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Workers infected by MRSA may receive workman's comp

Working in medical facilities and other health care related industries comes with its own set of hazards. One of them is the possibility of contracting a virulent strain of staph bacteria (staphylococcus aureus) called MRSA (methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus). This bacteria is transmitted from touching the skin of an infected person; it is highly contagious and is resistant to a number of antibiotics. Colorado workers who become infected by MRSA may be able to receive workman's comp benefits to help with medical costs and any wages lost if they are unable to work.

Of course, it would be preferable never to contract MRSA in the first place. Colorado employers need to put the safety and health of their workers first. This means taking steps such as keeping the workplace clean and providing employees with the supplies and facilities needed in order to practice good hygiene, which can help prevent the spread of the bacteria. In order to ensure the best possible bacteria-free workplace, employers should purchase EPA approved disinfectants, which need to be available and used on all surfaces and equipment.

Employees can help protect themselves by washing their hands regularly and thoroughly. Employees should not share personal protective equipment or clothing. If a worker has an open wound, it should be cleaned regularly and covered with the appropriate bandage until it is healed.

Even if all of these recommendations are followed, a worker may still contract MRSA. Under certain circumstances, it may not be possible to take the time to ensure the proper precautions are taken -- especially in an emergency. If an employee does contract MRSA while at work, or some other dangerous health issue, workman's comp benefits can help deal with financial issues that typically arise during recovery from an on-the-job injury or illness.

Source: cdc.gov, "MRSA and the Workplace", Accessed on May 8, 2015

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