Posted on Wednesday, May 8th, 2019 at 4:50 pm
Families of anyone killed due to a workplace scaffolding accident are entitled to death benefits. Survivors of scaffolding falls are entitled to full medical care and wage loss benefits, otherwise known as temporary total disability checks.
Scaffolding is a necessary requirement at many types of construction sites. Scaffolding is generally temporary. Stable scaffolding helps workers rise above the ground to do their job. Unstable scaffolding can easily cause death. Falls from scaffolding can also cause many types of injuries that leave the worker permanently disabled – such as spinal cord injuries which leave a worker partially or completely paralyzed. In the best of cases, workers with spinal cord injuries often live with chronic pain.
If a worker falls on his/her head, the worker can suffer a traumatic brain injury which affects the workers physical, emotional, and cognitive abilities. Workers with a severe brain injury often never return to work. Even workers with mild traumatic brain injury need to treat with neurosurgeons, neurologists, their family doctors, speech pathologists, physical therapists, psychologists and many other types of doctors.
Falls from a scaffold can cause broken arms which usually have to be set and placed in a cast. It takes months before broken bones heal. Other types of injuries include internal organ damage, muscle and ligament damages, severe cuts and lacerations.
According to the Occupational Safety Health Administration (OSHA) nearly 2/3rds of workers who work in the construction industry work on scaffolding. That percentage translates to about 2.3 million workers. According to the Bureau of Labor, nearly 60 people tragically die from scaffolding falls each year. Nearly 4,500 are injured due to scaffolding each year. One Bureau of Statistics study shows that 72% of scaffolding accidents are due either the “planking or support giving way, or to the employee slipping or being struck by a falling object.”
The two basic types of scaffolds, according to OSHA, are:
Other types of scaffolding that are usually classified as “supported scaffold” are scissor lifts and aerial lifts. Other types of scaffolding, according to OSHA, include “catenary scaffolds, step and trestle ladder scaffolds, and multi-level suspended scaffold.”
There are three types of people who work on scaffolding. These are:
Employers should review OSHA guidelines or contact OSHA directly before allowing any worker to use the scaffolding.
Workers should consult with any manufacturing manuals on proper setup and use before beginning any scaffolding work. Some of the many other practical tips for scaffolding work include:
There are different types of benefits available depending on the severity of the injuries.
In death cases, the employer’s insurance company should pay up to $10,000 for the funeral and burial expenses. The dependent family members (generally the spouse and minor children) can claim two-thirds (2/3rds) of the worker’s average weekly wages for a maximum of 500 weeks. In a case of North Carolina death benefits, minor children may be entitled for more than 500 weeks – up to the time they turn 18 years of age. Also in North Carolina, if the widow or widower of the deceased is disabled, she/he is entitled to benefits for the rest of their life or until they remarry.
When workers survive the fall, they are entitled to have all their medical expenses paid that are necessary to their recovery – for the rest of their lives.
Employees are also generally entitled to 2/3rds of their average weekly wages up until the time they return to work or up to 500 weeks. Workers with a total and permanent disability receive the 2/3rds average weekly wage for the rest of their lives. If the worker has a permanent partial impairment in relation to a compensable, ratable body part, then an additional analysis is made to determine the length of the 2/3rds average weekly wage benefits.
Additional adjustments and conditions may apply depending on whether your claim is in North Carolina or in Virginia.
At the Virginia Law office and North Carolina office of attorney Joe Miller Esq., we’ve helped thousands of workers including numerous construction workers get the full workers’ compensation benefits they deserve. There is no need to prove fault in North Carolina or Virginia workers’ compensation cases. To speak with an attorney experienced at fighting the insurance companies for employers, call lawyer Joe Miller at 1-(888) 667-8295 or complete my contact form to make an appointment.
Posted on Friday, April 26th, 2019 at 1:28 pm
In a previous article, we discussed some of the overall pros and cons of wearing workplace technology. In this article, we address some of the specifics.
According to Lanier Upshaw, a company that focuses on business risk, many businesses are exploring how wearable workplace technology can help employers and employees reduce the number of workplace accidents and the severity of workplace injuries. In addition to wearable technology, mobile applications, and sensors are becoming part and parcel of future workplace safety strategies.
