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March 2017 Archives

Workers' compensation: Forklift safety can save money and lives

Forklifts are an important part of various industries in Colorado and pose safety hazards wherever they are used. For some reason, forklifts often form part of horseplay, and employers who fail to enforce strict forklift safety protocols may find that serious injuries result. Significant increases in insurance premiums can also follow because every workers' compensation claim may cause an increase.

Airport ticket counter baggage handling injuries

To a passenger at Denver International Airport, the baggage handling process may appear seamless. The passenger drops a bag at the ticket counter, and if all goes well, it shows up at the passenger's destination as if by magic. But airport workers know what really happens behind the scenes. They know all too well about the physical effort that's required to get a suitcase from one airport to another, and about the injuries that airport workers can suffer as they perform their daily work duties.

Workers' compensation claims for illnesses can be challenging

Many Colorado workers suffer occupational diseases and repetitive injuries that can cause chronic conditions and could even prevent victims from working. In many cases, these conditions develop over time due to ongoing exposure to hazardous workplace environments. Unfortunately, these ailments are not as visible as broken bones, and they typically do not have a definite date of onset. All these aspects make the claiming of workers' compensation benefits extremely challenging.

Work injuries occurring on unusual or extended shifts

Most people work in regular, eight-hour shifts during daylight hours. They also get an overnight break that gives them a respite from job pressures and enables them to sleep, for a while at least. But what about people who are working extended hours under stressful conditions, such as utility workers trying to restore electrical service after a severe storm? Or police officers who are dealing with a hostage situation? Or firefighters who are suppressing a major fire?

The gig economy is creating new safety and insurance challenges

The number of on-demand workers (such as on-call workers, independent contractors, and those who obtain work through digital platforms) has increased sharply in recent years. The so-called gig economy offers these workers the opportunity to earn money while retaining their independence and ability to set their own working hours. However, this development is raising concerns over worker safety and how to best provide reimbursement for medical costs and wage losses when self-employed workers are injured. An article on the Business Insurance website discusses these questions.

Man injured at work when wind gust causes construction collapse

With 55 mph wind gusts on a recent Tuesday morning, an unfinished church construction in Colorado had little chance of staying up. This was the wind speed reported by the National Weather Service for the City of Greeley on that day. One employee of the construction company was injured at work when the structure collapsed.

Why would workers' comp claims of injured workers be denied?

Workers in various industries in Colorado face safety hazards daily. While most injured workers are eligible for workers' comp benefits, some claims are denied. This could cause financial problems when a workplace injury victim must settle medical bills and get along without wages when the injury causes temporary disability.

When can a worker's compensation case get into court?

The workers' compensation system was set up to provide an orderly way to resolve workplace injury claims outside of court. When the system works properly, injured workers have the ability to obtain compensation for medical treatment and disability benefits. In exchange, employers can limit their liability for negligent workplace accidents and avoid having to engage in potentially costly court litigation every time a work accident happens. The administrative venue provided by the workers' compensation system can generally resolve work injury claims more efficiently than the court system can.

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