The results of this study certainly indicate a need to focus on preventing injuries among disabled workers, who clearly face unique risks and challenges in the workplace.
Boston, MA (PRWEB) August 11, 2012
Boston workers’ compensation attorney Steven H. Kantrovitz today called on Massachusetts employers to put a greater focus on workplace safety in light of a new study showing that workers with disabilities face a higher rate of occupational injuries than non-disabled workers.
The study, “Nonoccupational and Occupational Injuries to U.S. Workers with Disabilities,” is available online. It will be published in the September issue of the American Journal of Public Health.
“The results of this study certainly indicate a need to focus on preventing injuries among disabled workers, who clearly face unique risks and challenges in the workplace,” said Kantrovitz, a veteran Massachusetts workers’ compensation lawyer and founder of the Boston-based law firm of Kantrovitz & Associates, P.C.
“But in a broader sense, the study also highlights the importance of providing a safe working environment for all workers,” Kantrovitz said. “This includes providing proper training, supervision and equipment for everyone in the workplace.”
Researchers from The Ohio State University, Nationwide Children’s Hospital and Colorado Injury Control Research Center prepared the study.
The researchers compared three months of data showing rates of nonoccupational and occupational injuries among workers with a disability and those without a disability. The rate of occupational injuries was 6.0 per 100 workers with disabilities. In contrast, the injury rate was 2.3 per 100 non-disabled workers. Falls served as the leading cause of injuries, the study said.
According to the authors, the study showed that “disability status was strongly associated” with the risk of injuries.
In Massachusetts, an employee who suffers a workplace injury may be eligible for temporary or permanent workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits can cover medical expenses, lost wages and vocational rehabilitation costs.
However, obtaining benefits can become complicated when the worker has a pre-existing condition, Kantrovitz said. Workers’ compensation insurers may argue that the employee is entitled to only greatly reduced benefits or to no benefits at all, he explained.
“Unfortunately, we’ve seen too many unwarranted attempts by insurers to deny benefits based on a pre-existing condition,” Kantrovitz said. “The bottom line is that if a person suffers an injury in the workplace that aggravates a pre-existing injury or illness, that person should be entitled to the workers’ compensation benefits they have earned.”
Because workers’ compensation cases involving workers with pre-existing conditions can be complex, Kantrovitz suggested that workers who have suffered those types of injuries to contact an experienced Massachusetts workers’ compensation attorney.
A lawyer can review the case, discuss the worker’s legal options and, above all, protect the worker’s rights against employers and insurance companies that may seek to deny the worker the full amount of compensation they are due, he said.
About Kantrovitz & Associates, P.C.
For more than 20 years, the Boston workers' compensation law firm of Kantrovitz & Associates, P.C., has zealously represented the interests of injured and ill workers throughout Massachusetts, including but not limited to Boston, Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk, Suffolk, Plymouth and Merrimack River. The firm also represents Rhode Island and New Hampshire residents whose injuries occurred in Massachusetts or who were hired in Massachusetts but injured out of state. The firm's office is located at One State Street, Suite 1000, Boston, MA 02109 (local phone (617) 367-0880). To learn more about the firm, call (800) 367-0871 or use the firm’s online contact form.