Wearable technology is being used in many different professions and industry sectors including healthcare, police, firefighting, construction, and manufacturing.
Some of the benefits that makers of these wearable technologies say can help workers include:
Some wearable technology is already helping workers in the following ways:
There are concerns about all this wearable technology. There are privacy and security issues. Employees should have the right to raise questions about their effectiveness. Are they really helping the worker be safer or are they just being used to help a business make a profit or worse yet, spy on their employees?
Is the focus on protecting the worker or on gather data? There needs to be a balance between helping the employee and helping the company, but in all cases, the safety and security of the worker should always be the #1 priority. The wearable technology may improve worker morale but it may also inhibit worker morale because the devices can be cumbersome. Workers may also tend to over-rely on the sensors instead of their own instincts.
At the Virginia Law office and North Carolina office of attorney Joe Miller Esq., we understand that the workplace environment is constantly changing. While we appreciate devices that can help improve worker safety, when injuries happen (for any reason), we demand that employers and their insurance company take care of their workers. This includes making timely payments for medical expenses and wage benefits. We’ve helped thousands of employees get their full workers’ compensation benefits. For help with your Virginia or North Carolina workers’ compensation case, call us today. Initial appointments are free. You can reach attorney Joe Miller at 1-(888) 667-8295 or by completing my contact form.
Posted on Friday, April 19th, 2019 at 3:10 pm
New technology is helping workers avoid work-related injuries in many ways. Companies should always be on the lookout for ways to improve worker safety. They should understand and follow the latest guidelines and regulations from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). They should keep current with latest safety standards.
Businesses should know that providing workers with the best tools possible, the best equipment possible, and the best education possible can help reduce how often work injuries occur. The best way to avoid a work injury claim is to avoid the accident in the first place. When accidents at work do happen, workers should speak with experienced workers’ compensation lawyers to get the best advice possible.
Most new technology has some computer component and some data component. The wearable technology gathers the data by reading relevant responses from the worker who wears the technology. This new type of technology is often good at measuring things such as fatigue, work-related stress, ergonomic issues, proximity to danger, and other factors.
The overall goal of the technology is two-fold. The first is to improve the safety for the individual worker. The second is to improve the safety of the whole workplace organization.
According to Businessinsurance.com, these are some example of the desired benefits of wearable technology:
Wearable technology benefits typically, according to the BusinessInsruance.com article, the following three goals:
There are concerns with wearable technology. Most wearable technology focuses on collecting data about a worker’s performance. Some of the concerns raised by those who oppose these technologies include:
Wearable technologies should focus on things that can’t normally be evaluated by the human eye or human experience. How much bending a worker is doing can usually be assessed by just looking at the worker. Technology can be useful, for example, in determining (through a glove with sensors) how much “force a worker uses” while gripping.
Education matters. Workers should be told more than just how to use the technology. They should understand how the technology is being used to make for a safer and better work environment.
Employers tend to like wearable devices because the devices may help reduce their premiums while also helping to avoid workplace accidents. Employees may like them if they really help keep them safer.
At the Virginia Law office and North Carolina office of lawyer Joe Miller Esq., we’ve helped thousands of injured workers get justice. We fight to get employees all the benefits they deserve including payment of all their medical bills and their lost wages. We understand that holding employers accountable for workplace injuries is one way to force employers to focus more on workplace safety. For help with your Virginia or North Carolina workers’ compensation claim, call attorney Joe Miller at 1-(888) 667-8295 or complete my contact form to schedule a free appointment. Initial consultations are free.
Posted on Monday, April 1st, 2019 at 9:14 am
According to a report cited by the National Safety Council, 69% of employees say they suffer from fatigue at work. The report is titled “Fatigue in Safety-Critical Industries: Impact, Risks and Recommendations.” The report is based on several studies – one of workers and another was of a more mathematical survey. The NSC studied the utilities sector in addition to the other named work sectors.
Fatigue at work can cause numerous types of accidents. The report noted that 90% of employers said that fatigue was impacting their businesses. Fatigue, employers understand, also decreases productivity in addition to causing workplace accidents. 72% of workers said they thought workplace fatigue was a safety issue – indicating a disparity between employer and employee views. Fatigue is especially dangerous in industry sectors where machines vehicles, equipment, and tools are part of the job.
