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Georgia workers’ compensation lawyers note more than 1.2 million lost-time work accidents reported in 2009

The U.S. Department of Labor has announced a 9 percent reduction last year in the number of work accidents and injuries that required time away from work. Still, more than 1.2 million employees missed work last year because of an on-the-job accident.

Our Atlanta work accident lawyers believe the reduction is primarily due to the economic downturn. However, fewer employees and an increasing demand for output as the economy recovers can also increase the risk of injury. Those who suffer an accident on the job need to properly document the incident. Failure to do so can impact your ability to collect damages through a Georgia workers’ compensation claim. The law protects employees from retaliation if they file an injury claim; consulting an experienced law firm is the best bet to protect the future financial well-being of you and your family.
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“Injuries and illnesses requiring time away from work to recuperate can be costly to both employers and employees alike, often resulting in lost productivity for employers and lost wages for workers,” said Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health. “All employers, private and government, can use the data released today to focus on areas with high incidence rates, and find and fix hazards to prevent future occurrences. We are continuing our efforts to ensure that these data are complete and accurate, so that they will assist employers in that effort.”

The Bureau of Labor Statistics found significantly higher accident rates among local and state workers, half of whom work in states where public workers have no OSHA coverage.

“We see a high occurrence among many public employee occupations, particularly among transit and intercity bus drivers, law enforcement officers, emergency response workers, and nursing aides and orderlies,” Michaels said. “We are also concerned that musculoskeletal disorders continue for the second year in a row to comprise almost 30 percent of all workplace injuries and illnesses requiring time away from work.”

The government also noted the reduction was likely due in large part to the economic downturn.

“A decrease in employment and total hours worked, especially in construction and manufacturing, has led to fewer workers exposed to safety and health hazards in the workplace,” Michaels said. “As the economy improves, more Americans back on the job could potentially lead to easily preventable work-related injuries and illnesses.”

The Atlanta work accident attorneys at the Law Offices of J. Franklin Burns, P.C., are dedicated to fighting for the rights of clients under the Georgia workers’ compensation program. For a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights, call 678-298-0323.