Category Archives: work injuries

Workers’ Memorial Day…and the Decline in Worker Safety

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Today’s post comes from guest author Charlie Domer, from The Domer Law Firm. Workers Memorial Day is on Sunday. This post describes in gruesome detail how the Trump Administration has moved to undercut workplace safety.

Last week (April 28) was Workers’ Memorial Day, remembering and honoring all those workers who have been injured or killed in the workplace.  While we’ve come a long way in our country toward protecting workers, current politics and politicians are actively working to undermine a century of progress.

I encourage everyone to read the following informative post on the current statistics of workplace injuries and the effort to encourage less protection for workers: The Health and Safety of America’s Workers Is At Risk.  

The author, Kathleen Rest, provided a detailed list of the Trump administrations intention on “rolling back public protections and prioritizing industry over the public interest”:

  • Right off the bat, the president issued his two-for-one executive order requiring agencies to rescind two regulations for each new one they propose. So, to enact new worker health and safety protections, two others would have to go.

  • OSHA has delayed implementation or enforcement of several worker protection rules that address serious health risks and were years in the making—i.e., silica, the cause of an irreversible and debilitating lung disease, and beryllium, a carcinogen and also the source of a devastating lung disease.

  • OSHA has left five advisory and committees to languish—the Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health; the Whistleblower Protection Advisory Committee; the National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health; the Federal Advisory Council; and the Maritime Advisory Committee—thus depriving the agency of advice from independent experts and key stakeholders. Earlier this week, a number of groups, including the Union of Concerned Scientists, sent a letter to Secretary of Labor Acosta asking him to stop sidelining the advice of independent experts.

  • President Trump signed a resolution that permanently removed the ability of OSHA to cite employers with a pattern of record keeping violations related to workplace injuries and illnesses. Yes, permanently, because it was passed under the Congressional Review Act. And Secretary Acosta recently seemed hesitant to commit not to rescind OSHA’s rule to improve electronic recordkeeping of work-related injuries and illnesses.

  • Having failed in efforts to cut some worker health and safety protections and research in his FY18 budget proposal, the president is going at it again with his FY19 proposal. He is calling for the elimination of the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board and OSHA’s worker safety and health training program, Susan Harwood Training Grants. There is, however, a tiny bit of good news for workers in President Trump’s proposed budget for OSHA; it includes a small (2.4 percent) increase for enforcement, as well as a 4.2 percent increase for compliance assistance. Of note, employers much prefer compliance assistance over enforcement activities.

  • The president’s budget also proposes to cut research by 40 percent at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)—the only federal agency solely devoted to research on worker health and safety—and eliminate the agency’s educational research centers, agriculture, forestry and fishing research centers and external research programs.

  • He has also proposed taking NIOSH out of CDC, perhaps combining it later with various parts of the National Institutes of Health. Never mind that NIOSH was established by statute as an entity by the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970.

  • The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) has also jumped on the regulatory reform bandwagon. The agency has indicated its intent to review and evaluate its regulations protecting coal miners from black lung disease. This at a time when NIOSH has identified the largest cluster of black lung disease ever reported.

  • EPA actions are also putting workers at risk. Late last year, the EPA announced that it will revise crucial protections for more than two million farmworkers and pesticide applicators, including reconsidering the minimum age requirements for applying these toxic chemicals. Earlier in the year, the agency overruled its own scientists when it decided not to ban the pesticide chlorpyrifos, thus perpetuating its serious risk to farmworkers, not to mention their children and users of rural drinking water. And the agency has delayed implementation of its Risk Management Plan rule to prevent chemical accidents for nearly two years.

  • The Department of Interior is following up on an order from President Trump to re-evaluate regulations put into place by the Obama administration in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon accident in 2010, which killed 11 offshore workers and created the largest marine oil spill in United States’ drilling history.

  • And then there’s a new proposal at the U.S. Department of Agriculture that seeks to privatize the pork inspection system and remove any maximum limits on line speeds in pig slaughter plants. Meat packing workers in pork slaughter houses already have higher injury and illness rates than the national average. Increasing line speeds only increases their risk.


Scary times.  I fear we may be remembering more and more injured workers moving forward.

The offices of Rehm, Bennett & Moore, which also sponsors the Trucker Lawyers website, are located in Lincoln and Omaha, Nebraska. Five attorneys represent plaintiffs in workers’ compensation, personal injury, employment and Social Security disability claims. The firm’s lawyers have combined experience of more than 95 years of practice representing injured workers and truck drivers in Nebraska, Iowa and other states with Nebraska and Iowa jurisdiction. The lawyers regularly represent hurt truck drivers and often sue Crete Carrier Corporation, K&B Trucking, Werner Enterprises, UPS, and FedEx. Lawyers in the firm hold licenses in Nebraska and Iowa and are active in groups such as the College of Workers’ Compensation Lawyers, Workers' Injury Law & Advocacy Group (WILG), American Association for Justice (AAJ), the Nebraska Association of Trial Attorneys (NATA), and the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA). We have the knowledge, experience and toughness to win rightful compensation for people who have been injured or mistreated.

This entry was posted in safety rollback, Trump, work injuries, Worker safety and tagged , .

Seven Seconds!

