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Besides the obvious harm to an employee injured on the job, workplace injuries hurt businesses in many ways: reduced productivity, morale, costs of training a temporary or permanent replacement for the injured employee, and the loss of time dealing with Workers’ Compensation claims and insurance.
Fortunately, there are a few smart practices that businesses can implement to help prevent injuries in their workplaces.
Companies should implement a plan to address safety and wellness measures for all employees. Having a company policy that places value in maintaining a heathy workforce encourages a buy-in from employees that creates a culture of making health and safety a priority at all levels.
During the hiring process, applicants should be screened by a health professional to adequately assess their fitness for the job at hand. A physical evaluation can determine if the applicant can perform the job duties required, as the inability to do so puts the potential employee at risk for injury.
Training new employees on how to safely perform the job is a must. It can be just as vital to revisit safety protocols with re-training sessions for established employees. Ongoing training may introduce new safety techniques, or simply keep safety on the minds of workers who may otherwise become complacent.
Provide safety equipment, such as gloves, hard hats, protective eyewear, and ear plugs to preserve hearing. Enforce the use of safety equipment with reminders, postings, inspections, and a culture that requires compliance.
Accidents occur more often when the workspace is messy. An organized workplace is not only an effective workplace, it is also a safe one.
Ensure that work equipment and vehicles are inspected regularly and that all repairs are made as soon as they become necessary.
Overburdened workers cut corners and overworked employees burn out. Understaffed businesses run the risk of undermining safety.
Let your staff help keep each other safe. Encourage all staff to report instances where safety protocols are being overlooked or disregarded.
Flexible and ever-evolving safety standards keep companies mindful of the overarching importance of safety to their business goals.
If you or a loved one was injured in a work-related accident, you may be entitled to compensation. The Wilmington work injury lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow have the experience to walk you through the process and to help you obtain the maximum benefits for your injury. Contact us online or call us at 302-427-9500 to discuss your case for free. Located in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware, we represent clients throughout the state, including the areas of Elsmere and Seaford.
Fractures can be the result of many different workplace accidents and leave you with financial worries, especially if you must miss work due to your injury. For this reason, it is important to understand your legal options after being hurt on the job. If you were injured as a result of a workplace accident, you may be eligible for Workers’ Compensation.
A fracture is another word for a broken bone. It is a common type of injury and occurs when physical force on a bone is stronger than the bone itself. Fractures are normally caused by a traumatic event, such as a fall or a blow. It can be difficult to tell whether you have a fracture, but there are symptoms to look out for. Fractures can cause:
Fractures can be categorized into displaced and non-displaced fractures, which refers to the alignment of the bone that is fractured. There are also open and closed fractures; an open fracture is when the bone breaks through the skin, while a closed fracture refers to when the bone breaks underneath the skin.
Workers’ Compensation protects workers who have sustained an injury on the job, regardless of who was at-fault for the accident. It provides financial support, medical benefits, and even death benefits to the family if an employee dies as a result of their workplace injury or illness. If an employer does not provide employees with Workers’ Compensation, they may be subject to fines, lawsuits, or criminal charges.
The most important thing to have in a case involving a broken or fractured bone is medical evidence, which includes x-ray images of a fractured bone. Black and white x-rays make it difficult to dispute that a bone was broken or fractured. This makes it easier to negotiate a settlement. If there is little to no proof that the accident occurred as a result of a workplace injury, the Workers’ Compensation payment may be lower than if there was substantial evidence.
If you or someone you know was injured in a workplace accident, contact a Bear DE Workers’ Compensation lawyer at Rhoades & Morrow today. Our experienced lawyers will fight for your rights and obtain the compensation you deserve for your injuries. For a free consultation, contact us online or call us at 302-834-8484. With offices located in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware, we proudly serve clients throughout the state, including the areas of Elsmere and Seaford.
Despite their best efforts, employees sometimes experience injuries while on the job. Whether nagging or severe, injuries can lead to lost opportunities to receive income, high medical bills, and sometimes the need to switch occupations. Back injuries remain among the most common conditions reported by team members seeking Workers’ Compensation. In fact, injuries related to the back and spine can happen in a wide range of environments, sometimes without warning.
