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Newburgh New York Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Workplace illness prevalent for female day laborers in New York

An advocacy group in Brooklyn published the results of a new study that examined the difficulties faced by female day laborers in New York. The study found that 75 percent of the women who work as day laborers are the primary breadwinners for their dependents. Along with looking into their levels of remuneration and other wage and hour law issues, vulnerability related to workplace illness and injuries was also studied.

An alarming fact that came to light is that 65 percent of these women do not have access to health care. Furthermore, illnesses related to their work were reported by 71 percent of the women. A large number of the said conditions resulted from exposure to dangerous chemical cleaning materials. Chronic pain was also reported by women who were forced to clean floors on their hands and knees.

Campaign to cut workers' compensation benefits stalls

Everyone is aware of the raucous presidential campaign that consumes more and more of the media's time and energy. Another important campaign is underway, however, garnering much less attention.

It's the national campaign to revise state laws to enable businesses to opt out of workers' compensation insurance. The employers would then get to decide on their own workers' comp plans. The movement recently stalled when Oklahoma's Supreme Court ruled that that state's version is unconstitutional.

Fatal Long Island workplace accident involving a forklift kills 1

Forklift accidents have caused many fatalities nationwide, including in the state of New York. A recent workplace accident was reported to be the third forklift-related death on Long Island in 2016. Sadly, many of the lives lost in on-the-job accidents could have been prevented by compliance with federal safety regulations.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration prescribes safety regulations that are specific to the handling of forklifts. Not only do they cover the safe operation of the machines but also address concerns related to elevating workers on forklifts. Both these hazards came into play in the recently reported accident. OSHA is investigating the incident and will likely focus on the company's compliance with safety regulations.

Older workers: Value and issues

It was the nation's biggest generation: the Baby Boom. The post-World War II generation is graying, with many of its members approaching retirement age.

Many Boomers enjoy work or have financial reasons to keep their careers going, however. They aren't ready to retire, and because many employers want the experience and knowledge older workers possess, there is demand for Boomers in the job market.

What kinds of workplace injuries are most common?

Regular readers of our Newburgh workers' compensation blog know we recently looked at which occupations are most dangerous and which are safest. This time around, we are going to look at a new report that details what kinds of workplace injuries are most common, as well as how much time people typically need away from work to recover from their on-the-job injuries.

Data comes from a report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics titled "Workplace Injuries: Analyzing Which Industries, Occupations, and Groups Are Most Affected by Workplace Injuries and Illnesses."

New York workers suffer mercury exposure

Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspectors often drop in on businesses unannounced to look for workplace safety hazards. Sometimes, though, OSHA inspections are carried out because an employee has filed a complaint about work conditions.

Employees of a hazardous materials remediation contractor located less than two hours due north of Newburgh filed a complaint with OSHA. The workers said they were being exposed to mercury at a Superfund site in Schenectady.

What are the safest -- and the most dangerous -- jobs in the U.S.?

According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, workers across the nation suffered around three million nonfatal work injuries in 2014 alone. As if this wasn't shocking enough, these statistics also reveal that this same year saw 4,821 work-related fatalities.

While these numbers are almost impossible to comprehend given all of the advancements that have been made in everything from medical care to work safety equipment, it's still painfully apparent that we still have a long way to go. Interestingly enough, however, a recently released report by the job and career development website CareerCast may serve to shed some light on where efforts to enhance workplace safety should be centered.

Fighting the good fight

There is no doubt that Newburgh firefighters were saddened to hear about the FDNY firefighters injured earlier this week in an enormous Bronx blaze.

Three firefighters suffered critical on-the-job injuries as the department fought to subdue a fire that engulfed five buildings. Fire marshals later said the conflagration was started by children playing with fire inside a two-story building.

Taking action to reduce construction industry injuries and fatalities

New York construction workers know better than anyone the many dangers in their line of work. From cranes to bulldozers and from nail guns to electrical lines, risks of construction worksite injuries are plentiful.

In order to reduce the number of injuries and fatalities, construction workers and employers should both be ever-vigilant, a construction industry publication noted recently.

Workers' compensation insurance rate rising

New York employers will face higher costs for workers' compensation insurance starting in October, the state Department of Financial Services has decided. The DFS approved an average 9.3 percent hike in the insurance rate; an increase that business owners are not thrilled with, but acknowledge is needed, according to a recent news report.

The DFS superintendent said insurers threatened that they might have to leave the state if their rates didn't go up to cover their costs.

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