Monday, September 28, 2009

Pennsylvania Workers Compensation Statistics

The Pennsylvania Department of Labor released a report that in 2008, at least six people died on the job in the Central Susquehanna Valley. They were among 240 work-related deaths in Pennsylvania last year, a 9 percent increase over 2007.

In 2008, two truck drivers were killed in highway accidents on Valley roads, as statewide road crashes were the leading cause of 47 work-related deaths.

In March 2008, a construction worker was run over by a forklift at the Monroe Marketplace building site in Hummels Wharf. A Sunbury man was crushed between two tractor-trailers at Reinhart Food Service in Coal Township.

An accident killed a man when 10,000 tons of concrete fell on him. A man was killed in a mine collapse at Harmony mine.

OSHA investigates work related accidents except municipalities and public employees, however, if statistics were to include deaths of government workers, such as highway workers, the number of work related deaths would have exceeded 240 in Pennsylvania.

Second to work-related highway deaths were more than 20 falls to a lower level, being struck by an object or equipment, and homicides.

Other frequent events leading to workplace deaths were being caught in or compressed by equipment or objects, pedestrian incidents, contact with electric current, self-inflicted injuries, and non-highway incidents.

Two industry sectors made up one-third of the workplace fatalities—construction and warehousing.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Tenacious like a bulldog-Philadelphia workers compensation lawyer

If you're in Philadelphia or anywhere in Pennsylvania and facing critical workers compensation issues right now -- what can you do?

Pick up the phone and call Larry Levin, Esquire.

Or ask a family member to call Larry Levin.

Larry Levin is not just any Philadelphia workers compensation lawyer.

Larry Levin has a big advantage because he used to work for an insurance company so he has the inside scoop how sneaky they operate and how they want you back to work at no cost and how they are going to give you as little money and benefits as possible.

You deserve better.

You deserve Larry Levin. He's as tenacious as a bulldog when it comes to fighting for workers compensation benefits for you -- his clients.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

How to Reduce Workplace Injuries

Always avoid problems with construction site accidents.

Since construction work involves physical labor you will be unable to perform any work if you are injured. This is why if you work on a construction site then you want to avoid unnecessary injuries. While it is impossible to develop any strategy to avoid injury (After all, no one can foretell the future), there is a two step process for safety: the employees must do their part and management must do its part.

The employee's part involves examine all equipment prior to use. Whether you are using a ladder or a nail gun, it is critical to examine such equipment for any flaws or potential problems. Often, when someone is in a rush to get a job completed there is a propensity to cut corners. Sometimes, this lack of foresight can occur without incident but in other situations cutting corners could lead to a number of problems. Sure, you might be able to save five minutes by not examining that ladder but that five minutes may prove very costly if it turns out to be defective. Really, do you really want a fall from a ladder? Always take the extra steps necessary to examine all equipment.

Management's part involves maintaining a safe work environment. Then, there are those unfortunate incidents where the management of the construction site has created a number of hazards. Management may feel that maintaining proper safety on a construction site is a needless cost. While it definitely does cost more money to maintain proper safety than it would to ignore workplace hazards, such diligence can save lives. This is why management of the site must maintain a safe working environment. If they do not and employees are injured then the employees would have a solid case for a construction site accident lawsuit. Of course, in order to file such a suit the employee(s) would need access to a solid attorney.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Concussions and Traumatic Brain Injuries

Concussions are major forms of brain injuries.

When you suffer impact to your head you may experience the most common traumatic brain injury in the form of a concussion. A concussion is a type of bruising on the brain that is often very serious. Yet, there are those who do not take concussions seriously. Depending upon the type of work they do they might assume that concussions are a part of the job. Boxers or stuntmen, for example, expect a certain number of concussions throughout the course of their career. Often, it will be the employer who will encourage further risky behavior. Obviously, this is most definitely not a good thing.

Suffering one concussion is bad enough. Suffering numerous concussions over a period of time can be downright devastating to a person's mental health. Anyone who has followed the news over the past year is probably familiar with the infamous Chris Benoit murder case. Benoit, a former professional wrestler, killed himself and his family in a fit of rage. An autopsy revealed that he had suffered multiple concussions over the years and this led to the degeneration of his mental faculties. If nothing else, the Benoit case shows the extreme danger inherent with not properly treating instances of repeated concussions. Also, the Benoit case shows the negligence inherent with his employer to encouraged activities that increase the potential for suffering further concussions.

