Articles Posted in Work Accidents

Work Accidents | February 17, 2012

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.

It is difficult to project the exact number of older workers who will be in the labor pool in the future. The Great Recession has taken a toll on many people’s finances. This will likely force a greater number of workers than previously expected to continue working beyond retirement age. With the tail end of the baby boomer generation reaching their 50s soon, the population as a whole will be older than ever. One-quarter of the workforce is projected to be made up of workers 55 years-old and older by 2018.

Work Accidents | February 15, 2012

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.

Missouri is currently considering massive changes to its workers’ compensation system. The changes would force certain types of workplace injury claims out of the workers’ comp system and into local courts. They would also cap the amount of money that could be obtained by workers in certain cases. The rights of injured workers in Illinois might be affected by laws in Indiana, Missouri and other states which make it easier for businesses to avoid covering their employees when accidents happen.

Work Accidents | February 9, 2012

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 numbers are staggering. Some estimates suggest that up to 85 percent of people receiving worker’s compensation benefits are given narcotics to manage their pain. There is no industry oversight to analyze the impact these drugs are having on workers across the nation. The abuse of pain killers comes as no surprise to many workers. They see it on a daily basis to the point that some believe pain killers are a necessary part of doing the job long-term. Part of the program to combat this problem includes peer-to-peer intervention, giving fellow employees a chance to help a worker they know is struggling with addiction.

Work Accidents | January 25, 2012

Everyone who has suffered an injury on the job understands the impact it can have on your life. The cumulative impact of all work accidents is harder to grasp. A new study from the University of California, Davis, suggests that workplace injuries and illnesses cost the United States roughly $250 billion per year. That staggering figure is more than all forms of cancer, more than diabetes and more than strokes cost the nation. Workplace injuries affect individuals and families, but they also impact the financial health of the United States as a whole.

The study focused on data from 2007. In that year, more than 8.5 million work injuries were suffered, as well as an additional 516,100 work-related illnesses. An estimated 59,000 people died from injuries and illnesses related to their jobs that year. While the study used the decline in productivity to generate a cost estimate, it should not be forgotten that each injury and illness strikes an individual and can turn a worker’s life upside-down in an instant. The numbers do make it clear that there is an urgent need to do more to ensure the health and safety of all American workers.

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