The most common reasons for back injuries stem from improper, poorly delivered, or non-existent training. A worker who does not understand how to stay healthy and safe while working may make errors, such as lifting items the wrong way. Over time, these missteps can lead to stress on the back, which turns into long-term back problems.
Even workers who have been trained the right way from the beginning may not realize the gravity of workplace safety. For instance, an employee in an industrial plant may attempt to skip safety steps to get a task completed faster because of a demanding manager. This can lead to mistakes and the opportunity for injuries. If the demanding manager is acting outside of corporate orders, the company could be held liable for the worker’s injury. Certain employees have back trouble due to repetitive stress. Merely twisting and turning a certain direction, day after day, can cause repetitive injuries on the back and the rest of the body. Repetitive strain can then snowball into more serious, permanent conditions.
Whatever the reason for back injuries, they all manifest themselves uniquely. Therefore, every case needs to be custom considered. As an example, some people with workplace back injuries complain of lower back strain that worsens or cannot be alleviated. Other workers may be diagnosed with herniated discs, requiring occupational or physical therapy, or even surgery. Pinched nerves and damage to the spinal cord are other medical problems associated with work-related back injuries.
Ideally, employees who experience any type of back injury on the job should feel free to make a Workers’ Compensation claim and have it approved. Sometimes, though, insurance carriers and companies that self-insure deny relevant claims. In those situations, or if a back injury is due to extreme negligence on the part of the employer, the worker may want to seek advice from a Workers’ Compensation lawyer.
If you suffered a back injury at work, talk to the Wilmington work injury lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow today. We will review your case and obtain the benefits you deserve. Located in Milford, Wilmington, and Bear, Delaware, we serve clients throughout the state, including the areas of Elsmere and Seaford. Call us at 302-427-9500 or contact us online for a free consultation.
Stress is a natural part of working, even when people love what they do for a living. However, sometimes stress levels can reach intense levels and employees begin to burn out. When that happens, workers in Delaware may be eligible for Workers’ Compensation if they can prove that their emotional distress is directly related to their job.
Mental burnout involves more than just feeling blue for a few days or wanting to take a personal day off to recharge. A diagnosis of burnout must be made by a physician or therapist and usually takes place over several visits to achieve a diagnosis. To prove that the stress is not related to something other than the workplace, workers must show a direct correlation between their mental health and something happening on the job. Although this can be difficult, it is not impossible and may be worth pursuing depending on the circumstances.
Every employee’s job is unique, which means all sources of stress are also unique. Nevertheless, some common work-related occurrences tend to produce more stress than others. For instance, if a manager repeatedly uses fear to intimidate employees, the employees may become overwhelmed about losing their positions, being fired, or not getting a paycheck. Similarly, a worker may face a supervisor who expects overtime but will not pay, or a supervisor who threatens physical or emotional harm.
Other reasons for burnout can involve harassment and bullying in an office setting, or a job environment that is not conducive to good health. A good example of this would be a construction site that is not properly maintained or safe, leading employees to wonder if they will be hurt.
Employees who feel burned out should speak with a trusted supervisor or human resources representative before taking legal action or placing a Workers’ Compensation claim. That way, they can show that they took action to mitigate their heightening stress in case the company does not response.
Proving that burnout is directly linked to a job can be difficult. Still, it may be worth it for certain employees to work with a Workers’ Compensation attorney to find out if they should try to place a claim for benefits. Attorneys familiar with Workers’ Compensation law can help individuals understand how others in their situation have dealt with similar problems. They can also give recommendations on the documentation necessary to increase their chances of receiving benefits.
If you were injured at work, consider contacting a Milford Workers’ Compensation lawyer at Rhoades & Morrow today. Located in Milford, Wilmington, and Bear, Delaware, we serve clients throughout the state, including the areas of Elsmere and Seaford. Call us at 302-422-6705 or contact us online to set up a free consultation.
Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS), also known as Jackhammer Syndrome, is a neuromuscular disorder affecting the hands of construction, mining, forestry, and manufacturing workers that use heavy power tools on a regular basis. According to the College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics at Texas A & M University-Texarkana, HAVS affects nearly half of the two million American workers exposed to heavy power tools, such as jackhammers, grinders, riveters, drills, and chain saws.
The first symptoms to appear are tingling and numbness in the fingers and hands. Many workers affected by HAVS believe the symptoms are temporary and continue to work with high-powered tools without seeking medical intervention. As time goes on, the disorder progresses and causes pain, blanching of the fingers, and loss of strength in the hands as damage to the nerves and blood vessels increases. Once a worker’s fingers begin turning white, the disorder is irreversible.
In some cases, gangrene can develop and require amputation of the fingers or hands. Damage to the nerves and blood vessels leads to restricted blood flow and sensitivity. Workers with advanced HAVS can lose feeling in their fingers and hands, which can lead to severe infection and gangrene. When the infection reaches the bone, amputation is the only way to stop the progression of the gangrene.
Medical intervention and physical therapy can reduce the damage caused by HAVS, but only in the very early stages of the disorder. Reducing exposure to high-powered tools is necessary to protect workers showing signs of HAVS. Failure to address the damage caused by continuous exposure to intense vibrations will result in permanent damage and disability.
Employers are legally responsible to provide a safe working environment that is free from unnecessary hazards. For those in the construction and manufacturing industries, using power tools with lower handle vibration mechanisms and reducing the amount of exposure workers have to high-vibration equipment is essential for preventing HAVS. The American Society of Safety Engineers’ Professional Safety Journal and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommend the following safety practices to reduce the damage caused by high vibration equipment:
Construction and manufacturing employers can significantly reduce the number of HAVS victims by investing in low-vibration equipment. New technology on jackhammers, riveters, chain saws, and drills reduce the intensity of vibrations on the hands and fingers.
If you have been diagnosed with HAVS or sustained a work-related injury, call a Wilmington work injury lawyer at Rhoades & Morrow today. Call us at 302-427-9500 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation today. Located in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware, we serve clients throughout the state, including the areas of Elsmere and Seaford.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Workers’ Compensation both help individuals who are unable to work and cover their expenses. Individually, they are both incredibly helpful for disabled individuals. However, many disabled individuals might wonder whether they can collect both Workers’ Compensation and SSDI.
The answer to this question varies from case-to-case, however, any individual who qualifies for both programs can receive benefits from both. However, it is important to note that there is a limit to the amount of money one can receive from both programs. Individuals who are interested in seeking both SSDI and Workers’ Compensation should contact a lawyer for more information.
SSDI and Workers’ Compensation both serve similar purposes, however, they are different. First, individuals should note that they are two different programs. SSDI is a federal program, while Workers’ Compensation is state-run. This is important to note, because Workers’ Compensation programs tend to vary from state-to-state, while SSDI is similar for everyone.
Each program has a different definition of disability. Workers’ Compensation considers an employee disabled when they are unable to perform the tasks related to their current job. The Social Security Administration, however, considers an individual disabled when they are unable to perform any job on the market in the nation. Also, an individual is considered totally disabled if their disability is expected to last longer than a year or if it is expected to cause their death. This difference is important to note because it might affect whether an individual qualifies for one program or both.
Individuals who qualify for both SSDI and Workers’ Compensation should note that there are limitations to the amount of money they can obtain if they participate in both programs. The limit for the amount one receives from Workers’ Compensation and SSDI is 80 percent of the individual’s average earnings. If the amount of money the individual is entitled to is higher than 80 percent, then the amount of money they obtain from SSDI will be reduced. However, since Workers’ Compensation is often temporary, the amount of money an individual receives from SSDI will adjust to a higher amount after it expires.
It is important to note that although Workers’ Compensation affects the amount an individual receives of SSDI, private insurance payments do not affect it. Similarly, a few public benefits, such as Veterans Administration benefits and Supplemental Security Income will not affect a disabled individual’s benefits either.
