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What is Occupational Asthma?

According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, occupational asthma is a bigger problem than many people realize. Occupational asthma, also referred to as workplace asthma, develops because of workplace conditions and causes wheezing, shortness of breath, coughing, and chest tightness. It is the most common workplace lung disease in the United States. 

Who is at risk?

The workers who are most at risk of developing occupational asthma are the ones who are exposed to a group of harmful chemicals called isocyanates, according to OSHA. These jobs include:

  • Car manufacturers
  • Textile workers
  • Painters
  • Printmakers
  • Furniture manufacturers
  • Rubber and plastic manufacturers
  • Electric cable insulators

What are the signs?

  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Chest tightness
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Burning of the eyes
  • Nasal congestion
  • Runny nose

How to prevent occupational asthma

Employees can work to avoid developing occupational asthma by avoiding exposure to harmful chemicals and allergens when possible, though this may not always be a viable option for every worker. If you notice signs of asthma, such as shortness of breath or wheezing, report it to your employer and get help from your doctor immediately. Occupational asthma is treatable if it is caught early.

Employers can protect their employees from developing occupational asthma by adhering to the safety guidelines developed by OSHA, eliminate harmful allergens and chemicals from the workplace, and offer employee training on how to recognize workplace hazards.

Because occupational asthma is a lung disease that may develop over months or years, a worker may not recognize their symptoms until much later. But occupational asthma is a condition that, if left untreated, could severely impact the worker’s quality of life and productivity.

Contact a New York workers’ rights lawyer

If you developed occupational asthma as a result of improper working conditions, you may be owed worker’s compensation benefits and other forms of compensation. The workplace illness lawyers of Hach & Rose, LLP understand New York labor laws and will help you get the workers’ compensation benefits or third-party injury compensation you might be owed. Call us at [phone number] to schedule your free consultation today.


Top ten most commonly violated OSHA standards

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, also known as OSHA, dictates certain workplace guidelines and standards that must be met by employers. Of course, employers break these rules and fall short of these standards constantly, which is why there are so many workplace accidents in America.

Each year, OSHA rounds up the standards that employers most commonly violated during the past fiscal year and publishes them. The 2019 list was published in Safety and Health Magazine.

Below is OSHA’s top 10 list, which remained basically unchanged from the 2018 list. Numbers 1, 3, 6, and 10 on the list apply specifically to construction sites, while the other items relate to employers in general.

  1. Fall Protection, Standard 1926.501
  2. Hazard Communication, Standard 1910.1200
  3. Scaffolding, Standard 1926.451
  4. Lockout /Tagout, Standard 1910.147
  5. Respiratory Protection, Standard 1910.134
  6. Ladders, Standard 1926.1053
  7. Powered Industrial Trucks, Standard 1910.178
  8. Fall Protection – Training Requirements, Standard 1926.503
  9. Machine Guarding, Standard 1910.212
  10. Eye and Face Protection, Standard 1926.102

Time and again, employers violate the same OSHA standards, putting their employees at risk. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “There were 2.8 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses reported by private industry employers in 2018.” According to the report, construction was the third most-dangerous occupation, following agriculture, fishing, and hunting and mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction.

Contact a New York City construction accident attorney

If you have been injured on the worksite because of your employer’s carelessness or reckless actions, know that you have a right to compensation. The construction accident attorneys at Hach & Rose, LLP are prepared to represent you and win you the compensation you deserve. We handle scaffolding accidents, crane collapses, unsafe worksite conditions, and more. In the past, we won $13,000,000 for a client who fell from a ladder and suffered a TBI. Let us handle your case so you can focus on your physical and emotional healing. Call our office at [phone number] to discuss your legal options today.


Understanding the workers’ compensation process in New York

If you have been injured on the job, you are likely entitled to claim workers’ compensation benefits from your employer’s workers’ comp policy. New York State requires employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance, with limited exceptions. This coverage must be carried and maintained and must cover all employees, even part-time workers, and family members who are employed by the company. 

What types of injuries qualify me for workers’ compensation?

Any injury you sustain while on the job gives you the right to workers’ compensation. This could be a slip and fall, a laceration, muscle strain, or getting hit by falling debris, such as on a construction site. However, workers’ compensation is not afforded if you were injured outside the scope of the workplace, such as when you are driving to and from work, or driving between work sites. Additionally, occupational diseases that develop because of working conditions, such as mesothelioma and hearing loss, entitle you to workers’ compensation. 

