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North Andover Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Amazon fulfillment centers prone to workplace accidents

While there is undeniable convenience from the ease of purchase and rapid delivery options for many online retailers, it is easy to forget that people across the nation are often tasked with dangerous or stressful jobs to complete those orders in the necessary time-frame. For Massachusetts workers in these factories and warehouses, workplace accidents can happen in an instant and change their lives forever. Understanding the danger and taking precautions is, of course, necessary. Still, when accidents do occur, it is imperative to know what steps to take to receive workers' compensation and other benefits.

Several reports state that Amazon places workers in jeopardy of injuries and even death due to its hard-charging culture. The need to meet strict deadlines is believed to have been a major factor in these accidents with serious injuries suffered by workers. The investigation stemmed from internal incidents as they were reported by the company. For its part, Amazon says that it maintains a safe culture at its fulfillment centers. The high rate of injuries, it says, are due to the number of workers it employs -- an estimated 125,000 people at its centers.

Independent contractors are often misclassified

If you are an independent contractor, then you may already be aware that you are not covered by workers' compensation when you work for a client. However, you may also know that many people are misclassified as independent contractors when they are not. People who are misclassified may be able to seek workers' compensation from their employers, even if the employer has previously stated that they were independent contractors.

Employers who are responsible for paying workers' compensation are required to buy it and have it on hand for their employees. This is an additional cost for a business, which may be a reason why many turn to independent contractors for labor. With independent contractors, there are fewer benefits offered, saving the client (or employer if improperly classified) money.

Workplace accident with chemicals leads to employee death

Workplace accidents can happen in a seemingly endless number of ways. Workers in Massachusetts who are simply going about their duties in jobs that are generally expected to be safe can suddenly suffer injuries, get ill and even lose their lives if the circumstances come together in an unfortunate way. One situation in which people can become sick and lose their lives is through chemical exposure and toxic fumes. After such an incident, those who become sick can be impacted for an extended period, if not their entire lives. In a worst-case scenario, a person can die.

According to reports, a man working at a Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant died after a mistaken combination of cleaning products created fumes and a toxic atmosphere. The man, 32, was a new father. He was the general manager of the restaurant. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, he got sick after a colleague used two cleaning substances that were not supposed to be mixed. The other employee left the restaurant to get air when the fumes took effect.

Workers' compensation might help contractor with broken leg

When a construction accident occurs, it is important to think about workers' compensation benefits for medical care, lost wages and the possibility that the person will not be able to do the same work for an extended period of time. For example, according to recent reports, a 69-year-old man who was working on a residential site suffered a broken leg when it he was run over by an excavator. The accident happened at around 10:20 a.m.

Emergency services arrived to help and found that the man needed to be flown to the hospital via helicopter. According to the emergency responders, he had a compound fracture. The helicopter landed at a nearby school and transported the injured worker. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the accident.

Near-fatal fall shows danger of construction workplace accidents

There are always many construction projects ongoing throughout Massachusetts. This could involve building, maintenance and repairs. While this is beneficial for the economy and provides jobs, there is no denying that construction work can be dangerous. Workers who are stationed at significant heights are among the most vulnerable to workplace accidents. These can lead to severe, life-changing injuries and even fatalities. Understanding how to receive workers' compensation is imperative to covering for medical expenses and lost wages after workplace injuries.

According to reports, a construction worker nearly lost his life when he fell from the roof of a building recently. The man was working as a roofer and had apparently just started on the job, because he was unfamiliar to his boss. The employer was also unaware if the worker was credentialed for safety under the Occupational Safety and Health requirements. The accident happened in the afternoon at around 3:30 p.m. at a power plant. The man fell around 20 feet.

Workplace accidents can be influenced by various job factors

Safety is a primary issue for Massachusetts workers no matter what kind of work they do. Because work accidents and the injuries that result can have a life-changing impact, it is wise to think about what can cause them. Research is beneficial as it can provide steps to avoiding injuries and death after an accident on the job. While many factors are obvious, such as the type of job, other aspects should also be considered. After an accident, the victim should know how to be approved for workers' compensation to cover for medical costs, lost wages and more.

A recent study from the University of Washington says that employment factors including wages, the flexibility of schedule and how secure the person is in the job can affect basic health and the chance of being injured on the job. In the study, researchers suggest that the conditions in the workplace should be assessed along with the job itself when thinking about workplace safety. As the way in which people work changes and technology grows more important, the rising number of people who work as contractors, are in the "gig" economy and have different hours will change the dynamic of worker health and safety.

Should I accept a workers' comp settlement?

If you get injured on the job, the standard course of action is to cover medical bills and give you routine payments for other costs, such as lost wages. However, the insurance company may come to you and offer a settlement. This means they'll pay you far more up front than any one monthly payment, but that will be it. It will be all you get.

Should you do it? There are some advantages. You don't have to deal with the monthly payments, for instance, or worry about a stoppage. You get more money up front, which can feel like a win in the moment. It also puts the incident behind you. For some injured workers, that's all they really want.

For workers' compensation, what is pay-without-prejudice?

When workers in Massachusetts are injured or become ill from the work conditions, it is important to understand how to get workers' compensation benefits. These benefits are integral to covering for lost wages and getting the necessary medical treatment. Oftentimes, people misunderstand certain aspects of the workers' compensation process. For example, they might not know when they will begin getting benefits and payments for their injury or condition. Furthermore, they might not be aware of "pay-without-prejudice."

In general, injured workers will start getting checks for lost wages within three weeks to a month after they have been injured or become ill. The payments will cover days that were lost after the initial five calendar days. Those five days will not be paid, except in cases in which the worker was disabled for a minimum of 21 calendar days. When the person is injured or ill, there is what is known as a "pay-without-prejudice" time period.

Knowing the dangers of workplace accidents for asphalt workers

In Massachusetts and throughout the U.S., the roads are of paramount importance. Also important is structural repair work for buildings. For roads, so many vehicles go back and forth on the nation's roadways that maintenance with asphalt is a critical factor in ensuring safety. Many people who are having a roof repaired will choose to have it done with asphalt. With that, the workers who are tasked with paving and roofing should be cognizant of the dangers of working with asphalt.

In paving and roofing, a significant amount of asphalt is used. According to statistics, there are half-a-million workers who seek workers' compensation benefits after illness from having been exposed to asphalt fumes. Since asphalt comes from crude oil, it can make people ill if they are exposed to it for an extended period. Medical issues include losing appetite, having eye irritation, coughing, a sore throat, a skin rash, feeling fatigued and even skin cancer.

Can you appeal a denied Social Security Disability claim?

When Massachusetts residents suffer from an injury, illness or condition that leaves them unable to work, Social Security Disability benefits can be extraordinarily helpful. When applying for disability benefits, it is not a guarantee that the initial application will be approved. Many people are dispirited by this information. However, they should know that an appeal can be effective to get an approval even after the claim was first denied.

This requires understanding the four levels of appeal. After a denial, the Social Security Administration must receive the written request to appeal within 60 days. The levels of appeal are: reconsideration; an administrative law judge hearing; an Appeals Council review; and a Federal Court review.

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Torrisi & Torrisi, P.C.

Torrisi & Torrisi, P.C.

Torrisi & Torrisi, P.C.
555 Turnpike Street
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North Andover, MA 01845

Phone: 978-291-6161
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