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Staten Island Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Can bad weather cause workplace traffic crashes?

When it comes to workplace traffic crashes, there are many issues to keep in mind. Following a wreck, the consequences can be devastating for victims, the families of victims, and even employers. As a result, prevention should be a top priority and employers, as well as those who operate a vehicle for work purposes, should be aware of the different road hazards that can cause a crash.

According to data published by the Federal Highway Administration, inclement weather plays a role in about 22 percent of the motor vehicle wrecks that happen. Among these collisions, some involve workers who were performing their job responsibilities, such as delivery truck drivers, taxi drivers, and so on. There are many ways in which weather can cause a crash, such as snowfall and ice. However, some may not realize that most accidents caused by bad weather happen due to rain and slick roads. Moreover, other weather events, such as wind and fog, can also play a role in accidents. For example, severe wind may knock a tree limb down, creating an obstruction on the road. Or, fog might prevent a driver from seeing the road.

Understanding occupational diseases

Workers in New York should be aware of occupational diseases and how they play a role in workers' compensation claims. Individuals should understand how incidents can occur and what actions the injured victim should take if exposed.

According to the World Health Organization, diseases related to work can have numerous causes, and include risk factors associated with certain work environments. The WHO reports that incidents can occur from carcinogens, airborne pathogens, noise, ergonomic issues and injuries contracted primarily from working conditions. Some of the goals of the World Health Organization are to improve diagnostic abilities by healthcare providers and improve their reporting capabilities.

Forklift safety in the workplace

Working in the construction business is dangerous, and forklift accidents are the cause of many workers' compensation claims in New York. Being aware of risk factors and focusing on proper training and safety measures can help decrease the incidents of mishaps.

According to OSHA, almost 100,000 workers are injured or killed due to forklifts every year. Recklessness and a lack of training are main causes of these accidents, which is why companies are focusing on providing the righy type of training to minimize these catastrophies. Required training programs include topics that focus on both workplace conditions and truck and lift operations. Workers who have been involved with an accident or have been cited for unsafe operations must also go through a retraining program.

Falls in the workplace and ways to prevent them

Falls on the job are big issues in New York, and they make up a big chunk of workers' compensation claims. While there are industry standards and federal regulations in place to help protect employees, unsafe conditions still exist in many industries. Because falls are still a big concern, prevention efforts continue to increase and improve.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 262,728 workers were injured by falls in the United States in 2014, with 798 of those ending up in fatalities. The industries with the highest incidents of falls include construction, healthcare, retail and wholesale. The causes of falls vary and include slippery floors, ladders that are not positioned properly, holes in the wall and floor and improperly-used protection equipment.

What you need to know about a workers’ comp claim denial

After suffering an injury on the job in New York, a worker may report the incident to the supervisor and seek medical attention assuming that the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance will cover the expenses and lost wages. While this may be true, there may be times when an injured employee’s claim is denied, even though he or she believes the eligibility requirements are met. Here are some reasons why, and what a worker can do about it.

The letter stating that the workers’ compensation claim was denied will include the reason for denial, Findlaw explains. Timeliness could be an issue, if the worker did not report the injury to the supervisor within the deadline, or if he or she missed the time limit for claim filing. Some injuries and illnesses are notoriously difficult to connect to a work-related incident, particularly those that develop over time, such as musculoskeletal disorders. The employer or the insurance company may dispute the eligibility of the claim for a number of other reasons, as well.

Dangers in trenches

People who work in trenches, which are narrow underground excavations, work in high-risk conditions. New York construction workers should be aware of the dangers and take precautions when working in digging operations, building roads, and repairing water, utility and sewer lines.   

According to OSHA, work fatalities occur most frequently due to trench cave-ins. These can be caused by a number of different things, including:

  • Sandy soil and other types of loose soil
  • Equipment vibrations that cause soil to break up
  • Weak trench sides, often caused by water build up
  • Equipment that gets too close to the trench's edge

When is an illness deemed work-related?

If you are suffering as a result of an incident that occurred at your place of employment, it is essential to go over your options. In Richmond, and around New York, many people can get workers’ compensation benefits to move on. However, there are certain requirements which must be met. For example, you must be able to show that your illness or injury was work-related. So, what constitutes work-related illnesses, anyway?

