workers' compensation

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workers' compensation,

payment by employers for some part of the cost of injuries, or in some cases of occupational diseases, received by employees in the course of their work. The degree of responsibility varies in different countries and in different states of the United States. Most modern worker's compensation systems consist of legislation requiring the employer to furnish a reasonably safe place to work, suitable equipment, rules and instructions when they are reasonably necessary, and reasonably competent foremen and superintendents. The employer is liable for an employee's acts of negligence, for the employer's own gross negligence, and for extraordinary risks of work. In most cases the employer is not liable for accidents occurring outside the place of work, or for those which have not arisen directly from employment. Workers' compensation legislation was first passed in Germany, Austria, and Great Britain in the late 1800s. Such legislation came later in the United States, but by 1920 all but six states had passed some form of it; at present all states have some sort of workers' compensation. Private insurance companies offer employers' compensation insurance; some states have made such insurance compulsory, and a few have created state insurance funds to secure payments even when the employer is insolvent. Most states similarly provide for public employees, although some limit this coverage to workers engaged in dangerous occupations. In Great Britain the payment of compensation is required for almost all industrial accidents. In France all noninsured employers are taxed for a state fund that guarantees compensation payments. In the United States, as well as in other countries, benefits usually cover medical expenses, cash payments in the case of temporary or permanent incapacity, and increasingly, vocational rehabilitation.

Bibliography

See P. S. Barth and H. Hunt, Workers' Compensation and Work Related Illnesses and Diseases (1980); A. Millus et al., Workers' Compensation: Law and Insurance (1980).

References in periodicals archive ?
Soon after the Federal Employees' Compensation Commission came into existence, it began a campaign to improve safety and health in the Federal workplace.
In 1966, the Congress amended the Federal Employees' Compensation Act to remove the fixd dollar limits for compensation, linked benefit levels to the GS-2 and GS-15 Federal grade levels for minimum and maximum rates, respectively, and authorized cost-of-living increases.
Nonetheless, the charge-back mechanism remained a part of the administrative structure of the Federal Employees' Compensation Act and has become an established part of the overall workers' compensation program.
By 1975, the pattern of claims activity under the Federal Employees' Compensation Act was established.
The mission underlying the activities of the Federal Employees' Compensation Program on its 75th birthday may be summed up in the succinct statement that it is to return Federal workers to gainful employment through efficient and equitable claims management.
One of the more intriguing aspects of the Federal Employees' Compensation Program is that claims are handled today in much the same manner as they were in 1916.
Third, the claimant may bypass the first two procedres and proceed directly to the Employees' Compensation Appeals Board.
The Federal Employees' Compensation Program has remained basically true to its original purpose, with replacement of wages as the aim of compensation.
The 1980's witnesses a stabilization of the Federal Employees' Compensation Program and the initiation of several changes that will have long-term impacts on program operation.
Second, to improve the quality of the adjudication process and assist injured workers in returning to gainful employment, the Federal Employees' Compensation program initiated, in the mid- and late 1980's, a nurse intervention program, the payment of relocation expenses from the compensation fund for workers who can benefit from geographic relocation to obtain work, mandatory second medical opinions for certain nonemergency surgical procedures, staffing rehabilitation specialists in the district offices to coordinate and facilitate the return-to-work process, and an automated medical fee schedule to ensure that customary and reasonable fees are charged by the medical community.
Finally, one of the most controversial aspects of the Federal Employees' Compensation program has been its exclusively administrative nature.

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