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Workers' compensation claims to drop in aluminum industry?

At a recent leadership conference held in Maryland, the aluminum industry took a step forward for workplace safety. We sometimes write about the serious injury and even death caused to workers due to unsafe job sites and working conditions. Many of these on the job accidents result in workers' compensation claims for the benefit of employees hurt while working.

Understandably, an injured worker impacts a company in a number of ways. Workers that are seriously hurt typically miss significant time while they are recovering from their injuries. This may have a negative impact on the ability of a company to stay competitive in the market place when key people are missing due to workplace accidents. Further, an injured worker often results in added cost for the company, which could even face fines levied by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration when safety violations are found. Finally, company morale may also be affected if there are issues of safety in the workplace that are not addressed by management in a responsible manner.

The aluminum industry is doing something about it. At the Maryland conference, a memorandum of understanding was signed to foster plant safety while also focusing on the dangers of the hazards to workers from metal dust. The Aluminum Association (AAI) and the Metal Powder Industries Federation (MPIF) signed an agreement to share information and further promote workplace safety in the industry. The intent is to provide AAI member companies with the latest safety information while also providing training and sharing important information designed to help avoid accidents.

Of course, not all accidents are preventable, and that is as true in the aluminum industry as anyplace else. When an accident does occur, those hurt on the job can typically rest assured in knowing that workers' compensation benefits apply. This important insurance coverage is provided under Maryland law and helps cover medical bills and related costs, as well as lost income for the time the worker is unable to return to the job., In those instances where someone loses his or her life in a work accident, workers' compensation death benefits provide funeral costs as well as a lost income package for the employee's dependents.

Source: ipmd.net, "Metal Powder Industries Federation and Aluminum Association sign Memorandum of Understanding to advance workplace safety," Jan. 22, 2013

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