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Tim Michels, Esq. IWIF.  When employees smoke, they are not the only ones who suffer the consequences  Increased medical costs, higher insurance rates,

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Presentation on theme: "Tim Michels, Esq. IWIF.  When employees smoke, they are not the only ones who suffer the consequences  Increased medical costs, higher insurance rates,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Tim Michels, Esq. IWIF

2  When employees smoke, they are not the only ones who suffer the consequences  Increased medical costs, higher insurance rates, added maintenance expenses, lower productivity and high rates of absenteeism from smoking costs American businesses between $97 and $125 billion every year

3  Visit healthcare professionals up to 6 times more often than non-smokers  Are admitted to the hospital almost twice as often as non-smokers  Average 1.4 additional days in the hospital per admission over non-smokers  Had about two times more lost production time per week than workers who never smoked

4  Workers compensation costs for a smoker average $2,189 compared to only $176 for a non-smoker  Employees who take four 20 minute smoking breaks a day actually work one month less per year than workers who don’t take smoking breaks  200 min/week x52 weeks=10,400 minutes =173 hours

5  Bones are nourished by blood much like the other organs and tissues in the body  Nutrients, minerals and oxygen area all supplied to the bones via the blood stream.  Smoking elevates the levels of nicotine in your blood and this causes the blood vessels to constrict  Nicotine constricts blood vessels approximately 25% of their normal diameters


7  Cigarette smoking, which causes over 8.6 million illnesses annually in the US has been shown to have harmful effects on a variety of orthopedic conditions  Studies have shown that the numerous toxins contained in cigarette smoke can undermine fracture and ligament repair following injury and slow wound healing

8  In addition, smokers have higher rates of hip fractures, fracture healing problems and bone infections  Smoking lengthens the amount of time for healing and thus often times delays a return to work  Smoking often leads to lost production time and increased insurance premiums

9  Offering smoking cessation programs is the number one cost effective benefit employers can provide  If brief counseling and therapy, including over-the-counter cessation aids, were offered to all smokers, it could save $3 billion in medical costs annually in the United States

10  Improvement in employee health  Lower absenteeism and increased productivity  Quicker Return to Work  Potential for lower insurance premiums  Employee support for non-smoking policies

11  The fact that there is an obesity epidemic is the United States is evident everywhere  Movie theatre seats have grown from an average of 19 inches to 23 inches wide  Revolving doors from 6 feet to 8 feet  Supermarket aisles have expanded from 5 feet to 7 feet.

12  Obesity related healthcare costs in the $8 billion range according to the American Journal of Health Promotion  According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), obesity and associated health conditions, particularly diabetes are responsible for much of the increase in employee health costs

13  Nationwide, the CDC estimates that as many as 24 million Americans are diabetic and 57 million more are pre-diabetic, meaning that without an alteration in lifestyle, sugar could elevate to diabetic levels  Obese workers with diabetes are less productive on the job and more susceptible to severe injury situations that result in higher insurance costs  Obesity has a significant impact on worker productivity because the more chronic medical conditions an employee has, the higher the probability of absenteeism

14  Obesity has been found to contribute to approximately 55% of type 2 diabetes  Type 2 diabetes risk can be reduced in many cases by making changes in diet and increasing physical activity

15  Nearly 6 W/C claims were filed per 100 workers of normal body mass index (BMI) compared with more than 11 claims filed per 100 of the heaviest workers  Medical and indemnity severity increase steadily with the injured worker’s BMI with costs of obese workers being more than double the average costs of workers of normal or recommended weight

16  Claims: Morbidly obese workers filed 45 % more claims than non-obese workers  Lost workdays: Morbidly obese workers had 8 times the number of lost workdays vs. BMI’s in the normal range  Medical costs: Morbidly obese workers had 5.4 times higher medical costs  Indemnity costs: Morbidly obese workers had nearly eight times more indemnity costs

17  Consider an employee who was bumped slightly by a laundry cart:  For a healthy worker, this simple act wouldn’t even raise a bruise  An obese, diabetic worker runs the risk with any injury he incurs, even the slightest abrasion potentially escalating into a serious injury which could even lead to amputation

18  Diabetes has implications for acute and chronic wound healing  Delayed healing leads to an increased risk of infection  Wound infection leads to increased length of disability, increased seriousness of injury and financial hardships

19  Institute a Wellness Program in the Workplace  Encourage use of the stairs  Make programs like Weight Watchers available at work  Experts from the local YMCA are available on- site to discuss a healthier lifestyle  Health screenings  Encourage employees to determine their BMI (Body mass index)

20  An employer can reduce obesity in the workplace and reduce the risk of diabetes  Along with the obvious monetary benefit, companies with a wellness program will also see increased productivity, reduced absenteeism, better morale, less employee turnover and the overall feeling by employees that management cares about their well being


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