Newburgh New York Workers' Compensation Law Blog

OSHA contends that outdated silica standards are endangering lives of millions

Individuals who work in several industries including construction, mining, commercial fishing and healthcare are regularly required to work in environments and carry out work assignments that threatened their safety and health. In some cases, occupational hazards and the related possible consequences are obvious. In other cases, workers may not be able to see or may be unaware of the imminent danger posed by certain chemicals, substances and materials.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration define crystalline silica as "a basic component of soil, sand, granite and many other materials." When these materials are cut, crushed or ground; tiny silica particles are released into the air. For workers who are exposed to and breathe in these particles, the negative health effects are significant and can result in disease, disability and death.

2015 construction accident deaths in NYC already reach 2014 total

While the following story applies more to the city of New York than the state, it still exemplifies the worries that anyone should have about construction site safety and the dangers that construction workers face on a regular basis.

In the city of New York, construction fatalities are occurring at an alarming rate. As of the writing of our source article, eight people had died this year alone in construction accidents. That's equal to the number of fatalities for all of 2014, and it is on pace with the last worst year for construction accident fatalities (2008, when 19 people died).

Worker' comp benefits for new employees

You aced your interview and you have been hired as a new employee. You attended orientation and paid close attention during the safety training. Yet, during your first day, week, month or year on the job, you find yourself sidelined because you have sustained a work-related injury or illness. Understandably, you start to worry. Do you qualify for workers’ compensation benefits even though you are so new to the job?

There is no easy answer to this question. Workers’ compensation laws differ from state to state. In addition, the particulars of your unique circumstance need to be taken into account before this question can be answered in regards to your situation specifically. It is for these reasons that you may benefit from speaking to an attorney licensed in your state. An attorney will likely be able to aid you in exploring any legal options available to you.

Workers' compensation benefits for anxiety

Some injuries and illnesses can be managed, while others are debilitating. Still others are debilitating for a time and can eventually be managed. Anxiety, like many mental illnesses, can be debilitating, managed or can shift between these two states. When anxiety is either partially or totally debilitating, it can be difficult to maintain employment. Thankfully, when debilitating anxiety is work-related, it may be possible to seek workers’ compensation benefits for this condition.

The two primary issues one must consider when exploring workers’ compensation benefits for anxiety are the nature of the anxiety and whether it is work-related. If you are thinking about exploring your ability to obtain benefits, your attorney will likely want to know whether your anxiety impairs your ability to work. If it does not, you will likely not qualify for benefits, as workers’ compensation is meant to aid individuals whose work-related illness or injury impairs their ability to work.

'Tis the season for heat-related injuries and illnesses at work

The first official day of summer occurs this weekend. However, much of the nation is heating up like it is already mid-summer. It seems that there are few places that one can escape to during the summer months in order to feel truly cool when outdoors during the daylight hours. As a result, it is important for everyone who ventures outside during the day to take heat-related and UV-related precautions.

Individuals who work outdoors are at particular risk of suffering heat-related and UV-related injuries and illnesses during the summer. Lifeguards, construction workers and a host of other workers of every age find themselves battling the summer temperature and the sun’s harsh glare during this time of year. Taking precautions before venturing out and during outdoor shifts can help to ensure that these workers remain as safe as possible while they are out in the summer sun.

Workers' compensation for undocumented workers

We have previously written about the fact that both temporary migrant workers and undocumented laborers are at a heightened risk for being injured in the workplace or killed while on the job. These workers are at a heightened risk for a number of reasons, including the fact that many of these individuals do not speak English and their employers may fail to train them properly in a language they can understand.

Similarly, it can be uniquely difficult for undocumented workers and migrant laborers to seek assistance in the event that they are injured on the job. Migrant laborers may be concerned that missing work or seeking assistance will cause them to lose their work visas. Undocumented workers may understandably be concerned that seeking assistance may lead authorities to deport them.

Workers’ compensation, migraines and you

Migraine sufferers understand that this particular kind of headache can be uniquely debilitating. While other kinds of headaches can be painful, annoying or frustrating, migraines can stop patients in their tracks. Some individuals must take narcotics to help with the pain, while others must simply close the blinds, lie down and wait for the pain to subside. Migraines can last for hours upon hours. It is therefore not surprising that migraine sufferers may be compelled to skip work frequently or forego employment at all, depending on the frequency and severity of their headaches.

If you are a migraine sufferer, you may be wondering if you can receive workers’ compensation benefits in regards to your physical condition. First, understand that every case is different. Therefore, if you have questions about benefits it may be a good idea to speak with an attorney about your particular situation.

What do I do if my working conditions are unsafe?

We frequently write about how important it is for American workplaces to be as safe as is reasonably possible. Federal and state laws govern working conditions for one critically important reason: Without access to safe working conditions, American workers tend to suffer injury, illness and even death as a result of unsafe conditions.

Because it is so important for workplaces to be safe, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspects the conditions of as many work sites as it can on an annual basis. However, OSHA cannot inspect every work site regularly. In addition, some employers maintain unsafe working conditions despite the fact that they are legally obligated to follow a host of regulations related to safe working conditions.

The surprising hazards associated with nail salon work

The New York Times recently published a series of articles detailing just how hazardous it has become to be a nail salon technician. One would initially think that this line of work is no more hazardous than working in a hair salon is. Like hair stylists, nail technicians need to interact with some questionable chemicals, need to avoid slipping on slick floors and need to properly sterilize their tools. However, recent evidence and countless stories are adding up to shocking conclusions about the hazards of life as a nail technician.

In a piece entitled "Perfect Nails, Poisoned Workers," a journalist for the Times tells the stories of various New York City nail salon workers who have suffered miscarriages and whose children have physical and developmental delays. The piece also discusses other health afflictions that many nail technicians suffer from, including chronic coughs, painful skin conditions and even cancer.

Workers' compensation benefits coverage timeline

If you are considering filing a workers’ compensation claim or if you have already done so and been granted benefits, you may have questions about how long you can continue to receive those benefits. Answers to these questions will generally be specific to your circumstances. As a result, it is generally a good idea to consult an attorney experienced in matters of workers’ compensation in order to discuss the nuances of your situation. However, there are some general rules that you can certainly keep in mind while preparing questions for your attorney.

One of the primary factors which will impact the amount of time that you will be able to continue receiving benefits is whether you will eventually be able to return to work. If you are able to return to work full-time within a relatively short period, your benefits will likely not last long. However, if you are not able to return to work full-time either at all or for an extended period of time, your benefits may be made available to you for a significant length of time.

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