January 3, 2014

North Carolina "Shoot Out" Injury: Theme Park Cited for Safety Violations

Generally, when we think about workers' compensation claims, we turn to notoriously dangerous work environments: construction sites, factories, farms, manufacturing facilities, and ships are usually considered the most common sites of workplace accident and injury. Remember that any injury sustained while in the course of performing work-related duties could entitle you to workers' compensation benefits. In addition to these dangerous work environments, other workers in healthcare, business, and hospitality can also be exposed to workplace injury. In a North Carolina case earlier this month, an actor was shot and the theme park employer was cited for safety violations.


The owner of a North Carolina theme park has been cited for workplace safety violations after gunfire in a theatrical show lead to the actual shooting of a performer. This case sheds light on the diverse nature of workers' compensation claims. Our Raleigh workers' compensation attorneys are dedicated to helping workers collect compensation after an accident. We will take the time to review your case, help collect documentation of any injuries and aggressively pursue the full compensation you are entitled to. In addition to helping victims recover compensation, we are committed to raising workplace safety awareness to prevent future accidents and injuries.

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December 31, 2013

Charlotte Work Injuries Cause Extensive Worker Absence: Report

North Carolina workplace injuries and illnesses result in a substantial number of days missed from work, according to a new report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. casco.jpg

The agency reports that the rate of non-fatal occupational illnesses and injuries requiring days away from work was 112 cases for every 10,000 full-time workers. That was last year, representing only a slight dip from the rate of 117 cases per 10,000 full-time workers that was reported in 2011.

Collectively among workers employed by the private industry, state and local governments, the total number of days away from work dropped by an incremental 2 percent during that same time frame, down to roughly 1.2 million days.

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December 26, 2013

Workplace Injury a Daily Risk for North Carolina Firefighters

As we all settle in for the holidays, let's remember our safety workers, who remain on the job.

Being among the first to respond in the midst of an emergency or disaster, the risk of North Carolina firefighter injuries is ever present. bluefirehydrant.jpg

Just recently, a volunteer firefighter out of Robeson County reportedly died on duty of what the department is describing as a "sudden illness." The incident remains under investigation.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that approximately 100 firefighters die annually in the line of duty nationwide. For every one of those, there are dozens more who suffer a serious illness or injury resulting from their work. Collecting compensation for those incidents is unfortunately not always a straightforward process. In some cases, former employers will even ruthlessly attack the character of the person who was once a loyal worker.

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December 24, 2013

Welder Injuries in North Carolina Often Substantial

The U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration not long ago released a report indicating that welders are at serious risk of an on-the-job injury.
Burns were among the most common injuries, though fume damage to lungs, UV light damage to eyes and noise damage to ears also occurred with frightening frequency.

The fact that we are well aware of the kinds of welding-related injuries to North Carolina workers make it all the more upsetting when employers fail to make safety a top priority. Yet that's reportedly the case at a large welding firm in Connecticut, where federal OSHA officials have fined the company nearly $170,000 for violating a host of workplace safety regulations.

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December 22, 2013

Study: Nurses, Clinicians, Vulnerable to Workplace Injuries

While we all rely on the invaluable experience and healing hands of nurses and clinicians when we have been ill or injured, a new study reveals that these health care workers are highly vulnerable to workplace injuries.
Nurture by Steelcase recently released its 2013 State of Clinicians and Nurses report, which relied on more than 300 online surveys conducted during the month of August by Business Research Group. Respondents were required to have at least one year of experience with patient care, and included RNS, LPNs, nursing managers, occupational therapists and physical therapists in the U.S.

What they found was that more than one-third of all nurses and clinicians had reported suffering at least one on-the-job injury in the last year. Another 25 percent had to modify their activity over the course of at least one shift in response to that injury.

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December 19, 2013

Fewer Work Injuries in NC Reported - Despite High Risks

Our Charlotte workers' compensation lawyers are pleased to finally report some good news: The North Carolina Department of Labor has just released a report indicating that the number of workplace fatalities, injuries and illnesses last year dropped significantly over the pervious year. tractor1.jpg

The figures indicate that there were 35 workplace fatalities in 2012, compared to 53 in 2011. With regard to injuries and illnesses, the rate dropped from an incident rate of 3.1 for every 100 workers in 2011 down to 2.9 in 2012.

As compared to 1999, these rates represent a significant improvement. Also, North Carolina was ranked as one of the top 10 safest states in which to work, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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December 17, 2013

Proving Causation of Musculoskeletal Work Injuries

A recent case out of Illinois, Caterpillar Logistics, Inc. v. Soli, arose from a worker who alleged her musculoskeletal injury was the result of the repetitive motion required by her work duties.
While our Asheville workers' compensation attorneys recognize that the core issue in this case was whether the company properly reported the injury to the Department of Labor, as required for any work-related injury, the back-and-forth in the courts illustrates how complex it can be to demonstrate the source of an injury. This is particularly true when the injury is chronic, as opposed to acute.

For example, a worker who suffers an on-the-job fall that results in a broken leg can fairly easily file a claim. The source of the injury is rather straightforward.

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December 15, 2013

Aggravation of Pre-Existing Condition Covered Under Workers' Compensation

In order to obtain workers' compensation benefits in North Carolina, employees must prove the source of their injury or disability stemmed either in whole or large part from their job functions. backinjury.jpg

In some cases, it's a singular, traumatic incident, such as a slip and fall or a motor vehicle accident. Other times, it may be a chronic condition that is aggravated by duties carried out on the job.

