Biggest problem areas for workplace safety in 2016

Apr 07 2017

Far too many employers fall short when it comes to ensuring the safety of their workers. Whether due to concerns about costs, misunderstandings of what’s required, shortcomings in administrative systems or sheer ignorance, these lapses leave workers facing unnecessary dangers. In many high-risk industries, even a seemingly minor infraction can be a life-or-death matter. So which safety violations are the most common? According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the following were the most common culprits in 2016: Fall protection: Falls are a leading cause of work-related injuries and deaths, and they’re among the “fatal four” biggest dangers in…

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Are surviving dependents entitled to work comp benefits? — II

Apr 06 2017

In our previous post, we discussed the unfortunate reality that workplace fatalities are a far more common occurrence than people might believe, with statistics from the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration showing more than 93 workers per week lost their lives in 2015 alone. We also discussed how those family members who find themselves in these tragic scenarios can derive some comfort from the fact that Colorado’s workers’ compensation law dictates surviving dependents are entitled to $7,000 for funeral expenses and, more significantly, weekly payments. We’ll continue this exploration in today’s post. How long do weekly death benefits last?…

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When The Choice Isn’t Yours: Workers’ Comp Doctors

Apr 01 2017

In Colorado, employers and insurance companies get to choose who treats you for your workers’ compensation claim. After your injury, they will give you a list of four doctors — the “designated provider list” — and you will need to pick one of them. Seem unfair? You bet it is. In fact, it creates a questionable conflict of interest. Just like any business, doctors and medical offices want referrals. They know the more they bill the insurance company, the more likely the insurance company will kick them off the designated provider list. While they may treat you for your injuries,…

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Are surviving dependents entitled to work comp benefits?

Mar 30 2017

While most people are willing to accept that there is a possibility they could suffer some manner of work-related injury on any given day, they might have a much harder time accepting the possibility that they could actually lose their lives while performing their duties. Sadly, statistics from the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration reveal that workplace fatalities are far more common than people might realize, reaching an astounding 4,836 in 2015 or, put another way, more than 93 per week or more than 13 per day.  All this raises the question as to what happens in terms of…

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Did you know March is National Ladder Safety Month? – II

Mar 22 2017

Earlier this month, we discussed how March 2017 has been designated by the American Ladder Institute as National Ladder Safety Month, a first-of-its-kind initiative designed to do everything from decrease ladder-related injuries and deaths to encourage the disposal of “old, damaged or obsolete ladders.” To understand why such a program is necessary, consider that statistics show that as many as 500 workers are taken to emergency rooms every day for ladder accidents, with thousands left with disabling injuries and over 300 ultimately losing their lives each year. Last time, we indicated that workers can protect themselves from becoming one of…

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Workers’ Comp At A Turning Point: Should Workers Be Concerned?

Mar 20 2017

There was a consistent message throughout the most recent Workers’ Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) conference: workers’ compensation is at a turning point, and it is more important now than it ever has been. A System Thrown Off Balance Workers’ compensation is often described as a balancing act between keeping employers’ costs down and providing adequate benefits for injured workers. Many panelists at the conference noted that this balancing act has been thrown off by factors such as: Strong lobbying efforts on the part of employers An erosion of other social safety nets, such as health insurance and pensions, which diminished…

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Does Iowa Provide A Glimpse Of The Future Of Colorado Workers’ Comp?

Mar 17 2017

Some states are considering scaling back workers’ compensation benefits and workers’ comp systems as a whole. This naturally leads to a question for Colorado workers – is our state next? That question is difficult to answer, especially due to the political party division that exists in Colorado’s state government. However, we can look at what is happening in these other states to get a glimpse of what may be in store for our state down the road. Iowa Workers’ Comp Proposal Seeks A ‘One-Sided Outcome’ Perhaps the most extreme legislation that has been proposed comes from Iowa. Recent bills introduced…

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Study finds tattoo artists at an elevated risk of work injuries

Mar 15 2017

In the not-so-distant past, there was something of a cultural stigma attached to the idea of tattoos, such that they were considered to be outside the norm. Fast forward to the present, however, and societal attitudes have shifted considerably, something evidenced by the fact that roughly one in three Americans has a tattoo. Indeed, tattoos are now a multi-billion dollar industry that is estimated to grow by an astounding 13 percent annually. While this reality has resulted in a demand for tattoo artists, a recent study has revealed that those planning to pursue this as a career should proceed with…

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Timeline: Workers’ Comp Claims in Colorado

Mar 14 2017

After a work injury, workers’ who have been hurt rightfully have many questions. While clients often ask things such as “what workers’ comp benefits am I able to get?” and “will workers’ comp cover my medical bills?,” one question comes up in every situation: how long until I get my workers’ comp benefits? After a work injury, workers’ who have been hurt rightfully have many questions. While clients often ask things such as “what workers’ comp benefits am I able to get?” and “will workers’ comp cover my medical bills?,” one question comes up in every situation: how long until…

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Does Being Fired Mean You Can’t Get Workers’ Comp Benefits?

Mar 09 2017

While most people know that you can get workers’ comp benefits for work-related injuries while you are employed, what happens if you are terminated or fired? Can you still get benefits for a job-related illness or injury? When You Can Get Benefits Workers’ comp is designed to protect employees from injuries and illnesses that are closely related to their jobs. If you are injured or become sick due to your work, the benefits offered under the law don’t simply vanish if you are fired. If you were already receiving benefits, you can continue to do so. If you have not…

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