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The U.S. oil and gas industry supports much of this country’s energy needs but the work can be dangerous for employees. Accidents can be prevented, and it is up to employees and their employers to understand and practice important safety protocols every single day.
Other hazards include vehicle collisions, machine hazards, confined spaces, and hazardous energy. Here are safety tips for oil and gas workers and their employers:
High-visibility clothing is crucial for oil and gas workers, and includes reflective, high-visibility fabrics and striping. Safety gear like helmets, the proper footwear, goggles, and respirators also prevent accidents and injuries.
Employers are responsible for workplace safety, and this includes ensuring that all employees are trained and given orientations when first hired. Part of this is learning safety procedures like a stop-work authority, and mentoring programs can help with all of this. Employees should also have documentation of the company’s standard operating procedures.
Even though oil and gas job sites are different from office workspaces, it is still important to remember the basics. Drilling areas must be clear of slippery surfaces, damage, and other tripping hazards. Proper lighting is also important. The rule of thumb here is to be aware of your surroundings.
When small accidents occur, they should be logged in and reported. This way, a minor issue can be addressed before it escalates. Serious site accidents must also be reported and thoroughly documented.
Some oil and gas workers are hired on a short-term basis and while the extra hands may be needed, they can present more risk to themselves and others. These workers should also have orientations and be properly trained and supervised. After all, they are exposed to the same hazards as the other employees.
During the extraction processes, certain areas and equipment are left dormant for repairs, testing, and equipment movement. These must be clearly marked with tags, signs, or tape. Employees who work in these areas have to be instructed on the procedures. Employers are responsible for explaining the dangers of reenergizing and restarting equipment that is in lockout or tag-out status.
Trained employees can be authorized to lockout machines, and no one else should attempt to do so. The trained workers can also be responsible for maintenance and repair operations. Untrained, unauthorized personnel can cause serious accidents when they do not understand or follow the proper procedures.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), four out of every 10 oil and gas worker fatalities are from vehicle incidents. Managers must manage the safety protocols for employee transportation, which is often in distant, remote areas. Trained drivers should complete pre-trip inspections and should never speed. It is also best to only use approved driving surfaces and to be alert for any hazards.
Like any other worksite, maintenance is key for safety. This pertains to more than just the equipment; vehicle and tool maintenance is also important. There should be maintenance schedules and regular walk-throughs to check the site for possible problems and adherence to safety rules: complacency leads to work-related accidents.
Oil and gas industry work can take a toll on one’s physical and mental health. If you have chronic pain, see a doctor. The same holds true for your mental health. When you are not feeling well at work, focus and alertness can be impacted. It only takes a second to become injured when you are distracted. Just as importantly, if you have a chronic illness, get that checked out as well. It could be serious and could be work-related.
Drilling rigs are constantly changing work environments, and employees get moved around from spot to spot. This means that you might be familiar with your area, but not others. Walk the job every now and then to understand where things are. Look over the emergency evacuation plan, know where the safety equipment is, and memorize the escape routes.
Oil and gas industry employees who notice hazards can do themselves and everyone else on the site a big favor by pointing them out to supervisors. This is all about open communication, which should be encouraged by employers. That goes both ways, of course. Safety managers have to be proactive about communicating workplace risks in real time. Weekly safety meetings, emails, and other methods keep everyone in the loop and should be an important part of the workplace.
Oil and gas industry workers can be injured or lose their lives when hazardous energy is not safely controlled. Accidents can lead to burns, crushing, electrocution, lacerations, fractures, amputations, and worse. Here are some examples of how these accidents happen:
If you work in the oil and gas industry and were seriously injured on the job, it helps to have an experienced team on your side. At Rhoades & Morrow, our knowledgeable, skilled Delaware work injury lawyers have handled many of these cases and always fight to protect our clients’ rights. For a free consultation, call our Wilmington, Delaware offices at 302-427-9500 or complete our online form. With offices in all three counties of Delaware, we serve clients throughout the state.
