February 2, 2014

Injury to Healthcare Workers OSHA Focus in 2014


Officials with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have debuted a new online resource for medical workers to help to prevent on-the-job injuries, enhance patient handling safety, implement health and safety management systems and to better assess workplace safety needs. The online resource, Worker Safety in Hospitals, includes safe practice guides, self-assessments and a series of fact books.
nVJCQx6.jpg
"These new materials can help prevent hospital worker injuries and improve patient safety, while reducing costs," said Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health.

Our workers' compensation lawyers in Asheville understand that hospitals are some of the most dangerous places in the nation to work. Hospitals and personal care facilities employ approximately 1.6 million workers at 21,000 work sites. In just 2011, there were more than 253,000 work-related illnesses and work-related injuries recorded. Nearly 60,000 of those caused employees to miss work. Workers' compensation losses totaled $2 billion. That a rate of nearly 7 work-related incidents for every 100 full-time workers. That's close to twice the rate for private industry.

Continue reading "Injury to Healthcare Workers OSHA Focus in 2014" »

January 31, 2014

Total Incapacity Status After a North Carolina Work Injury


Workers who have suffered profound and permanent work injuries in Statesville should explore the pursuit of a claim for total incapacity Article I, Section 97-29 of the North Carolina Workers' Compensation Act. lonely.jpg

While there are some limitations, a worker who qualifies for temporary total disability can receive up to 500 weeks of compensation (up to two-thirds of his average weekly wages). That 500-week limitation (which works out to a little less than 10 years) can be extended even further if the employee can prove after the eight-year mark that he or she has had a total loss of wage-earning capacity.

This compensation can bridge the gap until a person is old enough to qualify for Social Security benefits.

Continue reading "Total Incapacity Status After a North Carolina Work Injury" »

January 26, 2014

Employer Pressure May Unduly Impact Rights After Injury


When it comes to on-the-job injuries, never assume an employer has a worker's best interests at heart. railroad.jpg

The reality is, companies want to limit their liability in any way possible, and our Rock Hill workers' compensation lawyers know that this sometimes can mean pressuring employees to avoid filing a claim for benefits - even when those benefits are legitimately owed.

This appears to have been what happened in the recent case of Reed v. Norfolk S. Ry. Co., reviewed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. This was a case that carried special complications because the plaintiff worked for a railway company and was a union member.

Continue reading "Employer Pressure May Unduly Impact Rights After Injury" »

January 23, 2014

Wait Staff Face High Rate of Injury on the Job


Working in the food service industry requires a great deal of physical stamina, and our Greensboro workers' compensation lawyers know there is ample opportunity for injury.
waiter.jpg
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that there are approximately 9.5 million workers in America employed in food service. For these individuals, the most common types of injuries include:


  • Sprains, strains, contusions and bruises from slips, falls and trips.

  • Lacerations and cuts from knives and other tools.

  • Heat burns from steam, hot water, hot surfaces and hot oil.

  • Ergonomic hazards resulting from repetitive motion, lifting, bending and pushing.

  • Injuries from workplace violence.

  • Occupational stress due to heavy work loads, prolonged standing and limited breaks for rest.


There is also the potential for injury due to exposure to smoke and chemicals.

Continue reading "Wait Staff Face High Rate of Injury on the Job " »

January 22, 2014

South Carolina Workers' Compensation Claim Successful for "Independent Contractor"


The recent case of Shatto v. McLeod Regional Medical Center, reviewed by the South Carolina Supreme Court, is a testament to the fact that independent contractors can successfully file a Spartanburg workers' compensation claim.
hospitalroom1.jpg
What is required is to prove the worker was not an independent contractor after all, but rather an employee - no matter what the actual job title stated or suggested.

Under South Carolina law, workers' compensation benefits can't be collected by someone working as an independent contractor (McLeod v. Piggly Wiggly Carolina Co.). The problem, as outlined in a recent compliance report by the state's Workers' Compensation Advisory Committee, is that far too many companies try to cheat the system by improperly classifying workers.

Continue reading "South Carolina Workers' Compensation Claim Successful for "Independent Contractor"" »

January 21, 2014

Worker Compensation and Statute of Limitations


On-the-job injuries in North Carolina are generally grounds for a workers' compensation claims to help workers cope with medical expenses and lost wages.
allintime1.jpg
However, anyone needing to file a workers' compensation claim in Winston-Salem should understand the narrow time frame during which they must act. This is called a statute of limitations, and in North Carolina, that limit is two years.

That is 24 months from the date of the injury or illness. In some situations, that's a very straightforward matter. For example, if you slip and fall at a construction site and break your back, you have exactly two years from the date of that incident in which to file your claim.

Continue reading "Worker Compensation and Statute of Limitations" »

January 18, 2014

Change of Condition in North Carolina Workers' Compensation Claim May Warrant Benefit Modification


In filing a Charlotte workers' compensation claim, the extent of a person's injuries or illness may not be fully realized right away. It's entirely possible that one's condition could worsen over time. gavel2.jpg

Benefits are based on the extent of a person's illness or injuries at the time the case is heard. But a worker may be justified in later seeking a modification to those benefits if it's proven their medical condition, resulting from an on-the-job incident, has significantly deteriorated.

Article 1, Section 97-47 of the North Carolina Workers' Compensation Act holds that any interested party to a case - the worker, the employer or even the North Carolina Industrial Commission itself - can initiate a review of the benefits previously awarded. A "change of condition" claim has to be filed with the commission within a two-year period. The end result of a review can be that benefits are increased, decreased or ended, depending on the ultimate findings of the commission.

