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Philadelphia Worker's Compensation Law Blog

Mining Fatalities: Still On The Rise In 2015

The recent upward trend in mining fatalities looks, unfortunately, to still be on the rise. Last year, we blogged about a Department of Labor (Mine Safety and Health Administration) report that showed an increase in mining death between 2012 and 2013.

The numbers for 2014 are in, and they show that mining-related deaths held steady at 2013's higher rate. 2015 looks to be even deadlier, as there have already been four fatalities this year; at that rate, 2015 is on pace to have 20% more mining deaths than 2014.

Non-Traditional And Extreme Workers' Comp Situations

When most people think of workers' compensation, they think of work-related illnesses or workplace accidents in terms of their own workplace. But work-related illness and injury can occur in any type of workplace, including many situations that you may never envision even in your wildest dreams. Did you ever think that being robbed would entitle you to workers' comp? What about if you had to make a delivery and were traumatized because you found a dead body? These are just a few of the many intense situations that arise every year in the field of workers' compensation law.

Did You Know? - Facts about Workers' Compensation in Pennsylvania

While many of the questions we receive about workers' compensation relate to benefits and the process for obtaining them, numerous clients have been equally curious about the workers' compensation system itself. What is it? How long has it been around? What types of injuries are affecting others throughout the state?

Below, we provide a quick look at some interesting facts about the workers' compensation system and the injuries that are most often reported:

Liquor Store Employee Robbed At Gunpoint Wins Workers' Comp Fight

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How did the state Liquor Control Board fight a workers' comp claim that a liquor store manager filed after being robbed at gunpoint at work? By asserting that being robbed was a "normal working condition" for liquor store employees in the Philadelphia area.

Luckily, the Commonwealth Court recently ruled in the store manager's favor, and prevented "being robbed" from a list of acceptable reasons to deny workers' comp benefits to employees.

PA Workplace Cited by OSHA for Repeat Safety Violations

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently cited a Pennsylvania manufacturing company for having more than 30 safety violations at its various facilities. The violations involved a wide range of situations and machinery, including welding equipment, high power machinery and elevated catwalks.

The investigation that led OSHA to issue these citations was a part of the agency's new Site-Specific Training Program; this program is designed to make efficient use of OSHA resources by looking at locations with high rates of workplace illness and injury.

Our Top Blog Posts of 2014: Part One

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With 2015 fast approaching, we would like to share with you a recap of our blog's most popular posts that were added in 2014. This week, we share the top five posts of the year.

Whether you have already seen these and helped them to be a part of this list, or you are viewing them for the first time, we invite you to follow the links below and learn more about these workers' compensation topics.

2015 PA Workers' Comp Average Weekly Wage Announced

According to the Workers' Compensation Act, injured workers are entitiled to indemnity (wage-loss) benefits equal to two-thirds of their weekly wage for a work-related injury. However, there are minimum and maximum adjustments provided in the Act, and the benefit rate is set using the annual maximum in place at the time of injury. The maximum is based on the Department of Labor and Industry's calculation of the statewide average weekly wage. 

He Quit His Job, But Was Still Eligible For Workers' Comp Benefits?

When a medical equipment delivery driver who had quit his job - but was injured while retrieving his tools and preparing to leave the premises - filed a lawsuit, how did his employer defend against the claim? By asserting that the driver was still in the course of his employment when he was injured - even though he had just quit his job.

While this at first sounds counterintuitive, consider this: if the driver was hurt in the course of his employment, it is likely that workers' compensation benefits would be his only remedy for his injuries. Otherwise, he could potentially be eligible for more significant damages.

Company Cited For Fall Hazards At Philadelphia Worksite

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has recently cited a Pennsylvania company for failing to provide its workers with proper fall protection. Bricklayers were tasked with conducting their work on scaffolding as high as 30 feet in the air without adequate safety measures in place.

Based on a tip from the Philadelphia Department of License and Inspections (L&I), OSHA sent investigators to the worksite on two separate occasions. During each of these visits, the inspectors observed a range of scaffolding-related safety hazards, including the lack of safety equipment provided to the workers.