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Work-related injuries that affect the head and neck are among the most serious injuries that an employee can suffer. Many of these injuries are life-altering, and the person may no longer work again or find themselves unable to perform the duties of their current job.
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) often occurs in a workplace accident when an employee is directly hit on the head. The mildest form of a TBI is a concussion, and most people will recover within a few weeks. However, debilitating effects of a concussion can last longer for some individuals, and it may take months for a full recovery. Signs of a concussion include:
Moderate to severe TBIs may result in long-term or permanent impairment. In a worst-case scenario, other than a fatality, the person may lose mobility, the ability to communicate, or require full-time care. One example is a diffuse axonal injury, which results from the brain shaking within the skull due to the forceful trauma. Tissue inside the brain is torn, and death, coma, or severe brain damage can occur.
The most frequent cause of brain injury is trauma, and that may occur from a slip and fall in which a worker’s head hits the floor or a sharp or hard item. Objects falling and hitting an employee may cause a TBI and falls from heights. Workers driving while on the job are also vulnerable to brain and neck injuries if they are in a car accident.
Neck injuries may happen due to heavy lifting, repetitive tasks, or long hours spent at the computer. While TBIs occur suddenly, neck injuries often develop over time due to strain and wear and tear. Early signs of neck injuries include:
Any type of head injury is a medical emergency. The worker should go directly to an emergency room, and they will require transportation. Report the injury to a supervisor immediately. Not all TBIs are apparent right away, but the longer a worker waits to seek medical treatment, the more likely continued brain swelling can cause long-term damage. Failure to go to the doctor quickly may cause the insurance company to allege the injury did not result from a workplace accident, seriously harming your claim.
A neck injury, if more gradual, still requires reporting and medical treatment. Unless the condition comes on suddenly, the worker may have to visit a healthcare provider recommended by the employer’s Workers’ Compensation insurance company. The injured worker should document workplace activities that are contributing to the neck pain.
There are more serious neck injuries, such as fractures, which may cause paralysis. Of course, these injuries also require treatment in the emergency room.
If you experienced a brain or neck injury due to a workplace accident, you may be eligible for compensation. Our dedicated Wilmington work injury lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow will fight to protect your rights and help you obtain maximum compensation. Contact us online or call us at 302-427-9500 for a free consultation regarding your case. Located in Bear, Milford, and Wilmington, Delaware, we also serve clients in Elsmere and Seaford.
Millions of part-time and full-time employees work in factory settings around the nation. Every day, factory workers put themselves at risk for being injured. In fact, factories are notorious for being hazardous work environments. Due to heavy machinery, moving parts, and slippery surfaces, factory environments have earned a reputation as being quite dangerous. Several types of work-related injuries are more likely to occur in factory settings than in any other workspace.
When a worker must navigate between moving machine parts, the worker may become caught in the machine. Sometimes, the worker cannot stop the parts quickly enough to avoid being crushed or stuck. These types of accidents can lead to anything from amputation to broken bones.
Muscle sprains, strains, pulls, and tears may occur in factory workers that engage in repetitive actions. As employees move their bodies to accommodate their tasks, they may irritate and over-exert muscles and tendons. Over time, these injuries can become problematic, leading to a lifetime of aches and pains.
Falling accidents can occur for several reasons. Factory workers can easily fall because they often work in high areas and walk along slick floors. At best, falls can result in bruises or soreness. However, more serious falls can cause extensive trauma and head injuries. A concussed factory worker may not be able to return to the floor for days or weeks, if at all. This depends on how the concussion manifests.
Just about everyone experiences a back pain. Factory workers are more inclined to experience consistent and excruciating back pain. Whether the pain stems from injury to the lower, middle, or upper back, it can become the source of a serious debilitation. Workers may require extensive back surgery and physical therapy to relieve their constant discomfort.
Factories are well-known for being noisy places. If decibel levels exceed acceptable ranges, workers must wear personal protective devices, like designated ear plugs. Yet, employees may still develop hearing loss after working in a factory for many years.
Some manufacturing employees may be exposed to substances that can lead to poisoning and illnesses. Any factory workers who encounter chemicals or toxins need to wear the proper protective gear. Individuals who wear proper gear can still experience medical problems related to constant exposure.
Factory workers who have been hurt on the job should be protected by Workers’ Compensation benefits. Employees who receive compensation may feel their injuries were caused by employer negligence. It is important to take necessary steps to file a lawsuit.
If you suffered an injury due to a workplace accident, you may be eligible for compensation. Our experienced Wilmington work injury lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow will fight to protect your rights and help you obtain maximum compensation. Contact us online or call us at 302-427-9500 for a free consultation regarding your case. Located in Bear, Milford, and Wilmington, Delaware, we also serve clients in the Elsmere and Seaford area.
