and submit any questions or thoughts in advance to committee chair John Shervey by e-mail

A few days left to register for BIIA workshop
There are still a few days left to get your registration in for next Wednesday's workshop on the process of settling claims through mediation at the Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals. The program takes place on June 8th from 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Inn at Gig Harbor, with breakfast and lunch included, and has so far been awarded 8 CLE and 8 WWCP statutory credits, with L&I CEU pending. Led by Ann Silvernale and several active Industrial Appeals Judges, the workshop will train participants for mediation from both a theoretical and practical framework. Full agenda and registration info are at this link.  

Time to participate again in annual workers' comp benchmarking survey
Interested WSIA members have been invited to take part in this year's workers' compensation benchmarking/claims management operational study, led by Denise Algire of Albertsons Safeway and sponsored by Rising Medical Solutions. As in past years, participants get a copy of the full report when it is published in the early fall. The 2016 survey is designed to delve deeper into claims management issues and challenges that were widely reported in the 2015 survey to prioritize strategies for overcoming them. A link to the survey is available here

L&I announces dates for department-led annual training
The Department of Labor & Industries' in-house annual training for certified claims managers has been announced. Titled "Update 2016," the non-mandatory training takes place from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on July 13th and again on August 9th. Certified Claims Administrators register through the Secure Access Washington login, and others register through the Department's course listing page on the SICAMS system.  

Get your SI Colloquium registrations in
The summer WSIA-L&I colloquium on occupational health best practices is June 29th at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle, and will feature important updates on the Department's quality of care initiatives, as well as an interesting panel discussing the treatment of evidence-based medicine at the Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals. Cost for the day-long program is just $18 to cover the cost of lunch. Agenda and registration information available here.
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