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Workplace Injury

Why Do Construction Accidents Go Unreported?

Why Do Construction AccidentsWorking on a construction site naturally comes with a significant risk of injury. Though it would benefit the injured construction worker to report the accident, both to get workers’ compensation and to push for a safer work environment, many injured workers never report their injuries. In 2013, the Center for Construction Research and Training conducted a survey of 135 construction workers to determine why they don’t always report their injuries. At least ¼ of them said they suffered a workplace injury but chose not to report it.

It is important to remember that reporting your injuries will not backfire on you in any way, especially if you hire a personal injury attorney to represent you during the process.

Reasons why construction workers choose not to report workplace injuries

  1. Employees fear retaliation from their employers such as loss of benefits or even loss of their job
  2. Many construction workers consider pain and injury to be a natural part of their job
  3. They didn’t want their supervisors or coworkers to view them as weak
  4. Many people do not understand how to fill out or file the paperwork associated with workers’ compensation
  5. Undocumented workers often fear deportation or legal repercussions if they report an injury (regardless of immigration status, injured workers will not be deported)
  6. Workers often downplay the severity of their injuries
  7. Workers feel that they cannot afford missing work to go to a doctor, undergo surgery, and take time to recover

Generally speaking, workers have two years to file a workers’ compensation claim after the date of their accident. It’s important to file a report with your site supervisor as soon as the accident occurs so you can claim compensation and have a paper trail in case you need to go to court later. A personal injury attorney will help you through the process and ensure that your employers don’t take advantage of your injury.

Contact a New York construction accident lawyer

If you were injured at a construction site, you are entitled to workers’ compensation and may be able to file a civil lawsuit for additional damages. No injured worker should face intimidation or any other roadblock to seeking compensation. Contact a New York construction accident lawyer to discuss your rights and legal options. Our number is (347) 318-9604 or you can reach out to us online 24/7.

Signs and symptoms of CRPS

CRPSComplex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), formerly known as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD), is a type of chronic pain that can develop after someone gets injured, undergoes surgery, experiences a heart attack, or a stroke. This type of pain is relatively uncommon and still not well-understood by physicians. Usually, it is diagnosed simply by ruling out other types of chronic pain. CRPS/RSD occurs in an arm or leg and is proportionally much more painful than the severity of the original injury.

What are the symptoms of CRPS/RSD?

The symptoms of this condition might not manifest until months after the initial injury and can change over time. People who suffer from this chronic pain report feeling:

  • Persistent burning or throbbing pain, usually in your arm, leg, hand or foot
  • Unusual cold or touch sensitivity
  • Swelling around the painful region
  • Skin temperature alternates between sweaty and cold
  • Skin changes color, ranging from white and mottled to red or blue
  • The skin on the painful affected area might become tender, thin or shiny
  • Changes in hair and nail growth
  • Joint stiffness, swelling, and damage
  • Muscle spasms, tremors, weakness atrophy
  • Decreased ability to move the affected hand, foot, arm, or leg

Can I take legal action if I have been diagnosed with CRPS/RSD?

If you have been diagnosed with this chronic pain condition and believe that it originated from an injury you sustained because of someone else’s ignorance, you might have a case. Contacting a personal injury attorney as soon as possible will increase your chance of winning compensation. Personal injury cases have a statute of limitations of two years, so you must file your claim within two years of getting diagnosed with this condition.

Contact a New York CRPS injury lawyer

If you have developed CRPS/RSD as a result of an injury you sustained, you might be entitled to compensation for the harm you’ve suffered and enduring pain you’ve been forced to endure. Contact Hach & Rose, LLP to discuss your rights and options. Call our office at (347) 318-9604 or reach out online today.

Top ten most commonly violated OSHA standards

OSHA standardsThe 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 (347) 318-9604 to discuss your legal options today.

Winter weather-related construction injuries

Construction workers perform some of the most physically demanding and dangerous jobs there are. Not only must they be on their feet all day, operate dangerous machinery, pour concrete, and lay bricks, but all their work is usually done outdoors. In the wintertime, especially in freezing regions like New York, the workers’ regular exposure to cold, wind, and rain could lead to serious health problems if they aren’t addressed in time. 

Common cold-weather injuries and illnesses

The Center for Construction Research and Training identified three of the most common health risks posed to construction workers during the colder months: 

  • Hypothermia
  • Frostbite
  • Trench foot  

Hypothermia occurs when your body loses heat faster than it can produce it. Your body temperature dips below 95 degrees Fahrenheit (when it is usually 98.6), and if you go without emergency medical attention, it will lead to respiratory and heart failure. The signs of hypothermia include shivering, weak pulse, slurred speech, loss of coordination, and very weak pulse. 