Traditionally, hard hats were allocated to construction sites to protect workers from falling objects and to protect themselves in other potential construction accidents. Safety helmets were used by bicyclists, motorcyclists, and in other sports. The lines became blurred as safety technologies advanced and newer models were replaced. Nowadays, old-fashioned hard hats are articles of the past.
The evolution of the hard hat began a century ago when shipbuilders wanted to protect their heads from falling objects. The first stage was shipbuilders covering their regular hats with tar. In later years, protective hats were made from steamed canvas, aluminum, steel, leather, plastic, and fiberglass. Today, the most common element used is polyethylene. Some hard hats come with visors, lights, face shields, radios, and ventilation. The next stage was evolving standard construction safety helmets.
Helmets are generally used to protect someone’s head when operating objects such as bikes, ATVs, and skateboards. They are also worn by outdoor sports aficionados and rescue workers. Outdoor enthusiasts normally attach helmets closer to their head with chin straps; these helmets typically do not have brims. Newer features of safety helmets may include Hi Viz materials, ear protection, and attachable visors.
Construction hard hats have remained the same over the past 40 years, but Bloomberg BNA claims that this is changing. Bloomberg BNA recently posted designs of helmets for construction workers. These helmets were originally designed for mountain climbing and other outdoor sports. The main reason for this is so that helmets have better side impact protection and do not fall off during impact. The safety director of Skanska USA Commercial Development, explained that a hard hat may fall off when a worker falls and jerks their head.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) classifies head protection into different classes and types. These classifications also coincide with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). OSHA also requires that employers provide head safety gear that meets or exceeds industry standards. Each class indicates protection from an electrical accident and each type indicates the protection level from an impact. The following are three different classes provided by OSHA:
The following are two types of helmets that are classified by the OSHA:
Understandably, modern construction helmets have pros and cons. The helmets provide security from side impacts with a lifespan up to 10 years; helmets are also more stable with chin straps. However, they can be costly, prices range from 100 dollars to 150 dollars each. In contrast, hard hats average around 15 dollars with some models feeling too heavy on the head. Another barrier is a worker’s preference. Hard hats have a long association with construction workers and many workers may not want to change the traditional appearance and feel of standard hard hats.
If you were injured in a construction accident while at work, you may be eligible for compensation. Our devoted Wilmington work injury lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow support workers who have suffered injuries from a construction accident. Contact us online or call us at 302-427-9500 for a free consultation about your case. Located in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, we also represent clients in Elsmere and Seaford, Delaware.
Nail guns are commonly used in industries, such as construction and carpentry, due to their ability to boost productivity in the workplace. However, nail guns can also cause serious injuries; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that they are responsible for 37,000 emergency room visits each year. Nail gun injuries vary on site and severity, however most are penetrating injuries to the hand.
Nail guns have the potential to cause serious, even fatal injuries. According to a study published in the ePlasty Journal, it only takes projectile velocities of 150 feet per second to penetrate the skin; projectiles fired from nail guns can reach velocities of up to 1,400 feet per second, causing extensive damage to surrounding tissue, nerves, and bones. Accidentally discharged nails that become embedded in a worker’s hand can not only cause musculoskeletal injuries, but can also leave the wound open to infection from foreign substances.
Although workers report nail gun injuries to the thorax, abdomen, flank, pelvis, and face, they most commonly occur to the hand. The hand is one of the most commonly injured parts of the body in any job, however there have been an increasing number of nail gun accidents in the construction industry over the last few decades. While nail gun injuries can cause blindness, cerebral damage, or even death, they most commonly result in:
Treatment typically involves removing the nail, irrigating the wound, and applying antimicrobial dressing. Nail gun injuries tend to heal quickly, however they often cause significant pain and loss of mobility, which can lead to disability claims and lost time from work.
Most nail gun accidents are preventable. According to the CDC, employers can safeguard employees against nail gun injuries by:
If you suffered a nail gun injury at work, contact a Wilmington work accident lawyer at Rhoades & Morrow. Our experienced attorneys can help you file a claim and receive the benefits to which you are entitled. From our offices in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware, we represent clients throughout the state, including the areas of Elsmere and Seaford. For a free consultation, complete our online contact form or call us at 302-427-9500.
Working remotely, or telecommuting, offers numerous benefits for both employees and employers; companies can hire qualified workers from distant locations and employees can save money on gas and make their own hours. It is a good option for many, and some can split their workweeks between their employer’s office and their home offices.
There are important considerations to understand for both sides, one regarding Workers’ Compensation insurance. Although state laws vary, every organization is required by law to have a remote Workers’ Compensation plan. Companies that do not have these plans in place can be sued by employees.