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, an illness or injury is deemed work-related if it happened because you were exposed to something at your place of work, an on-the-job event took place, or an illness or injury that you already suffered from was significantly aggravated by something at work.

What are some workplace hazards that welders face?

From tripping in an office space to exposure to pesticides on farms, workers face a variety of risks on a regular basis. In Staten Island, and in cities all over New York, it is very important for people to be aware of the different risks that are present at their place of work. For example, if you are a welder, you should familiarize yourself with some of the potential hazards you could be exposed to on the job.

Welders face a wide variety of risks at work, from eye damage and electrocution to burns and falling debris. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, welding fumes can also be dangerous and may hurt workers in a variety of ways. In fact, the CDC draws attention to various side effects associated with manganese exposure, which welders often inhale through welding fumes. Unfortunately, chronic inhalation of manganese through welding fumes may result in tremors, rigid muscles, impaired movement and weak balance. Moreover, a worker’s kidney, liver and lungs may be damaged and male welders may even have difficulty with fertility.

How do musculoskeletal disorders occur at work?

In the workplace, there may be a variety of hazards that you have to watch out for. For example, if you work in construction sites, you may need to be mindful of falling debris, the risk of electrocution, and other dangers that are present on job sites. However, musculoskeletal disorders, which can occur as a result of repetitive strain, are a serious problem for some workers in Staten Island and across New York.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, there are various reasons why musculoskeletal disorders happen in the workplace. For example, some workers may sustain an injury due to working in an awkward or unnatural position, repeating the same tasks too much (such as bending over frequently or typing for long periods), trying to lift a heavy object and pulling or pushing something which is extremely heavy.

Taking a look at fatal work zone accidents

Each day, things go wrong on job sites across the U.S. Sadly, these accidents sometimes result in the loss of life, which is especially difficult for families who lose someone they love. To make matters worse, some of these accidents were caused by the negligence of another person and were entirely preventable. Moreover, those who regularly work in a road construction site in Staten Island, or in any other New York area, are employed in a particularly dangerous occupation.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, information from 2011 to 2014 showed that 74 percent of road workers who lost their lives in a jobsite accident were hit by vehicles while in a work zone. Moreover, over 1,400 road workers passed away in accidents while they were working at a road construction site between 2003 and 2014.

Success Stories

  • A 43 year old ironworker who fell four stories and sustained injuries to his ankle while installing a staircase settled his claim for $1,500,000.00. The accident was due to the failure of the building owner and general contractor to provide a safe place to work.
  • A construction worker operating an asphalt roller settled his case for $525,000.00 when the edge of the roadway he was paving collapsed into a trench being dug by a subcontractor causing him to sustain injuries to his leg.
  • A 54 year old commuter settled his case against the NYCTA for $1,200,000.00. when he tripped and fell on a subway platform due to the pavement being in disrepair, causing him to fall forward and to strike his head on a train pulling into the station.
  • The estate of a 64 year old woman received a settlement of $425,000.00 after she was struck and killed by a speeding tractor trailer while crossing the street at the intersection of Richmond Terrace and Port Richmond Avenue.
  • A $1,200,000.00 settlement was reached on behalf of a 54 year old man from Staten Island, New York, who, while in the course of his employment as a bus driver, was rear-ended on the Garden State Parkway and caused to suffer injuries to his back and neck as well as a fractured rib and fractured pelvis.
  • A 47-year-old building superintendent who sustained injuries to his head and right side of his body due to a tripping hazard at his job site received a settlement of $300,000.00 from the electrical company performing work at the site.
  • A 43 year old construction worker was caused to sustain injuries to his back, shoulder and hand when the elevator he was riding malfunctioned and dropped 8 floors. He received $350,000.00 in the settlement of his claim against the building owner, maintenance company and elevator company.
  • The administrator of the estate of a 69 year old man who suffered stage four pressure sores while a patient at a Queens nursing home settled the case for $400,000.00 after the man died.
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Phone: 347-201-4447
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Phone: 347-201-4447
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