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Need more help in promoting safety and aiding injured workers

Certain reports claim injured workers are receiving less support from employers than they did in the past. Despite complaints by employers about costs of contributing to workers' compensation programs, employers seem to be paying less in workers' compensation premiums than in the past when compared to the wages they are paying workers. Also, studies suggest that employers are paying less into the workers' compensation system relative to other costs than has historically been paid in the past.

There appears to be justifiable concern that the responsibility of costs for injuries is shifting towards injured workers. Such circumstances particularly harm low-income workers who do not have the financial resources to absorb these costs. There also appears to be a discrepancy on the amount of benefits injured workers will receive depending upon which state one lives in.

Some feel that the United States can do a better job in helping out its injured workers and in protecting workers from injuries to begin with. In the U.S., there's a much higher rate of fatal injury to workers than in Germany or the United Kingdom.

There are suggestions on correcting this problem. One includes federal monitoring of workers' compensation programs in every state. There's also a suggestion of making certain the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is not underfunded.

We welcome any initiatives to improve worker safety and help injured workers. However, right now we are required to live with the workers' compensation system currently in place. Attorneys who regularly handle workers' compensation cases can provide guidance and representation to injured workers to make certain they receive every benefit for which they are entitled.

Source: Center for Effective Government, "Six Charts Explain How Workers' Compensation is Deteriorating," March 30, 2015

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