September 17, 2013

Robotic "Exoskeleton" Could Protect Workers From Injury

Industrial workers face some of the most dangerous working conditions in the country and throughout the world. Safety technology and equipment continues to evolve to protect these workers. A new kind of robotic exoskeleton is being developed to protect industrial workers from head injuries, back injuries, falls, hearing damage and even repetitive stress injuries.

Our Spartanburg workers' compensation attorneys are dedicated to protecting the workers of North and South Carolina. We are abreast of new developments statewide, nationally, and internationally to promote worker safety. Though proper safety equipment can protect workers, many employers fail to take necessary precautions or to train employees. In the event of an accident, injury, or wrongful death, we are here to protect employee rights.


According to a recent report from Verge, a new exoskeleton combines man and machine to keep workers safe and prevent injuries. European researchers have been developing "Robo-mate," an exoskeleton designed to insulate workers from common workplace accidents. Experts report that the exoskeleton could be a viable safety tool for industrial and factory workers within the next three years.

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September 14, 2013

Workplace Chemical Exposure Serious Concern in Nail Care Industry

Exposure to chemicals is an issue in almost every type of industry there is - from waiting tables to plastics manufacturing.
The toxicity of those chemicals varies, of course, as does the level of exposure. However, our Charlotte workers' compensation lawyers are careful to point out that some occupations not normally viewed as hazardous can be quite dangerous when the element of chemical exposure is considered.

One of the best examples of this is the work of nail care technicians. A recent publication was released by the Occupational Safety & Health Administration, detailing the workplace dangers to which nail care workers are routinely exposed. At the top of the list are chemical hazards, followed by chronic aches and pains and then biological hazards. It's worth noting that many nail care salon workers are immigrants, and thus may not fully recognize all of their rights under the law. Acute or chronic illnesses resulting from workplace hazards or conditions is never acceptable and all workers in the U.S. have a right to be protected.

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September 12, 2013

Fatal Work Injuries More Likely for Older Transportation Workers

Workers who are 55 and older and drive for a substantial part of their job are at high risk for work-related fatalities in North Carolina and elsewhere.
A recent report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveals that older professional drivers are more likely to be killed in crashes than their younger counterparts. The reasons may be complex, but the study authors concluded it had to do with declining cognition, as well as a greater susceptibility to injury.

Workers between the ages of 55 and 64 were 50 percent more likely to die in a crash than those who were younger. Workers over the age of 65 who drove for a living were three times more likely to die. Transportation accidents are the No. 1 cause of workplace deaths in the country.

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September 10, 2013

Silica Risks in North Carolina Workplaces OSHA's Latest Focus

Sometimes, the most dangerous elements on a job site aren't those several-ton beams that might crash down from above, the exposed wiring that could result in a serious burn or the vehicle could come barreling your direction at a high speed.
Rather, the worst North Carolina workplace injuries might come in the form of a slight breeze, setting adrift seemingly weightless particles of dust into the air around you. When those particles of dust include toxic asbestos or silica fibers, workers are placed at high risk for chronic or even terminal lung diseases, especially when they aren't provided the proper respiratory protection.

Despite the extreme dangers that result from contact with these airborne fibers, neither remains illegal for use in products in the U.S. However, while the use of asbestos has been highly regulated since a scourge of tort cases have flooded the court system in recent years, silica hasn't received as much attention. In fact, rules pertaining to the handling of crystalline silica were last updated in 1971.

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September 7, 2013

Roadside Workers and Protection from On-The-Job Dangers

Officials throughout the state are working long hours to help to improve our roadways for motorists. Unfortunately, many of these workers are risking their lives to get the job done. As motorists, it's our responsibility to make sure that we're careful and cautious around these workers to help save lives.
According to the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT), there are roughly 200 major work zones in the state of North Carolina at any given time. In 2010, there were more than 2,100 work zone accidents in the state. And in these accidents, there were more than 1,200 people injured as a result of motor vehicle accidents. More than 10 people were killed in Carolina work zones throughout the year.

Our Asheville workers' compensation attorneys understand that more than 70 percent of these accidents happened on completely clear days -- with no weather to blame. More than 80 percent of the reported accidents happened during dry road conditions and about three-fourths of them occurred during daylight hours. And for these reasons, we have the NCDOT Work Zone Safety Program. This program aims to significantly reduce the number of work zone fatalities and injuries in North Carolina.

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September 5, 2013

August 6 Safety Stand-Down at Work Sites in the Carolinas

Officials with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), along with trade associations and employers throughout the Carolinas are conducting a one-hour safety stand-down at various work places and construction sites on August 6th. This stand-down has been organized to support the national outreach campaign from OSHA that is designed to raise awareness about the risks, consequences and preventative measures regarding workplace falls.
During this time, workers are going to voluntarily stop work from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. so that the work site can conduct safety training that is designed to help to prevent on-the-job fall accidents.

