How much do you think federal government employees collected in workers’ comp payments in fiscal year 2009? A. $5.2 million? B. $40.3 million? C. $145 million? D. $1.6 billion.
If you guessed $1.6 billion, you’re right. Federal employees filed more than 79,000 new claims, and that doesn’t include the Postal Service.
President Obama has announced a four-year program to reduce injuries and related costs. It’s called POWER: Protecting Our Workers and Ensuring Reemployment.
The program doesn’t have specific goals, at least not yet.
But by the end of FY 2014, federal agencies must improve performance in seven areas:
- Reduce total injury and illness case rates.
- Reduce lost time injury and illness case rates.
- Analyze lost time injury and illness data.
- Increase the timely filing of workers’ compensation claims.
- Increase the timely filing of wage-loss claims.
- Reduce lost production day rates, and
- Speed employees’ return to work in cases of serious injury or illness.
Sound familiar? It seems, to save money, the federal government has to pursue the same safety goals as private businesses.