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Most dangerous job in Colorado?

If someone asked you to name the most dangerous jobs in Colorado, you might well think of construction, police work and firefighting. However, some of the toughest jobs in the state can be found about an hour's drive south of Denver in Colorado Springs.

That's where the Spring Creek Youth Center is located. Despite its benign-sounding name, the 80-bed facility is home to youths ages 10 to 20 who are serving time for crimes committed, or are in custody waiting for criminal charges to be resolved. Unfortunately, some of those housed at the state facility assault staffers, hitting and biting the people hired to oversee them.

The Colorado Springs Independent reports that there have been 132 workers' compensation claims filed by Spring Creek staffers from 2009 through May, 2014. Sixty workers' comp claims were filed last year, with another 14 filed in the first five months of this year.

The newspaper cited an example of the kind of incidents that occur all too frequently at the facility. Two weeks ago, a social worker met with a detainee to check on the youth. The worker was bitten on his left arm and hit twice in the head.

The same youth is accused of attacking three other Spring Creek staff members over the past month and a half.  

Turnover is understandably high at the facility and it's probably safe to assume that employee morale is correspondingly lower than average.

One of the things employees in these types of work environments count on is that when they are injured on the job, workers' compensation will help them recoup a portion of lost wages and will pay for needed medical care. Those benefits are available to eligible employees across the state, however, though sometimes employers or insurers will attempt to deny earned, deserved benefits.

That's when an experienced workers' comp attorney can help protect the rights and interests of clients wrongfully denied the benefits they need. 

Source: Colorado Springs Independent, "Workers kicked and bitten," Pam Zubeck, Aug. 27, 2014

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