Toledo Workers’ Compensation Attorney says Billions in Annual Losses to Workplace Injury Can be Cut by Training, Awareness

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Reacting to $50 billion in workers’ compensation payments cited by the Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index, attorney Thomas J. Schaffer of Gallon, Takacs, Boissoneault & Schaffer Co., L.P.A., says focus should be on prevention.

Toledo, Northwest Ohio, Southeast Michigan, workers’ compensation, workplace injury, on-the-job injury, job-related injury, occupational disease, job-related illness, lawyer, attorney, law firm

Toledo workers’ compensation attorney Thomas J. Schaffer

Through proper training, regular audits of workplace safety initiatives and setting and publicizing attainable goals, employers can reduce injuries and cut incidents and costs.

Toledo workers’ compensation attorney Thomas J. Schaffer said today that the recently published Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index demonstrates the continued unnecessary loss of billions of dollars to disabling workplace injuries and illnesses in Ohio, Michigan and across the U.S.

“The annual workplace safety survey from Liberty Mutual shows the need for training and awareness in the workplace to help stem our nation’s burdensome losses to job-related injury and occupational disease,” said Schaffer, a partner with the Toledo personal injury firm of Gallon, Takacs, Boissoneault & Schaffer Co., L.P.A., which handles workplace accident cases throughout Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan.

The Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index, released in late December, says the top 10 most disabling workplace injuries and illnesses in 2009 accounted for $50.1 billion in direct U.S. workers’ compensation costs.

“The Index looks at the cost of providing help to those who have been hurt, which includes costs that are covered through filing workers’ compensation claims,” Schaffer said, “but the focus should be on preventing harm to workers.”

The top 10 causes of workplace injuries in the Index comprised 89.3 percent of the entire cost of disabling work-related injuries in the U.S. in 2009 (the last year for which data is available).

Out of the 10, the top five workplace injuries accounted for 71.7 percent of 2009’s total costs, while the next five accounted for less than 5 percent each.

The top five causes of the most disabling workplace injuries and their costs are:

  •     Overexertion (such as excessive lifting, pushing, pulling, holding, carrying, throwing) – $12.75 billion;
  •     Fall on same level – $7.94 billion;
  •     Fall to lower level – $5.35 billion;
  •     Bodily reaction (such as bending, climbing, reaching, standing, sitting, slipping or tripping without falling) – $5.28 billion; and
  •     Struck by object (such as a tool falling on a worker from above) – $4.64 billion.

“Through proper training, regular audits of workplace safety initiatives and setting and publicizing attainable goals, employers can reduce injuries and cut incidents and costs,” Schaffer said.

Schaffer’s law firm assists injured and ill workers with filing for workers’ compensation benefits. Those funds can pay for medical expenses and a percentage of an employee’s weekly wages.

The firm’s Ohio and Michigan workplace injury attorneys also handle personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits in situations where a worker’s job-related injury or illness is not covered by the state’s workers’ compensation system, such as when the harm is caused by a non-employer third party.

Anyone injured in an on-the-job incident should contact an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer to help them file and navigate their claim through the system, the veteran attorney said.

“A lawyer experienced with workers’ compensation cases in Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan can deal with the forms, data collection and other requirements of the workers’ compensation system while the injured worker concentrates on their recovery,” Schaffer added.

About Gallon, Takacs, Boissoneault & Schaffer Co., L.P.A.

Gallon, Takacs, Boissoneault & Schaffer Co., L.P.A., is a full-service Toledo law firm that represents working men and women, individuals with disabilities and labor unions throughout Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan. The firm’s practice extends to the communities of Toledo, Findlay, Bowling Green, Northwood, Oregon, Perrysburg, Sylvania, Lima, Defiance, Fremont, Sandusky, Waterville and surrounding areas. The firm assists clients in personal injury, workers’ compensation, Social Security disability, labor and bankruptcy cases. The firm’s personal injury areas include construction injuries, car accidents, motorcycle accidents, truck accidents, slip-and-falls, farming injuries, defective products, medical malpractice and nursing home injuries. For more information, call Gallon, Takacs, Boissoneault & Schaffer Co., L.P.A., at (800) 352-1976 or use its online form.

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