Frostbite can occur when your skin is exposed to extreme cold for too long, leading to the freezing of your skin and inner tissues. It usually occurs on your fingertips, nose, and ears, and the mild cases can be treated by gradual warming. Severe frostbite causes permanent skin damage and must be treated by a medical professional. 

Trench foot is usually associated with the horrific wartime conditions of WWI but can occur anytime your feet are overexposed to wet, unsanitary, cold conditions. Your feet may become red, tingly, itchy, and numb. Trench foot can be prevented by wearing dry, warm socks and insulated waterproof boots. 

Safety guidelines to protect outdoor workers

  • Weather-appropriate clothing must be required for construction crews working in temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  • Assign employees to work in pairs so they can look out for each other and spot warning signs
  • Provide breaks in a warm, sheltered area so workers can reheat their bodies and dry off their clothing and footwear
  • Try to schedule work for the warmest part of the day when possible

If you have been injured on the job in the winter, contact the New York construction accident lawyers at Hach & Rose, LLP  at (347) 318-9604 right away.

Understanding the workers’ compensation process in New York

compensation processIf 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. 

Workplace injuries caused by chemical exposure and toxins

Workplace injuriesAs WWI was nearing its end, young women across America worked in factories and unknowingly exposed themselves to toxic chemicals each day. One group of such women, who later became known as the Radium Girls, exposed themselves to radiation poisoning by luminescent paint. 

As they decorated watch faces with this toxic paint, they inhaled it, got it on their bare skin, and even orally consumed it. As their bodies literally started glowing, and then quickly deteriorating as a result of the poisoning, they spearheaded the most iconic labor rights movement in American history. 

The right for workers to sue their companies for personal injury resulted from their plight, even as nearly every single one of them died from the exposure. 

If you are concerned that you are being exposed to toxic chemicals in your work environment, you are entitled to financial compensation. 

What are some modern workplace exposure risks?

These are the most common workplace chemicals you may be exposed to:

  • Aluminum
  • Asbestos
  • Benzene
  • Lead
  • Mercury
  • Petroleum
  • Pesticides
  • Silica
  • Acids

How does exposure happen?

As with the Radium Girls, inhalation is the most common manner of coming into contact and ingesting these chemicals. But the chemicals may also enter your body through other means, including: 

  • Accidental injection, such as when a sharp object carrying that chemical pierces your skin
  • Ingestion, if the chemical contaminates your food or drink, or doesn’t wash away when you wash your hands
  • Direct skin contact and entering into your bloodstream

Where would this happen?

This list isn’t exhaustive, but these are a few places where chemical contamination may be possible:

  • Hospitals
  • Construction sites
  • Laboratories
  • Demolition sites
  • Factories

If you have been exposed to toxic chemicals in your workplace, it is important that you reach out to a qualified injury attorney to discuss your legal rights and options. Contact the New York workplace injury attorneys of Hach & Rose, LLP at (212) 779-0057 to discuss how we could help you. 

How to Avoid Common Ergonomic and Repetitive Stress Injuries

Common ErgonomicAccording 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.

Safety Tips to Prevent Workplace Injury this Winter

As the temperatures drop this holiday season, there is always a risk for a potential injury. Slip and falls are a common workplace injury, especially in the winter, when ice and snow coat the parking lots and pathways to your workplace. According to EHS Today, here are some ways to prevent a slip and fall injury:

  • Keep all pathways clear of ice and snow, including the parking lot;
  • Remove snow and ice immediately from busy sidewalks;
  • Maintain precautions while you walk, including holding your hands out as you navigate through a wet or slippery area;
  • Avoid carrying heavy equipment or loads that could impact your balance;
  • Label any potential hazard areas with signs, cones, or barricades;
  • Wear proper footwear with heavy treads;
  • Navigate on grassy areas where you are less likely to slip;
  • Wear bright colors or reflective gear when walking to notify drivers of your presence.

Update Safety Plans and Procedures

If employers are engaged and active in creating an open space for employees to speak their concerns, you are better equipped to form a proper safety plan. Employees are less likely to suffer injury if they are reminded of company safety procedures and encouraged to practice these procedures in the workplace. According to EHS Today, here are some ways for employers to maintain a safe environment to prevent workplace injury:

  • Identify potential hazards in the workplace and research past incidents. Find ways to improve, so injuries don’t repeat every holiday season;
  • Evaluate potential risks and how they may affect your employees;
  • Find ways to resolve potential hazards such as moving dangerous environment factors or purchasing up-to-date equipment;
  • Maintain records of your work environment, such as keeping a schedule of all product maintenance and cleaning procedures to ensure you can correct the safety mistakes made.

