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Staten Island Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Effects of alcohol abuse on the job

The use of alcohol can help liven up social situations and ease anxiety in some people. However, when it is abused it can have a number of negative effects on the drinker's personal and professional life. Drinking in excess or at the inappropriate time can greatly affect an employee's job, from productivity to the denial of workers' compensation benefits for injuries that may occur at work.

According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, alcohol use can be very costly for the company as well as for the employee. There are a couple different types of drinking-related behavior that can have devastating results. One is by the alcoholic, who may drink either before coming into work and/or throughout the workday. The other is by someone who may not abuse alcohol on a regular basis but drinks in excess the night before and comes into work with a major hangover.

Unsafe crane conditions that could cause worker injury

Cranes are one of the most essential tools in New York construction sites. They are also some of the most dangerous machines to operate. Construction workers on site and passing pedestrians can be at serious risk of injury from fallen materials or the crane itself. Here are a few key aspects about the work environment to check.

Three construction workers hospitalized after an incident

In late June, three construction workers were hospitalized when a mini crane crashed down in an East Harlem construction site. Authorities said the crane struck two employees while a third employee fell approximately three floors.

The construction crew was installing a curtain wall in a building near East 126th Street and Lexington Avenue. The mini crane fell from the fourth floor when workers were installing the curtain wall, according to the local authorities. Shortly after, the workers were rushed to the hospital to seek treatment.

Electrical shock on construction sites

Construction workers face many different hazards on a regular basis, especially if they work in high places or use dangerous machinery. However, there are many other risks to watch out for, such as electrocution. Workers are electrocuted in many different ways and these accidents can lead to serious injuries or even the loss of life. On construction sites across the state of New York, it is crucial for workers to recognize how these accidents occur and make sure they take all steps to recover properly in the wake of an accident.

From improper wiring to problems with tools and the incorrect use of extension cords, there are all sorts of reasons why construction workers continue to suffer from electrical shock on the job. Moreover, some people may be electrocuted by an overhead power line while using a ladder, for example. When someone is electrocuted, they may suffer severe burns and some people have even lost their lives in these accidents. For those who survive a serious electrical accident, many different challenges may lie ahead. From needing help with medical expenses to lost wages and losing the ability to ever work in a particular field again, these accidents can change someone's life for the worst in all sorts of ways.

The importance of speaking up about unsafe conditions

Workers in New York have the legal right to work in a safe environment. If they see hazardous conditions, they also have the right to report these to OSHA and not face consequences from their employer. However, a number of employees are scared or hesitant to speak up, and this can lead to more serious problems down the road. It is important workers understand they can take action against their employer, and that it can lead to positive outcomes.

The Safety and Health Magazine discusses why some workers choose not to report injuries or unsafe conditions. Some employees do not report about a workplace injury because it seems small and insignificant. Others are afraid their employers will retaliate against them if OSHA becomes aware of the conditions that led to the injury. Workers are encouraged to tell their supervisor about hazardous situations or injuries, but when nothing is done, they have the right to go straight to OSHA and make a report. If doing so leads to a demotion or firing, the employee needs to file a complaint with OSHA. 

Workplace injuries and who is covered under the law

All workers in New York are at risk for some type of workplace injury or illness over the course of their lifetimes, but some industries and jobs pose a higher risk than others. Being aware of what causes the most injuries can help employers and employees take steps to prevent harm. However, if an employee does get hurt there is a good chance he or she is covered by workers' compensation insurance and can file a claim to cover related costs.

According to the Insurance Journal, some of the factors involved with workplace injuries include:

  • Falls to lower level or on same level
  • Overexertion
  • Roadway incidents
  • Getting struck by or against equipment or object
  • Slip with no fall
  • Getting caught in equipment
  • Overuse trauma

Keeping everyone safe during summer road construction

With the rising temperatures has come a rise in people out to make our roads drivable again.

Road construction workers have a tough job. Not only are they out in the hot sun, there are hundreds of drivers passing by them, posing another element of danger to an already risky job.

Avoiding heat stroke at the construction site

Summer is fast approaching and with rising temperatures come new risks at the job site. Between the pavement and the reflective buildings, the heat will multiply at construction sites around the city.

As you’re working at the site, there are precautions you can take to make sure you’re prepared for a safe day in the summer heat.

Depression can lead to workplace injury

Depression is a serious problem that affects a number of people in New York. One of the consequences of depression is an increased risk of injury in the workplace, which can result in more workers' compensation claims. As a result, it is important that workers with depression get the help they need so it does not lead to additional issues at work or at home.

PsychCentral reports that women, especially, are at an increased risk of getting injured when they are depressed or fatigued. Behavioral health factors that can lead to injury include anxiety and poor sleep, and more than half of the women who were injured in the workplace reported some sort of behavioral health condition prior to the injury.

Who is most at risk for asbestos-related illness?

Although asbestos has long been known to be a highly dangerous carcinogen that can cause multiple problems from inhaling its microscopic fibers, you may still find asbestos used in all manner of substances and practices to this day. We are continuously surrounded by asbestos in miniscule amounts, and even walking the streets of New York you will likely inhale trace amounts at a non-harmful level. Some occupations, however, still face dangerous exposure to asbestos. So who is most at risk?

Per a CD study, construction workers remain the most at risk for asbestos exposure and asbestos-related illnesses. Construction workers are often exposed to asbestos products, though current safety regulations minimize exposure to a fraction of what it had been before asbestos use and mitigation was heavily regulated for safety reasons. However, many older buildings still contain or use large quantities of asbestos-based substances, and construction workers and others in the industry who work on or occupy these buildings often see higher levels of exposure.

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