Comptroller Tom DiNapoli has recently released the annual report on the amount of overtime hours logged by state workers. Unsurprisingly, the percentage of overtime worked has increased for the sixth year in a row, with data showing that the amount paid in overtime wages hit a record of $716 million in 2015. When worked out, that means that state employees worked just under 17 million overtime hours.
While some argue that encouraging overtime rather than hiring additional workers actually saves money, others are concerned that the pressure to do more work and a high number of hours will lead to a lack of safety measures taken and an increase in injuries. This is turn may increase the number of workers’ compensation claims filed and raise the amount of money spent on workers’ compensation insurance.
Does Overtime Increase The Number Of Injuries Sustained?
In a report published by the Centers For Disease Control called “Overtime and Extended Work Shifts”, data showed that “overtime was associated with poorer perceived general health, increased injury rates, more illnesses, or increased mortality.”
Employees who worked large amounts of overtime suffered from a variety of medical conditions including slower motor function reaction times, hypertension, heart attacks, neck pain, musculoskeletal discomfort, and GI upset. Additionally, researchers saw an increase in alcohol consumption and fatigue related car accidents.
The Dangers Of Being Injured At Work
Many people feel secure knowing that their employer has workers’ compensation insurance and believe that if they are hurt on the job they will be taken care of. While this should be true, the reality is that filing workers’ compensation is a stressful and long process, and any number of things could result in a denial or reduction of the compensation you receive.
The High Cost Of Care
It isn’t safe to assume that you and your loved ones can handle any expenses that aren’t covered by workers’ comp. If you suffer from any of the following, the cost of medical care can be quite high.
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
Whenever someone is struck in the head or falls and hits their head, there is a chance that they may suffer from a TBI. Damage to the brain can impact speech patterns, cognitive abilities, motor function, and more, which in turn, can impact the victim’s job status, daily activities, emotional stability, and social functioning.
It has been estimated that due to these sometimes lifelong impairments, the cost of medical treatments ranges from around $85,000 for a mild TBI, to more than $3 million for a severe injury. That is money that many families simply do not have to spend.
A broken bone may seem like a simple enough fix, but many bones require surgery and months of rest to heal properly. On average, costs associated with these injuries have ranged from $3200 to $13,000 depending on which bone was broken and what type of treatment was required. That doesn’t include any wages lost if the patient is unable to return to work.
It doesn’t matter whether the limb was removed during an accident, or if the damage to the appendage was so
severe that doctors were forced to remove it entirely, the care required after an amputation is extensive. Patients typically need hospitalization, additional hospitalizations if infection or further injury is made to the incision, rehabilitation and physical therapy, and prosthetic devices. The National Center for Biotechnology has estimated that over a lifetime, average medical expenses range from $81,316 to $509, 275.
These are just a few examples of the common injuries that can be sustained on at any job, and the reality is, that any injury can cost the victim financial suffering as well as physical.
How Do I Know If I Need An Attorney?
Whenever there is a chance that your financial security may be at stake, you should consider at least consulting with an attorney.
An attorney can help you determine how much you should be getting in workers’ compensation, file out the correct forms, and fight on your behalf during an appeal. They can also help you determine if you may be eligible for a third party personal injury lawsuit. It is important to remember that if you have been injured while at work, there is a time limit on how long you have to file a workers’ compensation claim or a personal injury lawsuit, which is why it is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible.