Government program aims to reduce North Carolina work accidents

President Obama moved this week to extend an initiative aimed at preventing federal employees from sustaining workplace accidents in North Carolina and elsewhere in the United States.

The program, known as “Protecting our Workers and Reemployment Initiative,” is a four-year program that extends prior efforts of the federal government by setting more aggressive performance targets, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. The effort will also aim to improve data regarding the causes and consequences of frequent or severe injury or illness in the workplace and will seek to prioritize health and safety programs that have proven effective in the past.

Like their counterparts in state government and employees in the private sector, federal employees who are injured on the job are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. The government reported more than 79,000 claims (excluding postal employees) were made last year, resulting in more than $1.6 billion in workers’ compensation payments.

The initiative will seek to improve performance in seven areas:

-Reduce total injury and illness case rates.

-Reduce lost-time injury and illness case rates.

-Analyze lost-time injury and illness data.

-Increase the timely filing of workers’ compensation claims.

-Increase the timely filing of wage-loss claims.

-Reduce lost production day rates.

-Speed employees’ return to work in cases of serious injury or illness.

Our North Carolina workers’ compensation lawyers see very similar programs enacted by companies on a regular basis. The program seeks to reduce accidents, collect data on why they are happening, speed claims and reduce lost time. Success means millions of dollars saved and, hopefully, fewer work accidents.

It is when such programs are taken to the extreme that they can have a negative effect. Discouraging workers from filing a claim, failure to properly treat a patient, or rushing an employee back to work can all have consequences.

Employees who suffer an injury on the job in North Carolina are best served by consulting an attorney to protect their rights. The proper handling of a workers’ compensation claim is far too serious to risk the chance that errors or omissions will reduce or eliminate your ability to collect money for lost wages or disability as the result of a work accident.

The North Carolina workers’ compensation attorneys at the Law Offices of Lee & Smith represent clients dealing with a work injury throughout the Carolinas, including Burlington, Concord, and Hendersonville. Call today for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call 800-887-1965.

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