Injured workers caught in the crossfire of state vs. federal law

Oct 04 2017

Of all prominent personalities quoted before any court, Jerry Garcia is rarely referenced. Yet, in his opening remarks, Norman Trask, an attorney appearing before the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, cited the Grateful Dead leader’s own words that also served as the title of the band’s second compilation album. “What a long strange trip it’s been.” For Gaetan Bourgoin, it has been a long and painful trip. Bourgoin injured his back in 1989 at the paper mill in Maine where he worked. He initially tried prescription painkillers. While providing relief, use of the drug led to addiction and thoughts of suicide….

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The growing problem of workplace violence against nurses

Sep 26 2017

It is a job where a “typical workday” may include yelling, spitting, or serious assaults. In fact, many feel that the risk of violence these professionals face on an ongoing basis makes it one of America’s most dangerous jobs. Nursing. A 2016 Government Accountability Office report found that the likelihood of workplace violence in health care settings is five to 12 times higher than any other job. A recent Occupational Safety and Health Administration survey of nurses reveals 75 percent question had suffered physical and verbal abuse by not only their patients, but also their family members and visitors. Specific…

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Afraid your work comp claim will hurt your employer? Fear not.

Sep 20 2017

You’re a good person. You like your employer. Your injury isn’t that bad. So why should you file a workers’ compensation claim against your employer? Many of the people that come into our law office are worried about how their workers’ compensation claim will affect their employers. We understand that, but we also want you to know: An insurance company, not your employer, will pay your claim. In other words, if you were injured at work, you can and should file for workers’ compensation. The history of the Colorado workers’ compensation system A hundred years ago, if workers were injured…

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“I was harassed after filing a work comp claim. What can I do?”

Sep 19 2017

“Maria” injured her back in a slip-and-fall at work. She filed a workers’ compensation claim and was successful. She returned to work under modified duty/light duty. While back at work, her immediate boss continually assigned her to the least desirable tasks at work, did not step in when fellow employees repeatedly mocked her and implied that her injury wasn’t real, and refused her applications for a promotion. Maria endured the treatment. She had already rocked the boat by filing a workers’ compensation claim. If I speak up now, she thought, I will lose my job. She dreaded going into work…

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The nation’s deadliest job is not what you think

Sep 12 2017

Police officers and professional firefighters understand the dangers inherent in their jobs. They all recognize any day that they leave for work could be the day when they will not come home. Yet, as risky as those professions are, being a trash collector means holding the most dangerous job in the country. Garbage workers are far more likely to die while on the job.Fatalities are on the rise, with deaths in 2015 peaking to the highest point in a decade. The most significant danger they face every day is being struck and killed by other drivers passing their routes. Drivers…

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Where Colorado stands on controls of toxic chemicals

Sep 01 2017

Exposure to toxic materials is something to take seriously. If you know that something could do you harm, chances are you will strive to avoid situations where contact might be possible. Unfortunately, there are industries in Colorado in which exposure to hazardous chemicals is unavoidable. If you work in one, your employer has a responsibility to make sure you are aware of the dangers and equipped with the proper protection and training to minimize the risks. If you do suffer illness or injury as a result of your work, you are entitled to certain medical and financial benefits. Obtaining the…

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Settlement conferences: The process and the benefits to you

Aug 29 2017

Settlement conferences are valuable and effective ways to resolve workers’ compensation cases. Two parties who struggle to find compromise have the opportunity to negotiate a compromise outside of the courtroom. Both sides can benefit from a middle ground that provides closure and allows injured workers to move on with their lives. Simply stated, everyone involved has a say in the outcome of settlement talks. They can avoid the lengthy process that comes with a formal workers’ compensation hearing. Specific information injured workers should know about settlement conferences include: Workers’ compensation claims in Colorado can be settled at any step in…

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Staying safe while working a Colorado fair or festival

Aug 25 2017

In the wake of the Ohio State Fair Fire Ball accident, many are questioning whether they will be safe at the Colorado State Fair this year. There is one group of people, however, that do not question their safety enough: The workers. Burns from manning food booths. Heat stroke while taking tickets. Back injuries from carrying instruments and other heavy objects. Slip and falls. Falls from heights. Electrical shock. Assaults by drunk concertgoers. There are many ways workers face injury, whether they are working the State Fair, a Red Rocks concert or another festival or event. Here is what you…

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Addressing nursing care that becomes nursing assaults

Aug 16 2017

While named after one nurse assaulted in a Massachusetts healthcare facility, Elise’s Law and its passage directly addresses a growing problem for all who dedicate their lives to the nursing profession. Workplace violence. Elise Wilson was working at Harrington Hospital on June 14 when patient Conor O’Regan stabbed her multiple times while in an examination room. What seemed to be a rather routine part of hers and any other nurse’s workday became anything but routine. After the violent attack, she was med-flighted to UMass Center in critical condition. Her assailant ran off, but was captured a short time later. Wilson…

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The passion of the nurse

Aug 09 2017

In a 2015 study, the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that approximately five of every 1,000 registered nurses in the United States missed work due to injury. Of all the physical damage these medical professionals face on a daily basis, back injuries topped the list. Few occupations are more hazardous and more misunderstood. Misconceptions continue to surround day-to-day duties. Many do not see nursing as tough physical work normally associated with hard labor. However, another analysis of the profession showed that nurses rank 11th among categories of workers most likely to be hurt on the job. Heavy lifting of patients…

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