Newburgh New York Workers' Compensation Law Blog

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.

What to expect when returning to work after workers' comp

Imagine that you are at work, having a normal day just like always. As the day progresses, you start to think about how you're going to enjoy your evening -- and then right at that moment, a terrible work accident occurs and you suffer serious injuries as a result. Your evening no longer matters, because your whole future is of far more concern at this moment.

Thankfully, you survive the accident and the injuries you suffered, though severe, can be fixed and you will be okay after some time. During your recovery, you get workers' compensation to help you pay for all the things you normally wouldn't be able to deal with, given your inability to work.

Pollution still threatens workers’ health at Endicott IBM plant

An IBM manufacturing plant in the Southern Tier of Upstate New York has long drawn scrutiny due to pollution concerns. For decades, the plant seeped industrial solvents into the ground, affecting nearby residents and workers alike.

A recent article in the Poughkeepsie Journal reports that pollution remains a problem for more than 1,500 employees who still work at the plant. A decades-long cleanup effort has removed more than 70,000 gallons of toxic chemicals from the ground, alleviating the exposure of residential neighborhoods. However, officials from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation report that an underground pool of concentrated solvents remains below the plant site.

King of Prussia Mall Construction Accident Third-Party Lawsuit

WPVI TV News in Philadelphia recently reported that a worker was critically injured in an electrical accident occurring April 13th at the King of Prussia Mall. It begged the question whether adequate safety guidelines are in place to protect construction workers. Carpenters, bricklayers, roofers, electrical contractors and other subcontractors in the construction trades face the most dangerous working conditions in America. This blog will discuss legal options injured construction workers have for recovering money damages, beyond Pennsylvania workers' compensation. 

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) office reports that one in five workplace deaths occur as a result of construction accidents, with 3,929 reported fatalities in 2013. Electrocution ranked as the number three cause of construction deaths, behind falls and being struck by an object.

You can seek workers' comp with a pre-existing condition

Imagine that you hurt your shoulder years ago in a work-related accident. Fortunately, you recovered enough to be able to return to work. Imagine now that your shoulder is reinjured while carrying out the core duties of your job. You are facing expensive medical bills and need time off of work to recover. If you already received workers' compensation the first time you hurt your shoulder, can you file another claim?

Many people in New York will likely be relieved to know that the answer to this question is yes. Re-injuries are covered under workers' compensation laws in New York. However, seeking benefits for a re-injury is not always an easy process.

Imploring drivers to 'Obey the Orange'

New York City and surrounding communities tend to be uniquely crowded. No other streets in America tend to be quite as busy and as full as the streets of New York. As a result, it can be difficult for travelers of all kinds to reach their destinations safely and efficiently. In addition, it can be very difficult for road construction crews to do their jobs safely and effectively because so many travelers tend to crowd around and move through areas designated as work zones.

For obvious reasons, road construction crews tend to wear bright orange clothing and protective gear while working. Similarly, signage and cones alerting travelers to work zones tend to be bright orange. Bright orange color is ultimately widely understood to signal drivers, truckers, motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians to the presence of work construction crews. Unfortunately, not everyone respects what the presence of this color asks motorists in particular to do.

Why OSHA must regulate scaffolding work more strictly

New York is known as the most difficult place to conduct high-rise construction in America. Not only are many of New York’s buildings extraordinarily tall, the cramped nature of the city’s construction makes it difficult to build, tear down and repair these buildings safely and efficiently. Sometimes workers can speed their tasks by utilizing mast-climbing work platforms and other forms of modern scaffolding. While these innovations aid in high-rise construction projects, they require detailed training to operate safely.

For better and for worse, many construction workers in New York and throughout the nation are non-native English speakers. Although many individuals who did not grow up speaking English now speak it fluently, others are not as proficient in English. This impacts the safe operation of the construction industry when trainings and instructions are communicated only in English. When non-native English speakers who are not proficient in English are trained in English alone, they risk missing important safety-related details.

Talking about workers' comp claims on social media

Social media has proven to be a powerful venue for a host of reasons. Not only does social media connect loved ones and allow individuals to network both creatively and professionally, it also serves to promote issue awareness, political causes and business branding. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, social media allows individuals to express themselves. From personal grievances and taste preferences to religious, social justice and political identifications, social media allows for a wide range of personal expression.

However, it is important to understand that simply because social media allows individuals to express themselves that it is not always a good idea to express oneself on a social media platform. It remains advisable to keep some issues private and to express opinions on certain matters in forums other than social media. If you are an injured or ill worker and are either seeking or have received a workers’ compensation claim, it may be best to keep your situation and your opinions about your claim off of social media.

Why cancer is a real occupational hazard for many U.S. workers

The American Cancer Society estimates that during 2015, nearly 590,000 people in the U.S. will die from cancer-related complications and more than 1.6 million people will be diagnosed with some form of the disease. These staggering numbers solidify that cancer is among the most prevalent and deadly of all diseases in the U.S.

Today habits like smoking and materials like asbestos are known carcinogens. However, there are numerous other materials and chemicals that are readily used in the production of goods, products and foods of which their safety and potential hazards remain unknown. While workers in any industry or environment may be exposed to cancer-causing agents and materials, those who work in fields like construction and manufacturing are especially at-risk and vulnerable.

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