On July 19th the President released a memorandum regarding federal worker’s compensation that can be found on the White House’s web page. The subject of the memo read, “The Presidential POWER Initiative: Protecting Our Workers and Ensuring Reemployment.” President Obama is establishing a four year initiative, starting in 2011, to improve workplace conditions, reduce the number of job related injuries, and to reemploy more workers. The POWER initiative was brought into place because of the large amount of worker’s compensation that was paid out in 2009. Here is a preview of the POWER initiative. The memorandum can be found at whitehouse.gov.
POWER stands for Protecting Our Workers and Ensuring Reemployment. The President believes that the amount of worker’s compensation claims can be significantly reduced and that workplace environments can be made safer to reduce the number of injuries that occur. The goal of the initiative is to reduce the number of work related injuries to help reduce the financial burden that is left for the tax payers and to help take away the stress and suffering from an injured worker and their family.
Efforts will need to be made by the workplace to follow the POWER plan made by the President. The federal government will also be playing a part in the initiative by setting higher safety standards, encouraging companies to collect data from injuries and worker’s compensation claims, and prioritizing the programs that have been effective for training on health and safety in the workplace.
There are seven areas where President Obama would like to see executive departments and agencies improve on. The areas are:
1. reducing total injury and illness case rates
2. reducing lost time injury and illness case rates
3. analyzing lost time injury and illness data
4. increasing the timely filing of workers’ compensation claims
5. increasing the timely filing of wage-loss claims
6. reducing lost production day rates
7. speeding employees’ return to work in cases of serious injury or illness
All agencies must improve in these seven areas by 2014. They will also have to pay for any changes that need to be made to their workplace. You can read the memorandum in full from President Barack Obama on the whitehouse.gov website (http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/presidential-memorandum-presidential-power-initiative-protecting-our-workers-and-en). In 2009, $1.6 billion was paid out in worker’s compensation claims. There were almost 80,000 claims that were filed. The initiative should help to reduce these numbers and keep employees safe. To prevent injuries, you must have a safe work environment.
About the Author: Brooke Haley marketing associate at Millon & Peskin, Chicago workers compensation lawyer that practice in the areas of Civil Litigation, Workers’ Compensation, and Personal Injury. Millon & Peskin is a General Civil Litigation Practice with the goal of representing the interests of injured workers, throughout all applicable Courts within the State of Illinois. For more information, please visit http://www.millonpeskin.com.