OSHA Focuses on Increased Worker Safety at Demolition Sites

Our Boston workers' compensations attorneys understand that in some jobs, employers must work harder to prevent on-the-job injuries.

1380293_digger.jpgThe United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is increasing efforts to keep demolition employees safe on the job. While demolition is generally considered an inherently dangerous occupation, there are number of workplace injuries and deaths that OSHA says could be prevented with proper training and concern for workers' safety.

One of the major causes of these workplace injuries comes from having workers demolish a building without first conducting an engineering survey to gain a full understanding of the condition of the structure. Without such a survey, demolition companies will not know how walls and other structures will respond to the demolition process. The unexpected collapse of adjacent structures is a major cause of injuries to workers.

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Increased Fines for Employers Who Do Not Maintain Workers' Compensation Coverage

Our Boston workers' compensation attorneys understand that cases where employers have not complied with requirements to obtain coverage may require additional litigation.

money-problems.jpgIn a recent article, the News Virginian is reporting a substantial increase in the penalties faced by employers who do not maintain workers' compensation coverage from their employees.

Workers' compensation insurance has often been presented as a compromise aimed at striking a fair balance between the needs of workers and the needs of employers. Under the workers' compensation plan, an employee has a means to quickly obtain compensation for an on-the-job injury without the need to file a civil lawsuit against their employer.

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Filing a Civil Lawsuit and a Workers' Compensation Claim: On Serious or Willful Misconduct

Our Boston workers' compensation attorneys understand that sometimes clients may be able to file a civil lawsuit in addition to their workers' compensation claim.

230578_hospital_6.jpgA story from 7 News Boston discusses a truly horrific rape and stabbing of a teacher while she was at work. This teacher was employed by the Department of Corrections in Arizona. She was teaching a class at a prison unit that houses sex offenders. The prison allegedly did not provide any guards for the protection of the teachers or issue the teachers any type of safety equipment.

After teaching a class, the teacher was raped and stabbed, according to reports. The alleged assailant has been charged with rape, kidnapping, assault and other charges. The victim has filed for workers' compensation to compensate her for the physical and mental and pain she has suffered since her attack.

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The Obesity Epidemic and Workplace Safety

The American Society of Safety Engineers recently held a Safety 2014 conference. Among the issues discussed at the conference was the dramatic increase in the rate of obesity and the impact that a more obese workforce will have on workplace safety. human-jaws-434803-m.jpg

When workers are heavier, they face different types of risks on the job and are in greater danger of experiencing certain kinds of workplace injuries. With more than a third of the U.S. population currently classified as obese, employers need to account for the special needs of this large portion of the workplace. When a worker gets hurt on-the-job, the injured employee should consult with an experienced Boston workers' compensation lawyer for help.

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Boston Workplaces Need a Rescue Plan For Fall Injuries

Many employers throughout Boston are well aware of the requirements set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration regarding fall protection equipment. Yet, falls remain a top cause of workplace injuries and deaths, especially in the construction field. One possible reason why falls often cause serious or even fatal injuries is because many employers' fall protection plans do not go far enough. Employers need to not only take steps to prevent falls but also should have a plan in place for what happens after the fall. knocking-on-heavens-door-1387913-m.jpg

Recently, Safety BLR published a comprehensive article on the importance of having a rescue plan in place in case a fall occurs. A rescue plan could allow an employee to get more timely assistance so his injuries are less likely to be devastating or deadly. Those who do suffer falls can make a workers' compensation claim with the help of a Boston workers' compensation lawyer, and employers can cut their costs for work-injury benefits by ensuring that workers get the most prompt treatment for injury.

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Massachusetts First-Responder Injuries a Risk Through Fourth of July Weekend

Our Boston workers' compensation attorneys would like to take the opportunity to thank the many brave first responders and emergency personnel this Fourth of July weekend. While most Americans have the day off from work and are having a relaxing and enjoyable Fourth of July weekend, many emergency personnel and first responders will be out in force keeping all of us safe. Whether they are patrolling the highways, standing by at sporting events and fireworks displays, or performing any number of important tasks, they remain on the job.

fireworks12.jpgEach year, firefighters, police officers, ambulance drivers, EMTs, and paramedics, rank among the most dangerous occupations. Firefighters expose themselves to all kinds of risks every time they go out on a call. There are dangers related to driving to an emergency, smoke inhalation, and falling objects during fire rescue operations. For police, the most common cause of workplace injuries are vehicle collisions and being assaulted during an arrest. EMTs and paramedics are commonly injured in typical on-the-job situations, plus the many dangerous job tasks associated with helping patients. One particularly scary risk is contracting a blood borne illness from accidental needle sticks. Trying to restrain a patient in a moving ambulance to give an injection is no easy task.

While there is no doubt that these first responders know they are putting themselves at risk, as many of them have adopted the motto "so others may live," when they are injured on the job, they deserve to receive fair and adequate workers' compensation benefits. Unfortunately, securing adequate benefits can sometimes be a real problem. In Florida, for example, there is a two-year limit on workers' compensation benefits for emergency personnel.

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Medlin v. Weaver Cooke Constr. - Poor Economy Weighed in Workers' Compensation Case

An employee who claimed both workers' compensation and unemployment benefits at the same time found himself the subject of sudden stoppage of the former, with a demand to pay back his former employer for a portion of those benefits.
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In Massachusetts, Boston workers' compensation lawyers know it is possible to obtain both types of benefits under certain circumstances, per MLG Part I, Title XXI, Chapter 152, Section 36B. Essentially, only those with partial incapacity can collect both types of benefits, and only then under strict guidelines.