Contact a New York Workplace Injury Lawyer

If you were injured at work, seek medical attention immediately and contact an experienced workplace injury attorney at Hach & Rose, LLP. Schedule a confidential consultation with us by calling (212) 779-0057 or reaching out to us online.

Waste Disposal Workers: Why Are Injury and Illness Rates So High?

Waste Disposal WorkersWaste disposal workers have one of the most dangerous, physically-demanding jobs in the United States. Not only are they required to operate industrial-grade equipment routinely, but they are also exposed to numerous toxins, pollutants, and chemical contaminants daily. This repeated exposure can lead to several long-term, life-threatening illnesses.

According to a report from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the injury and illness rate for waste disposal workers is almost two times higher than any other occupation in America. From 2017 to 2018, occupational injuries and illnesses for waste management workers increased from 116.9 thousand to 118.6 thousand.

In a 2017 study published in Occupational Medicine, researchers found that “rates of fatal, non-fatal injuries and self-reported work-related illness were found to be higher in the waste and recycling sector than in [the work] industry as a whole.”

Some of the most common illnesses for waste disposal workers include:

  • Extrinsic allergic alveolitis – A respiratory condition caused by the regular inhalation of organic dust, typically within a work setting.
  • Aspergillosis – A type of fungal infection caused by repeated exposure to the fungus Aspergillus, located in waste disposal settings
  • Occupational asthma – Asthma caused by the repeated inhalation of irritants such as toxic vapors, specks of dust, or gases
  • Abnormalities of lung function – There are a wide range of lung conditions that can cause abnormal functionality, such as diseases, viruses, irritations, and infections
  • Lead poisoning and exposure to other heavy metals – Exposure to heavy metals, such as lead and mercury, have been linked to DNA damage and congenital disabilities

Unfortunately, protective respiratory gear for waste disposal workers isn’t enforced throughout the United States. When the protective equipment is worn, it is typically very minimal. Industry professionals agree that the waste disposal sector still has much room for improvement when it comes to protecting workers from occupational hazards.

Contact a New York Toxic Exposure Workplace Attorney

Employers have a responsibility to protect their workers from known occupational hazards. If you or someone you love has become injured or ill due to exposure to hazardous substances in the workplace, the workplace injury attorneys of Hach & Rose, LLP will be ready to help you get justice and fair compensation for the harm you’ve suffered. Call us at (212) 779-0057 or reach out online to schedule a free consultation with our team today.

What to do if you’re injured at work

What to doSustaining an injury at work is always a possibility, especially for laborers who carry out physically demanding tasks on a daily basis. According to the United States National Safety Council (NSC), “every seven seconds, a worker is injured on the job.” This means that each year, an average of approximately 4.6 million workers sustain work-related injuries — amounting to a whopping total of 104 million lost production days in the United States. Some of the most common types of work injuries include:

  • Injuries from overexertion, such as strains or sprains due to repetitive motion or handling heavy objects
  • Injuries from falling objects or other types of contact with heavy-duty industrial equipment
  • Injuries from being caught in or compressed by machinery
  • Injuries from being crushed or trapped within a collapsing structure
  • Injuries from slips, trips, and falls

Unfortunately, many people sustain injuries because of workplace hazards and unsafe conditions. In too many cases, workers end up being taken advantage of by employers and insurance companies alike. If you have been injured at work, here are some steps you can take to ensure your well-being.

  • Seek medical attention for your injuries as soon as possible.
  • The medical provider might have you sign an A-9 form before treating you. This form states that you might be responsible for paying medical bills if the claim is rejected by the Workers’ Compensation Board, or if you do not pursue a workers’ compensation claim.
  • Inform your boss as soon as possible. If you are pursuing a workers’ compensation claim, you only have thirty days to formally notify your employer of your injury in writing. After this time period, you may lose your rights to worker’s compensation benefits.
  • If you are pursuing a workers’ compensation claim, fill out a C-3 form, then send it to your nearest Workers’ Compensation Board office. You have two years to file a claim, starting from the date of the injury. If you do not file a claim within this time, you may lose your right to benefits.
  • If you are filing a personal injury claim, it may be extremely beneficial for you to seek legal advice. Only a professionally trained attorney can help you with the details of a complex personal injury case.

Contact a New York Work Injury Lawyer

If you or someone you love has been injured on the job, you are undoubtedly going through a frightening time. Injuries, medical bills, and recovery costs can be overwhelming for anyone to deal with. At Hach & Rose, LLP, we want you to know that you do not have to go through this alone. Our skilled team of attorneys will help you understand your rights and seek fair compensation, either through a claim for workers’ compensation benefits or through a personal injury claim. Call us at (212) 779-0057 to discuss your rights. 

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