Workers’ Compensation provides benefits to employees that experience work-related illnesses and injuries. Employers make payments into the fund, and compensation is provided for injuries that occur during work hours on work property. This includes medical benefits, including surgery, hospitalization and prescriptions, temporary or permanent disabilities, and death benefits.
However, some compensation plans also cover no-fault workers. This means that some can cover situations where the injury was caused as a result of the worker’s negligence. Benefits are not provided for pain and suffering, and independent contractors do not have Workers’ Compensation coverage.
Different states have certain restrictions for mandatory coverage. Some specify the number of employees an organization must have to maintain Workers’ Compensation. Others state that the injury must occur within the course of employment to be covered. Insurance providers will also take the circumstances, location, and timing of the injury into consideration. Based on this, a worker that is injured while working from their home office can receive similar compensation to one that was working on-site.
Since remote workers are not visually supervised, companies may have to find ways to manage them. This can be done through a comprehensive telecommuter policy that defines the remote work environment and responsibilities. Some employers use cameras for monitoring purposes and conduct periodic inspections to ensure worker safety. The latter can include checking for fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, and adequate lighting and ventilation.
Working hours should also be specified, since injuries that do not occur during this time will not be compensable. Cameras and computer software can also track this information. It is also important for the company to clearly define what the job role and responsibilities are.
Remote workers may be tempted to spend some of their working hours on personal business, which can complicate matters. The employer may still be responsible for an injury that occurs while the worker is not at their desk if they only left their duties for a short amount of time. If the employee physically departs from their work area for a longer period of time and gets hurt, there may be no coverage.
If you were injured at work, contact an experienced Bear, DE Workers’ Compensation lawyer at Rhoades & Morrow. We will evaluate your case and fight for the benefits you deserve for your injuries. For a free case evaluation, call us at 302-834-8484 or complete our online form. Located in Bear, Milford, and Wilmington, Delaware, we serve clients throughout the state, including the areas of Elsmere and Seaford. Top of Form
A repetitive stress injury (RSI), such as wrist tendonitis, is a common work injury that results from repetitive motions, such as typing on a keyboard or working factory assembly jobs. When employees are injured during the routine performance of their job, their injury should be covered under Workers’ Compensation benefits.
The most well-known type of RSI in the wrist is carpal tunnel syndrome, which causes painful symptoms as a result of inflammation pressure on the nerves in the wrist. Tendonitis, in contrast, causes damage to tendons, which are tissues that connect muscles to bones. Tendons provide muscle-bone connectivity throughout the body, making tendonitis possible in areas other than the wrist as well. It is worth noting that similar tendonitis injuries in other areas of the body are also eligible for Workers’ Compensation benefits if the injury occurred as a result of performing work duties. Though wrist tendonitis is very different from a RSI, many of the symptoms and treatments are the same for both types of injuries.
The symptoms of tendonitis in the wrist are similar to those caused by the more-familiar carpal tunnel syndrome. Wrist tendonitis sufferers experience pain and loss of feeling in their wrists and hands. Their dexterity and grip strength may also be affected.
If the symptoms are diagnosed as tendonitis early enough, further injury can be avoided. Mild cases of wrist tendonitis may require rest or temporary avoidance of the offending motion. Use of a wrist brace or splint may protect the area from further injury. Anti-inflammatories may ease symptoms. Sufferers may also benefit from physical or massage therapy as well.
More severe wrist tendonitis injuries may require surgery to correct, especially if nerve damage is present. As is customary during any post-surgery recovery period, there will be some doctor-recommended limitations, which are likely to include avoidance of wrist-related work activities during healing.
If you suspect that your job is causing your tendonitis symptoms, it is imperative that you notify your employer. A responsible employer will take the issue seriously and provide ways to address your condition. Your boss may take the suggestions of your doctor or an on-site medical professional to alter your work tasks to avoid aggravating your injury. Frequent breaks may be instituted. Wrist guards, braces, or other equipment may be provided.
Workers’ Compensation laws vary among jurisdictions. An experienced Workers’ Compensation lawyer in your area should be able to help you file for the benefits you deserve. You may be able to collect Workers’ Compensation benefits to help with medical bills, as well as the economic impacts caused by your injury, such as wages lost during treatment and recovery. Additional Workers’ Compensation benefits may be available to deliver damages for an injury that results in permanent impairment or other ongoing health problems, especially if they prohibit your return to normal work.
Often starting out as mild symptoms, tendonitis work injuries can become serious. If you suffered a work injury, speak to a Bear DE Workers’ Compensation lawyer at Rhoades & Morrow today. We have the experience to help you obtain the benefits you deserve. Contact us online or call us at 302-834-8484 for a free consultation. Located in Bear, Wilmington, and Milford, Delaware, we represent clients throughout the state, including the areas of Elsmere and Seaford.
