Work comp laws protect guest workers, a vital part of Colorado’s agricultural industry

May 18 2017

As guest workers begin to come back to Eastern Colorado to help our farmers, it’s a good time for a reminder: temporary and seasonal agricultural workers are eligible for workers’ compensation. This is true even if they are here on a temporary H-2A classification or are undocumented. “We need guest workers” So goes the plea of many Colorado farmers who face a labor shortage. Farmers have trouble competing with the wages of similar labor-intensive industries such as the construction industry. That means fewer applicants, fewer hires and longer hours. Farm owners often look to fill the gaps in their workforces by…

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Decision in Case: Pueblo County, CO and County Technical Services, Inc. v. Industrial Claim Appeals Office

May 18 2017

Today, the Colorado Court of Appeals issued a decision in the case of Pueblo County, CO and County Technical Services, Inc. v. Industrial Claim Appeals Office; W.C. No. 4-911-673 upholding a lower court’s decision that an injury sustained while attending a union meeting is compensable under the Colorado Workers’ Compensation Act. The decision announces a significant change in CO law. Previously, injuries sustained while employees attended Union meetings were not compensable. Union activities were considered solely for the benefit of the Employee and as such not considered part of the work contract. Thus, injuries sustained in attending Union meetings were…

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Will bill calling for greater discretion in work comp fines pass?

May 09 2017

Under Colorado law, those businesses found to be lacking the necessary workers’ compensation coverage for the first time face fines of up to $250 per day, with this amount jumping to between $250 to $500 per day for repeat offenders. While this might not seem like much, the reality is that the balance of the fines can get very high, very quickly — sometimes with the offending outfit unaware that they have done anything wrong and, once discovered, unable to do anything about it.  To illustrate, consider the experience of a Denver-based motel operator fined for failing to carry work…

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Landscape workers, take note and stay safe: Deaths on the rise

May 05 2017

A recent OSHA news release shows that landscape workers and others in roles related to outdoor work and maintenance are increasingly at risk of injury or death while on the job. OSHA found that fatalities have been steadily rising in this industry since 2012, and that in some states the fatality rate has almost tripled. While the study mentioned in the OSHA news release concerns a different part of the country (four states in the southeast United States), most of the states referenced in the data are readily comparable to Colorado based on the number of workers in this industry…

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Report finds high rate of serious work injuries in poultry industry

May 02 2017

When most people walk through the front door after a long day at work or school, there’s one question they will inevitably ask their spouse, partner, parent, family member or roommate: What’s for dinner? While there are innumerable answers to this timeless inquiry, there’s a very good chance that the person to whom it is directed will answer with an entrée that includes chicken as a primary ingredient. If you don’t believe it, consider that statistics from Purdue University reveal that an astounding 8 billion chickens are consumed here in the U.S. every year. While most of us likely don’t…

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CSU study: Is cannabis work dangerous?

May 02 2017

The massive growth of the cannabis industry in Colorado has led to the creation of cannabis-related jobs throughout the state. But how safe are these jobs? Due to the recent rise of the industry, data about the health and safety of workers in cannabis-related jobs has been hard to come by. That started to change last month, when researchers at Colorado State University (CSU) and their colleagues at the Colorado School of Public Health released the first in-depth report about the safety and wellbeing of workers in the cannabis industry. Titled “Work and Well-Being in the Colorado Cannabis Industry,” the…

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Have You Been Diagnosed With CRPS Or RSD?

May 01 2017

Even the most dedicated, highly trained physicians cannot cure serious medical conditions that have unknown origins in the body. Although the neurological disease most often called Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) has long been recognized and acknowledged as legitimate in the medical community, its specific causes are still unknown and available treatments are still largely experimental. Turn To Attorneys Who Recognize The Complexity Of Nerve Disorders You may have suffered a seemingly minor injury to a hand, foot, finger or toe on the job and then failed to recover as expected. People suffering with CRPS — sometimes referred to as…

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Disability claims and the special medical examination

Apr 28 2017

Once a person completes the initial application for Social Security disability benefits, they are often ready to take a step back and let the process run its course. While it’s understandable why a person dealing with a serious medical condition would want a brief respite after this taxing endeavor, this might not be possible. That’s because Colorado Disability Determination Services, the state agency tasked with making disability decisions for the Social Security Administration, may soon make contact requesting what is known as a special medical examination.  Specifically, the DDS will request and schedule a special medical examination when its examiners…

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Study: Colorado’s cannabis industry in need of work safety overhaul

Apr 20 2017

While it may seem hard to believe, it’s now been over four years since voters passed Colorado Amendment 64, the historic measure legalizing the personal use of marijuana by adults 21 and over, and calling for the drug to be cultivated, sold and regulated in a similar manner to alcohol. Regardless of how people view the state’s progressive approach to marijuana, the simple reality is that the cannabis industry — both medicinal and retail — is realizing considerable profits, suggesting that more workers will continue to be added to its ranks. Of course, with this establishment of a new employment…

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Treating physician rule’ rescinded by the SSA

Apr 12 2017

When an individual applies for disability benefits, the first stop for their application is the Social Security Administration, which will determine if they meet certain baseline criteria concerning everything from work-related activities to work history. If their application passes this preliminary examination, it will then be forwarded to the Disability Determination Services office in their state, where agency employees, including physicians and disability specialists, will complete the initial disability determination decision. In doing this, the state agency will consider all the facts of the applicant’s case, including medical evidence from doctors, hospitals, or other medical institutions regarding the condition and…

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