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Phoenix Workers' Compensation Law Blog

OSHA penalties increasing for non-compliant employers

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) implemented new injury reporting protocols last year. Basically, employers are now required to report certain injuries and all hospitalizations within 24 hours of learning of such events. These new reporting guidelines were initially seen as a benefit to employers who wished to avoid further scrutiny from federal regulators.

Also, since the process could be completed electronically and on a voluntary basis, it was expected that many employers would join the process. However, the reporting of such injuries fell considerably short of expectations in 2015. 

New standard for hearing protection proposed

If you have ever worked on a construction site in Arizona, you can understand how loud it may get. Because of this, it may not be surprising that some construction workers may suffer from hearing loss as they reach advanced ages. Because of this, new recommendations have been made regarding hearing protections for construction workers.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommends that workers avoid exposure to noise levels of 90 weighted decibels and above over an eight hour work period. However, studies by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the U.S. Department of Energy found that the current standard put workers at increased risk of hearing loss. 

Legal help often necessary after a construction accident

Being a construction worker can be a rewarding, fulfilling job. But it is also a position that inherently places the worker in peril. There are incredible heights that construction workers must reach to perform their job. There are heavy materials that need to be used and moved. There are powerful pieces of equipment and machinery whirring and swinging all around. Given the confluence of all of these factors, it is no surprise that there are plenty of accidents that occur on construction sites.

When these accidents occur, people can suffer serious, catastrophic or even fatal injuries. If they survive the accident, they will likely have a long road to recovery and will obviously have a lot of questions about the benefits that are available to them and, more generally, what there next legal move should be.

High heels and workers' comp claims

It is no secret that high heels are still a fashion statement in today’s workplace. Whether this is because online shoe stores have gained a great deal of traction or because more offices are adopting casual dress protocols, high heels are being worn in more venues.

It is also no secret that heels can be uncomfortable after a few hours in them, but many may be completely unaware of the long-term injuries that can come about from religiously wearing heels. From a workers’ compensation perspective, repetitive stress on a woman’s foot from wearing heels may lead to a compensable event.  

Could wearable technology influence future work comp claims?

Just like compression pants and leggings are becoming popular for fitness enthusiasts, wearable technology is becoming equally as popular. More people are wearing Fitbit trackers, using apps on their phones, or even syncable watches to monitor their activity levels. More than just for fitness, the ability for people to track how their physical exertion affects their bodies could help employers reduce the possibility of workplace injuries, and change the way workers rehab after suffering an injury. 

Three steps for preventing scaffolding injuries

The construction industry in Arizona appears to be in good shape; especially considering how the housing market has rebounded and the commercial construction market is mirroring the success experienced in southern California. With the number of construction projects expected to increase, it is important for contractors and workers alike to observe safety rules regarding scaffolds.

With all the inherent dangers that come with construction sites, it is surprising how easy it is for workers to be injured in falls. Workers should know that a fall from merely six feet above ground could cause serious injuries. Additionally, for every foot higher that a worker is in the air, the greater the chance for that a serious injury may occur.

What types of workers’ compensation benefits are available to me in AZ? P.2

In our previous post, we began speaking about the types of workers’ compensation benefits available to injured workers. We’ve already spoken about benefits for medical costs and for lost wages stemming from temporary disability, both partial and total. Here, we continue the discussion.

Benefits for benefits for lost wages and permanent injures, continued...

What types of workers’ compensation benefits are available to me in AZ?

Workplace injury can have a significant impact on a worker’s life, particular when the injury has permanent effects. Whenever a worker is injured on the job, of course, the first matter of concern is to ensure the incident is properly reported and management is aware it, and that the worker receives any necessary emergency care. Once these immediate concerns are addressed, it is important for the worker to understand what types of workers’ compensation benefits are available and the process for filing claims for these benefits.

Workers’ compensation benefits can be broken down into several categories: for an injured worker, there are medical benefits, and then there are benefits for lost wages and other monetary compensation resulting from temporary or permanent disability. A third category of workers’ compensation benefits, available to dependents of a deceased worker, is death benefits. To receive any of these benefits, the workplace injury in question must be deemed compensable under state law, which is an issue we will not look at here. 

AZ employers fail to enforce safety measures, slapped with fines

Construction workers are employed in an industry that is generally considered dangerous, due to the conditions, the work being done and the heavy equipment being used by workers. Recently, several Arizona contractors and manufacturers were slapped with fines for failure to adhere to safety regulations. Failure to follow these guidelines by employers could leave an Arizona construction worker at risk for injuries sustained on the job.

ADOSH, or the Arizona Division of Occupational Safety and Health, made a statement about these recent fines claiming, that the agency's purpose to protect workers from harm is a responsibility shared with employers. As such, it is in the best interests of employers to ensure that safety measures, equipment and training are in place for their workers. If they do not, it leaves workers more susceptible to construction accidents and injuries.

A look at employee rights under OSHA in Arizona

After an Arizona resident suffers a workplace injury, there are many questions that may arise. Some may be uncertain as to what rights they have and how they can go about protecting these rights. A workplace accident can have many life-altering effects. A worker may no longer be able to perform his or her duties, resulting in an inability to earn wages. This is why it is of the utmost importance that an employee understands his or her rights.

Many rights and responsibilities are given to employees and employers by OSHA, also known as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. OSHA gives employees the right to review copies of the appropriate rules, standards, regulations and requirements that should be made available by the employer, for example. Workers also have the right to receive copies of tests done to find hazards in the workplace. Employees can also request that OSHA inspect their workplace if it is believed that the environment is hazardous.

Serving the Following Areas

Jerome, Gibson, Stewart, Stevenson, Engle & Runbeck, P.C., provides experienced representation for workers' compensation and Social Security Disability cases in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe, Mesa, Gilbert, Glendale, Peoria, Avondale, Casa Grande, Flagstaff, Prescott, Tucson and Yuma, and throughout Maricopa County, Pima County, Pinal County and Yavapai County, and all of Arizona.

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