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A union that represents Illinois state workers at facilities where there were large payouts for workers' compensation claims says the numbers show that the work is difficult and sometimes dangerous.
An Associated Press analysis of state data shows that a cluster of 12 state-run prisons and human services facilities accounts for $41 million in on-the-job injury compensation from 2007 to 2010. That's nearly one-third of the total paid out to state workers during that time.
Anders Lindall of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees says state employees have to guard dangerous criminals, keep mentally ill patients from hurting themselves and lift, move and bathe infirm veterans.
He says it's difficult and dangerous work and those who are injured should be compensated fairly.