If an employer has repeatedly places you in a situation where you suffer concussions then you may be able to seek civil damages against the employer. If the employer has threatened to fire you if you do not continue with the risky behavior this could even further strengthen a liability case. However, in order to ascertain whether or not the case has merit it becomes important to discuss the particulars of the traumatic brain injury case with a qualified attorney. A qualified attorney would be one who has a strong background in traumatic brain injury lawsuits. Such an attorney would understand the nuances associated with such litigation as well as the proper way to move forward with such a case.

Friday, October 17, 2008

What’s At Stake in La-Z-Boy Wrongful Termination Lawsuit has an interview with attorney Lauren Scholnick, whose firm is representing former furniture plant employees in a wrongful termination suit against La-Z-Boy. They are seeking class action status. Scholnick’s clients have alleged that La-Z-Boy had a pattern of firing employees who filed workers’ compensation claims. In most states, such retaliation is prohibited by law, but in Utah, where the suit was filed, there’s no such protection. It’s also interesting to note that La-Z-Boy was self-insured and did not participate in the state workers’ compensation pool, giving the company additional incentive to reduce it workers’ compensation costs.

Scholnick outlines some of the facts of the La-Z-Boy wrongful termination lawsuit in her Q&A with the Web site:

    Scholnick describes the La-Z-Boy case, Touchard v La-Z-Boy, first filed in 2004, as "sort of monumental for Utah workers in a bunch of ways. It's a wrongful termination case; most employees are protected from retaliation under state statute—they can't be fired, treated badly or demoted for using workers' compensation. In Utah, we didn't have any such protections under state statute, and up until La-Z-Boy there hadn't been a tort case establishing a protection from retaliation under common law."

    The case centers on wrongful termination of workers at the La-Z-Boy recliner plant in Tremonton, Utah, who had filed for workers' compensation for work-related injuries. Scholnick says, "The plant had 1000 employees and almost all of them had had some sort of injury—the plant was not very mechanized, so there was a lot of heavy lifting of mattresses and so on, a lot of repetitive stapling and sewing, and a lot of repetitive stress injuries…

    "There are a few different aspects to the remedy we're seeking—the first is to reopen the workers' compensation claims for the people who were denied treatment, benefits, or payouts because they were discouraged or terminated. That's an equitable remedy that will require re-examination of the claims, and the judge could handle it in different ways.

    "Because it's a wrongful termination case, we're entitled to tort remedies, so we were seeking back pay, reinstatement and back pay, or reinstatement and front pay. However, we just found out that La-Z-Boy is closing the plant in June, which makes reinstatement and front pay both impossible. So since La-Z-Boy has cut off front pay and reinstatement, what they'd be entitled to is back pay damages and punitive damages, as well as attorneys' fees and costs."

You can read more of the interview at

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Massachusetts man denied workers’ comp after falling asleep at the wheel

Car accidents are the most common cause of workplace injuries, but sometimes these types of workers’ compensation claims aren’t as clear cut as they would seem, as a recent case in Massachusetts proves.

A Big Dig employee, driving home after a 27-hour shift, fell asleep at the wheel and was injured. He filed for workers’ compensation benefits, arguing that he had been ordered to work beyond his normal shift and therefore should be covered by the state’s Workers’ Compensation Act. Normally, car accidents that happen when employees are going to or coming for work are not covered under workers’ compensation.

In this case, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts ruled that the employee had not proven that he was ordered to work his regular shift and was not eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.

"We need not decide in this case whether a requirement by an employer that an
employee work overtime to such an extent that the employee's trip home is made
substantially more hazardous can give rise to a compensable injury," Chief
Justice Margaret H. Marshall wrote for the court. "[H]ere the employee has not
met his burden to show that he was required by his employer to work beyond his
usual shift."

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Returning to Work After a Back Injury

Can education efforts help injured workers return to their jobs quicker? A new study seems to indicate that.

Here’s more on it from the Compensation Advantage blog:

    A recent study in the February 2008 Physical Therapy Journal, “Effects of Education on Return-to-Work Status for People With Fear-Avoidance Beliefs and Acute Low Back Pain” examined two groups of workers who were unable to return to work following a work-related episode of low back pain and who exhibited fear-avoidance beliefs. Both groups received conventional physical therapy intervention. One group also was given education and counseling on pain management tactics and the value of physical activity and exercise.

    The effectiveness of the education and counseling was measured by the number of days it took people to return to work without restrictions. All participants in the education group returned to regular work duties within 45 days, whereas one-third of the other group were still off work at 45 days. The study concludes, “Education and counseling regarding pain management, physical activity, and exercise can reduce the number of days off work in people with fear-avoidance beliefs and acute low back pain.”