Workers' compensation is an insurance program that provides weekly financial benefits and medical care to workers who have been injured in an accident or made ill on the job.
Many Louisianans work in jobs in which they are required to complete excavation and trenching work. Working in trenches and excavation can be dangerous. There are several hazards that workers may face and certain things that may heighten the risk of a work-related injury during excavation and trenching.
Louisiana workers and employers may be interested to learn that overexertion was the top type of disabling injury listed in Liberty Mutual's 2016 Workplace Safety Index. Using 2013 data, the index found that overexertion injuries accounted for about 25 percent of the national cost burden for employers, at more than $15 billion. Same-level falls accounted for more than 16 percent of the injury burden for employers, costing them more than $10 billion. Falls to a lower level were third and cost employers $5.4 billion.
Mineworkers in Louisiana perform extremely hazardous duties, and the dangers of this type of work prompted the federal government to set up the Mine Safety and Health Administration in 1978. The number of workers who have lost their lives due to an accident in the mining sector has been gradually falling since then, and the agency has reported that the lowest death toll on record was in 2015 with 28 fatalities. Some industry observers say that reduced demand for coal played a part in lowering accident and death rates, but the MSHA point to increased inspections of mines with poor safety records as being chiefly responsible.
Workers' compensation in Louisiana does two main things for injured workers: It provides weekly checks for as long as the person cannot work and it provides medical care until the person is cured. However, getting the workers' compensation you deserve is not always easy, and mistakes during the claims process are very common.
The claims process for workers' compensation can be a quick process that gets employees back to work in an expedited manner. However, if not handled properly, this process can be a long and costly one. Some of the ways to help the process along include ensuring that the employee receives the proper type of medical attention, and that proper communication with employees is maintained.