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Musculoskeletal injuries can cause permanent disability

Numerous Colorado workers suffer musculoskeletal injuries each year. Many of them are able to manage those injuries, but others are left with a permanent disability. This may affect not only the work they are able to do, but their personal lives as well.

For example, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration says that musculoskeletal injuries are pervasive in the meat and poultry processing industries. In fact, OSHA recently concluded an investigation of a chicken processing plant in another state in which an unknown number of its approximately 960 employees suffer from these types of injuries. The specific injuries include trigger thumb, carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis and shoulder pain.

OSHA labels the problem as being serious at the Delaware plant. The plant was issued citations, and fines of $38,000 were proposed. The company has 15 days from the date of the citations to respond. OSHA's report also included recommendations to improve the ergonomics at the plant in an attempt to reduce the potential number of workers suffering from musculoskeletal injuries.

For those who do suffer these types of injuries, workers' compensation benefits can be obtained to help with medical expenses and lost wages. Depending on the severity of the injuries and the length of time needed to recover, temporary and/or permanent disability benefits may be available. If an individual is no longer able to perform the same duties due to a permanent injury, it may be possible to receive additional benefits to cover training in another position or field depending on the circumstances. Navigating the Colorado workers' compensation system can be frustrating and complex, so enlisting the assistance of counsel familiar with this field of law could help ensure that the injured party receives all of the benefits to which he or she is entitled.

Source: delawareonline.com, "OSHA fines Harbeson chicken plant $38K", June 22, 2015

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