Employers in all settings - office, industry, construction, agriculture - are well aware of the toll that back injuries can have on their workforce. In fact, it is estimated that this particular type of injury results in more so-called "lost days" for employers than any other type of work injury, while back injuries caused by overexertion are estimated to cost employers upwards of $13.4 billion a year.
In workers' compensation defense news, the California Workers' Compensation Appeals Board recently announced that it was planning to reconsider a previous - and controversial - ruling concerning whether a report from a physician outside of a medical provider network (MPN) can be used to establish eligibility for work comp benefits.
If an employee has suffered a serious work injury, they will more than likely have to spend time away from their position and undergo comprehensive medical treatment that may or may not include physical therapy. In addition, the injured employee may also need certain medications such as anti-inflammatories and/or narcotics to help manage their pain.
Previously, our blog discussed how a coalition of politicians - led by U.S. Representative John Kline (R-Minnesota) - were attempting to advance legislation on Capitol Hill designed to reform the federal work comp system. Now, it appears as if this call for work comp reform is continuing as the Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently declared that it was taking an even stronger stance against federal work comp/employee fraud.
A recently released study reveals that workers in the manufacturing sector are being unwittingly exposed to a potential work injury/health hazard courtesy of a heavily utilized yet rather mundane tool: shop towels.
Over the past year, reform of the federal workers' compensation program seems to have emerged as something of a hot-button issue on Capitol Hill. For example, Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) sponsored legislation in February that would transition federal employees who suffered work injuries from the work comp system to the applicable retirement system upon reaching retirement age.
Those employees who suffer serious and debilitating injuries while on the job are legally entitled to monetary assistance through their employers' workers' compensation insurance. Unfortunately, there are some employees who seek to take advantage of this equitable system, often misrepresenting the extent of their work injuries or lying about how their injuries occurred. However, it appears that state officials have recognized the gravity of the work comp fraud/employee fraud problem in the state and are now taking affirmative steps to help solve it.
Over the past few years, the largest municipal departments in Los Angeles County have all experienced either a reduction or only a slight increase in the number of work comp claims filed by injured employees. However, there is one county department that has seen such a dramatic increase in the number of work comp claims that authorities are beginning to wonder if possible employee fraud or an exceptional number of workplace hazards are to blame.
In recent workers' compensation defense news, a New Jersey appeals court recently decided a rather interesting issue: whether the husband of an obese woman who died from a blood clot while working late in her home office is eligible for her work comp benefits.