Cold stress is a condition that can affect anyone, including employees who are exposed to extreme cold or who work in extremely cold temperatures daily. Working in or being exposed to extremely cold environments can lead to serious, life-threatening illnesses and conditions. If you or someone you know suffered from cold stress, you may be eligible for compensation.
Cold stress occurs when cold temperatures drive down your skin’s temperature, as well as your body’s internal temperature. This results in your body being unable to warm itself. When this happens, it can lead to serious cold-related illnesses and injuries, which may lead to permanent tissue damage and even death. Factors such as cold temperatures, heavy or cold wind, cold water, and dampness contribute to individuals developing cold stress.
Cold stress conditions include:
Working in extremely cold conditions always presents a risk. However, there are some things you can do to protect yourself:
Employers are responsible for their employees. If employees are working in extremely cold environments, employers can protect them by:
If you or someone you know suffered a workplace injury, contact a Wilmington work injury lawyer at Rhoades & Morrow. Our experienced lawyers will fight to obtain you the compensation you deserve for your injuries. For a free consultation, contact us online or call us at 302-427-9500. Located in Milford, Wilmington, and Bear, Delaware, we serve clients throughout the state, including the areas of Elsmere and Seaford.
Joe Rhoades has been invited to speak at the 2019 Workers’ Injury Law & Advocacy Group (“WILG”) Northeast Regional Conference to be held at The Logan in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on December 7, 2019. Joe will be participating on a legislative panel, which will discuss the State of Delaware’s legislative reforms of its workers’ compensation statute. In addition, Rhoades & Morrow partner, Stephen Morrow, was recently invited to join WILG and is pleased to announce that he is now a member. WILG is a national non-profit membership organization dedicated to representing the interests of millions of workers and their families who, each year, suffer the consequences of workplace injuries and illnesses. It was founded in 1995 by a small group of claimants’ attorneys and has grown into an organization of over 1,100 members representing every state in the nation. To learn more about WILG, please visit : https://www.wilg.org/
Workers in numerous fields encounter objects, items, and situations that can lead to the possibility of chemical burns. Like all burns, chemical burns can range from minor to deadly, making it important for every employee to take safety concerns seriously. Otherwise, workers may need to take time off to recuperate, necessitating the initiation of a Workers’ Compensation claim or, in more extreme cases, a personal injury lawsuit.
Chemical burns occur when a chemical agent or otherwise toxic substance causes harm to the soft tissues, organs, or other parts of the body. A few frequently seen chemical burn-causing substances include acids, pesticides, and solvents.
The chemical does not have to spill directly on a person to cause problems. For instance, airborne chemical distribution can lead to irritation and injury of the eyes, lungs, and other areas. Similarly, inhaled toxic items may cause burns inside the body that can only be seen through medical tests.
Workers who are most likely to be impacted at work by chemical burns should always rely on safety equipment and protocols to limit exposure to chemical agents. Some of the basic safety gear available to employees include helmets, prescription or non-prescription protective eyewear, and gloves. In some situations, employees may have to access eye wash stations immediately to wash away chemicals when appropriate or wear whole-body hazmat suits for coverage.
In addition to these types of safety options, teams may adopt certain processes and procedures that reduce the risk of chemical burns. Normally, any operational safety measures will be explained to workers through initial and ongoing training and development. Over time, the measures may change relative to evolving needs of the company or an individual worker’s position.
When an individual suffers from a chemical burn, the person may experience numerous symptoms, not all of which are immediately apparent. Rashes, blisters, red marks, welts, and obvious signs of irritation and tissue burning often coincide with chemical burn incidents. Additionally, less obvious symptoms can include mouth, lung, throat, and eye irritation, and pain. Exposure to especially toxic agents have even been linked to brain damage, nerve damage, and other potentially life-altering conditions.
Response time remains critical in limiting the lasting effects of chemical burns. Workers should follow the designated first aid steps after exposure to any toxic chemical, such as washing off the chemical, applying burn cream, or calling 911. Medical attention is always warranted to document even mild chemical burns, as the burns could lead to difficulties later.
Workers who cannot go back to work immediately after a chemical burn accident may want to file a Workers’ Compensation claim with the help of a legal representative. This allows them to receive the correct monetary compensation for their suffering.
Chemical burns can lead to extensive physical and mental problems. If you or a loved one was exposed to a chemical at work, you may be entitled to compensation. The Wilmington work accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow have the experience to walk you through the process and help you obtain the maximum benefit for your injury. Contact us online or call us at 302-427-9500 for a free consultation today. Located in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware, we serve clients throughout the state, including the areas of Elsmere and Seaford.
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.