Repetitive stress injuries affect the nerves, muscles, ligaments, or tendons and are caused by constant use or repetitive motions. This persistent overuse of the same muscles and other structures leads to temporary or permanent injuries to that part of the body. Repetitive stress injuries frequently affect the arms, shoulders, elbows, knees, wrists, fingers, and thumbs.
Repetitive stress injuries commonly affect workers who perform the same physical tasks for prolonged periods of time. These injuries impact many different types of workers and cost employers billions of dollars in lost productivity and Workers’ Compensation claims every year.
There are steps workers can take to prevent these debilitating injuries:
The goal is to prevent repetitive stress injuries before they occur. However, it is still important to recognize the signs and symptoms of overuse so you can get the necessary treatment and possibly avoid more serious complications. Repetitive injury symptoms include:
Overuse injuries vary based on the motions and parts of the body stressed by repetitive motions. Here are the most common overuse conditions:
With so many variable at play, it is difficult to say without a consultation with a lawyer. However, if you were hurt on the job during the course of your normal work responsibilities, you may be entitled to benefits for your medical care, lost wages, and other compensable expenses under Workers’ Compensation law.
If you are injured at work, you should report the injury to your employer as soon as possible and request medical attention. Failure to complete these steps can make you ineligible to collect benefits.
If your injury is not the result of a single accident or event, you must report your condition after receiving a diagnosis for a repetitive stress injury. Save all documentation related to your condition and your care. Give your employer notice of a claim for compensation for the period of disability starting from the third day following the accident or knowledge of a diagnosis.
Your employer is required to collect this information and submit a report in writing to the Office of Workers’ Compensation within 10 days. If you cannot reach an agreement and your claim is denied, you have two years from the accident or diagnosis date to file a petition. While legal representation is not required, it is beneficial for navigating the complex Workers’ Compensation system and building a strong case for benefits.
For decades, our Wilmington Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow have been fighting for the rights of workers across the state. We oversee complex work injury cases. If you have been injured at work and need help with your claim, contact us today. Call 302-427-9500 or complete our online form to schedule a free case review today. We have offices in Wilmington, Bear, Milford, and Lewes, Delaware. With offices in all three counties of Delaware, we serve clients throughout the state.
Whether you view brewing beer as an art or a science, or both, there is no denying that the bar and brewery industry can be just as dangerous as many other workplaces. A brewery is filled with specialized equipment and many moving parts that employees have to be aware of to prevent injury. The same can be said for those that work at a bar.
According to a Reuters analysis of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) data, today’s smaller craft brewers are almost four times as dangerous as larger breweries. From safety issues such as slip and falls to unsecured kegs causing crushing injuries or chemical spills, working in the bar and brewery business can be quite hazardous.
Bar and brewery owners have a responsibility to their workers to promote and maintain a safe environment. However, workers have to do their part, stay alert, and communicate with each other to be as safe as possible. Here are a few safety tips for bar and brewery workers:
If you work at a brewery or at a bar and have a workplace injury, contact one of our Wilmington Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow if you need help with your claim. Call us at 302-427-9500 or fill out our online form for a free consultation. We have offices in Wilmington, Milford, Bear, and Lewes, Delaware. With offices in all three counties of Delaware, we serve clients throughout the state.
Despite the fact that getting enough sleep is a crucial part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, a growing number of Americans are functioning on too little sleep. If you work in a factory and you have trouble getting the recommended number of hours of sleep each night, you are at an increased risk of suffering a serious workplace injury.
Often, factory workers either work long shifts or they work the night shift, which means that they are working when most people are sleeping. Studies suggest that an increasing number of workers are expected to work long hours on a regular basis. This makes it challenging for workers to keep up with their other responsibilities, like family obligations, housework, and other tasks. In addition, it can make getting enough sleep that much more challenging.
