The United States Postal Service spent $3.7 billion on workers’ compensation claims in 2012—and man’s best friend gets credit for a significant part of the tab.
That total represents a 68 percent bump over the $2.2 billion expended three years earlier, with nearly 11,500 of the 32,213 injuries reported last fiscal year related to mail delivery.
For those stuffing mail into Florida’s curbside receptacles from those boxy little red, white, and blue vehicles with the steering wheels on the wrong side, collisions accounted for the most injuries.
Fido Behind Many Postal Employee Workers’ Comp Claims
For USPS personnel walking routes, dog bites accounted for the most injuries resulting in workers’ comp claims.
These statistics from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) stress the importance of USPS getting a handle on the fiscal and safety issues challenging the service.
The private sector faces similar challenges to make the workplace safer and to make the workers’ compensation system less complicated. In many cases, persons injured on the job in Florida and elsewhere are well advised to work with experienced workers’ compensation attorneys to successfully process their claims.
While USPS points to its injury rates dropping in recent years, its rate is disproportionate to the overall federal workforce according to the Congressional Research Service, which notes USPS makes up about 22 percent of the federal workforce but was responsible for about 39 percent of injuries, illnesses and fatalities in fiscal year 2012.
USPS reports dog bites and falls caused most injury reports from mail delivery. Falls resulted in the most injuries resulting in lost workdays or restricted work activity. However, repetitive motion injuries were the prevalent cause of long-term occupational illnesses. USPS officials maintain employee injuries are due to the physically demanding, repetitive and industrial nature of their work.
Again, many of these same conditions are found in the private sector workplace, where employees are injured when something breaks or as a result of repetitive stress on their bodies or minds, leading to workers’ compensation claims. For many Florida workers’ comp claims are resolved successfully with the help of experienced worker’s compensation attorneys.
USPS Looking at Ways to Trim Costs by $20 Billion
USPS has actively promoted getting injured workers back to work as soon as possible so they can keep pace with workplace changes and to reduce workers’ comp expenses.
Some 43 percent of persons receiving Federal Employees Compensation Act funds in 2010 were postal workers totaling more than 130,000, according to GAO. The postal service says it is working to reduce workers’ compensation costs and develop a plan to save $20 billion over the next five years to become financially self-sufficient.
The Ormond Beach workers’ compensation lawyers at Johnson & Gilbert, P.A., know how Florida and federal workers’ compensation systems work and have been helping clients submit successful claims for more than 15 years. If you’ve been injured at work call them at 386.673.4412 or toll-free at 800.556.8890 for a free consultation.