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Phoenix Workers' Compensation Law Blog

How do I know I have carpal tunnel syndrome?

A century ago, most Arizona workers earned a living in manufacturing, mining, farming or other labor-intensive professions. Back then jobs were more physically demanding and serious workplace injuries were more common.

Today, many more Arizonans are employed as administrators, managers, professionals and other white-collar workers. While rates of catastrophic injuries and death on the job may now be lower, previously unknown injuries - such as carpal tunnel syndrome - have become more common.

How safe must scaffoldings be on construction sites?

Every year, 4,500 construction workers are injured and 50 die due to scaffolding-related accidents nationwide. With a few sensible precautions, Arizona worksites can significantly reduce the likelihood of a construction accident.

Under federal worker safety rules, scaffoldings must meet certain minimum requirements for construction and performance. For example, only a "competent person" must erect scaffolding. It must be built on a solid footing and not on barrels, boxes, loose bricks or concrete blocks.

Arizona court to injured worker: no right to travel for care

Arizona employees who are injured on the job are entitled to compensation for many things - but blanket travel expenses for medical care is not one of them.

Worker rights and responsibilities under Arizona's OSHA

More than 40 years ago, Arizona's Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) was enacted to help keep employees safe on the job. Although the Division of Occupational Safety and Health (ADOSH), a state agency, is officially responsible for investigations and enforcement under the Act, employees play a crucial role in preventing work accidents.

Employees are guaranteed certain rights under Arizona's OSHA. First, they have a right to do their job in a safe and healthy workplace. They also have a right to file a complaint - anonymously, if they wish - with ADOSH-Compliance Section if they believe an unsafe working condition exists. Moreover, employees cannot be fired or disciplined for filing a complaint. Finally, they have a right to view safety citations filed against their employer as well as records of their own exposure to harmful substances or conditions.

Injured on the job? Seek medical and legal help.

You know something is wrong. Your body just doesn't feel right. Maybe you notice a nagging cough, headache or shortness of breath. Maybe your back or wrists are more sore than usual. Maybe your spouse sees you limping as you hike your favorite trail. You can't quite pinpoint a cause, but you suspect the problems are related to your job.

Sound familiar? You may be the victim of an industrial accident. If so, contact your doctor immediately and notify your supervisor. You may also wish to consult with a certified workers' compensation specialist in the Phoenix area.

New ruling good news for Arizona workers hurt at work

Workers' compensation laws are regulated by each state. In the past, injured Arizona employees had to stop working for seven full consecutive days before becoming eligible to receive workers' compensation. This meant they would miss out on much-needed benefits if they missed non-consecutive days or worked part-time while recovering from their injuries. Thanks to a recent court ruling, this is no longer the rule for those hurt at work.

The Arizona Supreme Court recently clarified workers' compensation eligibility rules in the court case Bell v. Arizona Industrial Commission. The ruling states that injured employees can continue working after a workplace accident and still qualify for benefits without having to miss seven days of work first. It is believed that this law will benefit both employees and employers, as it keeps employees active while recovering from mild to moderate injuries. The work gets done and employers don't have to worry about hiring temp employees or training others.

I work with chemicals. How can I prevent an industrial accident?

Many of the foods we eat are created in a factory. Some of these foods - especially ones that contain artificial colors and flavors - are created with chemicals that can be toxic when breathed in day in and day out. These chemicals can also be hazardous when touched or accidentally put into the eyes. These situations can cause serious injuries, but fortunately, there are ways that Arizona factory workers can keep themselves safe and avoid an industrial accident.

Factory workers should be on the lookout for any change in respiratory function. If they start coughing more than usual or tend to experience shortness of breath, these are typically signs of toxic exposure. It's a good idea to get the condition checked out by a doctor and perhaps remove yourself from the environment to prevent further exposure.

How is workers' compensation computed for partial disabilities?

It is clear that accidents can happen at any time in any environment, but employers often seek to prevent workplace accidents through training and safety equipment. Despite these efforts, workplace accidents still occur and affect employees and their families. A work injury can sometimes leave an employee partially disabled and unable to return to work for a period of time. In these cases, workers' compensation is a crucial benefit that helps the injured worker make ends meet until they recover and return to work.

How is workers' compensation computed for a partial disability? Arizona Statutes govern how the amount of compensation received for partial disabilities is calculated. If an employee is deemed partially disabled, then during the time of partial disability, the employee will receive compensation that is 66 2/3 percent of the difference between the worker's wages prior to the injury and the amount they are able to earn after the injury.

Workers' compensation and the Industrial Commission of Arizona

When an Arizona worker is hurt while on the job it can be a significant blow to their financial health as well as their physical health. Illness and injury often keep workers out of their jobs and prevent them from earning their paychecks. An injury or illness can make a worker feel physically helpless and unable to support his family all at the same time.

However, the state offers injured and sick workers the opportunity to receive workers' compensation during their convalescence. Workers' compensation is available to Arizona workers who are hurt on the job, regardless of whoever's fault caused the worker's harm. A worker may file a claim with the state in order to start the workers' compensation process.

Construction works falls to his death in Phoenix

Despite improvements over time, and better safety measures, construction remains one of the most dangerous jobs. Work accidents are not uncommon, and often involve falls, crush injuries or other types of serious accidents. These kinds of workplace injuries not only result in serious physical limitations but also create financial concerns when an injured worker is unable to work for a substantial period of time. In the worst cases, a worker is killed while on the job, which can cause extreme financial hardship for his or her family.

In Phoenix, at a job site located in the University of Phoenix Stadium parking lot, a construction worker recently suffered a 25-foot fall, which ultimately resulted in his death. The construction worker was a 31-year-old male who was working on building a stage for a tailgate party for the upcoming Super Bowl. It is unclear at this point what caused the worker to fall, but authorities do not suspect foul play. Emergency personnel, including firefighters and paramedics, responded to the scene and transported the man to the hospital, but he was pronounced dead after arriving there.

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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Phoenix, AZ 85004

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