Very Serious Workers Comp Claims Involves Extreme Cold Weather
A set of serious Workers Comp claims always happen with an arctic cold blast – even when not expected at our HQ. The lateness of this article and last week’s newsletter will attest to how difficult the recent East Coast storm – snow cyclone bomb – can be to travel and WC claims.
Some of the most serious workers comp claims have nothing to do directly with the exposure to cold weather. These types of claims also carry controversy with them.
I had written on icy slip and fall injuries over the years. Employee (often truckers) slips and falls on ice or black ice (even worse) can cause heavy duty injuries to employees. Six of the worst leg injuries I have ever seen come from truckers falling when getting in or out of trucks. Black ice can be treacherous if the parking lot or roads have been scraped and/or sanded/salted and then refreezing.
That is exactly why this article did not post last Thursday and the newsletter did not go out to my faithful readers. Driving on refrozen ice that is similar to glass was something I decided to avoid. Why? – because when I went to check the road conditions in front of my house, I fell over like a freshly chopped tree. I had no injuries. I stayed home.
I violated the slick-bottom shoe rule and payed for it.
This all occurred after the road was treated for ice. However, there was a snow pack that I wish was left as it gives traction until it melts.
I digress – According to a great article by EHS, Accident Fund and American Heartland – 29 to 37% of injuries are caused by ice slip and falls (including me LOL). Safety tips for employees on ice are also included in the article.
Winter-related slips and falls claims doubled in 2013-2014 over the previous year, representing 29 percent of all workers’ compensation claims, according to Accident Fund Insurance Company of America and United Heartland.
Here’s the breakdown by states:
- Indiana – 37 percent
- Wisconsin – 33 percent
- Michigan – 32 percent
- Illinois – 32 percent
- Minnesota – 29 percent
One hidden number is the seriousness of the claims reported. A fracture knee cap or dislocated shoulder results in very serious workers comp claims.
One specific area for serious workers comp claims concerns states that are not used to such weather such as the Southeastern US. If one does not expect to have this weather by living in the south, the level of safety may not be that great.
One controversial area with ice-related claims are the ingress and egress (going and coming) rules. Each state has their own set of rules and laws on when a person becomes an employee – the old parking lot rules determine the employment situation for these serious workers comp claims.
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