LOCAL 215-268-7646 TOLL FREE 888-229-6467
f in + YouTube

Philadelphia Worker's Compensation Law Blog

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.

PTSD and VA disability benefits for Vietnam vets

There are hundreds of thousands of Vietnam-era veterans struggling to cope with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). They experience flashbacks, depression, insomnia and serious anxiety as they also deal with the inevitable problems associated with advancing age.

According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, 530,000 veterans were treated for PTSD at VA medical facilities through March of 2014, almost double the number in 2006. Although the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan account for about 25 percent of the increase, but most veterans seeking help for this frightening disability are from earlier wars, notably Vietnam.

Fewer staff means reduced workplace safety

American workers are tops when it comes to productivity.  They work more hours, take less vacation and use fewer sick days than counterparts in Europe. And this just keeps getting harder.  In the aftermath of the recession, American productivity per worker has increased almost every month as businesses decide that they can make more profit with fewer workers. In almost every industry, employees are asked to do more with less.

Although this approach is great for the bottom line, it's not so good for employees.  In many industries, the work schedule and the pressure to constantly increase output have become a health crisis.  For example, unionized steelworkers, when taking a survey about health problems on the job, reported that workloads, hours and increased pressure were the causes of workers' most important health concerns.  Although it is usually clear that understaffing leads to these types of problems, businesses continue to reap the rewards of the recovery while overworking their employees. 

Truck drivers and workers compensation

Long-haul truck drivers are usually covered by workers’ compensation insurance, also known as workers’ comp or work comp.  Truck drivers suffer injuries and illnesses as a result of simply driving. However, most truckers’ job descriptions include far more than driving.  They load and unload cargo, fall from receiving docks, suffer strains and sprains from lifting engine hoods and removing tires, and are involved in traffic accidents.  Even minor injuries experienced in these ways can become more severe because truckers sit all day.

Some injuries are the result of the type of cargo being carried.  Exposure to chemicals and other toxic substances being transported can cause a wide variety of illnesses and injuries.  Cargo not properly secured can fall off the truck during loading or unloading, injuring the driver. 

SSD and SSI Payments to Increase in 2015

At the end of October 2014 the Social Security Administration (SSA) announced a cost-of-living (COLA) adjustment for recipients of Social Security Disability benefits for 2015. The increase, which also applies to recipients of Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Monthly benefits will increase by 1.7 percent beginning on December 31, 2014.

The Big Four in Construction Accidents

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has identified the most common fatal construction accidents, known as the "Big Four." These are:

Falls from heights

Struck/hit by something at the work site, such as falling tools, equipment, building supplies or swinging beams, pipes and other crane-carried material, and construction vehicles

Caught in between something moving and an unmoving object; examples include being pinned to a wall by a vehicle or motorized construction equipment or being pinned by a collapsed wall or construction material, or being crushed when a scaffold collapses.

Electrical hazards that include coming into contact with power lines, power tools with defective cords, wiring and switches, improperly grounded outlets, and temporary wiring.

What types of workers’ compensation benefits are available?

If you are injured at work, your employer’s workers’ compensation policy must pay for your medical care, but your benefits may go much further than doctors’ appointments and health care. Depending on the type and extent of your injuries, you may be eligible for different types of financial benefits. Below, we outline four financial benefits for which workers and their families may be eligible:

Total Disability Benefits: If you are unable to return to work in any capacity after a work-related accident, you will be considered totally disabled and can qualify for Temporary Total Disability benefits.

More than Ebola: Nurses face daily dangers at work

The news that two nurses caught Ebola after caring for a man who later died of the infection at a Texas hospital has alarmed nurses and health care officials nationwide. Investigators are looking into how the women contracted the infection, saying that a breach of protocol is to blame. Nurses spoke out about a lack of training and confusion in the isolation ward where the women worked on the man.

In response, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new rules for workers who come into contact with Ebola patients, including requirements to wear double sets of gloves, hoods with full face shields and special masks.