Workers Compensation

February 2016

Preventing construction injuries and deaths

By | February 22nd, 2016|Workers Compensation|

On behalf of Paul J. Ganim P.C. posted in Workers Compensation on Monday, February 22, 2016. On a daily basis, the men and women who work at active construction sites are exposed to numerous hazards. According to the Occupation Safety and Health Administration; falls, electrocutions, being caught in or between and being struck by are all leading causes of injury and death in the construction industry. OSHA reports that more than 20 percent of the fatal workplace accidents that occurred during 2014 occurred within the construction industry. Of the 874 construction workers who suffered fatal injuries while on the job, nearly 40 percent died from injuries suffered in a fall. During this same year, both electrocutions and being struck by an object accounted for roughly eight-and-a-half percent of construction fatalities, while accidents involving workers who were caught in or between represented less than two percent of fatal accidents. In an effort to reduce the risks that construction workers will suffer injuries or harm due to one of these key hazards, OSHA advises that employers take the following steps: Falls - Ensure that workers are equipped with fall-protection gear, utilize perimeter protections, employ the safe use of scaffolding and ladders and makes sure floor openings are covered and appropriately labeled. Electrocutions - Locate all utility and power sources prior to starting a project, ensure workers use caution when carrying out assigned tasks or operating equipment near power sources and lines and utilize ground-fault circuit interrupters. Struck-by - Ensure workers wear high-visibility clothing and communicate that workers should not put their bodies "between moving and fixed objects." Caught-in / between - Make sure that proper sloping, shoring and benching perimeters are followed when digging trenches or carrying out excavation work and ensure that trenches which are five feet or deeper have an "adequate protective system in place." Source: OSHA, "Top Four Construction Hazards," Feb. 22, 2016 OSHA, "commonly used statistics," Feb. 22, 2016

December 2015

Retail storage hazards expose workers to injuries and illnesses

By | December 19th, 2015|Workers Compensation|

On behalf of Paul J. Ganim P.C. posted in Workers Compensation on Saturday, December 19, 2015. A Connecticut owner of a retail store, regardless whether it is a multiple-store enterprise or a stand-alone business, must provide a safe workplace environment for employees. It is the responsibility of employers to address known hazards and establish a safety protocol that will protect workers from injuries and illnesses. During an inspection in May at Forever 21 Retail Inc. at the Westfarms Mall in Farmington, investigators with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration found conditions that threatened the welfare of the workers. OSHA inspectors found stacks of boxes that were dangerously unstable. The piles were as high as 10 feet, creating struck-by hazards. Furthermore, these boxes were reportedly stacked in front of exit routes. An OSHA spokesperson noted that negligently stacked merchandise could also create trip and fall hazards. Forever 21 reached an agreement with the U.S. Department of Labor to pay penalties of $100,000 and eliminate the identified safety hazards. This settlement might have resolved the issues in this store, but retail employees in other stores might be exposed to similar hazards. At this time of the year, increased stock volumes are typical, and effective safety protocols are vital. Employees in retail stores in Connecticut who have suffered injuries and illnesses that were caused by unsafe workplace environments may have to face high medical costs. Injuries can also bring about a loss of income due to the inability to return to work for some time. Fortunately, claims for workers' compensation benefits may be pursued. Some injured workers choose to utilize the services of an experienced workers' compensation attorney to help them navigate the administrative and legal proceedings to obtain fair compensation. Source: ctpost.com, "Forever 21 fined $100,000 for hazard at CT mall", Jim Shay, Dec. 18, 2015

November 2015

Workers’ compensation: Utility worker injured by speeding driver

By | November 24th, 2015|Workers Compensation|

On behalf of Paul J. Ganim P.C. posted in Workers Compensation on Tuesday, November 24, 2015. Two utility workers in another state suffered serious injuries in an accident that was allegedly caused by the driver of a speeding vehicle. According to reports, the incident occurred on a recent Tuesday morning in an area where employees of a utility company were digging a trench for a gas pipeline. Injured workers nationwide, including in Connecticut, are entitled to claim workers' compensation benefits, and if their injuries are caused by third-parties, such as in this case, the workers may also have viable third-party civil claims. Reportedly, slow moving traffic was going through the construction area, and an officer was directing the traffic. For unknown reasons, a car with a 76-year-old driver and her 84-year-old husband as passenger chose to speed down the left side of the backed-up traffic. She reportedly barely missed striking the traffic officer and smashed into the front of a backhoe that was excavating the trench. Police said the impact caused the heavy machine to spin, launching one worker -- who was next to the backhoe when it was struck -- across the road, and he landed about 30 feet away. The windshield of the backhoe smashed and debris caused leg injuries to the operator. The worker who landed on the roadway suffered serious back, neck and head injuries. Another car was also struck, but that driver was not injured. The only other injured person was the passenger in the car that struck the backhoe. The type of injuries that this worker suffered could cause long-term medical problems. While the workers' compensation benefits may cover most of the medical expenses and lost income, successful third-party claims may provide additional financial relief. In Connecticut, some victims of workplace accidents choose to retain the services of an experienced workers' compensation attorney who can provide guidance throughout the claim proceedings. A lawyer can also determine whether the injured victim has a viable third-party claim and can assist in navigating such a claim. Source: lowellsun.com, "Utility worker critically injured in Lowell accident", Cassidy Swanson, Nov. 17, 2015

When a work injury occurs

By | November 10th, 2015|Workers Compensation|

On behalf of Paul J. Ganim P.C. posted in Workers Compensation on Tuesday, November 10, 2015. Work-related accidents and injuries are fairly common and, at times, may be serious enough to warrant medical care, inhibit a worker's ability to return to work and result in a permanent disability. For these workers, the state's workers' compensation program can provide much needed compensation while one recovers from his or her injuries or in the event that a worker's injuries prevent his or her return to work. For every worker in the state, it's important to understand what you should and should not do if you or a loved one suffers a work-related injury. With any injury that occurs at work or while an individual is performing work-related duties, it's important to notify an employer as soon as possible. An employer will direct an injured employee to a preferred medical facility where he or she will receive prompt medical attention. A worker should then take steps to file an official workers' compensation claim in which he or she must provide details related to an injury as well as the circumstances that lead to the injury. Provided a claim isn't denied, an injured worker should start receiving benefits within a couple of weeks of filing a claim. There are several reasons why a claim may be denied. For example, an employer may dispute that an injury was work-related. Likewise, an employer's insurance company may deny a claim based upon the results of a medical exam. If a claim is denied, a worker can appeal the denial at what's known as an Informal Hearing during which he or she must provide compelling evidence that disputes a denial. Even in cases where benefits are awarded, at any time, an employer's insurance company may take action to stop, shorten the duration or decrease the amount of benefits being paid. For an injured worker who faces issues securing or keeping benefits, an attorney who handles workers' compensation matters can provide valuable advice and strong legal advocacy throughout the entire process. Source: State of Connecticut Workers' Compensation Commission, "An Employee’s Pocket Guide To Connecticut Workers’ Compensation," John A. Mastropietro, Nov. 10, 2015