Posted On: June 15, 2009 by Steven J. Malman

Illinois Workers’ Compensation: Insurance Carriers Reportedly Worried About Worker Claims Linked to Obesity

According to the Insurance Journal, workers’ compensation carriers are worried that the increase in the number of obese people in American could lead to poorer job performance. According to the facts:

• The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says about 25% of Americans are obese.
• By 2020, 43% of US women and 40% of the men are expected to be obese.
• Over 70% of both males and females are expected to be overweight.
• The National Council on Compensation Insurance reports that obesity affects mortality rates and can reduce productivity.
• It can also lead to poorer health, more time in hospitals and emergency rooms, and a poorer quality of life.
• Workers that are considered morbidly obese had eight times more lost workdays than other workers.

In regards to obese workers, a 2007 Duke University Medical Center study reports that:

• Very obese workers file 45% more claims than employees that are not obese.
• Their medical costs from claims were seven times higher.
• Slip accidents, fall accidents, and lifting accidents were among the common causes of injuries.
• Obese workers were at high risk of sustaining injuries to their back, hands, wrists, or lower extremities.

The study recommended that employers develop a strategy that promotes healthy eating and physical activity. Also, according to a Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health study, workers in the obese category tend to have a higher risk of injury than workers with a normal body mass index.

If you are injured on the job—regardless of who is at fault or who caused the accident—your employer is likely obligated to pay you Illinois workers’ compensation. In the event that your benefits are denied or delayed, there are legal avenues available for you to ensure that you receive the benefits you are owed.

Workers' Compensation Industry Worried About Obesity Claims, Insurance Journal, June 9, 2009

Obesity Increases Risk of Injury on the Job, Johns Hopkins, May 15, 2007

Obesity Increases Workers' Compensation Costs, DukeHealth.org

Related Web Resources:
Overweight and Obesity, CDC

Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission

Contact Chicago, Illinois workers’ compensation lawyer Steve Malman today.

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