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.


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 ?
The four potential disruptions through 2020 are employer demand for a broader array of absence management services; the spread of opt-out to possibly a dozen states; even greater decline in work injuries; and, eventual federalization of workers' comp insurance.
The majority report recommends the state create a database to track workers' comp medical costs.
Some of the less-than-ideal claims handling resulting from these reasons and others have led legislatures to impose fines and penalties and audits on defendants in an attempt to convince the defendants to properly adhere to the intent of the workers' comp system.
Added to the improving state of workers' comp, premium volume has grown benefiting from rising rates and increased insured exposure gains due to the "modestly improving economic and employment conditions.
A lesson from the past is that major socio-economic turning points have an effect on workers' comp.
6 percent reduction in workers' comp accidents in 2004, "and we expect savings over the next several years as a result of those improvements," he says.
Existing law requires general contractors to carry workers' comp insurance.
Schwarzenegger took office, workers' comp reform was a key part of his agenda.
While the workers' comp laws are beneficial to employees since they provide medical benefits and disability income payments if employees are injured on the job, the premiums for workers' compensation insurance in the construction industry have become so high that many sole proprietors are unable to pay them.
Alvin Simes, D-West Helena, increases the maximum fee attorneys handling workers' comp cases can receive from from 10 percent to 20 percent.
Fast-forward to the close of the century: by the late 1980s and early 1990s, workers' comp reform in the United States began to take hold, piece by piece, state by state.
Yet, adhering to comprehensive ergonomics standards could prevent costlier upgrades, fines and workers' comp claims.

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