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Staten Island Workers' Compensation Law Blog

3 ways to prevent common workplace accidents

Preventing workplace accidents is a top priority in most New York organizations. Even when managers do not prioritize this for philanthropic reasons, they may fear the legal and economic impact on a company. Whatever their reasons, there are easy steps a manager can follow to help prevent common workplace accidents.

According to Business News Daily, here are the five most common injuries in the workplace:

  •          Fractures
  •          Inflammation
  •          Cuts or punctures
  •          Strains and sprains
  •          Bumps and bruises

Construction sites could become 680% safer

New York is home to some of the tallest and most opulent buildings in the world. Whether workers are building, repairing or cleaning them, there is a chance that they could fall or suffer from other workplace accidents. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration puts guidelines in place to prevent this from happening, but when employers neglect to enforce best practices, workers suffer the consequences.

NBC News reports that in 2017, 887 workers died from fall-related accidents. Deaths resulting from falls also made up 17% of fatalities at work. In the construction industry, however, it made up 40% of job-related deaths. In this profession, workers may fall from scaffolding, ladders, roofs and other high places.

What should I consider when choosing my health care proxy?

It is impossible to know what the future holds, so it can be prudent to select others as alternate decision-makers. Naming someone as your health care proxy can help ensure you receive the type of medical care you want in case you become unable to express your wishes for yourself.

However, the person you select as your health care proxy will have access to your sensitive medical records and be responsible for making serious medical decisions. This person can help doctors decide what treatments to try and what treatments they believe you would have wanted withheld. Sometimes, these decisions may literally mean life or death.

WHO recognizes burnout as a workplace illness

For years, occupational psychologists in New York and around the world have studied workplace burnout. Most of these studies have concluded that burnout is an occupational health hazard. They also noted that to improve employee morale, health and retention, employers should take better steps to invest in their employee’s mental health.

According to Business Insider, snacking on unhealthy food, keeping up with tight deadlines, lots of sitting and the long hours can really drain the life out of workers. Approximately 86% of Americans have sedentary jobs and long hours of sitting is detrimental to a person’s health. People who sit for long hours are more susceptible to the following health problems:

  •          Cancer
  •          Obesity
  •          Diabetes
  •          Heart disease

Stress-related worker’s compensation claims are hard to prove

Workers in New York were excited when they learned that they could file a worker’s compensation claim for stress. However, as the American Bar Association points out, these cases are notoriously difficult to prove. Unfortunately, the most successful cases occur when stress has gone far enough to cause mental and physical health complications that affect a person’s ability to live a normal, healthy life and function at work.

Workers may need to prove one or more of the following to have a strong case:

  •          The stress caused permanent impairment
  •          Stress levels were higher than average for the job position
  •          The stress was primarily work-related rather than fed by personal issues

How can trenches be made safer?

Enhancing the safety of workers in construction trenches and excavations should be a top priority for New York contractors since an unsafe trench can cause serious injury and possible loss of life. The main hazard of a trench is a cave-in, a situation where trench walls break loose and collapse on top of workers. These kinds of disasters can be prevented if contractors properly train and equip their workers.

According to Construction Junkie, OSHA has recently laid out five safety tips that help reduce the likelihood of a trench caving in. One of the ways is to provide protection from cave-ins by crafting the trench to create more stable walls. This can be done by sloping the trench, or by shoring or shielding it. It is also crucial to keep the edge of a trench free of heavy materials that can place pressure on trench walls.

What does intestate succession mean for your stepchildren?

You may not already know this, but New York has a plan for when you die. If you don’t write and register your own will, the state will divide your assets for you. It just might not do a very good job of dividing them fairly, and it might miss one or more of your intended heirs.

New Yorkers who don’t create their own estate plans will have their assets distributed according to the state’s laws for intestate succession. It’s basically the state’s mathematical formula for deciding who you felt was important, it may force your family into probate court, and it doesn’t care about your stepchildren at all.

Employers are investing more money in mental health treatment

New York is a state of industry. Life here is fast-paced and people are always rushing about their daily business. Workers tend to be high-strung and burnout is just a part of the job. While this is not true for all of New York, it is the common way of life for many in the Big Apple. It comes as no surprise then that the increasingly high demands at work have led to an increase in employee mental health costs.

According to CNBC, employers are the ones footing the bill and anxiety is one of the biggest problems. In fact, companies have been spending more and more money on preventing and treating mental health problems in their employees. The costs associated with this are rising at twice the rate of other medical expenses.

How paying for a funeral can help with long-term care costs

These days, people are living longer than ever. While this is a positive trend, it also means that people are paying more for long-term care.

Most people don’t like to think about getting older. But dealing with this eventuality head on can help you receive the care you need while preserving your assets for the future. One way that you can do this is through a funeral trust.

Mental illness in the workplace

People from all around the world flock to New York for work with dreams of building a better life. However, over time, many people become disengaged at work or so stressed that they begin looking for another job. This is as true of the rest of the United States as it is of New York. In fact, Forbes estimates that 50% of employees are disengaged and 70% are already looking for other work opportunities.

While stress factors at work can cause people to seek employment elsewhere, sometimes events in a person’s personal life is the catalyst. A difficult divorce or a death in the family can cause even the healthiest of people to suffer mental health problems. However, it is how the company handles mental health problems that may ultimately compel workers to check out at work and eventually leave.

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  • Walter J. Roesch IV
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