An Injured Workers Association of Utah is being formed to represent all workers in Utah concerned about the problems of the handicapped and workers injured on the job.
Patrick J. O'Connor, one of the group's organizers, said papers are being prepared for the Utah Department of Business Regulation to incorporate the group as a non-profit and non-partisan organization."Because there were about 76,000 reported and unreported industrial and occupational disease cases in the last fiscal year, several hundred thousand residents in the state, injured workers and their spouses, children, widows and other dependents suffered great financial hardship as a result of their work-related injuries," O'Connor said.
"It is important that these people'e voices be heard on problems associated with work-related injuries, and this organization's goal is to do just that," he said.
O'Connor said the organization wants to represent the interests of all Utah injured workers regardless of whether or not they belonged to a union. There won't be any restrictions due to race, creed, color, sex, religious preference or political affiliation.
Any person wanting to join the organization can write to P.O. Box 510858, Salt Lake City, UT 84151-0858.
In a similar announcement, Jinks Dabney, a Salt Lake attorney who has represented hundreds of injured workers in Workmen's Compensation Fund cases before the State Industrial Commission, said attorneys who have represented these clients are trying to form their own organization.
Recently, Melvin E. Curvin and Teresa Thompson, two other co-organizers of the injured worker's group, and O'Connor sent letters to the Legislature and several organizations objecting to a proposal limiting to $1,000 the amount that could be spent on rehabilitation and training for each injured worker.
In the recently concluded special legislative session, legislators set the limit at $3,000.