Tired truck drivers for example can easily crash into other vehicles, lose control of their vehicles, run red lights, speed, or driver off the highway. These type of truck accidents often cause death. Survivors may suffer catastrophic injuries that leave them permanently disabled. Even workers who eventually can return to work need months or years of medical help.
Some of the other findings from the NSC report
The NSC’s mission is to help prevent deaths at work and elsewhere. Founded over 100 years ago, in 1913, the NSC works with businesses, government, elected officials, and others to help prevent deaths. The fatigue report found that lack of sleeps results in $410 billion yearly in “societal expenses.”
Common accidents where fatigue plays a factor
In the construction industry, fatigue can easily cause a tired worker to slip and fall. Workers can be electrocuted if they don’t follow safety rules. They can be hurt from falling objects. They can fall from scaffolds. They can be struck by moving equipment.
In the manufacturing sector, tired workers use many different types of heavy machinery. If they’re tired, these workers pose a risk to themselves and everyone in the workforce.
Tired drivers aren’t paying attention to the traffic in front of them. They’re slow to recognize emergencies and too slow to respond. For example, they don’t apply the brakes quickly enough. They don’t steer out of trouble. Many tired drivers are also easily distracted because they’re grabbing for the coffee, rolling down the windows for fresh air, or doing other things to try to stay awake such as taking amphetamines – when they should just get off the roadway.
It is precisely because tired truck drivers are dangerous drivers, that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has federal regulations. Drivers can only drive a maximum of 11 hours after 10 hours of rest. There are limits on how many hours truck drivers can work during a 60-hour week and during a 70-hour week.
Some of the symptoms of workplace fatigue
Common fatigue symptoms that workers and employers should be on the lookout for include:
Common causes of driver fatigue
How employers can address driver fatigue
Employers should consider making the following workplace changes so that employees are energized so they can better focus on their job duties:
In workers’ compensation cases, an injured worker is not required to prove that the employer was at fault for the accident. There’s no need to prove the employer made the employee work harder or longer than necessary. There’s no need to show the employer failed to follow proper safety laws.
In North Carolina and in Virginia, if an employee suffers an accident in the course and scope of employment, regardless of fault, the worker is entitled to state workers’ compensation benefits. Standard work injury benefits include 2/3rds of the worker’s average weekly wages while he/she is unable to work and payment of all reasonable medical bills. Attorney Joe Miller has helped thousands of injured workers in both North Carolina and Virginia get the pay and medical benefits they deserve. For help now, please call me at 1-(888) 888-694-1671 or complete my contact form to schedule a free consultation.
Posted on Wednesday, April 4th, 2018 at 9:51 am
Most construction work, especially building new public or private structures such as homes and offices, requires that cranes be used to lift, lower, and move workers, equipment, materials, and tools. In addition, many large manufacturing operations require cranes to move heavy equipment and assemblies into place. Injuries from crane accidents can cause death, catastrophic injuries, broken bones, bruises, amputations, neck and back pain, electrocution, lacerations, damage to internal organs, and a host of long-term problems. Catastrophic injuries include spinal cord damage, paralysis, and traumatic brain injury – all of which can prevent a worker from ever having gainful employment again.
Each type of crane has its own dangers.
While there is no requirement that an injured worker prove fault, the best way to protect any crane accidents is to avoid accidents in the first place. We have represented severely injured workers hurt by falling debris from a crane. Some of the major reasons crane accidents happen include:
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has numerous regulations that employers must follow to help protect employees and all workers. These guidelines are based on recommendations by engineers, employers, and many other professionals and businesses. Some of these guidelines include:
OSHA also has specific requirements for when crane operation is allowed and when it isn’t based on specific wind speeds – as well as other regulations.
The insurance company for the employer will fight to deny your claim, force you back to work too son, and limit the amount of your benefits. They’re all about the money. Attorney Joe Miller is all about the person. For more than 25 years, he’s helped workers get the wage loss and medical benefits they deserve. He works hard so that employees return to work when they’re ready – if they’re ever ready. He works with families who have tragically lost a loved one due to an injury on the job. For help now, please phone attorney Joe Miller at (888) 694-1671. You can also arrange to speak with him or provide information to evaluate your case through his online contact form.
