What are the workers’ compensation benefits in Pennsylvania?

If you are injured on the job in Pennsylvania, you don’t want to sit around and wait to learn more about workers’ compensation. Instead, it is important to understand…

If you are injured on the job in Pennsylvania, you don’t want to sit around and wait to learn more about workers’ compensation. Instead, it is important to understand what is available to you, how to file for benefits, and what is expected of you during the recovery process.

One of the most important things you can do is learn more about the many types of workers’ compensation benefits provided by the state program. These include:

— Payments for lost wages. This is available if you are partially disabled and earning less than your pre-injury earnings or fully disabled and not in position to work.

— Death benefits. If the injury leads to death, surviving dependents of the person may be able to receive this type of workers’ compensation benefit.

— Specific loss benefits. This comes into play if you lose permanent use of a sense or body part.

— Medical care. If you are injured or become ill on the job, you may be entitled under the law to receive benefits for related medical and surgical procedures.

No two workers’ compensation claims are the same. This is why any injured party needs to learn more about the benefits system, as well as their rights.

Final note: Don’t delay in reporting your injury or illness to your company, as this can make it more difficult to receive some or all of the benefits detailed above.

The Pennsylvania workers’ compensation system is in place to provide a variety of benefits. Knowing which ones you qualify for is extremely important to your future.

Source: Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, “Workers’ Compensation & the Injured Worker,” accessed Oct. 27, 2015

Construction worker injuries and on-the-job safety

There are a number of safety issues that construction workers face on the job that other workers do not. Some safety concerns, though, are very similar. In 2012, there…

There are a number of safety issues that construction workers face on the job that other workers do not. Some safety concerns, though, are very similar.

In 2012, there are 4,175 worker deaths. Just over 19 percent were in the construction industry — or just over 800 workers. More than half of those deaths were caused by only factors:

— Falls accounted for 279 construction worker deaths in 2012.

— Seventy-nine workers died after being struck by an object.

— Electrocution was the cause of death for another 66 workers.

— Thirteen deaths were caused by workers being caught in between something.

It’s not just fatal injuries, though. Construction laborers also were injured more than many other types of workers.

At MHK Attorneys, we work to protect the rights of injured construction workers. We know that most construction workers know there is a high chance of injury for workers in their industry; however, when workers are injured because of a negligent employer, that is a different story.

Contract workers and employees can seek compensation when they are injured. This is especially true if a third party, such as the manufacturer of faulty equipment is to blame for the accident. We work diligently to get our clients the compensation they deserve after a construction accident.

Insurance companies will try to convince you that you don’t need the benefits you deserve. We’re used to fighting these large corporations and we know their tricks. We want you to know that we will be right beside during the entire process. Visit our website to learn more.

Event cancelled after student dies in car accident

Penn State University’s THON charitable campaign has been going strong for years. This time around, however, the organization has decided to suspend a canning weekend, during which students collect…

Penn State University’s THON charitable campaign has been going strong for years. This time around, however, the organization has decided to suspend a canning weekend, during which students collect donations, due to the death of a student in a car accident.

According to reports, a 19-year-old female student from Connecticut was killed in an accident on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. She was returning from a canning event in Philadelphia, along with other students, when the crash occurred.

The executive director noted that the group is suspending the upcoming event to take a closer look at the policies associated with its fundraising model. This includes those who would not have been required to travel in order to collect donations.

The executive director also added the following:

“This past week, we have received multiple emails and calls from community members concerned with volunteer safety.”

The suspension of the upcoming event will give the organization time to consider its policies, while also ensuring the safety of students.

The student was the second one in four years to die in a car accident during a donation weekend for THON. This also happened in 2011.

The THON charitable campaign has nothing but the best intentions. Unfortunately, it has led to a couple student deaths over the past four years.

Anybody who spends time driving on the highway, regardless of his or her destination, should realize the importance of remaining safe at all times. This includes watching what other drivers are doing. In the event of an accident, the authorities should be notified and medical help should be sought.

Source: The Morning Call, “Penn State’s THON cancels ‘canning’ weekend after volunteer’s death,” Associated Press, Oct. 06, 2015

How to deal with toxins in the workplace

There are some types of companies in which toxins in the workplace are a daily occurrence. Even so, this does not mean that employees should be exposed. Instead, it…

There are some types of companies in which toxins in the workplace are a daily occurrence. Even so, this does not mean that employees should be exposed. Instead, it is imperative that they are kept protected at all times.

Any company can take steps to prevent or reduce toxin exposure. Not only should the company have a system and strategy in place for doing so, but employees should be aware of what is expected of them.

Some of the best ways to prevent exposure to toxins in the workplace include:

— Substitution. This includes the removal of a toxic material for one that is safer.

— Isolation. If toxins must be used, it is important that they are isolated from workers.

— Ventilation. This is one of the best ways to control toxins, ensuring that they are removed from the space before harming others.

— Personal protective equipment. Once again, there are times when workers will be exposed to toxins. As long as this is known — as long as it is expected — it gives workers the necessary time to put on equipment such as a mask, ventilator and protective clothing.

