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Greensboro Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Workplace burns: They can be prevented with good safety programs

Burns have the potential to damage your body so significantly that it can be nearly impossible to heal. Those who suffer from severe burns may be unable to sweat correctly, have no sensation due to nerves being destroyed and may need a lifetime of care.

Fortunately, workplace burns are preventable. There are a number of different types of burns that could occur, but with the right preventative techniques, it's possible to avoid burns completely.

Mesothelioma: A work injury that attacks years later

You might remember commercials on the television discussing the dangers of mesothelioma, or you may recall hearing about the risks of asbestos. Regardless of how you came to know about mesothelioma, it's important to know why it's such a big deal.

Mesothelioma is a form of cancer that is aggressive and difficult to treat. It typically affects the heart, abdomen or lungs. People who develop this form of cancer have most commonly come into contact with asbestos, which they breathed in.

Employers have a responsibility to keep you safe

Imagine working your entire life in an industry that has a high rate of injuries and deaths. Just as you're approaching retirement, you get into an accident that causes you to suffer from permanent disabilities. Your life is forever changed with just workers' compensation and Social Security Disability (SSD), among other benefits, to help you make up the difference in income.

In 2015, there were 150 people killed on the job in North Carolina. Some were young and new on the job while others had served at their workplaces for decades. It's never okay for a worker to fear heading to his or her job because of the potential for workplace accidents, but that's the reality for many, even in North Carolina.

Woman misclassified as independent contrator seeks benefits

Many people work as independent contractors, and in their cases, they often do not have a right to workers' compensation when they're hurt on the job. For independent contractors, the fact is that a personal injury claim may be the only option for getting compensated.

Sometimes, people are misclassified as independent contractors, and that makes it more likely for them to go without the workers' compensation they deserve. That's what happened in this case.

What are some facts about North Carolina's workers' compensation?

When it comes to your health, you want to know that if you get hurt at work, it's covered by your employer. North Carolina's workers' compensation laws help protect you by making sure employers have workers' compensation insurance unless they are exempt.

How long do you have to report an injury on the job?

Companies: Using genetic information against employees is illegal

Genetics have changed many things about how we grow. You now can find out if you have debilitating diseases before they strike, and you can see if you're predisposed to problems like cancer or other diseases or disorders. This is beneficial in a medical light, but should employers be able to see those results?

Could you face discrimination based on your genetic predisposition for a disease? You could. That's why a bill that has been presented is being questioned. The bill allows employers to offer a discount to employees who participate in a workplace wellness program, and that could save the worker and his or her family over $1,500 a year.

What kind of hazards lead to amputations?

No one who goes to work should ever have to worry about an amputation due to a workplace accident, but they do occur. Amputations are debilitating and considered to be one of the most severe workplace injuries. They can occur in a number of fields due to a variety of causes. Most often, these injuries are caused by meat grinders, drill presses, grinders, sheers, conveyors and unguarded or poorly safeguarded mechanical equipment.

Workers can be exposed to the risk of amputation when preparing a machine for maintenance, when clearing out jams or when cleaning machinery. Of course, many other risk factors exist as well.

Business faces fines after failing to report flash fire

Whenever a workplace accident takes place, it's up to your employer to report it to the proper authorities. Not doing so is against the law, and it can end up leading to fines. Your employer needs to report the incident so that your workplace can be investigated and made safer if necessary.

In this case, an employer failed to report an incident that occurred, or at least, that is what it looks like happened. North Carolina's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has said it is investigating a restaurant in the South End following a fire that resulted in severe injuries to an employee. Investigators from the state reported that they didn't even know the fire had occurred until the news reached out to them for a comment, which is unusual. Typically, businesses need to report injuries and incidents like this one after they occur. Federal law requires employers to report employee hospitalizations within 24 hours.

1 killed in a fatal fall at North Carolina work site

Construction accidents impact people on the job, at home and around the site. Whether a worker fell or was electrocuted, that individual has suffered an injury that was likely preventable. Employers have a responsibility to keep their employees safe. Failing to do so can lead to official investigations, fines and penalties. On top of that, the worker who was injured is entitled to workers' compensation, so he or she can focus on recovering while receiving medical and financial benefits.

In this case, a construction worker was killed in a fall in Asheboro, according to a report from March 23. The news states that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) plans to investigate the incident.

Silicosis: The lung disease lurking at work

One lung disease you may have been exposed to if you work with sand or quartz is known as silicosis. This disease affects workers who have been exposed to silica dust in the workplace. Usually, it's those who work in glass manufacturing, foundries or mining that have the highest rates of exposure to silica.

There are three kinds of silicosis you could be faced with. These include chronic, accelerated and acute. There is unfortunately no cure for this disease once it has developed, but there are preventative measures that can be taken to prevent workers from developing it in the first place.

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