The following are examples of how shift work and long hours can negatively impact factory workers:
Getting the recommended hours of sleep on a regular basis has a number of benefits, such as:
Getting the recommended number of hours of sleep is easier said than done. This is particularly true for night shift workers whose circadian rhythm is disrupted. Shift workers and employees who work the night shift often experience the impact of a disrupted sleep cycle more than other workers. However, there are proactive steps you can take to improve your sleep and reduce the risk of injuries:
If you do become injured in a workplace accident, you may be eligible for Workers’ Compensation benefits. If you need help with your claim, speak with a lawyer as soon as possible.
If you are a factory worker and suffered a serious injury at work, do not hesitate to contact one of our Wilmington Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow for legal assistance. We will help you navigate every step of the claims process. To schedule a free consultation, call us at 302-427-9500 or contact us online. We are located in Wilmington, Bear, Milford, and Lewes, Delaware. With offices in all three counties of Delaware, we serve clients throughout the state.
Electrical hazards are among the most prolific dangers on a construction site. Temporary power sources, exposed wires, and exposure to the elements are just a few of the many possible dangers that construction workers face each day.
Even if you do not work directly with electrical systems or electrically-powered equipment, you could face dangers caused by such items. You might accidentally contact something that is carrying an electrical current and suffer electric shock or even electrocution.
Electric shock and electrocution can occur on construction sites. They most often occur whenever construction workers accidentally contact high-voltage power lines. Electrocution is the most lethal and results from direct contact with power lines.
Electric shock occurs when a power line is not grounded properly and sends an electrical current through a worker’s body. Electric shock might not kill a worker, but it could in some scenarios. Instead, it often results in burn injuries that require medical care and time away from work.
An arc or flash caused by electrical equipment or exposed power lines could ignite flammable or explosive gases. Those gases could cause serious workplace injuries or death to construction workers.
A sudden release of electrical energy causes an electric arc or flash that releases electricity into the air. If that air is mixed with flammable gas, the gas could ignite or trigger a catastrophic explosion.
Electrical lines and equipment also could create tripping and falling hazards for workers. When a line or a piece of equipment is exposed or otherwise lying on the ground, a worker might catch a foot on it or step on it and lose balance. The resulting fall could cause a serious injury or even death when working from an elevated position.
When workers fall, they also might drop an electrical tool or another object. The item might cause blunt force trauma or worse if it has moving parts that are sharp or otherwise very dangerous for workers to contact.
It is important to identify high-risk areas that might pose significant risks of accidents and injuries. Dangerous areas should be clearly marked with cones, markings, and safety barriers, and workers should know of the risks.
Worksites should be regularly inspected to ensure workers are safe from exposed wires and other electrical dangers. Workers should know the correct lockout/tagout procedures and practice them regularly to help shut down electrical current when done working or if a dangerous condition might exist.
Workers should have good safety equipment, including face shields, helmets, and gloves that help protect against electrical shocks and other worksite hazards. Qualified electricians should be on the jobsite to properly maintain and repair any faulty electrical lines or systems.
If you have a workplace electrical injury and need help with your claim, speak with one of our Wilmington Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow. You can call us at 302-427-9500 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. We are located in Wilmington, Bear, Milford, and Lewes, Delaware. With offices in all three counties of Delaware, we serve clients throughout the state.
Each day, there are millions of workers across the U.S. who are placing themselves at risk. Whether a job requires heavy lifting or working with machinery, every job has its dangers that could cause a worker to suffer an injury and take time off from work. Some jobs, however, come with more risks than others.
One job that presents more than the normal share of job-related risks is one that requires a person to work in a confined space. Working in a confined space means having limited ability to move, which suggests that if danger is present, a worker might only have a paucity of a chance to escape unscathed.
Fortunately for workers who routinely enter confined spaces to perform much-need tasks, there are regulations and protocols that could significantly reduce the chances of suffering an injury.
A confined space is more than just a small area. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), a confined space is large enough for a worker to perform specific job tasks and has limited room for a worker to enter and exit. OSHA explains that a confined space is not necessarily designed to accommodate people or allow them to occupy it on a continual basis.
