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Wisconsin Workers' Compensation Blog

A builder's worst nightmares

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average entry-level construction workers' hourly wage is $16.43 per hour.  But along with a liveable wage come risks. Even under strict job-site safety regulations, construction workers face among the highest industrial injury rates in America. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has released a list of the most common worksite injuries.  Some of them are minor injuries, and others are life-threatening.

 

Can't Win PTD? .... Think Again! LIRC Affirms Perm Total Award

Justice.jpgIn a wake-up call to work comp insurance companies, the Labor and Industry Review Commission (LIRC) just affirmed a permanent and total disability award for an injured worker! [Click for LIRC Decision] Domer Law represented a truck driver/dock worker whose job duties were a material contributory causative factor in the progression of his low back condition, resulting in a failed low back surgery and permanent restrictions that precluded a return to work.

New LIRC Commissioner

In 2019, Wisconsin has a new Commissioner for workers' compensation decisions.  Governor Evers appointed Attorney Michael Gillick to serve a six-year term on the Labor and Industry Review Commission.  Prior to his appointment, Attorney Gillick represented injured workers, earning a stellar reputation for his dedication towards fairness and justice.  Gillick is the new chairperson of the Commission.

The difference between a herniated disk and bulging disk

Our spines play an incredibly critical role in the human body; it links the brain to the rest of the nervous system, sends vital signals to different organs and acts as the structure for most of our physical bodies. Without a functioning spine, we end up with severe health issues.

The same is true for the disks located in our spine. The disks hold personal value to the body, and when we damage them, it causes crippling pain and possible repercussions for the rest of our careers.

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.

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