29
Apr 2015
By

Problems With Workers’ Comp Affect Providence Workers

Throughout Providence, workers depend upon workers’ compensation insurance to be there for them if they are injured on the job. A new report from Safety BLR suggests that workers may not be able to count on workers’ compensation to provide everything that they need. Workers’ compensation laws have been weakened and problems have developed with the system that cause financial hardship for injured workers. workers-724160-m

A workers’ compensation lawyer knows that most people don’t have disability insurance and that a workplace injury can have a devastating financial impact. The workers’ compensation system should be protected and strengthened so every worker gets the money he or she needs to cover costs and support himself after a workplace injury.

Fixing the Workers’ Compensation System

The first step to fixing problems with the workers’ compensation system is identifying some of the problems that are affecting it.

One of the biggest issues is that there is not enough money being put into workers’ comp by employers. The average amount of money that an employer spends for each worker per hour worked is $31.32 in the United States.  Workers compensation accounts for only $0.44 of this money, or 1.4 percent of the total costs of providing employment.

The cost of workers’ comp premiums varies by state based on a number of factors, including benefits received. In 1988, the cost of workers’ comp insurance premiums had reached about $2.39 for every $100 in wages paid out to workers in some states. Now, however, workers’ comp costs employers around $0.88 for each $100 in wages an employee earns.

As costs for employers have fallen, costs for workers have risen. Employees are being asked to assume more of the costs of injury expenses and, on average, a worker who gets hurt on the job ends up bearing about half of the total financial burden caused by his injuries. Since workers’ compensation is supposed to protect an employee from financial losses, this is a major issue.

Problems with the system are much worse in some states than in others, since states do not have standard workers’ compensation laws. The benefits that a worker receives after a workplace injury also vary significantly based on where he or she lives.

There are suggestions that could help solve some of these problems and make life easier for injured employees who get hurt or sick on the job. The three suggestions include providing some federal standardization of workers’ compensation systems so that workers do not experience more financial hardship in some states than others; providing more funding to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) so there are fewer workers hurt in the first place; and requiring more federal oversight and monitoring of how different states administer their workers’ compensation programs.

These changes could have a positive impact on the lives of workers and could ensure that the costs of on-the-job injuries are paid by employers and insurers who can better afford to cover such losses.

Contact a Providence work injury lawyer at the Law Offices of Deborah G. Kohl at 508-677-4900 or visit http://www.dgklaw.com to schedule your free consultation. Serving Coventry, Warwick, Providence and surrounding areas.

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