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Augusta Georgia Workers' Compensation Blog

Big changes to Georgia workers' comp weekly benefits

This July the Georgia workers' compensation weekly maximum benefit rose from $575 to $675. The increase became effective two weeks ago, July 1, 2019. 

This is big news for injured workers and their families. The potential $100-a-week increase will have a profound positive effect on families with an injured wage-earner. When a partner or household breadwinner is out of work families are often faced with tough decisions.

Thomson, Georgia Electrocuted Worker Highlights Dangers of the Job

Early in June emergency professionals found a man dead inside the sign of a Love's Gas Station in Thomson, Georgia. When the worker failed to check in, the manager at D&G Outdoor Lighting & Signs, the company responsible for the sign repair, checked the GPS tracker on the company vehicle. After seeing that the truck never left the gas station, he called the station and asked a worker to check the area. The electrician's body was found inside the sign. While research into the case is still under way, initial reports indicate the man was trying to cut a wire while fixing the sign, and was electrocuted 

As a teacher, you face significant risk for injuries

Teachers have one of the most important jobs. Unfortunately, you and many others in this profession rarely receive the recognition and thanks you deserve for all the time, effort and support you put into enriching the lives of your students. In fact, you may put your life in danger on the job, and many people do not understand that possibility for teachers.

Injuries to teachers are not uncommon. Still, you may never have had someone express concern over your safety or well-being on the job until recent years when school shootings became all too common across the country. While this example is certainly harrowing and could lead to severe injuries, you also face other risks while on the job.

New guide gives ways to address toxic work environment

The Center for Progressive Reform has published a new guide that can help employees and business owners in Georgia and across the US ensure a nontoxic workplace. It is entitled "Chemical Detox for the Workplace: A Guide to Securing a Nontoxic Work Environment."

By following this guide, employers may be able to effect positive changes faster than organizations like OSHA and the EPA can. The latter, according to CPR, face the opposition of lobbyists from well-funded industries whenever they try to develop workplace protections against toxic substances. There is no lack of scientific evidence to back up the need for these protections, though.

How AI is making construction work safer

Construction workers in Georgia may take a vested interest in workplace safety due in part to how dangerous construction work is. According to statistics, construction workers are five times as likely to die on the job in comparison to other workers. On average, 14 construction workers die on the job every day.

There has been a 34% increase in struck-by deaths over the past 10 years. As a result, site managers feel an increased sense of urgency to minimize workplace injuries and deaths. Site managers are turning into an unconventional place to help limit construction injuries and deaths. Artificial intelligence solutions are giving site managers more control over their job, making it possible for them to minimize the workplace hazards that their employees face.

Nurses can't always avoid injury on the job

As a nurse, you have seen your share of workplace injuries. Your patients may come from all industries with a variety of complaints from cuts and broken bones to back injuries and more. As you do your best to make them comfortable, you may know that the injuries some of them suffer will prevent them from returning to their jobs. Perhaps you worry about this possibility for yourself.

Your job places you in harm's way every day, and not always in the way some would anticipate. When you suffer an injury, you may expect the same care and attention you willingly give your patients. However, your employer or the insurance company responsible for your workers' compensation benefits may not have such a generous bedside manner. Some hazards you face on the job are not unique to your profession. However, this does not make them less important or less painful when you are the victim of an injury.

Some types of workplace injuries are more common

Many Georgia employees could be at risk for a serious workplace injury. Depending on the industries they work in, the type of incident may vary. However, there are certain injuries that are especially common across the country. According to the insurance company Liberty Mutual, 10 key causes of serious injuries on the job have been identified. These are the causes most often linked to long-term disability.

According to the 2019 study, the most common cause of workplace injury is overexertion. Cited in over 23 percent of on-the-job incidents, overexertion costs employers approximately $13.11 billion each year due to lost productivity and workers' compensation payments. This may seem to be vague, but overexertion refers to a range of injuries caused by excessive lifting, pushing, pulling, or other strenuous movement. Falls on the same level were the second most common cause of serious workplace injuries, while falls to a lower level came in fourth place. The third most common cause was being struck by an object or equipment, and other factors involving equipment also were significant.

Bill seeks standard to prevent violence in healthcare settings

Georgia residents who work in the healthcare or social services industry should know about a proposed bill that intends to address the issue of workplace violence in those industries. The bill, called the Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act, was introduced in the House of Representatives on Nov. 16, 2018.

On Feb. 27, the House Education and Labor Committee's Workforce Protections Subcommittee held a hearing regarding the bill. Various people testified in support of the bill, including one nurse who was the victim of workplace violence and now suffers from moderate to severe PTSD, insomnia and social anxiety. The CEO for the National Association of Social Workers also spoke. The bill has more than 40 co-sponsors.

Tips for avoiding injuries at work

Georgia residents who are injured at work may experience long-term physical problems. They may also experience emotional and financial issues as well, and their families may also be impacted by an injury. There are also direct and indirect costs that employers have to pay when an employee is injured. By implementing a worker safety plan, companies may reduce the risk of an employee getting hurt.

Slip and fall accidents are among the most common among workers, and those who work in mines may be vulnerable to respiratory problems. Shoulder and back pain can also occur regardless of the type of job an employee does. Resources are available to help workers learn more about how to keep themselves safe while on the job. It may also be possible to learn how to treat an injury that happens at work. Employees may also have access to phone lines that allow them to schedule appointments if they need further medical attention.

The link between workers' compensation and drug addiction

The last thing on your mind when you sustain a job site injury is the risk of becoming addicted to drugs. Your main concern is seeking medical treatment, focusing on recovery and figuring out finances until (and if) you can go to work again.

Workers' compensation benefits can take care of the financial worries temporarily or permanently depending on your situation. Unfortunately, they may also be the reason for developing dependency on painkillers and illegal substances.

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