For a century our nation has relied on the workers' compensation system to provide for workers injured on the job while making sure that each employer picks up his or her fair share of the costs. In theory, the system assigns the cost of workplace injuries and illnesses to employers through
comp insurance premiums. An employer that invests in a strong safety program that prevents workplace injuries and illnesses can reap the rewards later through reduced insurance bills; an employer who doesn't, and sees too many claims filed, winds up paying a price on the back end when their insurance rates increase.
That's the theory. But if workers hesitate to file a workers' compensation claim -- deciding to live with the pain, pay for treatment out of pocket, or bill their private medical insurance -- the system breaks down. In the past, CPWR researchers have investigated this phenomenon by surveying workers about their reluctance to report workplace injuries and file claims (see Reasons for not reporting and You're Screwed). More recently a CPWR team tackled this question with objective data: a large-scale review of general medical insurance claims.
Researchers reasoned that if construction workers were turning to private insurance for treatment of work-related injuries, their medical claims history would reflect this. So they compared private medical insurance claims filed by 1,475 floor layers to claims from a comparable sample of 14,750 workers in general industry.
December 9th @ 2:00pm (ET), 20 min. --
Winter weather can present health hazards resulting from cold stress and safety hazards such as slippery surfaces. Fortunately, there are products designed to counter cold-related injuries and illnesses for those in the construction trades working in cold temperature and environments -- and CPWR's Construction Solutions database can help you locate them.CLICK TO REGISTER
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CPWR -- The Center for Construction Research and Training is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization created by North America's Building Trades Unions, AFL-CIO. Working with partners like you in business, labor, government, and the universities, we strive every day to make work safer for the ten million men and women who work in the U.S. construction industry!