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Since 2001, total lost wages due to federal employees’ workers’ compensation claims have totaled approximately $17 billion. In 2007, approximately 46,500 federal employees were out of work due to work-related injuries. This not only has direct costs, as noted, but also indirect costs in terms of the loss of valuable, experienced workers contributing to agencies’ missions.

While the federal government continues to focus on improving the safety and health of its employees, the main mechanism for measuring this focus is the Safety, Health and Return to Employment (SHARE) initiative. This initiative, begun by President Bush in 2004, was recently extended through 2009. The initiative focuses on several areas: the timely filing of workers’ compensation claims, the reduction of work-related injuries (especially those involving lost time from work), and the prompt return to some level of employment when lost-time injuries occur.

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