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Staten Island Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Staying safe around chemicals

Certain occupations in New York involve working with and around chemicals, and mismanagement of them can lead to workers' compensation claims. There are a number of regulations that companies must follow in order to keep employees safe in the short and long term. 

One way in which the government assists in regulating chemicals and their use is the Toxic Substances Control Act. According to the CDC, this act was originally passed in 1976 and was amended in 2016. It authorizes the EPA to monitor and regulate substances that are dangerous and toxic to the health of workers. Some of the EPA's tasks are to evaluate current and new chemicals, assess their risk and make preparations to eliminate unnecessary risks.

Falling debris in the workplace

Falling debris is one of the reasons for workers' compensation claims in New York. The effects can range from minor bruising to even death, depending on the size and weight of the object. Debris can cause injuries to construction workers and also pedestrians in the vicinity of construction projects. 

According to the New York Post, pedestrian injuries have been increasing in the state. Falling glass, pieces of concrete, planks and flying plywood were all involved in pedestrian and vehicle incidences in the past years. Proper safety procedures at construction sites can greatly cut down on accidents that affect both pedestrians and workers. 

Detailing workers' compensation death benefits

When you have a loved one that is injured in a workplace accident in Staten Island, your immediate assumption is that workers' compensation benefits will cover his or her expenses. At the same time, you have likely also heard the such coverage is limited. Many of those that we here at Angiuli & Gentile, LLP have worked with in the past have shared the same assumption, only expecting workers' compensation to cover medical costs and lost wages. Yet what if your loved one is killed in his or her accident? Are you still entitled to some form of workers' compensation benefit? 

Workers' compensation will cover funeral expenses, yet if your loved one provided your primary financial support, then you are likely worried about how you will be able to make ends meet going forward. Not to worry; an additional form of workers' compensation may be available to you in the form of death benefits. The New York State Workers Compensation Board states that in the event of an on-the-job death, you may be entitled to a pension equal to following amounts of his or her average weekly salary: 

  • If the decedent was your spouse: 66.6 percent if you have no children, 36.6 percent of you do
  • If the decedent was your parent: 30 percent if your other parent is still alive, 66.6 percent if not (shared equally amongst you and your siblings)
  • If the decedent was your grandparent or sibling (with no surviving spouse or children): 25 percent
  • If you were a dependent parent to the decedent (and he or she had so spouse or children): 40 percent during the years of your dependency 
  • If the decedent had no direct dependents: $50,000 to his or her estate

Inclement weather and work accidents

On this blog, we have gone over many different issues related to workplace accidents, from construction falls to repetitive stress injuries. However, there are other factors that workers in diverse fields may want to take into consideration. With summer weather coming to an end, there are a number of weather-related hazards that workers may want to be mindful of. Our law firm knows how devastating workplace accidents are for people all across New York and the importance of prevention.

During winter months, a worker may become hurt after falling down due to ice. However, there are many other weather-related risks to watch out for. For example, someone working on a construction site may be electrocuted when it is raining or when equipment they are using comes into contact with a pool of water from recent rainfall. Other weather-related work hazards include suffering a heat stroke due to very high temperatures or becoming hurt due to poor visibility brought on by fog, among others.

Latex allergies in the workplace

Business owners in New York need to provide alternatives to latex to prevent workers' compensation issues related to allergies. A number of adverse reactions, and even death, can occur for those with sensitivities to this rubber material.

According to the United States Department of Labor, people who work in health care are especially impacted by latex, as latex-containing medical devices and gloves are prevalent. It is estimated that up to 12 percent of workers are sensitive to this material. 

New OSHA rule limits respirable crystalline silica exposure

Construction workers in New York often face a much higher risk of illnesses because of workplace exposure to inhalable carcinogens. Now, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration is addressing the danger by enforcing standards which took effect in 2016, when the new rule passed. The purpose is to lower the amount of silica that employees may be exposed to. 

The rule has several provisions, the effects of which are expected to lower the numbers of silicosis cases by 900 per year, as well as saving 600 lives annually. One of these involves allowing some flexibility in implementation for those who may have a hard time coming into compliance, such as small companies. Another provision states that during an 8-hour shift, workers cannot be exposed to more than an average of 50 micrograms of respirable crystalline silica per cubic meter of air. In addition, employers must do the following:

  • Create a written plan for controlling exposure
  • Limit exposure through restricted access and the use of engineering controls wherever possible
  • Provide training about lung health and the risks of silica, and educate employees on ways to limit their own exposure

Fall claims construction worker's life

There are many hazards present on construction sites, ranging from burns and chemical exposure to dangerous machinery. Having said that, falls are one of the most troubling aspects of working in the construction industry. In New York, these accidents have led to far too many fatalities. However, even when workers survive a fall, debilitating injuries could shatter their sense of security and create long-term challenges, which underlines how vital it is for injured workers to analyze their options after an accident.

A construction worker who was working on a condominium project slated to open in 2019 recently passed away after he fell. All of the details of the accident were not known immediately, but officials said that the man who lost his life was 22 years old.

Defective power and hand tools

Power and hand tools that are defective or not maintained properly can result in workers' compensation claims in New York. Tools that are used by, and even furnished by, employees are required to be kept in safe condition by the employer. 

According to OSHA, power and hand tools are commonly found in a number of different industries, and proper maintenance and safety protocols must be followed in order to prevent serious injuries. Employers are required by law to provide safe work spaces and environments for their workers, and this relates to all equipment as well.

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.

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
Phone: 718-816-0005
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Phone: 347-201-4447
Phone: 718-816-0005
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