September 28, 2013

New Report on Nation's Fatal Work Accident Rates


Fatal accidents, toxic exposure, and occupational disease continue to threaten the nation's workers. A new report has assessed a total of 4,383 fatal work accidents that occurred in 2012. The 2012 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries is critical in understanding the present situation of worker health and safety as well as giving future direction to legislators, public health agencies, and employers. Workers in North and South Carolina should also be aware of the particular risks and hazards faced by our communities.

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Work fatalities may be caused by failed equipment, improper training, workplace hazards, heavy machinery, and other dangerous conditions. While the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) is charged with creating regulations to protect worker safety, a number of hazards continue to plague America's workforce. Our Asheville workers' compensation attorneys are dedicated to raising awareness to encourage workplace safety. We are also dedicated to helping victims and their families collect full compensation in the event of an accident.

Despite the significant risk of accidents in the U.S., 2012 number is the second lowest total since the report was first conducted in 1992. This means that the rate of fatality for U.S. workers was 3.2 per 100,000 down from the rate of 3.5 per 100,000 in 2011. Even though the overall number of injuries is on the decline, there are other industries that have seen a rise in fatalities, including the private construction industry. Fatal work injuries rose from 738 in 2011 to 775 in 2012.

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September 26, 2013

North Carolina Child Farmworkers at Risk


Labor laws are intended to protect workers from harsh or dangerous conditions and to ensure that workers' have rights to protect their safety and welfare. Despite the known dangers of farm work, children throughout North Carolina continue face grave dangers, long hours and unsafe work conditions. Many of these children are not given the same protections due to loopholes in labor law.

Though Gov. Pat McCrory has set aside "Farm Health and Safety Week" in North Carolina, there are a number of hazards faced by child farmworkers that must be addressed by legislators. The governor acknowledges that the young workers are at a significant risk of injury. Our Spartanburg workers' compensation attorneys are dedicated to helping all workers protect their rights and recover financial support for lost wages and medical costs related to an accident or illness. We are dedicated to protecting workers' rights throughout the region and stay abreast of labor issues impacting North Carolina residents and communities.

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Recent reports indicate that some workers, as young as 12, begin working 10 hour days as farmworkers. Their job duties may include planting seeds, pulling tops of tobacco plants and harvesting new crops. Many child farmworkers have reported rashes and other skin problems related to chemical exposure. In addition to surface exposure, children are also at risk because their bodies are still in development. Long-term exposure or effects of chemical exposure may lead to cancers, reproductive health issues and neurological problems.

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September 23, 2013

Health Risks for Oil Spill Clean-Up Workers


In the event of a national emergency or catastrophe, crews may be sent from around the region or the world to help with clean-up and restoration. A recent report indicates that workers who tended to the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill may have suffered a high-risk exposure that has increased their risk of liver cancer, leukemia and other terminal conditions.

According to a recent study published in the Journal of American Medicine, there are dangerous health repercussions for the workers involved in the clean-up after the Gulf oil spill. Our Spartanburg workers' compensation attorneys are experienced in handling claims on behalf of injured workers and their families. We are vested in helping workers collect the compensation they are entitled to after a work-related accident or when diagnosed with an occupationally related disease.

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After the BP oil spill, chemicals were used to break up the crude oil which have proven to be hazardous to workers. There are now more than 170,000 people who worked on clean-up and could suffer from toxic exposure. In addition to the chemical dispersants, workers were also exposed to benzene, contained in the oil, which is a high-risk carcinogen.

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September 20, 2013

Two South Carolina Workers Burned in Tank Explosion


Some of the most dangerous jobs involve using, storing or transporting potentially combustible or hazardous materials. Individuals who are involved in the transport and storage of gasoline can face significant risks of injury or wrongful death. In a tragic accident earlier this month, two South Carolina workers suffered extreme burns after an explosion at a Mobil gas station. The case raises critical questions about out-of-state injuries, workers' compensation and worker injury benefits in the event of disability.

Workers' compensation claims can be complicated and require timely documentation, reporting, and professional medical treatment. Even if you are injured out of state, you are entitled to workers' compensation benefits if you were performing work-related duties at the time of injury. Our Charleston workers' compensation attorneys are experienced in helping injured workers and their families collect rightful financial coverage after an accident. We understand the very devastating circumstances faced by burn victims and will take every necessary step to help with personal and monetary recovery.

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According to reports, two workers from South Carolina were relining an underground storage tank with fiberglass at a Mobil gas station in New Hampshire at the time of the explosion. The men were working underground in an attempt to repair the siding of the storage tank when the explosion occurred. The accident is still under investigation and the cause of the explosion has not been identified.The local fire chief suggested that a light was broken and dropped inside of the tank, igniting the combustible materials.

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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.

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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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"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.

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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.

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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.

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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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