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Milwaukee Workers' Compensation Blog

Don't think you're eligible for workers' comp? Think again

The national trend toward independent contractors and gig jobs doesn't show any sign of slowing. That means we're likely to see a lot more workers with job-related injuries who can't claim workers' compensation. But what goes for the nation doesn't always hold for Wisconsin.

Governor Evers recently created a new task force to police payroll fraud and worker misclassification. Employers often try to save money by calling people independent contractors when they should really be employees. They might do this to get off the hook for employee benefits like vacation time, health insurance and workers' compensation. But you don't stop being an employee just because your employer calls you something else.

The most common cause of workplace injuries? Overexertion.

Workers' compensation attorneys look at the news through our own lenses. When I see the continual news and debate about the recent Foxconn deal, which is supposed to bring thousands of new jobs to Wisconsin, I think about various types of workplace settings. At present, it's not clear whether the potential Foxconn jobs will be in manufacturing, research and development, or anything else. From my "work comp" viewpoint, I simply know that accidents can happen in any type of work environment-especially from someone's job duties over a period of time.

According to the National Safety Council, there's a workplace injury in the United States every seven seconds. Many of these can cost you valuable time at work, and the most common of these injuries are the strains and pains that result from overexertion. 

Safer patient handling can save your back and your career

Nurses have one of the highest rates of musculoskeletal disorders in any field in the U.S. Everyday tasks can endanger the health of your spine. Awkward twisting, lifting and manually repositioning patients can lead to serious damage over time. Traumatic injuries can happen in a split second. Supposedly stable patients can stumble. Heavier patients can fall on medical professionals of smaller stature. Short-staffing can put pressure on a single nurse. Emergency situations can place someone in a physically difficulty position.

Accidents are common for nurses and medical professionals (this includes registered nurses, certified nursing assistants, physician assistants, advanced practice nurse prescribers, and more). If possible, safe patient handling techniques or lifts can help minimize those accident risks. There are many myths around safe patient handling, and as a natural caretaker it can be tempting to help a patient stand once or twice. Your patient might be agitated or have a sour attitude toward mechanical lifts. While these are not always feasible, these machines can be used for your safety and that of the patient.

Do Higher Group Insurance Deductibles Mean More Work Comp Claims?

istockphoto-515313856-612x612.jpgAre some injuries not submitted to work comp?: Those of us dealing daily with injured workers have long suspected that many work injuries go unreported for a variety of reasons. Workers with access to health care insurance with a low deductible may choose to file with group health instead of workers' compensation. Workers with other wage replacement benefits (such as short-term disability) may also choose not to file for workers' compensation. Employer intimidation through both overt and covert suggestions or directives not to file for workers' compensation also applies. The stigma and the loss of bonuses or overtime pay is another contributing factor to non-filing for workers' compensation..

Nurses get hurt (but safer patient handling might save your back and your career)

Nurses have one of the highest rates of musculoskeletal disorders in any field in the U.S. Everyday tasks can endanger the health of your spine. Awkward twisting, lifting and manually repositioning patients can lead to serious damage over time. Traumatic injuries can happen in a split second. Supposedly stable patients can stumble. Heavier patients can fall on medical professionals of smaller stature. Short-staffing can put pressure on a single nurse. Emergency situations can place someone in a physically difficulty position.

Accidents are common for nurses and medical professionals (this includes registered nurses, certified nursing assistants, physician assistants, advanced practice nurse prescribers, and more). If possible, safe patient handling techniques or lifts can help minimize those accident risks. There are many myths around safe patient handling, and as a natural caretaker it can be tempting to help a patient stand once or twice. Your patient might be agitated or have a sour attitude toward mechanical lifts. While these are not always feasible, these machines can be used for your safety and that of the patient. 

Proposed changes to hog slaughter lines may endanger workers

The U.S. Department of Agriculture(USDA) has proposed removing the speed limits on hog slaughtering in meatpacking plants. Currently, plants are limited to slaughtering 1,106 pigs an hour to allow government inspectors time to examine each pig. The National Employment Law Project (NELP) fears removing limits will put workers at a greater risk for injury.

LIRC Changes in Lame Duck Session

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Changes to LIRC

Before Governor-Elect Tony Evers takes office, the Republican-led legislature and outgoing Governor Walker are making changes to the Labor and Industry Review Commission. The Commission, or LIRC, is the three-person body of political appointees that review judge decisions in workers' compensation cases. Commissioners serve staggered six year terms. Significantly, all three current Commissioners were appointed by Governor Walker.

Kids Chance Awareness Week: Scholarships for Kids of Injured Workers

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Kids' Chance Awareness Week

Kids' Chance of America is a 501 (c)(3) organization that represents a collection of state-level non-profit Kids' Chance organizations that provide scholarship opportunities to children who need financial assistance due to a parent's work-related injury or fatality. All decisions at the state or national level should be measured against how well the decision being considered supports this guiding principle: More money for more kids!

Can I receive workers’ comp if I’m injured at a seasonal job?

Seasonal employees are an important part of the holidays. As a seasonal worker, you know you are a vital resource for businesses to continue serving their customers’ needs during a time when traffic and sales are high. You are just as valuable as a regular employee.

Like any other employee, you deserve the right to a safe workplace. If an accident occurs and you are injured, you may be wondering how you will pay for your medical expenses and lost wages during this crucial moneymaking time. Regular employees would file a workers’ compensation claim, but is that option available to you?

Tips for returning to work after an injury

An injury at work can have far-reaching consequences. Besides the obvious potential loss of income and the pain of an injury, there are other factors to consider. One of the biggest is how to handle returning to work.

Given the access to quality medical care and the choice of physicians, injured workers in Wisconsin return to work faster than virtually every state in the country.

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