Our take on the most dangerous jobs list and unique challenges under worker’ compensation in Michigan.
A fascinating article was published by CareerCast.com regarding the most dangerous jobs of 2016. The list was compiled using statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Center for Disease Control (CDC), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and various trade organization data.
Our lawyers see workplace accidents happen in all kinds of employment. We thought it would be interesting to comment on each of the listed jobs and provide some unique challenges under workers’ compensation.
1. Construction Laborer
Our experience shows construction as the most dangerous job. Common hazards include falls, electrocution, struck by object, and caught-in/between. Statistics from OSHA show 1 in 5 total worker deaths in 2014 were in construction.
2. Correctional Officer
We have represented several corrections officers who got hurt fighting inmates. The job is stressful and dangerous. According to the Detroit Free Press, there was a 61% reduction in workers’ compensation claims with the introduction of Tasers.
3. Emergency Medical Technician
EMTs have been known to get robbed and shot at while attempting to assist people in distress. Starting pay is minimum wage in many local communities.
The Michigan Legislature carved out and exempted certain classes of agricultural employers from having to purchase workers’ compensation insurance. This means individuals working on farms are vulnerable if a workplace accident occurs.
The First Responder Presumed Coverage Fund was created by the Michigan Legislature in 2014 to help firefighters who develop occupational cancer. Unfortunately, no money was allocated in the 2015 or 2016 budgets. A special one-time infusion of $1,000,000 has been earmarked and will be available beginning September 22, 2016.
6. Nursing Assistant
We see nursing assistants who get hurt while catching a falling patient. This can result in a herniated disc in the neck or back. Sometimes a fusion surgery is required and this ends up causing lifetime problems.
7. Police Officer
Some municipalities and villages offer greater benefits than what is required under Michigan law. Police officers are allowed to opt out of the workers’ compensation system and accept like benefits.
8. Taxi Driver
Companies like Uber and Lyft are revolutionizing the taxi industry. Drivers have filed several federal lawsuits claiming they are not independent contractors but actually employees. This new classification would give them protection under Michigan workers’ compensation laws.
9. Heavy & Tractor-Trailer Truck Driver
Trucking companies are some of the worst offenders when it comes to employee misclassification. This is done to avoid paying workers’ compensation, taxes, and other costs. Drivers are forced to sign lease agreements and to purchase disability plans that are inadequate.
Getting trampled by a horse or livestock can be life-threatening. Even a bite from a house cat requires antibiotics and possibly a hospital visit.
Michigan Workers Comp Lawyers never charges a fee to evaluate a potential case. Our law firm has represented injured and disabled workers exclusively for more than 35 years. Call (855) 221-2667 for a free consultation today.
Photo courtesy of Creative Commons, by USAG-Humphreys.