What if I have already been injured on the job?

If you have been injured at your place of work, you must file a report to your employer in writing within 30 days of the accident. If you file after the 30-day window, you may lose your right to compensation. Regarding occupational disease, you must report it within two years of discovering that the illness arose from your working environment. Your employer will provide you with a C-3 form that you must fill out and mail to the Workers’ Compensation Board. Your employer will fill out a C-2 form with information about your claim and send it to the Workers’ Compensation Board and the employer’s insurance carrier. 

Can I see my regular doctor for treatment?

You may be able to receive treatment from your doctor, but you need to check that they are authorized by the Workers’ Compensation Board to treat injured workers and that they are in your employer’s Preferred Provider Organization (PPO). Otherwise, the employer’s insurance carrier might not be able to cover the medical bill from that visit. You can visit this website to check if your doctor is authorized to treat injured workers by the Compensation Board. 

When you need an attorney

You may need to consult an attorney if you need assistance with filing your worker’s compensation claim or if you decide to appeal a decision that you disagree with that was made by your employer or their insurance carrier. For example, you can appeal the insurance’s decision to deny your claim. 

If you decide to make an appeal of any kind, call the experienced New York workers’ compensation attorneys at Hach & Rose, LLP. Our team can help you navigate the workers’ compensation process and get you the benefits you deserve. Call us at Hach & Rose, LLP to discuss your options today. 


How to Avoid Common Ergonomic and Repetitive Stress Injuries

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), adapting tasks, workstations, tools, and equipment to fit the employee can help reduce stress on the body and eliminate potentially harmful workplace musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). Every year, MSDs account for more than $15 billion in workers’ compensation costs. It is up to the employer to ensure they are creating a safe office space. 

MSD problems can result from the following: repetitive movements, sitting in awkward positions or straining your neck because a screen isn’t correctly placed, and static postures with little breaks to stretch the muscles.

OSHA provided an eTool to educate on healthy ways to reduce ergonomic injuries in the office space. Some solutions are the following: 

  • Make sure the chair, keyboard, and monitor are in a straight line with your body;
  • Use an adjustable keyboard tray to position your keyboard and mouse at a comfortable height, placing the mouse and keyboard as close as possible to your body to avoid reaching;
  • Maintain a relaxed, neutral posture and sit up straight to provide firm back support;
  • Allow your arms to hang loosely at the shoulders;
  • Keep your elbows at a 90-degree angle while typing;
  • Adjust the chair’s height so that your feet are firmly on the ground.

Many people don’t realize how debilitating a repetitive motion injury can be until they suffer one. Workers can find it difficult or impossible to return to the job until they’ve healed, and some might find that they can never perform those functions the same way again. If you’ve developed a condition due to repetitive motions on the job, you could be entitled to claim workers’ compensation benefits from your employers’ insurance policy. Securing this compensation is not always simple or straightforward however.

Contact a New York Workers’ Compensation Attorney

If you’ve suffered a RSI while at work in New York, contact an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer at Hach & Rose, LLP for help. Schedule your free consultation by calling us at (212) 779-0057 or by reaching out online today.


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Must Know Info: When an Injured Person Can Recover from an Employer Due to Negligence

In a new article posted to our “Must Know Info” series, New York workers’ compensation attorney Michael Rose outlines when an injured worker can receive compensation from negligent employers.

Click here for the full article.


New Video FAQ – If I’m injured on a construction site and I file a lawsuit, should I fear for my job?

In a new video FAQ, attorney Michael Rose discusses your rights when it comes to reporting an injury or for filing a lawsuit over an injury that occurred while on the job. People are often concerned that their employer may choose to fire them for filing a lawsuit, but as attorney Rose points out, this should not be a concern. There are protections in place for injured workers in New York, and if you’ve been hurt in an accident, you have the right to take legal action without fear of retaliation from your employer.

If you or someone close to you has been hurt in a construction accident, you have the right to seek compensation from your employer’s workers’ comp policy. If they wrongly deny your claim or choose to offer you less than what you should be paid to cover your medical bills and other expenses, an experienced attorney may be able to help you secure the compensation that you need. Contact us at (212) 779-0057 today to find out how we can help you.

 


New Video FAQ: How do you know if you have a personal injury or workers’ comp claim?

In a new video FAQ, attorney David Cheverie discusses how you can tell if you have a personal injury or workers’ compensation claim. Watch the video above or contact us to discuss your case.

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