OSHA oversees the safety of American workers. This includes mandating regulations for workers in confined spaces. OSHA insists that employers must maintain visual or verbal communication with their employers at regular intervals while in a confined space.
Furthermore, OSHA mandates that a permit be required for any worker who works in a confined space that presents a specific danger. This includes spaces containing hazardous materials, a hazardous atmosphere, walls converging inward, floors that taper in size, live wires, heat stress, and unguarded machinery.
Safety protocols save lives. Workers in confined spaces must have specific training to complete a task, and that includes safety and emergency procedures. A qualified supervisor should be present at all times and perform a safety inspection before any employee enters the confined space. Inspections should include a test of the air quality, infrastructure, work and safety equipment, and escape route.
A plan should be in place and learned in case of an emergency. All necessary and up-to-date safety equipment should be supplied, including protective gear, equipment to detect toxins and flammable gasses, fire extinguishers, and oxygen masks. Lastly, there should be constant communication between a supervisor and worker.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that over a nine-year period, the occupations that saw the most deaths in confined spaces were construction laborers, agricultural workers, first-line supervisors in construction trades, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters. In addition, BLS reports that the causes of these deaths include falling from a higher to lower level, inhalation of a dangerous substance, a collapse of an enclosed space, engulfment of collapsing materials, a fire or explosion, and operating machinery.
The confined spaces that these workers were in included:
If you are injured in a confined space while performing work duties, you are likely eligible for Workers’ Compensation benefits.
Workers’ Compensation provides benefits that cover medical expenses, including doctor visits, tests, surgery, rehabilitative services, and prescriptions. Lost wages are covered but at a percentage of a worker’s salary. This includes injuries resulting in permanent disability. Death benefits may also be provided.
If you have been injured due to hazardous work conditions, such as working in a confined space, you may need a lawyer if there is a problem with your claim. One of our experienced Wilmington Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow will protect your rights. Call us at 302-427-9500 or contact us online for a free consultation. We are located in Wilmington, Bear, Milford, and Lewes, Delaware. With offices in all three counties of Delaware, we serve clients throughout the state.
Workers’ Compensation is designed to protect workers against the costs of suffering debilitating injuries while doing their jobs. If a worker is injured, obtains medical care, and misses a significant amount of work, Workers’ Compensation pays the bills.
In exchange for accepting Workers’ Compensation benefits, a worker cannot sue the employer for damages arising from the injury. The issue of just when a worker is eligible for Workers’ Compensation protection matters greatly. The going and coming rule at least partly addresses that issue.
Although workers must go to and from the workplace, the going and coming rule exempts that activity from Workers’ Compensation. There are too many ways in which a worker might become injured while journeying from home to work and back again.
A car accident could hospitalize the worker. A slip and fall on an icy or wet sidewalk could cause a worker to suffer an injury. Countless potential perils could strike, but they are not the fault the employer.
Delaware’s Workers’ Compensation law exempts travel to and from the workplace from qualifying for coverage. That partly is due to workers commonly making one or more stops while going to or coming from work. It largely is due to auto insurance and premises liability protecting workers while they are driving and making stops.
A worker might drop off kids at school while on the way to work or stop at stores, gas stations, and other places on the way home. Those are personal errands and not work requirements, so the coming and going rule addresses that by denying Workers’ Compensation coverage while traveling to or from work.
The going and coming rule is not absolute. Many exceptions would extend Workers’ Compensation protection to workers who are injured while operating their own vehicles. Those exceptions include:
When an employee is issued a company vehicle for regular use, any injuries suffered while driving could qualify for Workers’ Compensation. A company vehicle usually requires the driver to use it in a specific work-related manner and not for personal errands or pleasure trips.
Any injuries suffered while driving from one work site to another also count as a work-related injury, since that travel is a necessary part of your job and occurs while you are on the clock rather than commuting to and from work.
Some jobs require regular travel. A salesperson traveling from one location to one or more other locations is just one example. Regular travel while on the job is necessary to complete the assigned workload, so injuries suffered while traveling would be covered.
