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Is the current workers' comp system outdated?

For most residents in Massachusetts, going to work Monday through Friday 9 to 5 is pretty typical. And while most of these jobs carry with them little to no risks, other industries require employees to endure a significant amount of risk each and every day. Because of that, it is important that there is a current workers' compensation system in place that can be relied on if an employee suffers a workplace injury.

Is the current workers' comp system outdated? According to recent research and statistic, the simple and straightforward answer would be yes. The system is a century old and in outdated when considering the health and safety issues plaguing workers today. A representative for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration or OSHA argues that the system needs to be reset and reshaped. This would better address the needs of today's employees.

Every day, roughly 12 workers are killed in the workplace. Although this is down from the recorded 37 deaths in 1971, more than three million serious injuries are still recorded each year in the United States. Because there is evidence that costs arising from workplace accidents are being transferred to other benefits programs, such as social security disability programs, it is clear that the current workers' compensation benefits system is not functioning to cover the costs related to the work incident, including medical bills, rehabilitation and lost wages.

Therefore, adopting changes will not only help the workers' comp system function as it should but also help it address the needs of the employees today. For some injured workers, it is important that they obtain all the medical treatment necessary to recover. If that is not available, he or she will continue to suffer in the long run. Therefore, devising a system that meets these needs will benefit employees across the nation.

Seeking workers' compensation benefits is not always an easy process. In can take various steps and injured workers may not understand what it asked of them at each phase. Therefore, it is important to understand your rights at all steps of the process.

Source: Claimsjournal.com, "Current Workers' Comp System Outdated, Contributes to Worker Poverty," Oct. 18, 2016

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