Oregon workplace injuries, illness drop to all-time low

Author Subject: Oregon workplace injuries, illness drop to all-time low
Advocate Posted At 08:10:40 01/04/2000

Oregon workplace injuries, illness drop to all-time low

The Associated Press
01/04/00 3:37 AM Eastern

SALEM, Ore. (AP) -- Rates of workplace injuries and illnesses in Oregon fell to an all-time low in 1999, according to the state's Department of Consumer and Business Services.

The drop continues a decade-long trend in both the public and private sectors.

Among private businesses, the incidence rate per 100 full-time workers fell to 6.9, down almost 38 percent during the 1990s. The public workplace rate fell to 6.0, a drop of more than 31 percent.

"We've seen growing awareness that safety in the workplace makes sense," said department spokesman Steve Corson.

Corson said state agencies stepped up efforts to improve job safety in the late 1980s.

Prineville's Pioneer Cut Stock Inc., a lumber mill established in 1986, is an example of a company that has made major safety changes in the past few years, said Human Resources Manager Gerry Gerlach. The company recently received its second Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program award, the highest award given by Oregon's Occupational Safety and Health Division.

"Oregon is the only state where the incidence rate has consistently fallen since 1990," Gerlach said. "Our goal is zero injuries -- to send everyone home safe."

Gerlach said the average injury rate per 100 full-time workers in the lumber industry is 7.2, but Pioneer Cut Stock is at 1.9.

According to the Department of Consumer and Business Services, the most substantial drop in any Oregon industry occurred in construction, which decreased 45 percent during the decade.

"I haven't seen that drop," said Ken Anderson, safety director for Kirby Nagelhout Construction Co. "But the type of injuries has changed. They aren't as severe."
Tom L Re: Oregon workplace injuries, illness drop to all-time low (Currently 0 replies)
Posted At 13:37:33 01/04/2000

This report could be good news, Just like the story that claiment
fraud is on the rise. A large percentage of these injuries are minor.
Cuts that require stitches, sprained ankles, all minor, and these people
are lucky to have not been seriously injuried because if they had been
they would see a different side to Workmans comp in Oregon and this message
forum would be full all the time.

I cannot stress this point enough, The upcoming Supreme Court decision
in the Terry Smothers case is by far the most important subject on the minds
of lawmakers, Our Governor and everyone involved in protecting the current
business climate in Oregon.

This state is playing on both sides of the playing field, The above post is a
defensive move because they want the general public to think our workplace's
are safe, On the otherside of the field they are playing offense. They also
want the general public to believe that if you are injuried more that likely
you will fraud this system.

The last ten years has produced billions of dollars in savings to employers
because the reforms of the 1990's went into effect to protect employers against
lawsuits thereby changing the attitudes of employers about how they look at safety.
These employers know full well that if an employee is injuried bad enough to be
hospitalized or requires surgery the burden of their injuries is taken away from
them and put on the backs of the Injuried, More that likely if the injury is
expensive to the W/C carrier they will force that injured worker to go to
IME examines only to deny that injured worker compensation for his or her Injuries.

Its the attitude of employers about safety that is very dangerous because they
are protected by Exclusive Remedy, If the injuried worker is injuried because of
the employers negligence that worker has no recourse meaning if the employee calls
OR-OSHA and they Inspect the workplace where the employee was injuried and if they
fine the company for safety violations that fine averages less that 300 dollars.
So where is the incentative for the employer to clean up its act, Not by the amount
of an OSHA fine thats for sure.

I do not understand why people think that Oregon is a safe place to work when employers
are protected from lawsuits from employees who have been Injuried on the job
Employers can fire an Injured worker because of their On The Job Injury because that
employer is protecting their premium rate, "I know because it happended to me."

Employers can do what ever they want to protect their Worker comp rates by firing
injuried workers and even testifying in court against them because they can get by
with it. that is the attitude of Employers in Oregon.

The reason why Pioneer Cut Stock is a safe place to work is because they are
probably one of only a hand full of employers that actually care about their employees
safety and health.

Don't believe everything that you read about improving safey and health
in Oregon because others are paying the real price of safety.

Oregons smoke screen hasn't even started yet, This state wants everyone to think that
workers safety is foremost on the minds of employers, that is not so.

The propaganda machine hasn't even started yet.

Fred Johnson Re: Oregon workplace injuries, illness drop to all-time low (Currently 0 replies)
Posted At 15:32:35 03/27/2000

Don't forget, most back, carpal tunnel, knee, you name it, the IME doctors will lay it right back on you for pre-existing, old-age, has nothing to do with work, unnessarry, cosmetic, certainly has nothing to do with your work injury. These guys will line up IME doctors and follow you till you do something they can say you are a fraud or some other lame excuse to get out of it. NO REMEDY

Post Reply:
[ To the IW Forum | Forum FAQ ]