If you are at work and are tasked with a special assignment that requires you to drive somewhere, any injuries that you might suffer would be subject to Workers’ Compensation.
The errand could be as simple as picking up some lunch that your boss ordered. Or it might be to a local office supply store to get some paper for the printer. No matter the mission, Workers’ Compensation would apply.
Anyone engaged in commercial travel in a personal or company vehicle also would be subject to Workers’ Compensation coverage.
If you drive to work, you may have a designated parking area or a specific parking spot that you must use at your place of employment. Once you arrive at the parking location, you are doing part of your regular work routine.
If another vehicle runs into you and causes an injury before you are able to enter the building, that could be a Workers’ Compensation claim. So could a slip-and-fall or another injury accident that occurs while you are in the designated work parking area.
The full liability might not be with your employer and Workers’ Compensation by extension. A privately owned parking lot or municipal parking ramp could be liable for your injuries and other damages, but depending on the circumstances, your employer also might be accountable, especially if your employer assigned the parking location for you to use. An employer-designated parking area would be part of your regular pre-work routine and a necessary part of doing your job.
If you are traveling as part of your work assignment, you should be eligible for Workers’ Compensation coverage, even if you are not the one doing the driving.
Any injuries that you suffer while traveling for work should be treated right away by a doctor. You can use your own doctor or see a company doctor and still qualify for Workers’ Compensation benefits.
You need to notify your immediate supervisor or another employer representative regarding the injury. You also would have to describe the circumstances that caused the injury. Witnesses, video evidence, or other supporting proof of the accident could help to streamline the claims process.
Your medical costs should be covered by your employer via Workers’ Compensation. If you miss more than three days of work, you should be eligible for lost wages coverage. That would be equal to about two-thirds of your average hourly wage or weekly salary amount.
If your Workers’ Compensation claim is denied, you need to request an internal review by your employer. If that does not correct the situation, then you can file an appeal to the Delaware Office of Workers’ Compensation.
The state will conduct a review of the events leading up to the injury accident and render a decision. Their decision either will uphold the denial of your claim or overturn the denial so that you are covered.
If your claim remains denied, you could file a lawsuit seeking damages from your employer and other liable parties. An experienced Wilmington Workers’ Compensation attorney could help you to present the strongest possible case.
If you are injured while traveling for work, the experienced Wilmington Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow can help you to fight a denial of a valid Workers’ Compensation claim. You can call 302-427-9500 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation at our law office in Wilmington, Delaware. With offices in all three counties of Delaware, we serve clients throughout the state.
According to the American Burn Association, approximately 486,000 burn injuries requiring medical care occur every year in the United States. Many of these injuries happen at work. Construction workers have a considerable risk of being burned because of the machinery they utilize and the hazardous materials they encounter on the job.
Here are the most common types of burns that happen in the construction industry.
Construction workers risk contact with electricity from a wide range of sources, including electrical devices, lightning, currents on the jobsite, and power lines. The severity, treatment, and prognosis for electrical burns vary based on the voltage involved. More severe electrical burns can damage the blood vessels, nerves, muscles, and organs beneath the skin.
When contact with electricity occurs on the construction site, bystanders should turn off the electrical source if possible. Next, begin CPR if the person does not have a pulse or is not breathing. However, never touch someone if they are still in contact with the current. Call 911 immediately for serious emergencies.
Thermal burns are among the most common burn injuries that occur in the United States, accounting for 450,000 of medical clinic and hospital visits every year. They are caused by exposure to excessive heat, including contact with steam, flames, and hot liquids. Most thermal burns are relatively minor and require pain management and wound care at outpatient centers or hospitals. Only a small percentage of these injuries are treated in specialized burn centers.
When a thermal burn happens, the first priority is to control and stop the burning process. Personal protective equipment (PPE) and fire detection and action plans are ways to prevent thermal burns on construction sites.
