Newburgh New York Workers' Compensation Law Blog

This holiday season, temporary workers wish for no injuries or deaths

Next week, families in New York and throughout the U.S. will gather to celebrate and give thanks during the Thanksgiving holiday. Shortly thereafter, many will head out to stand in lines at actual brick-and-mortar stores or visit their favorite retailer's website to take advantage of Black Friday shopping deals and kickoff the 2015 holiday shopping season.

In preparation for the retail spending whirlwind that is quickly approaching, retailers throughout the U.S. are busy hiring temporary workers to ring up customers, ensure warehouse shelves are stocked and to fulfill customer orders. Wired recently reported that Amazon alone plans to hire approximately 100,000 temporary workers at fulfillment and warehouse facilities across the U.S., a number which represents a 25 percent increase over the number of temp workers hired just last year.

Why work-related stress is more serious than you may think

At times, everyone experiences feelings most readily described as being stressed out. In certain situations, feeling stressed out is not only appropriate, but may be beneficial in helping an individual take action to resolve the problems or issues that are contributing to his or her feelings of anxiety, uneasiness and general angst. In other cases, stress and its effects can be mentally, emotionally and physically damaging. This is often particularly true when an individual experiences prolonged or repeated periods of stress.

When stress is caused by and tied to an individual's work and/or workplace, the damaging effects are often varied and significant. A recent survey of some 1,200 workers by meQuilbrium should serve as a wake-up call for both employees and employers about just how damaging work-related stress can be to one's overall health and quality of life.

Why your claim for workers' compensation may be denied

Every worker, regardless of age and industry, can be the victim of a workplace accident or suffer work-related injuries. From a construction worker who falls while scaling scaffolding to a nurse who suffers a back injury while helping lift a patient, a work-related injury can seriously and adversely impact an individual's life in a number of ways.

Mounting medical bills, time away from work and painful and debilitating injuries are just a few examples of the financial and personal drawbacks commonly associated with workplace injuries. In most cases, injured workers are able to file for workers' compensation benefits. However, in order the qualify for such benefits, there are strict requirements that must be met.

Governor Andrew Cuomo creates task force to promote workers' rights and safety

U.S. labor laws were enacted to ensure for the safety and fair treatment of all workers regardless of industry or position. However, despite these laws and federal safety and regulatory agencies like the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, each year millions of U.S. workers are injured and killed on the job.

Often, work-related injuries and fatalities occur at workplaces and on job sites where employers failed to adequately train and protect employees about and from occupational dangers. In response to a growing number of workplace injuries, fatalities and general violations of employment laws; New York Governor Andrew Cuomo recently announced the formation of a special task force.

How survivor benefits help families after a worker dies

When someone we know is seriously injured, for instance in a bad workplace accident, we may say, “At least she is lucky to be alive.” Tragically, some work injuries are so severe that they cannot be survived.

Every year, workers in construction and other high-risk jobs are killed on the job. Common types of fatal work site accidents include:

Helping injured New York workers secure workers' compensation benefits

Every year, hundreds of thousands of workers across the U.S. are affected by injuries and medical conditions that result from a workplace accident or dangerous or toxic workplace conditions. In cases where these painful injuries and debilitating conditions inhibit a worker's ability to perform assigned duties, he or she may choose to file a workers' compensation claim.

Workers' compensation exists to help provide financial assistance to injured workers while they recover from their injuries. To date, during 2015 alone, more than 12,600 claims for workers' compensation benefits have been filed in New York State. However, of these claims, only roughly 38 percent resulted in the payout of benefits.

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.

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