Continue reading "Change of Condition in North Carolina Workers' Compensation Claim May Warrant Benefit Modification" »

January 14, 2014

Your Workers' Compensation Claim: FAQ


Workers' compensation can get confusing. If you've got a question, there's a good chance that someone else has already asked it. For some questions, you can visit the North Carolina Industrial Commission's website.
handshake.jpg
Our workers' compensation attorneys in Greensboro understand the stress loss of income puts on wage earners and their families. For this reason, it's critical that an injured employee takes the proper steps to make sure that they are adequately compensated for their injuries and losses associated with an on-the-job injury. Costs associated with these incidents can include medical bills, rehabilitation costs, travel, medication, loss of work and more. But what if your employer doesn't have workers' compensation and is trying to leave you with the bills?

The first thing you want to do is report the accident. You'll want to do this both in person and in writing. If you find out the hard way that your employer does not have workers' compensation then you should file a Form 18 as well as a Form 33. By this stage, you should have consulted with a law firm experienced in handling work injuries.

Continue reading "Your Workers' Compensation Claim: FAQ" »

January 12, 2014

What To Do After A Work Accident in North Carolina


If you are injured on the job, would you know what to do? Officials with the North Carolina Industrial Commission outline the process but speaking to an experienced law firm is always the best course of action when lost-time from work and medical treatment are required.
1mQUxp.jpg
According to the United States Department of Labor (DOL), there were more than 4,380 people killed on the job in the U.S. in 2012. Thousands more were injured throughout the year. Of these injuries, a majority (roughly 60 percent) occurred in traffic accidents, followed by falls, homicides and struck-by accidents. Of the traffic-related fatalities, 512 deaths (close to 30 percent) resulted from a roadway collision with another vehicle. Pedestrian
vehicular incidents constituted the second greatest number of transportation-related fatal injuries.

Our Rock Hill workers' compensation lawyers know the first thing you need to do if you were injured on the job is to make sure that you seek medical assistance. Typically, the treating health care provider must be authorized by the Workers' Compensation Board, except in an emergency situation. Your employer just might have a health care provider on your work site. If your employer wishes for you to see that individuals, present yourself to that health provider if appropriate. Depending on your circumstances, appropriate health care may be obtained from your family doctor or a hospital emergency room. You are also welcome to get second opinions on your condition.

Continue reading "What To Do After A Work Accident in North Carolina" »

January 10, 2014

Protecting Workers in Wicked Winter Weather


Working in a cold environment -- whether it be cold weather, cold water, or an indoor freezer -- is part of the job for many in the Carolinas, especially during this time of year. One of the major hazards you face when working in the cold is losing your body heat. If your body becomes so cold that it can no longer produce more heat than it loses, you are becoming a victim of hypothermia, frostbite or trench foot.
mlJIX8U.jpg
Hypothermia occurs when body heat is lost faster than it can be replaced and the normal body temperature (98.6°F) drops to less than 95°F. Hypothermia is most likely at very cold temperatures, but it can occur even at cool temperatures (above 40°F), particularly if a person becomes chilled from rain, sweat, or submersion in cold water, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Our workers' compensation lawyers in Greenville know symptoms of these conditions are relatively similar to just being cold -- and that's why it's important that everyone on your job site be able to point out these conditions and know what to do. Early symptoms of hypothermia include fatigue, shivering, confusion, disorientation and loss of coordination. Later symptoms include blue skin, no shivering, dilated pupils, slowed breathing, slowed pulse and a loss of consciousness.

Continue reading "Protecting Workers in Wicked Winter Weather" »

January 9, 2014

NC Work Injuries: OSHA Safety Plans and New Regulations for 2014


Evaluating current safety protocols and procedures is important in determining whether they are effective. OSHA is currently making plans to make critical changes to worker safety rules and regulations to improve conditions for workers and to prevent future accidents. According to Safety News Alert, OSHA released plans for 2014 so that both workers and employers know what to expect as they enter into the New Year. While employers will have to implement safety protocols and procedures, employees can benefit from maintaining awareness and understanding best practices in the workplace.

constructionworker.jpg

Safety in the workplace is critical to preventing accidents, injuries and fatalities. Our Spartanburg workers' compensation attorneys are dedicated to helping North and South Carolina workers collect compensation in the event of an accident. We are also committed to raising awareness in workplace safety and in following OSHA developments that may be beneficial to Carolina business owners and employees.

Continue reading "NC Work Injuries: OSHA Safety Plans and New Regulations for 2014" »

January 6, 2014

CNC Construction Injuries: OSHA's "Fatal Four"


Dangerous industries, including construction, account for the majority of workplace injuries every year. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, out of 4,000 worker fatalities in 2012, nearly 800 or approximately 20% of these injuries occurred in the construction industry. The leading causes of worker fatality on construction sites were falls, getting struck by an object, electrocution and the caught-in/between accident. In this post, we will explore the "Fatal Four" construction injuries and identify ways that OSHA is seeking to reduce or eliminate these accidents in the workplace.

constructionhatsmall.jpg

Construction sites pose some of the most significant and serious dangers to workers as well as to individuals in the vicinity, including pedestrians, cyclists and motorists. Our Greensboro workers' compensation attorneys are dedicated to helping workers collect full compensation for their accidents and injuries. We are also dedicated to raising workplace safety awareness and in helping to reduce the number of workplace related injuries and deaths in North and South Carolina and nationwide.

Continue reading "CNC Construction Injuries: OSHA's "Fatal Four"" »

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.

guns.jpg

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.

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

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.

Continue reading "Charlotte Work Injuries Cause Extensive Worker Absence: Report" »

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.

Continue reading "Workplace Injury a Daily Risk for North Carolina Firefighters" »