Worker’s compensation doesn’t make up for hurt

Published 10:48 pm Saturday, May 16, 2009

This is in response to the Tribune’s front page story titled, “A DANGEROUS CLAIM: How Ironton tackled its workers comp crisis.”

What makes it dangerous? To whom? The city?

I find it ironic that this piece is published now after watching a dear friend and his family suffer for more than four years trying to settle a claim with the BWC and the City of Ironton.

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I’m sure everyone has seen this former city employee who can no longer walk without the assistance of a cane, stick or golf club.

Golf was a sport he loved, but due to his work-related injuries, he can no longer enjoy that.

I have watched this man slowly deteriorate after having been a robust, energetic, hard-working person who never missed a day’s work, and has never cheated the system in any way, shape or form.

I have watched him go to worker’s compensation physicians for more than four years now, to no avail. No treatment was provided to him, other than a few visits with a chiropractor and some prescriptions for pain pills, which did not help the underlying conditions.

Because no treatment took place to alleviate the injuries, his condition has continued to deteriorate, and, at this point, there is no repair or treatment that will result in his return to good health or gainful employment anywhere.

It is all well and good that the city (namely Katrina Keith) has implemented new safety rules.

However, to say that meetings will be held monthly to point out safety regulations and procedures to present-day city employees, does not mean that former city employees who are now dealing with injuries which occurred prior to Ms. Keith’s new programs, were unaware of dangers lurking or were careless while performing their jobs.

Unfortunately, they were injured anyway. You know, these things happen. That’s why there is worker’s compensation.

Worker’s compensation — what a concept. Guess what? It’s there for people that are injured on the job!

Prior to being injured workers, they were just workers.

They paid into worker’s compensation insurance in case something happened.

It upsets me immensely to see this man who took such pride in providing for his family have to beg for the assistance that he is entitled to.

To make him suffer for four years, with no real treatment or medical care, is a crime and the City of Ironton should be ashamed.

D. Jean Holt