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Staten Island Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Teachers and work-related accidents

Our blog has addressed many different types of workplace accidents that shatter the lives of hard-working people. However, it is critical to remember that people employed in any field may be hurt while performing their job duties. Some people may think about construction workers and those who face significant risks on a daily basis. However, those employed in relatively safer lines of work may also be hurt while carrying out their job responsibilities. For example, a teacher may be hurt on the job, and these accidents can also be very devastating from a financial and physical point of view.

Teachers can be hurt in many ways while working. Some may no longer be able to work because of a repetitive strain injury brought on by frequent typing and computer use. Or, a teacher may fall down after tripping on an object in the classroom or be hurt while trying to hang something up. Moreover, a teacher may even be injured when they are attacked by a student or a co-worker. Gym teachers and those whose job involves the use of chemicals may also face unique risks related to their occupation.

Not injured on the job but think your cancer may be work-related?

Many workers’ compensation claims may seem obvious. Fractures related to a construction worker falling off a scaffold, nursing staff suffering back injuries while transferring a patient and concussions for commercial driver involvement in motor vehicle accidents might all seem like pretty clear-cut workplace injuries.

But in some cases, such as with firefighters, exposure to certain chemicals can lead to serious illness, including cancer. Though these diagnoses may not occur for an extended period of time, you may be able to recover compensation for cancer caused on duty.

Two lists of the Top 10 most dangerous jobs

Workers in every profession are exposed to dangers from the mundane to the extraordinary – and let’s face it, most of the dangers we face every day are fairly mundane.

But there are professions in which workers face extraordinary dangers, and some of them occur right in your neighborhood. To get a feel for what might be the most dangerous professions, we looked at two recent surveys. The results might be surprising.

Exposure to toxic chemicals while working

People suffer a variety of health consequences when things go wrong at work. Often, a lot of attention is given to accidents such as falls, mishaps involving equipment and dangerous machinery, and so on. However, there are many other ways in which people are hurt while working. For example, someone may be exposed to toxic chemicals in the workplace, which could disrupt their life in different ways. Moreover, the consequences of this exposure may not be immediately evident and it may take some time for someone to realize the full extent of the damage.

In some fields, people are especially likely to be exposed to harmful substances and toxic chemicals while on the job. There are many reasons why this exposure can occur, such as another employee's carelessness, poor training or a company failing to take preventative measures to ensure that workers are not exposed to these dangerous chemicals. If you are struggling with the consequences of this exposure, you may be facing a myriad of hardships. Our law office realizes how difficult this can be and we firmly believe that you should seek justice.

How to fight a denied workers' compensation claim

If you receive an injury on the job in New York, your employer's workers' compensation insurance should cover your expenses and lost wages. However, sometimes the company will deny a claim. When this occurs, you have a good chance of overturning the decision if you fight back by appealing the denial. 

According to the Claims Journal, some common reasons a company may deny a claim include:

  • Pre-existing conditions
  • No evidence of the injury
  • Use of drugs or alcohol
  • Untimely reporting of accident
  • Misrepresentation
  • Cause of injury is unknown
  • No defined injury
  • Not related to work
  • Intent to injure oneself

Know the worker's compensation benefits you may be entitled to

Many of us are fortunate enough to have never experienced a workplace injury. Yet, accidents can happen to anyone, and it is important to be aware of your rights should you ever find yourself in need. The state of New York provides five main categories under which injured workers can seek compensation. If you have found yourself in the aftermath of a workplace injury, you may be entitled to one of the following forms of workers compensation:

Job sites and the risk of electrocution

Those who work in the construction industry face a variety of hazards on the job, from falling materials and objects to the dangers that come with using certain types of machinery. However, electrical shock is a serious concern and these accidents have caused many construction workers to suffer various hardships. If you are an electrician, or if you simply find yourself on a job site where there is a risk of electrocution, it is pivotal to be aware of these risks at all times. Unfortunately, many construction workers have suffered serious injuries and even passed away in these accidents.

Construction workers can become electrocuted while working in many different ways. For example, someone may be carrying a ladder and fail to notice an overhead power line. Or, someone may be using faulty equipment or a damaged extension cord and suffer electrical shock. It is crucial to watch out for certain areas where the risk of electrical shock may be even greater as well as hazards, such as standing water, that can significantly impact the likelihood of an electrical accident.

Workers' compensation claims in restaurants

Restaurant workers in New York are at risk of a variety of accidents and injuries. Whether working in the back as a dishwasher or cook or working in the front as a busser or server, there are many hazards that can lead to workers' compensation claims if not handled correctly. 

According to OSHA, there are plenty of hazards for employees who work back of the house. Burns are quite common due to hot stoves, ovens and boiling grease. Cuts, whether from knives, slicing machines or broken dishes, are also common. Liquids and dropped food also increase the chances of slips and falls. Ergonomic hazards also exist. Many of the workers stand in one position for long periods of time on hard floors, which can lead to leg pain and back strains. Performing the same motion, such as cutting, peeling or washing, can also cause overuse injuries.

Avoid the construction site Fatal Four

Multi-level construction sites with large equipment and hazardous materials are common in New York. At Angiuli & Gentile LLP, our experienced team helps clients injured at the worksite with the workers' compensation claims. 

Arbill reports that four types of accidents were responsible for more than half of all construction site deaths in 2015. Some measures can be taken to prevent these accidents and make the workplace safer.

  • More than 100,000 construction site injuries and deaths were due to falls. Employers can reduce this number by including safety harnesses, lines and nets for workers who must be far above the ground. Guardrails and toe-boards around elevated platforms, runways and dangerous equipment can prevent you from getting too close to the edge when carrying out your duties.
  • Being struck by falling, swinging or rolling objects was the second leading cause of death on construction sites. Wearing a hard hat, safety glasses and other protective gear can prevent severe injury in many cases. Avoid areas where work is taking place above your head, or heavy loads are hoisted.
  • Electricity can cause catastrophic injuries. Take precautions by wearing the appropriate personal protective equipment to reduce the chance of electrocution. Safety classes conducted by employers can help provide you with the information needed to stay safer on the job.
  • Being crushed or squeezed between objects can occur when a person is pulled into or under a piece of equipment or as a result of falling materials. Shut down equipment before walking away or doing repairs and avoid the machinery's crush points and pull-in areas to minimize risk.

Eye and face protection cited as top 2018 OSHA violation

Each year, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) releases the top 10 most cited violations. Violating these OSHA safety standards can put workers in dangerous or even deadly situations at work.

In 2018, eye and face protection violations joined the top ten list.

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