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Greensboro Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Apply for workers' compensation payments to cover your lost wages

  • 25
  • November

As an employee working in industry, you have rights in case that you get injured. For example, imagine that you are walking in your workplace when you trip and fall on carpet that has bunched up and not been repaired. You sprained your ankle in the fall, and you now need medical attention. It's your employer's responsibility to make sure you get the medical attention you need covered by workers' compensation.

Most employers are required to have workers' compensation insurance or a private employee insurance carrier. That way, if an employee suffers from an injury, illness, occupational disease or other condition, he or she can see a physician and have his or her care covered by the insurance provider.

What is being done about occupational lung disease?

  • 18
  • November

This is a great time to ask about lung disease as November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month. The discussion provides a good opportunity to remind North Carolina workers and their employers that lung disease lays waste to the lives of employees and their family members every year. It is an especially insidious occupational illness, slowly encroaching upon the lives of industrial workers and wreaking devastation upon their lungs.

Some of the most destructive forms of occupational lung disease include black lung or pneumoconiosis, silicosis, lung cancer and chronic beryllium disease. These workplace illnesses occur when employees are exposed to dust and other contaminates that enter the victim's lungs.

You have the right to a safe workplace in North Carolina

  • 11
  • November

One of the most perplexing issues attorneys in North Carolina often address is how little the state's workers know about their safety rights. In many cases, injured workers even blame themselves when something completely out of their control causes a workplace injury. In today's still-recovering economy, employees hesitate to "make waves" at work because they need their jobs and want to keep them indefinitely.

While this is easy to understand, it is crucial for those employed in the state to know that no job is worth a serious injury or death. Under the 1970 Occupational Safety and Health Act, employers are required to provide their workers with safe working conditions in an environment free of known dangers. This means you cannot legally be fired from your job for taking any action about your unsafe working conditions.

The dangers of working in chicken processing plants

  • 04
  • November

The nation already understands about dangerous working conditions, but chicken processing plants are apparently some of the country's worst offenders. Recent reports indicate that workers in this industry are subject to numerous workplace injuries and medical problems. A new report says that these problems occur due to "rampant health and safety issues" present in America's chicken processing industry.

The report details one worker's hand injuries, which worsened over time as he continued to work. The worker claims that the onsite nurse told him his injuries were not cause to worry. However, when he finally sought medical help, the doctor told him "he'd never seen injuries as bad" as the worker's. The worker also said the supervisor ignored the work restrictions given out by the doctor and returned him to work on the processing line.

When can amputated fingers be reattached?

  • 29
  • October

Some of the most traumatic workplace injuries in North Carolina involve amputations. Most drastically, these can happen to entire limbs, but there are also many cases where fingers and toes are amputated. The risk of this often differs depending on the industry—for example, someone working with hydraulic presses or heavy cutting machinery may be at much higher risk than someone working in a clothing factory, though amputations could happen in either setting.

Now, one of the first things many people want to know is if they've lost the digit forever or if it can be reattached. To determine this, the nursing staff has to look at a few key factors.

Does the risk of heart disease relate to your job?

  • 22
  • October

You probably know about some of the biggest causes of heart disease, such as not getting enough exercise or having an unhealthy diet. While these things seem easy enough to change, there are other facts that can't be changed as easily, or at all—such as hereditary issues. Additionally, new research shows that your job itself may contribute to the risk level.

The results of the study can be unsettling. Those working in service positions, those with blue-collar occupations, and those who are unemployed have a high risk. In fact, 2.9 percent of people working in wholesale had strokes or heart attacks, making it the most dangerous industry in this regard.

Working safely in flood conditions

  • 13
  • October

The recent severe flooding in North Carolina's neighboring state has brought workplace safety in flood conditions into the spotlight. The information in this post is important to all kinds of state workers including those who work to clean up after a flood and those who are simply returning to their regular worksites, which may still be underwater.

According the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, many hazards can be present in flood conditions. The first hazard OSHA talks about is driving during flood conditions. The administration cautions workers who must drive to be cautious in unknown road conditions, stating that almost half of flood-related deaths involve motor vehicles.

What workers' comp benefits are available in North Carolina?

  • 08
  • October

Unpaid time off from any job quickly can cause financial difficulties for Guilford County workers. When loss of work time is due to an injury, significant medical expenses add to the burden. Benefits, paid through employer-paid workers' compensation insurance, cover these losses for employees with occupational injuries or illnesses.

Health care coverage applies to injury-related hospitalizations, surgeries, rehabilitation, prescription drugs, medical travel expenses and other medical costs. Medical benefits are paid as long as "reasonably necessary," as determined by the state Industrial Commission in accordance with guidelines in the North Carolina Workers' Compensation Act.

Farm workers at risk, but new standards on the way

  • 02
  • October

According to studies, exposure to pesticides is a risk for farm worker safety. A collaboration among government agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency and National Institutes of Health, is tracking 90,000 people in two states to determine long-term risks associated with pesticide exposure. One of those states is North Carolina.

Reports also indicate that up to 3,000 worker injuries or illnesses reported annually are related to pesticide exposure. Those incidents occur in a variety of agricultural jobs, including farming, nursery and greenhouse work and forestry. The EPA reports that it is also concerned that reports are low because they don't include dangers associated with long-term exposure to low amounts of pesticide.

Workplace safety for North Carolina residents who work alone

  • 24
  • September

Of all the members of the North Carolina workforce, those who work alone could be at a greater risk of injury. With no co-workers or supervisors to keep an eye on these lone workers, they often cannot get help should an accident occur. Additionally, those who work alone must tackle each portion of their duties alone, increasing the chance of injury.

Those who work in solitary situations should understand that the same labor laws that cover other employees protect them as well. This means employers are obligated to provide workers with a safe work environment and coverage with workers' compensation insurance. Even though an employee might work alone, employers should still take steps to make sure these workers are well-trained and as free from injury risk as possible.

Jay Gervasi, P.A.
910 North Elm Street
Greensboro, NC 27401
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