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Archive for September, 2013

Report Says Healthcare Workers Have Most Risk of Workplace Injuries

September 30th, 2013 at 6:37 pm

According to a recent article in Medical News Today, the healthcare industry is the most dangerous place for work injuries. The statistics were gathered by the non-profit organization, Public Citizen, which issued a report with all the compiled data.

Those statistics reveal that 45 percent of injuries received in the workplace occur in healthcare settings. The hardest workers hit seem to be orderlies, attendants and nurses’ aides. In 2011 alone, the incident rate of injuries requiring days off work was more than four times higher than that for all workers nationwide. For every 10,000 employees falling into this category, there were 486 worker injury cases.

Kerry  healthcare worker safetyThe most common injury in this group was back injuries, costing more than $7 billion every year in medical costs.

Emphasizing the gap between healthcare workers injuries and other industries, the organization compared 2010 injury statistics between the manufacturing industry, which had 152,000 workplace injuries for the year and the healthcare industry, which had a total of 653,000 for the year.

The report puts the blame of the rate of healthcare workplace injury on the federal government and lack of oversight. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is responsible for overseeing the safety of all workers in this country, yet there are few OSHA inspections that take place at healthcare facilities. OSHA is only allotted a budget of $535 million per year to oversee over 7 million job sites.

The report compares inspections at these facilities compared to inspections at constructions sites. According to national statistics, in 2011, OSHA performed 52,179 construction site inspections, yet only performed 2,504 healthcare facilities inspections.

If you’re a worker in the healthcare industry and you suffer from injuries caused by your job, you need a qualified Oak Brook workers compensation attorney to represent you and ensure that you get the financial compensation you’re entitled to for pain and loss suffered.

Reports Show Employee Fraud is the Least Costly Type of Workers’ Compensation Fraud

September 21st, 2013 at 4:39 pm

A recent poll done by Claims Journal revealed that most people think that employee fraud is the most expensive fraud to the workers’ compensation system. While it is the most publicized type of fraud, it is not the most costly. Employer and healthcare fraud has proven to be much more expensive.

Theresa There are recurring types of problems such as a worker that is acting like he is hurt to continue to receive benefits. However, the most common type of employee fraud is known as double dipping. In this type of fraud, the worker draws benefits once he or she returns to work. It was speculated that in the economic downturn that more people would be filing false claims. However, it was proven that more people wanted to protect their jobs and even refrained from filing legitimate claims for fear of losing their jobs.

There have been changes implemented to protect companies from fraudulent claims such as the company being required to prove that they have given their employees notice that falsifying a claim is an offense. Another one of the measures that has been taken is including a disclaimer on the stub of every single check that is issued that the recipient is obligated to let the issuer know if there are certain changes that have happened such as returning to work or being released from the care of a doctor.

If you have questions regarding your Workers’ Compensation case or if you are having an issue collecting benefits, an experienced and dedicated Illinois Workers’ Compensation attorney can assist you. Your attorney will look over the facts of your case and ensure that you receive just compensation for the medical care of your injuries as well as other compensation. It is important to remember that you need to be honest about all the facts of your claim.

Ruling Regarding Pot Use and Workers’ Compensation Overturned

September 13th, 2013 at 3:37 pm

Ruling Regarding Pot Use and Job Injury Overturned IMAGEWhile workers’ compensation laws vary by state and what happens in one locale may not effect with any great traction the laws in another, a workers’ compensation decision in one state has the potential to set national precedent. Earlier this year the Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Board saw a ruling such as this, regarding a man who “suffered an injury to his right shoulder and neck while subduing an unruly, combative juvenile” while working at the Oklahoma County Juvenile Detention Center, according to SafetyNewsAlert.com.

The man, Vincent Hogg, was “given a post-accident drug screen on the day he reported the injury,” and had a follow-up screening the next day. Both of these tests were administered before Hogg reported his on-the-job injury to the Workers’ Compensation Court four days after the incident. Initially, the Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Court ruled that Hogg had indeed “sustained an injury at work and reported it in a timely fashion,” according to SafetyNewsAlert.com. At that point, according to SafetyNewsAlert, Hogg was well on track to receive compensation benefits.

And then the drug tests came back positive for marijuana. Hogg denied that he had been smoking pot, but stated that he had been around people who were. Despite the fact that the Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Court “found there was no evidence presented to show Hogg was high on the day he was injured, nor was there any evidence to show the marijuana in his system was the ‘major cause’ of his injury,” the court denied his workers’ compensation benefits anyway. The reason, according to SafetyNewsAlert, was a “newly created Oklahoma workers’ comp law.”

The law, which could find precedence across the country, states that any employee “who tests positive for the presence of … alcohol, illegal drugs, or illegally used chemicals, or refuses to take a drug or alcohol test required by the employer, shall be ineligible for such compensation.” Despite this, Hogg eventually won his case when the Supreme Court of Oklahoma overturned the earlier decision put out by the Workers’ Compensation Court.

If you or someone you know has been injured on the job and have questions about what sort of benefits for which you may be eligible, the most important first step is to contact a dedicated workers’ compensation attorney today.

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