Posted on Wednesday, December 20th, 2017 at 2:27 pm
Injuries to the head can be caused by slips and falls, merchandise or inventory that falls, vehicle accidents, equipment that doesn’t work, diving accidents, and for many other reasons. Some head injuries heal with time. More serious injuries, like severe traumatic brain injuries, can change a life forever. In the worst cases, an on-the-job workplace head injury can cause death.
Jobs that have the highest risk for a head injury are:
This does not mean to say we have not seen severe head injuries occur in all kinds of occupations such as nurses, certified nursing assistants or truckers. You can slip on water or ice and get knocked unconscious in almost any occupation.
The various types of head injuries include:
Traumatic brain injuries are typically categorized as mild, moderate, or severe.
Physicians generally use the Glasgow Coma Scale (CGS) do determine the severity of any brain injury. The CGS categories for TBI injuries are:
Other symptoms include pain, loss of vision and hearing, inability to reason, and loss of cognitive function.
Finally, there are often symptoms that last for six months to a year after a concussion that may include difficulty concentrating, dizziness, increased irritability, loss of desire to be in social situations, and other symptoms that form a constellation of symptoms known as Post Concussion Syndrome (PCS). Typically a neurologist would be in the best position to diagnose and treat these symptoms.
Any employee who suffers any type of head injury should:
In head injury cases, you will normally see a neurologist or neurosurgeon. These doctors will normally order a CT scan to see if you have a skull fracture, hematoma or other brain injury. An MRI and in some cases a PET scan may also be administered to head injury patients to evaluate brain function.
In addition, in many cases, a neuropsychologist or neuropsychiatrist may administer a battery of written tests to the brain injury victim in order to determine the extent and nature of any cognitive deficits that may have occurred as a result of the head injury.
Whatever your type of head injury, you are entitled to have the insurance company for the employer pay your medical bills until you reach maximum medical improvement (MMI). Common head injury medical bills include:
Many head injury victims also need to see different types of rehabilitative therapists including occupational therapists, speech therapists, psychologists, and other doctors and counselors.
Head injury victims often need attendant care services such as home-health nurses and aides to help them with daily living matters.
Once you reach MMI, an evaluation will be made by your doctor about whether you can return to work at your prior job, a different job – or if you can’t return to work.
Workers are entitled to 2/3rds of their lost wages during the time they can’t work for up to 500 weeks while disabled from work.
Severe brain injuries are one of the categories of injury in Virginia and North Carolina that may entitle a worker to lifetime compensation instead of just the 500 weeks based on permanent and total disability. This is if the brain injury renders the employee permanently unemployable in gainful employment.
If you can return to work but at a lesser-paying job, you are entitled to 2/3rds of the difference between your current wages and your prior wages.
Employees should never attempt to settle their head injury claim before they reach maximum medical improvement – which can take months or years.
Workers may also be entitled to vocational training if they can’t do their old job but may be able to do a new job – if they acquire new job skills.
Attorney Joe Miller understands the complex cases. He works with medical professionals to properly prepare your medical reports and to properly relate your injuries to your inability to work. He has helped thousands of employees get strong work injury settlements. For help now, please phone Joe Miller Esq. at (888) 694-1671 or complete his contact form.
Posted on Monday, December 7th, 2015 at 2:00 pm
Healthcare workers can suffer injury almost anywhere. There are over 18 million health care workers in the US. Some of the common types and areas of healthcare work injury occur:
Areas that have bathing rooms, diagnostic units (radiology, X-Ray, MRI), and extended care locations also can cause a health care work related injury.
Some health care professionals are hurt because of one incident at work. Others are hurt due to years of helping handle patients. Whatever the exact cause, all health care workers know is that they need medical care themselves for their pain and an income while they are not working. North Carolina and Virginia lawyer Joe Miller can provide that help. He has successfully advocated for thousands of injured workers over the past 25 years. Contact attorney Joe Miller today at 888-694-1671 and ask for me, Joe Miller, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted on Friday, December 4th, 2015 at 2:00 pm
It’s easy to think that most work injuries happen to men and happen in work industry that involve heavy machinery and construction. The data from the US Department of Labor actually shows that healthcare work is the leading cause of work related injuries. For 2012, there were 621,100 work- related injuries in the United States that were related to health care and social assistance. The second leading group was fire and police. The transportation industry was third and construction was fourth.
