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Construction workers’ accidents: 12-foot fall claims man’s life

Monday, June 6, 2016

Too many New York construction workers lose their lives because they were not provided with appropriate protective equipment on the job. Falls from elevated positions form a significant percentage of fatal construction workers’ accidents. It is alarming that many of these deaths were preventable by compliance with prescribed safety regulations. One such accident resulted in the death of a 55-year-old Ronkonkoma man on a recent Tuesday. It was reported that the incident occurred shortly before 9 a.m. at an oceanfront construction site in East Hampton. The man was working on the second floor level of the building when he reportedly lost […]

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Construction workers’ accidents may lead to amputations

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Owners of construction companies in New York and elsewhere must ensure workers’ safety at all times. Construction workers are exposed to a myriad of safety hazards on a daily basis. Unfortunately, some employers prioritize profits over safety, and, in many cases, this leads to construction workers’ accidents that can claim lives or cause permanent disabilities. A construction worker in another state is trying to adjust to life with only one leg after he lost the other leg in an on-the-job accident a month ago. He explained that, with the help of a coworker, he was connecting rigging when the incident occurred. […]

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Fatal workplace accidents: Worker crushed by falling dumpster

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Losing a loved one who leaves for work in the morning and never returns is naturally an indescribable experience. Not only will the surviving family have to cope without that person’s love and guidance, but the financial consequences of losing that person’s income may be severe — particularly if the deceased worker was the primary breadwinner. Workplace accidents in New York are never anticipated and always tragic. One family of DeWitt suffered such a loss after an incident on a recent Wednesday morning. A police report states that a dumpster crushed the man. Under yet undetermined circumstances, the dumpster reportedly […]

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Important New WTC Status Report from 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund

Friday, May 27, 2016

9/11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) Special Master Sheila Birnbaum issued an important new report this week on the status of claims processing for first responders and other victims of the World Trade Center terrorist attacks. See the key dates on the 911 Zadroga Act Reauthorization Timeline here. The Special Master highlighted the fact that the Fund has now paid out over $1 billion in the last five years, including many WTC 9/11 cancer claims. It is clear that the Victim Compensation Fund has ironed out almost all the kinks the fund had initially, and victims are now receiving timely loss determination […]

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Report looks at common causes of workplace injury with eye toward mitigation

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Most people are pretty well aware of the risks they face in their own work on a daily basis. Have you ever wondered, though, about workplace accidents in general? How do people get injured on the job? A recent report by the Travelers Companies Inc. looked at the most common causes of workplace injury and accidents between 2010 and 2014. The results were obtained by looking at records of 1.5 million workers’ compensation claims in a variety of industries and business sizes. What was found was that materials handling caused the majority of injuries and accidents, accounting for 32 percent of workers’ […]

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Many construction accidents in New York tragically avoidable

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Everybody faces certain risks on the job. Risks vary by type and degree, of course, but all work involves some risk of harm. The construction industry is one we naturally think of as being among the more dangerous industries, and there is certainly good reason for this. New York sees its fair share of construction accidents. In recent years, with the increase in real estate activity, there has been a corresponding increase in construction accidents. In 2015, a total of 12 workers died on construction sites in New York, an increase from eight in 2014. A great many more injuries occurred, though. […]

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An injury occurred while I was driving for work. Now what?

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

If you are a professional driver who suffers an injury on the job, you may have two sources of compensation: workers’ compensation benefits and a third-party injury claim. It is important to understand your rights so you can recover the maximum amount the law allows. How are workers’ comp and third-party claims different? Workers’ compensation is an injured employee’s sole remedy for claims against their employer. This typically means that workers cannot directly sue their employers for the injury. In New York, workers’ comp is a no-fault system, meaning that whether the employer or worker or both were responsible for […]

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Federal workplace protections apply to all workers, even undocumented ones, P.2

Friday, May 6, 2016

In our last post, we began looking at the problem of workplace injury and death as it impacts undocumented workers. As we noted, undocumented workers are particularly at risk for workplace injury because companies that benefit from their labor often assume they can hang over their heads the threat of deportation. The reality is that employers are bound by workplace safety rules regardless of the citizenship status of their workers. Not only that, but employers are actually bound, under New York law, to provide undocumented workers benefits under the state’s workers’ compensation law. Undocumented workers are entitled to all the same […]

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Federal workplace protections apply to all workers, even undocumented ones

Monday, May 2, 2016

Workplace safety is an important issue for all workers, particularly those who are prone to being taken advantage of while on the job. Latino workers are particularly at risk, especially undocumented workers, as advocates for workers know all too well. According to OSHA, a total of 4,679 workplace deaths in 2014 averaged out to 90 deaths per week and 13 per day. Of these, 789 were Latino. Farms which employ such workers often fail to take steps to protect employees and workers are afraid to report the employer for fear of deportation. Many undocumented workers don’t realize, though, that they […]

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Employee or independent contractor? It matters under workers compensation law, P.2

Monday, April 25, 2016

Last time, we began speaking about the issue of worker classification—and misclassification—and the impact this can have on entitlement to workers’ compensation benefits. As we noted, businesses are not required to provide workers’ compensation benefits to independent contractors, and a worker who is misclassified as an independent contractors needs to defend his or her rights when this happens. Challenging employer misclassification before the Workers’ Compensation Board is an important opportunity for a wrongly classified employer to establish entitlement to benefits. The administrative law judges who hear these cases take into account a variety of factors to determine whether the classification […]

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