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Heart Health on the Job


Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), costing billions of dollars each year in medical expenses and lost productivity. Fortunately, heart disease is preventable and there are steps employers can take to encourage employee heart health. February is American Heart Month, an opportune time for employers to implement employee wellness programs and promote heart healthy behaviors in the workplace.

Risk Factors for Heart Disease

People of any age can develop heart disease; it does not only affect older adults. However, the highest risk groups are of working age between 25 and 54 years old, and those 55 and older. There are several lifestyle factors that increase a person’s risk of heart disease, including:

  • High blood cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Obesity
  • Physical inactivity
  • Poor diet
  • Smoking
  • Type 2 diabetes

Healthy Habits to Reduce the Risk of Cardiovascular Disease

The CDC reports that nearly one in three adults in the U.S. has high cholesterol, which has harmful effects on the heart and can lead to heart disease. Workers can reduce their risk by engaging in heart healthy behaviors, such as:

  • Not smoking/quitting smoking
  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Exercising regularly
  • Limiting alcohol consumption
  • Maintaining a healthy weight

Workplace Wellness Programs

Employers can promote heart healthy habits in the workplace, thereby reducing the risk of their employees developing heart disease. Currently, only about 46 percent of employers have a workplace wellness program, according to a CDC Workplace Health in America survey. Employers can improve the health of their business by implementing a holistic wellness program, as well as:

  • Including a written smoke-free policy
  • Making blood pressure cuffs for self-monitoring available at work
  • Providing bike racks, maps of walking trails, and other environmental supports for physical activity
  • Offering employees paid fitness breaks or walking meetings
  • Replacing unhealthy vending machine options with healthy snacks
  • Offering health screening and referral programs
  • Providing cardiovascular disease management assistance
  • Making free health counseling/coaching available to employees

Workers’ Compensation for Heart Injuries

Workers who suffer injuries at work or while engaged in work duties are generally entitled to Workers’ Compensation. In Pennsylvania, those who suffer a heart attack at work may be able to collect benefits if they can prove that the heart attack occurred in relation to and during their work. Work-related stress that causes a worker to suffer a heart attack may give rise to a viable Workers’ Compensation claim.

Workers may also collect Workers’ Compensation for pre-existing conditions if they were aggravated by a work-related injury. Therefore, a worker may be able to claim compensation if abnormal working conditions, such as workplace stress or the physical demands of the job, worsened their pre-existing heart condition and caused the disease to progress faster than normal.

However, these types of claims can be difficult to prove because a causal connection between the injury and the work environment must be established, despite the many lifestyle risk-factors that exist for heart disease. If successful, an injured worker may be able to collect Workers’ Compensation benefits, including payment for medical expenses, lost wages, disability, and death benefits.

Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Gross & Kenny, LLP Help Workers Receive Benefits for Heart Conditions

If you suffered a heart attack at work or your work environment worsened your heart condition, let a Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation lawyer at Gross & Kenny, LLP assist you with your claim. From our office in Philadelphia, we represent injured workers throughout Pennsylvania. For a free consultation, contact us online or call us at 267-589-0090.

A Message to Our Clients About Coronavirus COVID-19:
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A Message to Our Clients About Coronavirus COVID-19:

At Gross & Kenny, LLP we view the safety and well-being of our clients, staff and business partners as our highest priority.

The situation regarding the COVID-19 virus is continually changing, and we are following all recommended guidelines to stay healthy.

Currently, our law firm is remaining open to serve your legal needs. If you were working light duty or modified duty as a result of a work injury in Pennsylvania and were recently laid off or terminated from your job due to the Coronavirus you may be entitled to weekly workers' compensation checks for lost wages moving forward. Contact us to find out . We are open and ready to assist.

We are happy to arrange for phone or video consultations should you have any concerns about keeping your scheduled appointments with us. We are also able to exchange documents via secure drives or email.

Should you have any concerns regarding an upcoming meeting with us, please contact us online or call (215) 512-1500.

We are continuing to fight on behalf of our clients and that we are all able to handle things even if mandated by the government that we work remotely.

Thank you and take care.