As the population ages, it is expected the numbers of health care injuries will only increase.
In addition to musculoskeletal injuries, back and spine injuries; healthcare workers are also susceptible to chemical and biological harm. Injuries and diseases can be transmitted through infections, using a needle on patients and the exchange of blood.
Why are Health Care Injuries Complicated?
Many health employers and insurance companies will contest worker’s compensation claims because often a single incident does not cause the worker to be unable to work. Often, the health care worker suffers many small injuries that continually worsen his/her health until the worker just reaches the point where he or she cannot work anymore. The insurance company will try to argue that they only have to pay for single incident accidents or that factors outside of work also contributed to the worker’s poor health condition.
It is quite common for an employer or insurance company to try to rush the worker back to work before he or she is really ready.
Joe Miller has helped thousands of injured workers get their full benefits. He has been fighting for employees for over 25 years. The insurance company will try to limit your pay and try to get you to return to work before you are ready. If you suffered an injury or illness while helping patients, you may have a significant recovery coming your way. To get answers, call Lawyer Joe Miller today at 888-694-1671 and ask for me, Joe Miller, or email me at email@example.com.
Posted on Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015 at 2:00 pm
According to the Occupation Health Safety Administration (OHSA), musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) are a leading cause of injury to health care workers. In 2010, there were over 27,000 cases nationwide of MSDs suffered by nursing aides, orderlies and other attendants. The rate of injury was nearly three times that of construction workers and significantly higher than workers who move freight and stock.
MSDs in healthcare workers are mainly due to patient handling, over-exertion, and just the heavy lifting involved in moving and transferring patients. Adding to the difficulty is that many patients are difficult to move because of their medical condition. Some common healthcare tasks that cause injury include moving a patient from a chair to a bed, from a bed to a toilet and from a commode to a chair. Many patients need to be moved and lifted while they are in the bed.
Typical injuries include sprains and strains. Low back injuries are also common. Many healthcare providers suffer chronic long term pain as a result of their injuries which requires extensive medical treatment and significant lost time from work.
Injuries to health care workers can be quite severe. Many healthcare workers have to live with their pain for the rest of their life. The pain can prevent them from working or limit the amount and type of work they can do. Injured medical care providers need the help of a skilled worker’s compensation lawyer. Joe Miller has the skills you need. He has been helping workers in Virginia and North Carolina for over 25 years. He has represented many healthcare workers injured by moving patients and obtained substantial recoveries for them. Please call attorney Joe Miller today at 888-694-1671 to discuss your case and make an appointment. You can also complete my online form.
Posted on Monday, November 30th, 2015 at 2:00 pm
According to the Centers for Disease Control (in an article by PT in Motion), the top category for work injuries is health care. One in five nonfatal work injuries are health care related. The main reason health care is tops in worker injury is due to physical harm caused by handling patients.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reviewed Occupation Health Safety Network (OHSN) data to reach its finding. The OHSN statistics examined over 100 health care facilities. The CDC analysis of the data concluded that handling patient injuries; slips and falls and workplace violence due to patients were leading factors of healthcare injuries.
Nurses and nurse assistants were injured the most often. Some of the reasons nurses and nurse assistants suffered injuries were due to patients who were overweight, long work shifts, too many patients for each nurse/nurse assistant to handle and the desire to get patients on their feet as quickly as possible.
The OHSN numbers also showed that better lifting equipment could help reduce the number of healthcare provider injuries. Better safety programs could also help.
While the finding did not specifically categorize physical therapies, other research shows that physical therapy is another high category for work related injuries.
Medical care helpers have strenuous work requirements. They have to move patients who can weigh hundreds of pound multiple times a day. The lifting and moving can cause serious chronic pain. Health care workers need experienced legal counsel to fight for them. Joe Miller Esq. has that experience. He has been helping North Carolina and Virginia workers for a quarter century get the benefits they deserve and has in fact represented a number of Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA’s) and obtained substantial recoveries for them. Contact Lawyer Joe Miller today at 888-694-1671 to discuss your case or complete my online form.