Firefighters and medical teams have life-and-death decisions to make for injured and sick victims. In dealing with those who need immediate help, first responders may sacrifice more than time and energy in a dangerous or fast-paced workplace. On-the-job health problems, like back injuries often plague emergency personnel.
Three billion dollars were spent last year on workers' compensation benefits for federal employees. Lawmakers are now proposing an overhaul of the program that covers three million government workers while the Government Accountability Office (GAO) conducts a probe into possible benefit abuse.
When people think of workplace injuries, factories with large machinery or powerful farm equipment may come to mind. However, natural elements can be just as damaging.
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration has levied $72,000 in fines against an Arizona parts designer and manufacturer. Among the more severe workplace safety violations were blocked exits, lack of important training for safety procedures and the unprotected use of potentially dangerous equipment.
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Workers' compensation benefits were denied to a cancer victim recently by an Arizona appellate court. The claim for benefits was turned down because a "reasonable" link could not be drawn between the kind of cancer the patient had and the toxins to which the man was exposed during his job as a firefighter.