Construction workers who work with corrosive or causing materials on the jobsite risk serious chemical burns. Exposure to industrial cleaners and manufacturing and laboratory chemicals, in particular, can cause these types of workplace injuries. These substances literally eat away at the skin and damage the tissue underneath.
Hazard communication training to educate and alert workers to the risks of certain materials is essential. Every workplace should have protocols in place to safely store, transport, and use these chemicals to protect workers from painful and debilitating chemical burns.
Construction workers who suffer serious burns on the job may be entitled to Workers’ Compensation or have cause to bring a personal injury claim against a negligent third party. After seeking the proper medical care for your injuries, contact a lawyer for guidance.
If you have been injured on the job and need help with your claim, speak with one of our experienced Wilmington Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow. Call us today at 302-427-9500 or contact us online to learn more and to schedule a free consultation. We have offices located in Wilmington, Bear, Milford, and Lewes, Delaware. With offices in all three counties of Delaware, we serve clients throughout the state.
Radiologists are healthcare professionals that perform a range of medical imaging tests, including Computed Tomography (CT) Scans, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Positron-Emission Tomography (PET), X-Rays and ultrasounds. In recent decades, radiologists have shifted from using conventional radiological film to a picture archiving and communication (PAC) system. While this system provides a range of benefits to patients and radiologists, including more efficient scheduling and workflow, less space needed for storing the data, and a greater ease of standardization of structured reporting, studies indicate that the transition to a computer-based workforce has also caused radiologists to suffer a range of physical consequences associated with sitting at a computer for extended periods of time. If you are a radiologist, and you suffered a workplace injury, contact an experienced Workers’ Compensation lawyer as soon as possible.
According to a survey by the American College of Radiology (ACR), close to one-third of radiologists in the United States report that they suffer from lower back pain, and other musculoskeletal injuries associated with the shift to the PACS system. Spending prolonged periods of time sitting at a desk, the use of non ergonomic chairs and a failure to take regular breaks can cause lower back pain, neck pain and repetitive stress injuries. According to researchers, in addition to having fewer face-to-face interactions with patients, the current system of sitting in front of a computer for hours at a time can cause musculoskeletal injuries like “computer back” and “mouse shoulder.”
Approximately 500 practice leaders were contacted by the ACR’s Human Resources Commission. This represented roughly one-third of all practicing radiologists in the United States. They were asked to complete a survey that addressed workplace injuries, and musculoskeletal injuries were a common complaint. In fact, 32 percent of practice leaders reported that radiologists experienced back pain, 25 percent reported neck pain, and 16 percent experienced repetitive stress injuries. Some of the contributing factors included poor job satisfaction and negative workplace environments. Unfortunately, in radiology and most other fields, decreased job satisfaction can also lead to burnout.
According to the study, one of the main factors that contributed to the incidence of low back pain, neck pain and repetitive stress injuries is time sitting in awkward positions on non-ergonomic chairs. By raising awareness of this problem, and implementing changes in radiology, like providing ergonomically designed seating, this can help prevent musculoskeletal injuries and improve overall job satisfaction.
Years of research suggests that ergonomic seating and the use of adjustable tools and equipment can help prevent workplace injuries among radiologists, as well as other healthcare providers. In addition to providing these options, it is imperative that employers oversee and manage the process of incorporating them into the workflow. For example, by rotating sonographers through portable service, it allows them to take a break from rushing from one room to another. While this may seem like a minor change, proactive steps like this can significantly reduce the risk of injuries.
Employers should also take steps to protect radiologists and other employees from exposure to infections. Providing the necessary personal protective equipment (PPE), including surgical masks, gloves and isolation gowns is imperative to preventing the spread of infections. It is also highly recommended that hospital employers take steps to ensure that all surfaces are thoroughly disinfected and that the air quality is monitored on a regular basis to prevent the spread of airborne infections.
