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Newburgh New York Workers' Compensation Law Blog

What if my workers' compensation claim is disputed?

For New York State residents who are injured on the job or suffer a condition because of their work and it prevents them from working, workers' compensation benefits can be a lifeline. They can cover for lost wages, medical expenses and more. However, there are times when there is a disagreement regarding the claim and it will be disputed. For those who file a workers' compensation claim and face a situation in which the insurer disputes it, it is critical to have legal assistance from an attorney who specializes in workers' compensation claims.

If the insurer disputes the claim, it generally means that it does not agree that a work injury occurred, that it has not insured the employer, or there is another justification. Workers should understand that this does not mean that the case is over. The Workers' Compensation Board will have a hearing on the matter. At the hearing, a judge will examine the case with the medical records, wages the worker earned when working, and any other factor relevant to the claim. A decision will be made as to whether the worker should get workers' compensation or not.

What can I do if there are toxic chemicals at my worksite?

Dangerous chemicals at a worksite can be hazardous to the health and welfare of the workers who must do their jobs in the chemicals' presence. In New York and throughout the rest of the country workers have rights when it comes to dealing with and avoiding chemicals that may do them harm. This post will briefly discuss a worker's options for working with toxic chemicals, but it does not provide legal advice or guidance on the topic.

Any time that toxic chemicals are at a worksite an employer must make their workers aware of them. This includes giving workers information about the chemicals and can include providing workers with Material Safety Data Sheets. They may also use warning signs and chemical labels to provide information to their workers about the hazards present at their work locations.

Surprising workplace injuries

Any workplace has its hazards whether you are building a skyscraper or working in an office on the 66th floor of one. It is possible to get hurt anywhere, but some injuries are just surprising.

The human body is strange, and long hours at work can take strange tolls on people. Here are a few of the ways workplace activities can cause injuries that you do not expect.

Construction site dangers cause many types of worker injuries

The hazards of working at a construction site are significant and when proper precautions are not taken New York workers can suffer injuries and death. There are a number of different ways that worksite deficiencies can cause injury-producing construction site accidents and this post will only touch on some of them. The information contained herein is not comprehensive on the topic of construction site accidents and should not be used as legal guidance.

One of the most common ways that workers are hurt in construction injuries is through falls. Not long ago this post offered an article on a construction worker who fell down an elevator shaft while at work; falls can occur from buildings, off of equipment as well as from scaffolding. When workers are not properly tethered to heights they can suffer damaging and dangerous falls.

Assembly member urges rejection of Scaffold Law "reform"

New York State’s Scaffold Law has repeatedly been targeted by business interests for elimination that is often mislabeled as "reform." They argue that the law drives up construction costs and makes it more difficult for women and minorities to get into construction work, Assembly member Phil Steck wrote recently in Albany's Times Union.

He argues in an op-ed piece that corporate America has been waging war on safety laws that it claims slow economic growth. Steck writes that the evidence shows that the Scaffold Law does not deter business at all. When a developer talks of a new project, there is no shortage of construction firms eager to bid on the work, he notes.

Will your workplace illness expenses be compensable?

Employees in various industries in New York are exposed to hazards in their workplaces that could be detrimental to their health. Sometimes a workplace illness develops over time, while others are immediately evident. Regardless, the victims might be unsure of whether the workers' compensation insurance program will cover their particular occupational diseases.

Some of the more common workplace illnesses include respiratory conditions that follow exposure to hazardous chemicals and biological agents, fumes, vapors, gases or dust. Resulting diseases include asbestosis, silicosis, beryllium disease, farmers' lung, occupational asthma, tuberculosis and many more. While these enter the workers' bodies through inhalation, skin disorders and diseases develop from contact or absorption of chemicals and other substances through the skin. It can cause eczema, contact dermatitis, friction blisters, oil acne, skin inflammation and chrome ulcers.

Slip-and-fall workplace accidents cause 95M lost workdays a year

Workers in all industries in New York are exposed to the risks of slip-and-fall incidents, and many employers fail to recognize the fact that a bad landing after such a fall can cause catastrophic injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries and even death. Every business owner must have a fall prevention program in place, and employees must receive safety training to ensure they understand that preventing or cleaning up spillages or debris that can cause falls is the responsibility of all. Furthermore, workers must learn what to do regarding such workplace accidents.

Slips and trips that lead to falls are said to be the primary causes of occupational injuries. Statistics reported by the U.S. Department of Labor, the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the National Safety Council indicate that over 95 million lost workdays follow slip-and-fall accidents in the workplace every year. They say the number of daily fall accidents nationwide is as many as 25,000, costing an estimated $70 billion in workers' compensation and medical expenses annually.

Injured workers at dairy expose employer's safety violations

A spokesperson for an area office of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration says all workplace injuries can be prevented. However, as long as employers fail to provide adequate training and appropriate personal protective equipment, there will be reports of injured workers. His remark came after the agency proposed a penalty of more than $140,000 for safety violations at a New York dairy.

Reportedly, OSHA inspected the dairy in Jan. 2017 when compliance inspectors determined that employees worked without any personal protective equipment, and they also lacked the training to teach them about the hazards of their jobs. This investigation followed reports of several workers suffering serious burn wounds. These were caused by exposure to milk at temperatures exceeding 150 degrees Fahrenheit.

Fatal workplace accident claims MTA worker's life

It was a horrific start to a workday when a group of MTA workers in New York witnessed one of their colleagues fall to his death. This workplace accident happened shortly before 5 a.m. on a recent Tuesday at a subway station in East Harlem. Reportedly, the 23-year-old man had only been in this job for six months before he lost his life.

Although investigators will likely seek answers to the cause of the incident, initial indications are that the worker leaned against a wooden railing that gave way. He fell nine feet to the railway tracks below and landed head first. Witnesses say the worker was still alive when he was pulled onto the platform.

Fatal workplace accident claims MTA worker's life

It was a horrific start to a workday when a group of MTA workers in New York witnessed one of their colleagues fall to his death. This workplace accident happened shortly before 5 a.m. on a recent Tuesday at a subway station in East Harlem. Reportedly, the 23-year-old man had only been in this job for six months before he lost his life.

Although investigators will likely seek answers to the cause of the incident, initial indications are that the worker leaned against a wooden railing that gave way. He fell nine feet to the railway tracks below and landed head first. Witnesses say the worker was still alive when he was pulled onto the platform.

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