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Chronic pain is an invisible disability that continues to inflict victims of workplace injury long after the event. Not only does it cause physical suffering but it can lead to emotional conditions such as depression and frustration. Studies have shown that how a worker deals with pain following an accident will determine how well they will deal with chronic pain if it manifests and how soon they will be ready to return to work.

According to the American Chronic Pain Association, chronic non-malignant pain (CNMP) is the most common cause of disability in workers under the age of 45 and disables 90 million Americans. The US economy loses $100 billion per year due to chronic pain.

Some common workplace injuries such as falling, slipping without falling, exertion, and repetitive stress injuries can be the cause of chronic pain. Unlike acute pain, (the pain you feel during the course or immediately after the initial injury) chronic pain exists in bodies that appear to have healed. In other words, chronic pain causes physical, emotional, and psychological pain but does not pose a threat to cause further injury or disability.

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Workers’ compensation is a form of insurance providing wage replacement and medical benefits to employees injured in the course of employment in exchange for mandatory relinquishment of the employee’s right to sue his or her employer for negligence.

While plans differ among jurisdictions, provisions can be made for weekly payments in place of wages, compensation for economic loss, reimbursement or payment of medical expenses, and benefits payable to the dependents of workers killed during employment.

These are the current top five filed worker compensation claims in the nation.

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Every day, millions of American workers are asked to put their health, safety and lives on the line for the profit of their employers.

Give and Take

Not that it’s all injustice and exploitation. It is an integral part of the unwritten, unspoken labor contract between a worker and his or her employer. When someone takes a job, they are aware of the risks involved and willingly take those risks in exchange for an honest paycheck. This contract is how things get done. It’s how people make a living. And it is how America maintains her ranking as one of the world’s largest, most productive economies.

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There are many reasons not to file your worker’s comp claim right away. Maybe you didn’t realize that you were injured at first; some repetitive stress injuries can continue for years before they start to really interfere with your daily activities. You may not have wanted to inconvenience your company or be a bother. You may not have known how to file a claim or even where to start.

Unfortunately, the longer you wait to file your claim, the harder it will be to get the compensation you deserve. Your claim could easily be denied if the injury is not reported right away or if you have missed deadlines. Memories of witnesses fade over time leaving you without important evidence.

When it comes to your Workers’ Compensation claim, time is of the essence. But when in that process is it appropriate to hire a Workers’ Compensation lawyer?

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Families of four of the six workers killed last year in a grain-dust explosion in Kansas have filed wrongful-death suits. The lawsuits come a month after Bartlett Grain Co. announced its intentions to create a memorial for the six men. This plan has drawn strong criticism from a victim’s family, who claim this is nothing more than a public relations stunt.

The parents of one man that died in the explosion stated, “As an alternative to Bartlett spending monies to erect a memorial, it would be our recommendation that Bartlett invest in an extensive safety program designed to prevent another tragedy.”

The suits allege that Bartlett employees “issued directives that displayed a knowing or voluntary” disregard” for the safety and health of workers who were killed. The allegations are similar to those made by health and safety officials, who accused Bartlett of willfully ignoring workplace rules before the explosion; and they also proposed $406,000 in fines.

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There exist several reasons why your employer’s insurer may deny your Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation claim. Knowing these reasons in advance may help you to avoid the pitfalls and delays that come with a denied claim. If your injury makes it impossible to return to work until you have recuperated, your benefits may be an important part of your recovery. A denied claim will surely add to the stress and uncertainty you may be feeling at this time.

Procedural reasons for a denial

  • Failure to report your injury promptly to your employer
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You are highly skilled and respected in your chosen trade. You have also been a loyal employee for over 9 years. Despite being safety conscious, while working one day, you receive a devastating injury. The doctor says you could be sidelined for over a year before you might be able to return to work. Now what?

Fortunately, you will have the benefits of Workers’ Compensation to help with your medical bills and limp along financially until you can return to work. But you were in line for a raise in the next few months because of your skill level and the company automatically gives you a big bump at 10 years. What is going to happen to these benefits? This is your career and your company was mostly to blame for your accident.

What your company owes you and what it does not

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Potential worker safety hazards affect every American employee. Desk workers risk repetitive stress injuries, drivers risk motor vehicle accidents and individuals involved in the commercial fishing industry risk a host of injuries caused by a multitude of potential hazards. Each worker in every industry is vulnerable in his or her own way.

However, some workers are particularly vulnerable to devastating and life-threatening injuries that can be prevented if their unique circumstances are addressed with care. One example of a particularly vulnerable workforce population is female construction workers. These workers are even more at risk of suffering injury resulting from construction accidents because their safety equipment is not tailored to their body types.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is taking steps to address the unique safety needs of female construction workers. It has formed an alliance with the prominent National Association of Women in Construction in order to ensure that the efforts it makes will substantially impact women in the construction industry. Among the alliance’s top priorities is developing various training resources uniquely tailored to the female construction worker population.

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Healthcare is the country’s most dangerous occupation, resulting in more than $7 billion each year for back injuries alone. In 2010, the healthcare industry reported more than 650,000 workplace injuries and illnesses, which is 152,000 more than the second-most dangerous industry.

In 2011, nursing aides, orderlies, and attendants suffered musculoskeletal injuries seven times more than the national average. There is also the issue that 45 percent of workplace violence incidents resulting in missed workdays occur in the healthcare industry.

An analyst stated, “The patient and worker safety programs share a lot of the same characteristics. So if your environment is safer for your patients, it is inherently safer for your workers.”

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An employee was injured during a collapse at a construction site on the campus of Temple University. It appeared to be caused by a steel of a floor that collapsed.

Engineers believe that a connector on the fifth floor failed, causing a steel beam to split from the structure and land on the floor below. The construction worker suffered a leg injury and was taken to the hospital where he is in stable condition.

State inspectors and federal officials will be inspecting the rest of the building.

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