Workers' Compensation

Category archives for Workers’ Compensation

Destructive trends in workers’ compensation

Decades of business-friendly “reforms” to workers’ compensation make the bargain between employers and labor no longer a good deal for injured workers.

“Yes, you can use my name because it doesn’t matter. They have already done everything they can do to me.” Those are words from Eliceo, a former dairy farm worker in upstate New York. Earlier this year, Eliceo, 36, decided to speak up and share his story with local advocates who are tirelessly working to improve conditions on New York dairy farms and end persistent reports of workplace safety violations, preventable work-related injuries, wage theft, exploitation and in some cases, worker deaths.

Occupational Health News Roundup

Latino workers face higher fatality rates on the job; health care workers in Spain blame inadequate protective gear for Ebola infection; California law aims to prevent violence in health care settings; and the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases the 10 deadliest occupations.

Is NFL football a sport or gladiatorial combat to entertain the masses?

For eight years, Dora worked at a frozen pizza factory in Romeoville, Illinois, called Great Kitchens. For eight hours a day — sometimes seven days a week — she assembled pizza boxes or arranged cheese and other toppings on pizzas. The consequences of years of such repetitive work surfaced in October 2012, when her hands would go numb and a painful cyst formed on her left wrist. She told her supervisor about the problem, but he said he couldn’t do anything about it — Dora was a temporary worker hired through a staffing agency and so Great Kitchens wasn’t responsible for addressing her injury.

Occupational Health News Roundup

In-depth series investigates worker misclassification; NIOSH observes N95 Day; fast food workers take to the streets; and California moves toward paid sick leave law.

In New York, construction is the deadliest industry, with immigrant workers experiencing half of all occupational-related fatalities. In Massachusetts in 2013, it’s estimated that upward of 500 workers died from occupational disease, at least 1,800 were diagnosed with cancers associated with workplace exposures and 50,000 workers experienced serious injury. In Wyoming, workplace deaths climbed to a five-year high in 2012.

BLS estimate of work-related amputations grossly understates magnitude of the problem

Yet another study that calculates the extent to which BLS’ data on work-related injuries understates the incidence.

Last weekend, construction worker Jose Perez stood up and spoke about life as a construction worker in one of then nation’s most prosperous cities. In front of him were hundreds of supporters who had gathered in downtown Austin, Texas, to call on a local developer to treat its workers better. Looming behind him was the new Gables Park Tower, an unfinished luxury apartment complex where construction workers have reported dangerous working conditions and frequent wage violations.

There are few factors that shape a person’s health as strongly and predictably as income. And while enforcing wage and labor laws may at first seem outside the purview of public health agencies, Rajiv Bhatia adamantly disagrees. In fact, he says that public health may wield the most persuasive stick in town.