Our Charlotte worker's compensation lawyers understand that there were more than 260 people who were killed in fall accidents in construction in the U.S. in 2010. These accidents accounted for a significant amount of the fatal accidents in the industry. When employees work from heights, like on roofs, ladders and scaffolds, employers are required to plan projects that ensure that the work is completed safely. In order to do this, employers are required to make sure that each worker has the proper fall protection and the right equipment to complete the job. But in addition to making sure that they have the right equipment, employers are also required to make sure that these workers are provided with the proper training to understand how to set up and use this equipment. These kinds of accidents can be avoided and we can save some lives through 3 simple steps: plan, provide and train.

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September 3, 2013

Protecting Female Workers on Construction Sites

Officials with the National Association of Women in Construction have recruited the help of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to help ensure the safety of female workers on our nation's construction sites. With this particular alliance, officials will target musculoskeletal and sanitation dangers as well as issues that come along with poorly-fitting personal protective equipment.
"Safety and health problems in construction create barriers to women entering and remaining in this field," said Dr. David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health.

Our Asheville worker's compensation lawyers understand that this alliance is going to help develop specific training programs for women while focusing on safety and health issues specific to female construction workers. Also with this partnership, officials have unveiled the Women in Construction Web page. This is a website site that outlines and addresses various health and safety issues that are specific to women in the construction industry.

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August 30, 2013

Computers, Blackberries, iPads: New Technology and Repetitive Stress

In the age of computers, more and more workers are leaving jobs involving heavy labor and relying on technology to perform their jobs. Sitting at desk tops, hunched over iPads and Blackberries, today's workforce faces a number of different chronic and repetitive stress injuries than earlier generations. For many workers, cramped wrists, sore necks and back pain are part of desk jobs and office work. When does a work-related injury over time give rise to workers' compensation claim?

Repetitive stress injuries are becoming increasingly common, especially for desk-job employees who spend their entire work day at a computer. Our Greensboro workers' compensation attorneys are experienced in handling a range of claims and understand the pain and frustration faced by workers with repetitive stress injuries. Every case is unique so it is important to have your case and claim reviewed by an experienced workers compensation attorney.


OSHA is well-aware of how repetitive stress can impact the lives of American workers. The agency reports that repetitive stress injuries are the fasted growing of workplace injuries and involve more than 100 different job-induced injuries involving overuse and wear and tear of the body. Even though repetitive stress injuries can be difficult to prove, they can severely limit the ability of an employee to continue working and to manage day to day tasks. In some cases, repetitive stress injuries completely destroy the workers' ability to continue with job performance.

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August 27, 2013

Airport Work Safety: OSHA Cites TSA

When taking a domestic or international flight, TSA (Transportation Security Administration) is charged with ensuring that passengers are properly screened and searched. Recently, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued 14 notices an citations to the Department of Homeland Security Agency.

Federal workers are entitled to the same workplace safety standards as private employees. An unsafe workplace and conditions that violate OSHA regulations could result in serious injury to employees. Our Raleigh workers' compensation attorneys are experienced in representing both private and public employees when pursuing workers' compensation claims. We also stay abreast of local and national employment law issues and are dedicated to workplace safety.


Inspections of TSA, began as part of OSHA's Federal Agency Targeting Inspection Program. OSHA authorities have stated that employees who work to protect travelers against unsafe conditions deserve the same protections. On-the-job hazards have apparently threatened the workers of the TSA agency, notably at Logan Airport in Boston.

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August 25, 2013

Back to School: Teachers and Work-Related Injuries

Like mental heath workers, teachers deal with unpredictable and sometimes unruly subjects: children. In addition to injuries involving children, gym teachers, science teachers, nurses, and other school professionals face a number of hazards. This can result in a host of injuries that may give teachers and education professionals the right to collect workers' compensation benefits. According to the United Federation of Teachers, teachers should be aware of their rights to collect compensation as well as learn how to effectively file a claim in the event of a workplace accident or injury.

For any professional working in the school system, workers' compensation may become invaluable. It is important to know your rights in the event that you are injured while performing your duties as a teacher. Our Spartanburg workers' compensation attorneys are dedicated to providing knowledgeable counsel and advocacy to North and South Carolina workers, including teachers.

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Like other employers, schools and school districts are responsible for creating a safe and healthy work environment. Teachers who are injured on the job should follow appropriate protocols to ensure that they collect the full compensation and benefits they deserve. While the United Federation of Teachers is one resource for benefits recovery, an experienced workers' compensation attorney can also protect your rights and interests.

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August 23, 2013

Booming Construction Industry: More Work Injuries?

After the 2008 collapse of the mortgage market, both residential and commercial construction stalled. According to a new report from the Wall Street Journal, the construction of single family homes is up 5.9%. The recovering construction business means hiring more contractors on site, new development projects, and the potential for a spike in construction related accidents. Construction developers, contractors and sub-contractors should remain aware of the potential dangers on-site, even as the excitement of a growing market creates a stir.