While system-side changes can take time to implement, there are steps that radiologists can take to help reduce the risk of a musculoskeletal injury or other workplace injuries, including the following:
In addition to the physical injuries that are common among radiologists, they are also exposed to a range of infectious diseases. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), examples of illnesses that radiologists are exposed to in the workplace include influenza, COVID-19, tuberculosis, and HIV. Depending on the type and severity of the infection, radiologists who have been exposed to an infectious disease can suffer very serious health complications that may cause him or her to miss a significant amount of work. Infections are transmitted in the following ways:
If you work as a radiologist, and you are suffering from a work-related injury or illness, contact one of our skilled Wilmington Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow. We will continue to fight for you until you are completely satisfied. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 302-427-9500 or contact us online. With offices located in Bear, Wilmington, Milford, and Lewes, Delaware, we serve clients throughout the state.
Work-related knee injuries are extremely common. In fact, they are second only to back injuries when it comes to workplace accidents that result in days lost from work. The knee joint plays a critical function in the human body: without it, you cannot stand, sit, walk, run, or lay down without distress. It is also the largest joint in the body and must bear most of the body’s weight. The knee joint contains several bones and muscles held together by ligaments and tendons and cushioned with cartilage and fluid filled sacs called bursae. On-the-job knee injuries can leave workers with serious chronic pain and other long-term medical issues.
Work-related knee injuries can happen for many reasons but workers whose jobs require them to stand, kneel regularly, or carry heavy weight loads are at greater risk for developing knee injuries because of overuse or repetitive stress. Slip and fall accidents are another source of many workplace knee injuries. Occupations such as auto mechanics, restaurant workers, nurses, cleaners, carpenters, and construction workers have higher rates of knee injuries.
The most common types of workplace knee injuries include
While some minor knee injuries can be treated by resting the joint to allow it to recover, other injuries are accompanied by more serious symptoms such as significant swelling, pain, or bruising. If you are unable to bend or put weight on your knee after a work accident, you should seek medical attention immediately. Your doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory medication, steroid injections, or muscle relaxers. A brace can help stabilize the joint and crutches may be used to help avoid putting weight onto the knee joint.
For some knee injuries, physical therapy may be prescribed to help strengthen the muscles of the joint and increase range of motion.
When non-invasive treatments are unsuccessful, surgery may be needed to treat your knee injury. Surgery can be used to explore the joint and identify what is causing the problem, or to fix the injury. The knee may require a total replacement in cases of serious injuries in older workers.
Delaware Workers’ Compensation is a no-fault system of insurance designed to help workers who are injured on the job or who develop an illness related to their occupation. Even if you are partially responsible for the accident that caused your injuries you are eligible for Workers’ Compensation benefits. In return you may not sue your employer for damages related to your work accident.
Knee injuries are covered by Workers’ Compensation, and you may receive some or all of the following benefits for your work-related knee injury:
Diagnosis of an injury is important when filing a claim for Workers’ Compensation benefits. The initial diagnosis determines what treatment you receive afterward. Your employer’s insurer must approve treatment and be willing to pay for it. In the case of a knee injury, often the insurance will acknowledge it as a sprain or strain even when testing can confirm a more specific diagnosis. This makes it possible for them to refuse paying for any expensive treatments you may eventually need like surgery. An experienced Workers’ Compensation attorney will be familiar with this kind of tactic and know how to handle a knee injury claim that is being denied because it has been wrongly classified as a sprain or strain. A good attorney familiar with the Workers’ Compensation system will also know the maximum allowable benefits for your case and can check that your wage loss benefits have been correctly calculated. If you have questions or concerns about your work injury claim or your claim has been denied, consider consulting with a Workers’ Compensation lawyer. Consultations for Workers’ Compensation cases are most often free of charge so you have nothing to lose by meeting with a lawyer who can inform you of your rights to benefits.
Workers’ Compensation is complex and can be tough to navigate on your own. If you have suffered a knee injury on the job, talk to the experienced Wilmington Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow. We provide personalized representation to every client and will fight to make sure you receive all the benefits you are eligible for. Call us at 302-427-9500 or contact us online to schedule a consultation. With offices in all three counties in Delaware, we serve clients throughout the state.