If you or a loved one is disabled from a workplace injury, please consider contacting a Bear DE Workers’ Compensation lawyer at Rhoades & Morrow. Our lawyers work tirelessly to help our clients obtain maximum compensation for their injuries. If you are interested in speaking to one of our lawyers, contact us online or call us at 302-422-6705. With offices located in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware, we proudly serve clients throughout the state, including the areas of Elsmere and Seaford.
Silica is a common, naturally occurring material found in sand, granite, and soil, and is used in a variety of building materials, such as glass, concrete, and masonry. As substances containing silica are chipped or chiseled away, small particles of silica dust are released into the air. In recent decades, we have learned people who inhale silica dust are at a significant risk of respiratory problems and chronic lung diseases, including silicosis and lung cancer.
Workers in construction and other building trades are especially vulnerable to silica-related health problems because of their prolonged exposure to this substance. Many seek compensation for the serious and preventable health conditions that impact their quality of life.
Because we now understand the risks to workers exposed to silica dust in agriculture, construction, manufacturing, mining, and other industries, the federal government has strict safety standards in place to protect workers. In addition to limits on the acceptable silica dust levels in the workplace, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires employers to:
Employers who fail to adhere to OSHA’s safety requirements may be liable in a claim for silica exposure damages.
Workers suffering from silicosis or other chronic illnesses caused by silica exposure generally have three options to seek compensation for the medical expenses incurred as a result of their loss of income when they are physically unable to work.
If you have been exposed to silica dust and have concerns about the risk for disease or have already been diagnosed with health conditions caused by toxic exposure, it is time to contact an experienced attorney. A Bear DE Workers’ Compensation lawyer reviews your situation, explains your legal options, and helps you take the first step to recover compensation for your preventable condition.
While silica is an important resource used in ways that benefit our everyday lives, workers who are not protected from inhaling its dust have a significant risk of contracting serious, incurable diseases. If your employer failed to protect you from silica exposure, the Bear DE Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow assist with the financial impact a serious illness can cause. Call us at 302-834-8484 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Bear, Milford, and Wilmington, Delaware, we proudly represent workers throughout the state, including the areas of Elsmere and Seaford.
Any worker who handles metal parts, works in extreme heat, or uses electricity places themselves at a higher risk for a workplace injury. Those working in the welding profession perform all three of those tasks daily. By understanding the most common causes of welding accidents, welders can take the necessary steps to protect themselves from serious workplace injuries.
One of the most common causes of welding accidents is electrical shock. When metal pieces containing electrical voltage touch, their electrical circuit can cause primary or secondary voltage shock. Without proper grounding, these shocks can enter a welder’s body. Electrical shock can result in first and second-degree burns. Using proper grounding equipment and following safe work practices can prevent electrical accidents.
The welding process often produces toxic fumes that can be dangerous to workers who breathe these dangerous gases into their lungs daily. Welding fumes can contain harmful chemical byproducts, including lead, manganese, aluminum, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and arsenic. Toxic exposure to metal oxide compounds can lead to the development of respiratory illnesses and lung cancer. To avoid injuries caused by toxic exposure, welders should work in ventilated areas with properly maintained equipment.
Also called arc eye, welder’s flash occurs when a welder is exposed to a bright flash of ultraviolet light coming from a welding torch. Welder’s flash typically causes inflammation of the cornea and can lead to light insensitivity, blurred vision, infection, and even loss of eyesight. Workers can protect themselves from flash burn by wearing coated safety googles, a welder’s mask, or specially designed sunglasses.
Noise pollution is another potential cause of welding-related injuries. The average welding working environment produces over 85 decibels of noise. Without proper ear protection, welders risk significant hearing loss or damage to the ear canal.
High temperatures produced by the welding arc can contribute to dangerous working conditions. Welders face significant burn risks from fire given the necessary high temperatures and amount of chemicals involved in the welding process. Molten metal and hot slags also present significant burn risks. Hot sparks and flying metal pieces can present an additional safety risk for workers. Debris landing in a welder’s eye or penetrating the ear canal can cause irreparable damage affecting the welder’s vision or hearing for the rest of their lives.
