Newburgh New York Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Repetitive stress injuries in the workplace

As the number of employees who use computers on a daily basis has increased, so too has the number of employees who report suffering musculoskeletal injuries and disorders. In some cases injuries to the hands, wrists, arms, neck and back are so painful that an individual may not be able to work and could even require surgery.

Frequently, these types of work injuries are classified as being repetitive stress injuries. Increasingly, employees who sit at a computer desk all day typing are being impacted by RSIs as such injuries are linked to poor ergonomics and the sheer amount of hours many individuals spend typing on a computer.

Study: U.S. workers and employers suffer ill-effects of workplace stress

While most workers in the United States would likely admit to wanting a healthy work and life balance, few appear to successfully achieving anything close to it. Today, U.S. workers are spending more time at work and working than ever before with a 2014 Gallup poll showing that, for many workers, the standard 40-hour workweek has now stretched to nearly 50 hours.

The results of a recent study, point to the adverse physical and mental side effects that workers are increasingly experiencing due to longer work days and weeks. The study was conducted by researchers from Harvard and Stanford Universities who determined that "workplace stress is about as dangerous to one's health as secondhand smoke."

Employers must address safety needs of aging workforce

Spanning the 18 years after World War II, the U.S. states experienced much economic and societal growth and change including a significant increase in the U.S. birth rate. Today, the estimated 75.4 million Baby Boomers who were born between 1946 and 1964, span in age from 51 to 69. For individuals of this generation, many are or will continue to work well into their 60s and 70s.

Increased life expectancies, economic downturns and a failure to save enough for retirement are all factors that are likely contributing to Baby Boomers delaying retirement. Additionally, many Baby Boomers simply want to continue working and some are embarking on job or career changes at an older age.

Violence in the workplace can take many forms

In this blog, we frequently discuss the numerous types of physical injuries that workers may suffer while performing work-related duties. Often overlooked, are the physical and mental injuries that may result due to acts of workplace violence. In fact, it often isn't until a tragic event like the recent murders of two employees at a Virginia news station occurs that the topic of workplace violence and how to protect employees comes to the forefront.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, annually an estimated "two millions American workers report having been the victims of workplace violence." Acts of workplace violence can include threats, harassment, acts of intimidation, physical violence and bullying. In extreme cases, an incident may result in or escalate to include an act of homicide. OSHA statistics show that during 210 alone, of the 4,547 workplace fatalities reported, 506 or roughly 11 percent were homicides.

14 years later, Ground Zero workers left to suffer the health consequences

Today across the U.S., Americans remember and pay respect to those individuals who lost their lives in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack. The tragic events that unfolded on that day 14 years ago were followed by days, weeks and months of recovery efforts by thousands of New York City first responders, firefighters, police officers and construction workers.

Standing 110 stories high and encompassing as area equivalent to 10 million square feet, the twin towers as they became better known dominated the New York City skyline and were considered a feat of architectural engineering. According to the History Channel, when the towers opened in 1973, "more than 10,000 workers," had been involved in their construction. When the towers fell on September 11, 2001, thousands more workers were involved in search, recovery and clean-up efforts.

Depressed and anxious—what's going on with middle managers in the U.S.?

Depression is a serious and often misunderstood mental health condition that affects an estimated 16 million adults in the U.S. When feelings of sadness, loneliness, guilt and hopelessness dominate and color one's everyday life, it can be difficult to impossible to function normally.

For working adults who struggle with depression, the condition can interfere with their ability to concentrate, think clearly, take in and process information and make decisions. Add to these problematic side effects a lack of sleep, feelings of low self esteem and loss of energy and it's easy to understand why many adults who struggle with depression may also experience performance problems at work.

Falls from U.S. Bank Stadium claim life of 1 construction worker and injure another

Among U.S. construction workers, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration reports that fall-related accidents remain the leading cause of injury and death. Just this week, a 35-year-old man, who was part of the construction crew that is completing work on the roof of U.S. Bank Stadium, died after he reportedly fell 50 feet from the stadium’s roof before coming to rest in a snow gutter. A second worker, who also suffered apparent fall-related injuries in the same incident, still remains hospitalized.

According to a Minneapolis Star Tribune article, for unknown reasons, the men fell while completing work on the north side of the massive stadium's roof. The men were both employed with a roofing company that was a contractor on the project which employs an estimated 1,200 construction workers.

Construction employers who failed to protect workers from cave-in dangers indicted

New York City construction workers literally put their health and lives at risk each and every day they report to a work site. In previous posts, we've highlighted some of the many dangers these men and women face including fall hazards, construction equipment malfunctions and exposure to hazardous materials.

However, perhaps the greatest threat to construction worker safety comes from employers who blatantly disregard safety regulations and fail to educate and provide workers with adequate training, information and safety gear. All too often the workers who are impacted the most when these types of regulatory and safety violations occur, are young immigrants who speak little to no English.

Falls a concern for workers at construction sites

It is widely accepted that falls from heights are a serious hazard for construction workers. These types of accidents can result in devastating injuries that make it impossible for the injured individual to work while they heal. In some situations they could suffer permanent disability making it impossible for them to ever to return to construction work again.

Recently a construction worker at a construction site on the Far West Side was seriously hurt when he fell from one of the buildings being constructed there. In the course of the incident, which occurred in the early afternoon, the man fell 40 feet to the ground. According to a witness, to retrieve the injured man, a bucket crane had to be used.

When impacted by a work injury, New York workers need a strong legal advocate

From an office worker who develops carpal tunnel syndrome to a construction worker who suffers a traumatic brain injury after being struck in the head by an object on a work site, every occupation and workplace has inherent health and safety risks.

Depending on the nature and severity of a work-related injury, an individual may incur hundreds to thousands of dollars in medical expenses and be unable to work for days, weeks or even months. In some cases, a work injury may cause an individual to suffer permanent and debilitating injuries and he or she may never be able to work again. When faced with this reality, New York workers would be wise to turn to an attorney who handles workers' compensation matters.

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