Construction site injuries can be some of the most hazardous and deadly to American workers. Our Asheville workers' compensation attorneys are dedicated to helping injured workers and their loved ones recover financially after an accident. Construction workers may be entitled to medical benefits and lost wages in the event of injury. It is important to file claims effectively and in a timely manner to ensure just recovery.


According to the recent report, construction of multifamily homes grew by 26% in July from the previous month. This surge in new construction increased the annual construction 5.9% since June and 20.9% since last summer. This is a significant boom in the construction business, which should raise awareness among industry leaders to pay extra attention to creating safe work zones. Creating a safe work zone and implementing policies is critical to preventing accidents and injuries.

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August 21, 2013

Road to Recovery After Loss of Limb

Industrial work sites, including factories, farms and construction sites are common for serious injuries, including loss of limb. Loss of a finger, or other appendage can be devastating and for many victims the road to recovery is long. Despite the difficulties of losing a limb in an accident, many survivors have provided a support network to help others through the recovery process.

Workplace accidents can cause serious and permanent injuries. Those who suffer from loss of limb may be unable to work, manage day to day tasks, or continue to do the activities they once enjoyed. Our Asheville workers' compensation attorneys are dedicated to helping victims of limb loss protect their rights and recover maximum financial support after an accident. We are experienced in handling complex or denied claims, as well as pursuing third-party claims for additional compensation.


Awareness surrounding amputation and loss of limb has become a target issue for communities and in the media, especially since the Boston Marathon. The bombing at the Boston Marathon finish line left scores of victims facing a life without a limb. For these victims, the healing goes beyond surgery--they must learn to cope with the hardship of limb loss and to get on with daily activities. This means a long road of physical and emotional recovery.

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August 19, 2013

Soup Kitchen Injury? Paid Volunteering and Workers' Compensation

Workers' compensation is provided to any worker injured while "in the course of performing work-related duties." Some employers and insurance companies have contested claims when the accident occurred while an employee was at a work function or outside of the office. A new trend in larger companies raises questions about workers' compensation: volunteering on the clock.


Companies, including U.S. Bank, are offering employees the ability to volunteer their time while still on the clock. A recent NPR report chronicles the work of several U.S. Bank employees who are able to spend up to 16 hours a year at a soup kitchen. While the program gives employees the opportunity to give back and certainly gives the business "community credit," what does it mean for workers' compensation? Our Greensboro workers' compensation attorneys are experienced in protecting the rights of all employees who have suffered a job-related injury.

In similar programs nationwide, employers are allowing their employees to remain on the clock while volunteering their time at local organizations. Some of the employees admit that they wouldn't have time or wouldn't do the volunteer work, if it wasn't for their employer's incentives. Still, this boosts the morale of workers, bolsters camaraderie between workers, and also gives back to the community. For many workers this is a positive outlet. For employers, the program also has a number of benefits. But does the volunteer worker program complicate workers' compensation claims?

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August 16, 2013

Appalachia Worker Killed in Coal Pillar Accident

Coal mines are notoriously dangerous work sites. In addition to lung disease and other chronic illnesses contracted while working in a mine, victims are also at risk of collapse or explosion. In a tragic work-accident case, a coal miner from Appalachia was killed and two other miners were injured earlier this month. Local and federal investigations are still underway to determine the cause of the accident and identify responsible parties.


Victims of coal mining accidents and their families are entitled to workers' compensation. Our Spartanburg workers' compensation attorneys are experienced with the investigation and documentation of complex claims and are dedicated to helping families recover the support that they need and deserve. We are committed to remaining abreast and aware of developments involving work-related accidents in North Carolina and the Appalachia region.

The accident occurred in an underground coal mine in Kentucky. According to local agencies investigating, a 56-year-old worker was killed in the accident. Two other coal miners suffered injuries while trying to retreat. The fatal accident occurred at the processing operation of the coal mining plant. Preliminary reports indicated that the side of a coal pillar burst as a continuous mining machine was operating, trapping the miners. The other victims reportedly did not suffer life-threatening injuries; however, they were taken to the hospital for medical treatment.

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August 13, 2013

Health Care Employees Have Highest Rate of Work-Related Injuries

When considering common work-related injuries, the most dangerous industries are assumed to be construction, industrial work, farming, or fishing. While these industries carry a higher risk of fatality, the most work-related injuries in the U.S. occur in the health care industry. According to recent reports, health care workers suffer more injuries and illnesses on the job than in any other industry.

Health care workers face a number of potential dangers on the job. In addition to exposure to illness, bacteria and disease, workers can be physically injured in violent attacks by mentally ill patients, suffer injuries because of equipment, or suffer from repetitive stress injuries. Our Asheville workers' compensation attorneys are dedicated to helping victims recover compensation after a work-related injury. We are also committed to raising awareness surrounding the safety of workers in the health care industry.


Safety advocates blame the limited federal safety standards and lack of inspections of health care facilities. According to a report published by Public Citizen (a national safety advocacy non-profit), health care workers had 654,000 workplace injuries in 2010. This is 152,000 more injuries than the 2nd most dangerous industry for workers: manufacturing.

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