Welding accidents can result in serious injuries requiring years of medical treatment and result in an ability to return to work. Significant medical expenses and lost wages can place great financial stress on families caring for an injured worker. Employers who fail to provide a safe working environment for their workers may face liability when a workplace injury takes place. The first step in determining whether compensation may be available for a workplace injury is to contact an experienced Wilmington work accident lawyer to discuss your case.
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in a welding accident, the experienced Wilmington work accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow can help you receive the maximum amount of compensation for your injuries. Our offices are conveniently located in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware to serve work accidents victims throughout the state, including the areas of Elsmere and Seaford. To schedule a free consultation today, call us at 302-427-9500 or submit an online inquiry form.
Workers’ Compensation benefits provide compensation for lost wages and medical expenses when a work injury requires medical attention and lost time from work to recover. Although injuries vary according to each industry, there are several common accidents that occur in all types of work environments. The most common workplace accidents include:
The most common injuries related to workplace accidents include:
Accidents in the workplace will happen despite our best safety efforts. It is important to follow the protocols for reporting your injuries and filing for Workers’ Compensation benefits if you are injured at work. These include to:
In some cases, Workers’ Compensation benefits are denied, but this does not mean benefits are not available. An experienced Workers’ Compensation lawyer can appeal the denial and claim the compensation you deserve.
If you have suffered a workplace injury or illness, call the Wilmington work injury lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow at 302-427-9500 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation today. We will fight to obtain the benefits you deserve. Located in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware, we serve clients throughout the state, including the areas of Seaford and Elsmere.
All work can become stressful. However, when work-related stress becomes an everyday occurrence that affects an employee’s quality of life, the employee may want to consider filing for Workers’ Compensation benefits. While getting approved for Workers’ Compensation benefits because of work-related stress can be challenging, employees have been successful under certain circumstances. First, it is important to talk about what differentiates certain stressors from others.
Intense, rather than normal, work-related stress typically comes from work conditions and demands that are persistently difficult to deal with and achieve. As such, they become increasingly overwhelming. For example, an industrial worker may be constantly expected to work harder to produce unrealistic results. Eventually, the worker starts to feel emotionally taxed, as well as physically exhausted. Yet, instead of recognizing this, their supervisors continue to expect higher levels of productivity. It is obvious to see how this type of pressure can be a source of unyielding stress and anxiety.
Another type of workplace stress may stem from witnessing a traumatic incident, such as seeing a colleague become seriously injured or even killed. Stress may also come from being harassed at work or treated differently, which are both human resources matters and may be grounds to file a lawsuit. Aside from making the environment impossible to enjoy, bullying and snubbing by management can lead to tremendous feelings of unease and worry. Any continuous work stress beyond what is normal could be a reason to file a Workers’ Compensation claim.
Employees cannot merely tell their employers that they feel stressed out to be considered for Workers’ Compensation benefits. Instead, they must be diagnosed with work-related stress by a professional. Some indicators of work stressors that can be proven through medical intervention include regular headaches, digestive difficulties, muscle tension, rapid heartbeat, sleeping problems, frequent illnesses, growing depression, panic attacks, memory issues, loss of interest in job, performance issues, aggression, isolation, and even suicidal thoughts. Anyone who experiences these indicators should seek immediate attention from a trained physician.
Most employees believe they can only file a Workers’ Compensation claim if they suffer a physical injury. Yet, Workers’ Compensation benefits are available to workers who can document their work-related stress with medical bills and other information. Attorneys can help stress-burdened workers file their initial claim, or help if the first was denied.
If you were injured at work, a Milford Workers’ Compensation lawyer at Rhoades & Morrow can help. We can assist you in proving that your heightened levels of anxiety and related physical and emotional symptoms are a direct result of your workplace atmosphere and experiences. Call us today at 302-834-8484 or fill out an online form for a free consultation. Located in Wilmington, Milford, and Bear, Delaware, we serve clients throughout the state, including the areas of Elsmere and Seaford.