The laws can vary from state-to-state, but the general idea is that these types of benefits serve two very different purposes. Unemployment benefits are awarded when you can't work, but are actively looking. Workers' compensation benefits are paid when you have suffered a disabling injury at work. Someone who is totally incapacitated would, by definition, lack the ability to work and therefore couldn't be actively looking for employment.

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Williams v. Petromark Drilling - Challenge to Workers' Comp Coming and Going Rule

In Massachusetts, as in almost all other states, when a worker is injured during their commute to work, those injuries are not considered eligible for workers' compensation benefits.
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Boston workers' compensation lawyers note this "coming-and-going rule" can be applicable even when someone must use their vehicle as part of their job.

And yet, one of the most common claims for benefits stem from work-related auto accidents. Many of these cases are successful. What is key to prove is that the crash occurred in the course of one's employment. Often, the facts are weighed on a case-by-case basis to determine whether the employee can be compensated for those injuries.

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Fowler v Vista Care - Court Declines to Limit Access to Workers' Compensation

The New Mexico Supreme Court recently issued a ruling in Fowler v. Vista Care, holding that a worker was not limited in the amount of time during which she could receive compensation for a work-related injury.
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Massachusetts workers' compensation lawyers know that while this decision doesn't impact Massachusetts workers directly, state supreme court decisions are often carefully weighed by other jurisdictions when similar legal questions arise.

According to court records in this case, the worker suffered a back injury while working for her employer in 2003. That same year, she underwent back surgery. She was granted temporary total disability until three years later, when her doctor determined she had reached maximum medical improvement - or a medical improvement plateau for the foreseeable future. At that point, her benefits were terminated.

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Lightning Safety Awareness Week a Reminder to Boston Workers of Summer Storm Risks

Summer weather brings many risks for workers. In addition to concerns about heat, summer thunderstorms could also potentially result in workers facing the risk of a lightning strike. To draw attention to the dangers of lightening, the National Weather Service holds Lightning Safety Awareness Week. This year, Lightning Safety Awareness Week ran from June 22 through June 28, 2014. lightning-1427861-m.jpg

Employers and workers both need to be aware of the dangers that lightning can prevent and take steps to avoid exposure to dangerous weather. A worker who is hurt on-the-job by a lightning storm should consult with an experienced Boston workers' compensation lawyer for help pursuing a claim for compensation.

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Most Costly Workplace Injuries

Lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering are only a few of the negative consequences that can trail a work-related injury. Though workers may be able to recover some of their losses through workers' compensation benefits, many suffer lasting or permanent injuries that can leave them struggling for life. In addition to the direct costs suffered by every injured worker, companies will also suffer financial losses associated with worker injuries. This should be another incentive to keep every workplace safe and to follow state and federal regulations.

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Companies suffer immediate losses after a worker injury, including direct costs of medical expenses and wages. They must also pay additional costs that can lead to an overall bottom-line loss. Our Boston workers' compensation attorneys are primarily interested in helping workers recover personal and financial losses after a work-related injury. In addition, we are dedicated to raising awareness to improve workplace conditions and to prevent future accidents and injuries. Individuals as well as business owner should be aware of the most expensive risks and the potentially long-term financial detriment of workplace injuries.

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Dollar-Tree Facing OSHA Fines for Safety Violations

Dollar Tree is under investigation and currently facing OSHA fines nearing $360,000 for egregious worker safety violations. According to the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports, the company was initially investigated after numerous safety complaints. In one location, authorities identified a minimum of four violations that created dangerous working conditions. The severity of these workplace dangers sparked a nationwide investigation.

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OSHA is the agency responsible for ensuring that businesses and corporations are in compliance with federal safety regulations. The agency is also charged with enforcing regulations through routine inspections and investigations, and can impose penalties. In many cases, a business will be inspected after an accident or injury. Fortunately, in this case, no workers were reported harmed prior to the investigation. Our Boston workers' compensation attorneys are committed to raising awareness to protect worker rights and safety. We are also staunch advocates for injured workers and their loved ones and will explore every opportunity to collect compensation after an accident.

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Bridge Repair Safety: Construction Workers Injured in Accident

With several bridge collapses in recent U.S. history, the government is making investments in repairs and construction projects to improve infrastructure. As local, state, and federal authorities initiate projects to repair these bridges, construction workers must also be properly trained and secured against falls. Contractors and other construction companies must make sure that employees have proper training and equipment to prevent future injuries.

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As the need for bridge repairs continues in Boston and nationwide, construction workers are at risk of significant injuries. Our Boston workers' compensation attorneys are experienced in representing individuals who have suffered in a work-related accident. We will take the time to review your case, identify all potential sources of recovery, and pursue maximum benefits and compensation on your behalf. Our legal team understands the significant losses faced by our clients and their loves ones and take necessary steps to seek a timely and effective claim.

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Advice to Entrepreneurs on Worker Safety

New businesses and small businesses may not be aware of their obligations for worker safety, or may not devote sufficient resources to keeping employees safe. Worker health and safety must be a top priority for anyone hiring employees, whether they are a start-up company or an established business with hundreds of employees. agreement-signing-251732-m.jpg

Victims who are injured on-the-job need to understand their legal rights in pursuing a work injury claim after an accident or illness. A Boston workers' compensation lawyer should be consulted by those who are injured or by family members who lose loved ones due to workplace accidents.

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Preventing Fatal Four Construction Injuries

The construction industry is the largest creator of summer jobs in the United States. Unfortunately, it is also one of the most dangerous industries nationwide. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), 19.3 percent of all worker deaths happened in construction in 2012. ladder-1368615-m.jpg

While many different types of injuries and accidents can happen on a construction site, there are four primary causes of workplace deaths in construction. These include falls, being struck by objects, electrocutions, and being caught in or between objects. As the summer season approaches and construction workers get busy, our Boston construction injury lawyers have some tips for construction workers to reduce the risks of these "fatal four."

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