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Staten Island Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Get back to work faster with rehabilitation benefits

If you have been unable to work due to a work-related injury in New York, and you want to get back to earning a decent income, there are programs available to help. Unfortunately, some injuries result in a permanent disability that prevents the employee from going back to the position he or she had before. One of the benefits workers' compensation insurance provides is rehabilitation, and this is available for eligible employees.

According to the Department of Labor, employees must meet certain requirements in order to qualify for rehabilitation programs. The requirements include:

  • The employee has a disability that prevents return to regular position
  • The employee is eligible to receive compensation for work-related injuries
  • There are rehabilitation services and programs in the area

Scaffolding collapse raises questions about construction safety

Concerns about construction safety have recently surfaced after a tragic accident near Orlando, Florida. Two construction workers were pouring concrete for a new hotel when part of their scaffold collapsed. The workers fell six floors and died on the scene. A third worker was able to grab onto a part of the scaffold and pull himself out of harm’s way.

Work-related mental health and helpful interventions

For many employees in New York, working can actually stimulate positive feelings and boost mental health. However, for others work can be the cause of a variety of mental health issues. Negative working conditions can lead to anxiety and depression, which can also increase the chances of physical injuries. To avoid workers' compensation claims due to mental health, employers should integrate interventions that promote, rather than ignore or belittle, mental health.

According to the World Health Organization, the workplace can be the source of a number of risk factors that can lead to decreased mental health. The risk factors may include:

  • Inadequate support for employees
  • Poor management and leadership
  • Unclear organization and communication
  • Insufficient policies regarding safety and health
  • Overwhelming workload or inflexible hours
  • Psychological harassment

How to avoid carpal tunnel syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that causes numbness and tingling in the hand and arm caused by a pinched nerve in the wrist. According to Mayo Clinic, anything that squeezes or irritates the median nerve in the carpal tunnel space may lead to this injury.

Many factors contribute to the development of carpal tunnel, and some risk factors may increase your chances of developing aggravated nerve damage.

Does workers' compensation cover assault?

While most employees in New York go to their jobs every day and do not have to think or worry about getting assaulted, there are certain occupations in which assault may occur. When it does, workers can collect workers' compensation benefits for injuries they sustain.

According to the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, driving a bus can be a very hazardous job that can result in numerous types of assault and attack. This is especially true in areas of bigger cities where there are low-income populations. Most incidences occur when someone tries to get away with not paying the fare and the driver confronts the fare evader. The types of assaults that have occurred include being spit on, having hot liquid thrown on them and getting punched, kicked and even stabbed. As a result, each incident cost Metrobus almost $50,000 in workers' compensation and $6 million of taxpayer money. 

What types of lung diseases can be caused by working conditions?

Many people who get up and go to work each day do not think how their jobs can affect them health-wise. However, there are certain occupations in New York that can cause illnesses which may lead to workers' compensation claims. Workers should be aware of the risks and some of the symptoms so they can get immediate treatment.

According to John Hopkins Medicine, lung diseases are the leading type of illness caused by working conditions, and they are preventable. While a majority of the cases are caused by repeated exposure, a one-time exposure to a severely hazardous substance can also cause it. These disorders are caused by unsafe dusts, chemicals and fiber that circulate in the air and get into the lungs. Some of the more common types of occupation-caused lung disease include:

  • Asbestosis
  • Silicosis
  • Black lung disease
  • Occupational asthma
  • Hypersensitivity pneumonitis
  • Byssinosis 

The link between sleep deprivation and workplace accidents

The cost of losing sleep at night can play out in dangerous ways at work. Not getting enough sleep and/or quality sleep has proven effects on physical and mental functioning. When this becomes a habit, the likelihood for mistakes and injury significantly increases.

Studies have shown that sleep deprivation also dramatically raises the chances of accident-related deaths. It is hard to argue against the data and personal experiences when comparing a day at work with good sleep versus a day at work with bad sleep.

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.

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