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Obesity can complicate workplace injuries, workers’ comp claims

We all know that obesity is a serious health problem, but millions of people in Ohio and throughout the U.S. struggle with this condition. It is estimated that one in three Ohio residents live with obesity, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines as a body mass index of 30 or higher.

Obesity is associated with many serious illnesses, such as diabetes, heart disease and hypertension. Another way obesity can affect your health that may surprise our readers is in the workplace. Research suggests that obese workers are more likely to get hurt on the job, and often take longer to recover than non-obese people who suffered similar workplace injuries.

As if this is not bad enough, work injury or illness victims who happen to be obese sometimes have a harder time getting the workers’ compensation they deserve. This is partly because obesity can complicate injuries, and partly because some employers, putting their bottom line above their employees, discourage obese workers from filing for workers’ comp.

In other cases, the employer contest an award, or tries to pressure the injured worker to settle his or her claim for less than the full amount they are entitled to.

Recovering from a serious workplace injury is tough for anybody. It is unfortunate that obesity seems to exacerbate these wounds, while also making it more difficult to obtain workers’ compensation. But people considering filing for workers’ comp should not lose hope just because of their weight. A knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorney can help.

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