Experts dispute impairment stats in workers’ comp claims

While some websites and anti-drug organizations have recently reported that 38 percent to 50 percent of all workplace accidents resulting in workers’ compensation claims involve drugs or alcohol, most experts are not convinced.

In fact, many experts, whether in North Carolina or elsewhere, are now calling the statistics “bogus” and unattributable to any verified study. The statistic, quoted by several large anti-drug organizations, is often attributed to workplace studies performed in 1992, but neither the Bureau of Labor Statistics or the Occupational Safety and Health Administration claim to have gathered this data.

One of the reasons that many experts doubt these statistics is the way in which workers’ compensations are handled in many states. For example, most states will deny workers’ compensation claims if the employee filing the claim is found to have been under the influence of drugs and alcohol during the accident. It would be highly unlikely that any claim would be granted, or payment made, in claims where impairment was obvious.

Furthermore, some experts are concerned that the statistics are an attempt to place the blame for a workplace injury on the employee. If that’s happening, companies may be foregoing any investigation into whether an unsafe work condition exists that could cause further injuries.

Some experts just point to the 38-percent to 50-percent figures and say their incredulous on their face. One says it basically implies that half of the U.S. workforce is high most of the time at work.

Most states that allow insurance companies to deny workers compensation law claims due to drug or alcohol use require that the intoxication of the employee be the only reason for the accident. But the experts tend to agree that in many instances, other unsafe working condition likely will be found, such as defective machinery or improper safety preparations. For assistance, contact Davidovich lawyer Denver, CO workers compensation law firm.

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