These are just a few of the many ways that companies and employees can deal with toxins in the workplace. What matters most is that direct exposure is avoided at all costs.

If a person is injured or becomes ill due to toxic exposure, it is important to receive immediate medical attention. Waiting for any reason could make the problem worse, thus putting the person in a more challenging position.

Source: FIndLaw, “Toxic Exposure in the Workplace,” accessed Oct. 13, 2015

Revisions show even more fatal injuries happened in 2013

The Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries—or the CFOI—was released on a preliminary basis back in September of 2014, after data had been collected, and it found that there were…

The Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries—or the CFOI—was released on a preliminary basis back in September of 2014, after data had been collected, and it found that there were 4,405 fatal injuries during the year. However, revisions have now been made and the new total has been released, showing that there were even more injuries than previously thought. The final count stands at 4,585.

While this includes injuries in Pennsylvania, the overall count is for the entire United States.

Despite this increase, the numbers are going down. These reports were first put out back in 1992. Since that time, there has only been one other year with a lower total amount of fatal injuries than 2013.

Additionally, there were 3.4 fatal injuries in 2012 for every 100,000 workers on the job. In 2013, that number fell to 3.3. It’s not a huge move, but it does show a continual downward trend.

The study takes into account only full-time equivalent workers.

It’s interesting to note, however, that these trends don’t apply to all groups. For instance, 817 Hispanic or Latino workers were fatally injured in 2013, while only 748 were fatally injured in 2012. This means that the rate for these workers actually went up by a full 9 percent, even as the overall numbers fell. When looking at percentages based on every 100,000 workers, the rate for Hispanic or Latino workers also went up from 3.7 in 2012 to 3.9 in 2013.

No matter what group you fall into, it’s very important to know about your rights to compensation if you have lost a loved one in a fatal workplace accident.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Revisions to the 2013 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) counts,” accessed Oct. 09, 2015

What are construction’s Fatal Four?

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration is staffed with the responsibility of keeping workers safe at their place of employment. Along with state partners, the agency takes great…

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration is staffed with the responsibility of keeping workers safe at their place of employment. Along with state partners, the agency takes great pride in protecting the well being of more than 130 million workers. Even so, no agency is able to prevent every workplace accident.

According to OSHA, nearly 5,000 people were killed on the job last year. This works out to approximately 13 deaths every day of the week.

When it comes to dangerous work environments, construction is at the top of the list. In 2014, 20 percent of worker deaths were in construction.

OSHA understands that many types of accidents can occur, with the “Fatal Four” needing the most attention. These accidents include:

— Falls

— Electrocutions

— Struck by object

— Caught in or caught between

For example, approximately 40 percent of total deaths in the construction industry in 2014 were from falls. This is followed by 8.5 percent caused by electrocutions, 8.4 percent struck by object, and 1.4 percent for caught in/between accidents.

It is good to know that OSHA understands the seriousness of these types of accidents. But here is the problem: It is difficult to reduce the number of accidents that occur within the construction industry, among others.

Federal and state agencies, along with employers and employees, should work together to promote the safest possible work environment. This is easier said than done, but any progress is better than none at all.

It only takes one mistake in the workplace to seriously injury or kill a worker. At that point, the company is then turned upside down for quite some time.

Source: Occupational Safety and Health Administration, “Commonly Used Statistics,” accessed Oct. 07, 2015

Third-party blame in commercial vehicle accidents

Human errors are responsible for a large number of motor vehicle crashes. However, Pennsylvania drivers aren’t the only ones who can be careless. Negligence may occur behind the scenes,…

Human errors are responsible for a large number of motor vehicle crashes. However, Pennsylvania drivers aren’t the only ones who can be careless. Negligence may occur behind the scenes, particularly in commercial vehicle accidents.

A deadly accident involving a repurposed amphibious vehicle made national headlines in September 2015. Komonews.com reported five college students lost their lives after a so-called duck boat swerved into a charter bus on a West Coast bridge. Fifty people were hospitalized with injuries.

The unusual crash sparked a multi-level investigation by state and federal agencies, including the National Transportation Safety Board. Soon after the crash, the NTSB found out Ride the Ducks International had issued a recommendation to affiliates, warning axles on the former military vehicles might be unsafe. The warning was issued in 2013 encouraging specific axle repairs.

The axle on the duck boat involved in the fatal accident was sheared off. Officials were unable to establish immediately whether damage to the axle occurred before or after the duck boat slammed into the charter bus. Federal investigators estimated it might take up to a year to find out what really happened.

State officials, unprepared to wait for a final federal report, filed a complaint against the Seattle affiliate of Ride the Ducks. Authorities felt the fatal crash was caused, at least in part, by “unsafe operation.” Investigators want the Washington-based duck boat fleet sidelined during the probe, which involves the inspection of all vehicles and a review of driver records.

Strict safety standards apply to many commercial vehicles used to transport passengers. Violations of these standards can be used to help establish fault when Lehigh Valley accident victims file civil claims for personal injury or wrongful death.

Lengthy local, state and sometimes federal investigations complicate commercial vehicle accident claims. MHK Attorneys are prepared to help crash victims gather sufficient proof to support compensation claims against negligent drivers and third parties.