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Today’s blog post comes from Charlie Domer of Domer Law in Milwaukee. He writes about a recent CBS news article that is “based primarily on a report from a major worker’s compensation insurance company (Travelers) … .”

Because workers’ compensation injuries are more underreported than not, the frequency and number of injuries (and true cost to workers and society in general) is probably higher than even every seven seconds. Our lawyers, legal assistants and nurse case manager deal with insurance adjusters, their lawyers and frequent denials of claims and coverage every day. That’s one of the many reasons that I encourage people who have been injured on the job to consult with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer, instead of trying to navigate the system alone, during an already-stressful time. As is written below, if an injury is disputed and medical help is delayed, it is important to find a lawyer who can be an advocate for the injured worker.

According to a recent article by CBS news, on average a worker is hurt in our country every seven seconds!  The article, based primarily on a report from a major worker’s compensation insurance company (Travelers), reveals that injuries happen in all professions and to all ages and types of workers.

Interestingly, according to the article (What Happens Every 7 Seconds: A Workplace Injury), about one-quarter of work injuries occur in an employee’s initial year of work.

WIth this volume of injuries across all industries, disputes are bound to occur over the existence of the injury, the extent of a worker’s disability, and whether permanent limitations are necessary.  Disputes also are endemic in a system primarily involving for-profit insurance companies (as well as rising medical costs).

The key is that every seven seconds a work injury happens–meaning every seven seconds a claim could be denied and attorney involvement required.     

 

The offices of Rehm, Bennett & Moore, which also sponsors the Trucker Lawyers website, are located in Lincoln and Omaha, Nebraska. Five attorneys represent plaintiffs in workers’ compensation, personal injury, employment and Social Security disability claims. The firm’s lawyers have combined experience of more than 95 years of practice representing injured workers and truck drivers in Nebraska, Iowa and other states with Nebraska and Iowa jurisdiction. The lawyers regularly represent hurt truck drivers and often sue Crete Carrier Corporation, K&B Trucking, Werner Enterprises, UPS, and FedEx. Lawyers in the firm hold licenses in Nebraska and Iowa and are active in groups such as the College of Workers’ Compensation Lawyers, Workers' Injury Law & Advocacy Group (WILG), American Association for Justice (AAJ), the Nebraska Association of Trial Attorneys (NATA), and the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA). We have the knowledge, experience and toughness to win rightful compensation for people who have been injured or mistreated.

This entry was posted in work injuries, Workplace Claims and tagged , .

Jobs, Injuries Differ for Working Women and Men

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Women and men tend to have different kinds of workplace injuries.

Men and women are different. Not surprisingly, men and women in the workforce are also different. Although women often perform the same jobs with the same hours as men, statistically, men and women tend to perform different kinds of jobs. Given this, as well as the anatomical differences between men and women, women often face different health challenges in the workplace.

When looking at types of work-related injuries, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that women generally account for more work-related cases of “carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, respiratory diseases, infections and parasitic diseases, and anxiety and stress disorders.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also points out that social, economic and cultural factors often put women at more risk in the workplace. Many women perform part-time, temporary, or contract work, all with lower incomes and fewer benefits. Notes the CDC, “[l]ike all workers in insecure jobs, women may fear that bringing up a safety issue could result in job loss or more difficult work situations. They may also be less likely to report a work-related injury.” The CDC also found that immigrant women are particularly at risk due to barriers related to immigration status, work-life balance, and types of industries and jobs they work in.

Violence in the workplace is also an issue that is statistically more likely to affect women than men. For example, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found that in 2013, 13 percent of occupational injuries or illnesses that resulted in days off work in the health care and social assistance sector – fields dominated by women – were the result of violence. This is compared to 4 percent of cases overall in the private sector. An alarming figure provided by the Bureau shows that, although women’s share of the number of fatal occupational injuries is significantly lower than men’s, violence (homicide) was the second leading cause of occupational fatalities among women. Of the 302 occupational fatalities suffered by women in 2013, 97 (approximately 31 percent) resulted from violence. Violence accounted for only 6 percent of fatalities among men.

The experienced lawyers at Rehm, Bennett & Moore navigate clients through the process of obtaining compensation for all types of work-related injuries, whether you are facing any of the workplace health challenges listed above or something completely different. We will be hosting a booth at the 2015 Lincoln Women’s Expo held at the Lancaster Event Center this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. If you have questions or concerns about a workers’ compensation or personal-injury issue, please stop by for a consultation.

The offices of Rehm, Bennett & Moore, which also sponsors the Trucker Lawyers website, are located in Lincoln and Omaha, Nebraska. Five attorneys represent plaintiffs in workers’ compensation, personal injury, employment and Social Security disability claims. The firm’s lawyers have combined experience of more than 95 years of practice representing injured workers and truck drivers in Nebraska, Iowa and other states with Nebraska and Iowa jurisdiction. The lawyers regularly represent hurt truck drivers and often sue Crete Carrier Corporation, K&B Trucking, Werner Enterprises, UPS, and FedEx. Lawyers in the firm hold licenses in Nebraska and Iowa and are active in groups such as the College of Workers’ Compensation Lawyers, Workers' Injury Law & Advocacy Group (WILG), American Association for Justice (AAJ), the Nebraska Association of Trial Attorneys (NATA), and the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA). We have the knowledge, experience and toughness to win rightful compensation for people who have been injured or mistreated.

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