The demographics of the American workforce are changing dramatically. Few employers are ready for what this will likely mean to the frequency and impact of work injuries on their bottom lines. As America ages, the number of workers over 55 years of age will rise along with it. This will likely mean fewer workplace injuries, but also a much slower recovery time for the injuries that do occur. A number of studies point to the impact of an older workforce and to the unprepared nature of our employers.
When it was revealed that Illinois had among the most expensive workers' compensation systems, employers across the state clamored for change. Most of the changes suggested would restrict the rights of injured workers to obtain full compensation and see the doctor of their choosing. The reform enacted by the State of Illinois did little to protect workers, but it seems it may not have gone far enough for some. After the CEO of Caterpillar Inc. criticized the business climate in Illinois, the fate of the victims of work injuries may once again be placed in jeopardy.
The construction industry employs roughly 6.5 million people in the United States. Many of those workers are exposed to an elevated and unacceptable risk of on the job injury. Statistics released by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration show that those workers are exposed to a higher risk of fatal injury than those in other fields. The Center for Construction Research and Training did a study that concluded that a lifelong construction worker was five times more likely to die in a workplace accident than workers in all other fields. Construction work is dangerous and there are several reasons this continues to be true.
After an on the job injury, many workers are given powerful drugs to manage their pain. Addiction to the opiate drugs they have been prescribed is a growing problem facing victims of work injuries. An addiction to painkillers can make it difficult or even impossible to return to work in a normal capacity. At least one worker's compensation insurance holding company is looking to address the problem and make sure that workers are not pushed from one difficult health situation to another.
The recent tragedy in Florida in which 11 people lost their lives has called attention to a problem faced in many states. When is the potential for a serious car accident so great that a road should be shut down? Florida officials briefly shut down Interstate 75 because a brush fire and foggy conditions had lowered visibility to unsafe levels. Shortly after deciding to reopen that stretch of highway, the dangerous conditions caused a massive wreck involving semi trucks, a motor home and multiple cars. The accident has left people wondering who has the responsibility to close roads and what criteria do they use to make their decisions?
Safety measures that parents insist upon for their own children may be ignored when carpooling responsibilities place multiple children in the vehicle. Research has shown that parents are more likely to expose children to injury in a car accident if they are carpooling. Properly securing more than one child in a vehicle can be time-consuming, or even impossible, depending on the vehicle. If you are driving other children, or if you are letting your children ride with another parent, it is important to make sure that all precautions are taken to protect those children from harm.