For those that work in a factory setting or in an industrial machine shop, the risk of a workplace injury is relatively high. And, especially when large objects or machinery are involved, those injuries can be severe, which needs immediate and ongoing medical attention. Though, over the past year or two, there has been some worry that those immediate and ongoing medical needs would not be met. But, a recent study has found that those fears have not been born out.
The study was done by the Workers’ Compensation Institute, and it looked at whether there were delays in the treatment of injured workers; specifically, workers’ compensation claimants. WCI compared medical utilization rates from the first two quarters of 2019 to the same time period in 2020, utilizing national data from 27 state workers’ compensation systems.
Surprisingly, not only did the economists at WCI not find any delay in medical treatment, it found that wait times for medical services were actually shorter than in 2019. This included all types of medical services, including testing (neurological/neuromuscular, etc.), surgeries and physical therapy, including emergency services.
Injured workers compared to the general public
These findings mirrored those found by both the National Council on Compensation Insurance and the California Workers’ Compensation Institute, which is in direct conflict with the general public. Indeed, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, during this time over 40% of the general public avoided or delayed medical treatment.
After a workplace injury
For San Diego, California, and the surrounding metro area, industrial machine shop and factory workers, the risk of injuries is real, and when it happens, the workers’ compensation system is set up to help, including emergency and ongoing medical needs. Though, while it may be prudent to seek help to navigate the process, a key takeaway from this research is to go to the doctor when needed.