In the recent case of Myers v. Ben Mynatt Chevrolet Cadillac, reviewed by the North Carolina Court of Appeals, the court weighed an appeal from an employer who argued that a worker's compensation claim stemmed from a prior injury that was not work-related.

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December 12, 2013

Proving Extent of Injury Key in NC Worker Compensation Cases

A North Carolina appellate court recently ruled in Hollifield v. Commc'ns Installations Specialists that proving injuries are compensable is not enough to establish full disability.
In other words, a plaintiff alleging a work injury in North Carolina must establish not only the source of those injuries but the extent, if he or she hopes to collect longer-term disability benefits in addition to costs for immediate medical expenses and lost wages. This maximizes the amount of benefits one can expect to collect.

Effectively proving the extent of one's injuries means immediately reporting the injury after it occurs, as well as attending any and all follow-up appointments as recommended.

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December 9, 2013

Workers' Compensation Care Reimbursement Must Follow Protocol

Filing a workers' compensation claim in North Carolina should always be done with careful consideration for not only your immediate needs, but also with an eye on what kind of care you might require in the future.
Any changes in your medical condition may warrant an amended order with regard to the kind of care and/or reimbursement you are entitled to receive as a result of your workplace injury.

The case of Mehaffey v. Burger King is a good example of this - and also why it's important to report these changes as soon as possible.

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December 5, 2013

New Resources to Protect Workers From Hazardous Chemicals

Each and every year in the United States, there are tens of thousands of employees who get sick because they're exposed on the job to dangerous chemicals. And these are chemicals than can be found in millions of workplaces every day. Now, officials with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have unveiled two new web resources to help companies to keep these workers safe.
While most people can usually tell you which chemicals are dangerous and which are not, OSHA might not have the most up-to-date or protective standards for the tiny number of chemicals that are regulated in the workplace.

Our Rock Hill workers' compensation lawyers understand that toxic and hazardous substances are defined as chemicals in the workplace that can cause harm to workers. This term can include mixtures dusts and common materials like solvents, fuels and paints. Officials with OSHA only regulate exposure to about 400 of these substances. On the other hand, the OSHA Chemical Sampling Information file contains listings for approximately 1500 substances.

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December 3, 2013

Lungs Injuries an Overlooked Cause of Work Illness in North Carolina

It's estimated that roughly 5 million employees in the U.S are required to wear respirators in close to 1.5 million workplaces working with respiration hazards. These devices help to protect workers against dangerous fogs, dusts, gases, mists, smokes, sprays, vapors and insufficient oxygen environments, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Some of the dangers can cause diseases, lung impairment, cancer or even death. And this is why it's critical that employers adhere to the OSHA Respiratory Protection Standard. Officials believe that the proper application of respiratory protection procedures can prevent approximately 4,000 injuries and illnesses annually as well as 900 deaths from cancer and other chronic diseases.

Our Charlotte workers' compensation lawyers understand that respirators work in two basic ways to protect workers. First off, they work by removing contaminants from the air before making it into your lungs. Other respirators protect by supplying clean respirable air from another source. Respirators that fall into this category include airline respirators, which use compressed air from a remote source, and self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA), which include their own air supply. But these respirators are no good if they're not being used and if they're not being used properly. Although, respirators should be used as a "last line of defense." Workers should use respirators for protection from contaminants in the air only if other hazard control methods are not practical or possible under the circumstances.

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December 1, 2013

Work Accident Reporting Critical to On-the-Job Safety

Officials with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently proposed a rule to help to keep workers safer on the job by helping officials to better track workplace accidents, injuries and fatalities. The announcement comes after the Bureau of Labor Statistics' released of its yearly Occupational Injuries and Illnesses report. This is the report that calculated that about 3 million workers were injured on the job in 2012 alone.
"Three million injuries are three million too many," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels.

Our Asheville workers' compensation attorneys understand that the new rule will help to shed light on just how dangerous our nation's workplaces are. It's going to help workers, employers, government officials and researchers better access this information, to help to create better attack plans to help to stop the risks. We will be able to better create training and work programs to reduce these risks and prevent workplace problems before they even have a chance to strike. With the latest proposal, there will not be any new requirements to the way we report these incidents, it's only going to make sure that employers better transmit these reports to OSHA officials. And this is a move that's going to help workers across the nation.

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November 30, 2013

OSHA Working with Agriculture Community to Promote Safety Education

As the harvest season continues it is important to focus on safety in the agriculture industry.


Our Greenville worker's compensation lawyers are knowledgeable about the inherent hazards of working in the agriculture industry and devoted to educating farm workers about safety.

According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration the agriculture industry account for approximately 475 deaths in the year 2012. The fatality rate in the agriculture sector was 21.2 deaths for every 100,000 workers.

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November 27, 2013

Child Protective Services Workers in Harms Way

According to a recent report Child Protective Services workers are regularly placed in danger while working.


Our Asheville worker's compensation lawyers are aware that Child Protective Services workers are often placed in stressful, tense situations. The primary concern is whether there are sufficient protections and policies for keeping these workers safe.

Child Protective Services workers have extremely high turnover rates in part because of inadequate and fragmented policies for safety.

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