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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

DOL officials ask congress to reduce benefits

Department of Labor officials who are supposed to be protecting injured workers in the administration of FECA, are continuing their scorched earth policy of partnering with employing agencies in various efforts to reduce or eliminate FECA benefits. Most recently, DOL personnel from OWCP testified to congress about ways they want to strip benefits from the FECA process. It is quite telling to see how the testimony from DOL personnel, agency personnel, and private contractors is all in lock step versus the testimony from federal unions. You can read an account of the recent hearing:

Friday, May 6, 2011

Work Injuries Are Heavily Unreported

Despite what we tend to hear in the media from insurance companies and entities like OWCP who try to create the impression of rampant fraud on the part of injured workers, work injuries are heavily under-reported. Many workers suffer injuries and simply "tough it out" because they either don't realize they have suffered a work-related injury, or they do not want to deal with the perceived (and sometimes true) career implications and hassle factors. Recently, I have heard from many USPS employees who are afraid to file OWCP cases because of the current work environment at the USPS with the continuing effects of the NRP.

Workers who perform the most physically demanding jobs tend to get hurt the most, yet they are often the least prepared to handle this type of paper process.

Injuries that typically go unreported, in my experience, include hearing loss due to loud noise on the job and many types of repetitive motion injuries. For example, federal law enforcement officers and firefighters are are frequently exposed to loud noise during training and in the field, loud noise exposure may occur in situations where safety issues preclude the use of proper noise protection equipment. USPS employees working around large mailhandling machinery are also frequently exposed to long term loud noise that damages their hearing as well.

Whether such injuries are under-reported because of ignorance, fear of reprisal, or a work environment that encourages a tough guy attitude, its not smart to ignore your health. Ignoring an injury does not make you tough!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Online Survey - a chance to tell OWCP what you think

OWCP currently has an online survey, so let them know about your experience with the federal workers compensation (FECA) process, click on the link below, then scroll down the letter and click on the link towards the bottom right: