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Category: Workplace Illness

Workers’ Compensation: Benefits Decline While Insurer Profits Rise

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

A recent study published by the New School Center for New York City Affairs paints a rather bleak picture for injured workers in The Empire State.  Although the New York workers’ compensation system was, at one time, the paradigm for the rest of the country, the focus has shifted from safeguarding the needs of injured workers to minimizing employer costs. This unfortunate change is outlined in a report entitled “Time for a Real Look at How the New York State Workers’ Compensation System Treats Workers”, by James Parrott and Nicholas B Martin. According to the report, there was a 15 […]

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Construction workers’ accidents: 1 more worker falls to his death

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Following the death of yet another construction worker, a union leader urged the New York Council to mandate stricter safety training through legislation. He said most fatal construction workers’ accidents are avoidable, and city authorities agreed. According to the union leader, most of the victims of these tragedies are exploited nonunion workers who never received proper training. Construction is one of the most dangerous industries, and it is alarming to see how employers disregard safety regulations — even knowing that it may cause fatalities. A 59-year-old worker fell to his death from the second floor of a Times Square construction […]

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Serious workplace illness can be caused by exposure to styrene

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the American Board of Industrial Hygiene recently underscored the importance of protecting workers against volatile organic compounds such as styrene, which is highly flammable. Exposure to such hazardous substances can cause workplace illness that could be debilitating or even fatal. Styrene is used in the manufacture of multiple products, and employees in some New York factories may not even be aware of the potential dangers. Styrene vapors can be inhaled, and in liquid form, contact with a worker’s skin can result in severe burn injuries. OSHA says styrene exposure can affect the central nervous system […]

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Exposure to mercury causes workplace illness in New York

Friday, February 3, 2017

A New York company that endeavors to eliminate the threat posed by hazardous waste on the environment has been found to be oblivious to the life-threatening dangers to which its workers are exposed. An investigation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration was launched after complaints were filed by employees of Environmental Remediation Services. Upon completion of the inquiry, OSHA reported that the employees of the company were exposed to chemicals that could cause workplace illness. OSHA investigators determined that employees were exposed to mercury during operations at an electric power and water plant in New York. While workers were removing […]

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3 defenses to asbestos claims to be prepared for

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Asbestos is a fiber that was widely used for decades in many different types of materials from car and train braking systems to building insulation and flooring tiles. It was primarily used because it was inexpensive and is fireproof. However, if these fibers are breathed in by anyone, they can cause irreparable damage to a person’s lungs and other organs.  Every year, thousands of people are diagnosed with asbestos-related illnesses. And in many cases, these victims suffered the exposure to asbestos on the job. If you or a loved one is dealing with this situation, you should know that you may […]

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Toxic exposure risks for dry cleaners

Friday, February 19, 2016

Being exposed to toxic chemicals — over and over again — puts workers at risk for serious health complications. Employers should know this and should be taking certain precautions to limit exposure. Unfortunately, though, this is not always the case, and employees end up suffering. One such industry where many workers tend to be at risk for exposure is the dry cleaning industry. To try to combat this risk, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration, more widely known as OSHA, has put together an informational guide for dry cleaning establishments. The hope is that if more establishments follow the advice in this […]

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Are benefits provided in time to treat occupational diseases?

Monday, January 25, 2016

Federal laws, often in the form of regulations promulgated by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, set many workplace safety standards. Workers’ compensation policies, in contrast, vary by state.  Pennsylvania law requires employers to provide insurance coverage to their workers to safeguard against the chance of occupational injuries or illnesses. However, not all workers’ compensation coverage is the same. Differences between policies can result in disputes over the benefits that a worker deserves after suffering an on-the-job injury. Specifically, Pennsylvania employers might provide workers’ compensation insurance through a variety of methods: a competitive state fund, a private carrier, or […]

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A not-so-funny thing happened at work today … concl.

Friday, November 7, 2014

The election bumped Ebola out of the headlines for a day or two this week, but most of us knew that would not last. No sooner was one New York television station done reporting on the Senate races than it turned back to its coverage of “Ebola in America.” The most recent development is the New York Health and Hospitals Corporation’s announcement that the number of people under “active monitoring” for the Ebola virus more tripled this week. There are also rumors of a cover-up. Some of the affected people are health care workers who have attended to the physician […]

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A not-so-funny thing happened at work today … p3

Saturday, November 1, 2014

We are talking about whether a health care worker who contracts the Ebola virus from a patient could have a viable workers’ compensation claim. At this point, there is no word that anyone who has tested positive has filed a claim, but the example gives us a high-profile, albeit scary, way to talk about work-related illnesses. When we left off, we were going through the two threshold questions used to determine if an illness could be compensable. The first is, “Is the disease ‘occupational’?” Essentially, if the worker contacts the illness on the job, the condition is met. The second question […]

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A not-so-funny thing happened at work today … p2

Monday, October 27, 2014

The country’s response to the Ebola outbreak has escalated significantly, even as the 21-day watch periods expire for some health workers and airline passengers exposed to the virus. President Barack Obama has appointed an Ebola czar, more volunteers testing positive for the virus have returned to the country, and the number of cases and fatalities in West Africa continues to climb. On Oct. 25, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website reported more than 10,000 cases and nearly 5,000 deaths. In our last post, we were talking about health care workers in particular and whether they would be eligible […]

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