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Columbus Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Different types of worker's compensation benefits can help

Injured workers may face many challenges following a workplace accident or injury which is why they need to be familiar with the variety of different types of benefits that may be available to help them. There are many different types of benefits available through workers' compensation so workers and their families should understand the full range of benefits and how they may meet the specific needs and struggles of injured workers after a workplace accident.

Workers may be able to receive weekly benefits or a workers' compensation settlement depending on the circumstances. Different weekly benefits may be available if the worker's injury prevents the from working. Benefits that may be available include temporary total disability while the injured worker is unable to work; wage loss compensation if the worker can return to work but is forced to work in a lower paying job because of their injury; living maintenance while they are participating in rehabilitation; and permanent total disability benefits if they are unable to work at all.

Using ergonomics to avoid repetitive stress injuries from sitting

Many folks sit at the computer for hours every work day, or they sit behind the steering wheel of a bus, truck, or taxi. These people are at risk of repetitive stress injuries. After all, the way they sit and the way they move tend to put repetitive stress on the same parts of their bodies, often the forearm, back or wrist.

Proper ergonomics can help. This occurs when you fit a job to a person rather than fit a person to a job. For instance, improper ergonomics is likely occurring if an employer buys the same kind of nonadjustable chair for all of its 200 employees. Here is a look at how employers and employees can use good ergonomics to keep everyone as safe and healthy as possible.

What should I do following a workplace accident?

When a workplace accident has taken place, it is important for injured workers to know what to do. Workers involved in an industrial worker accident or other type of workplace accident in Ohio may have many questions but should know how to respond before and after a workplace accident.

To begin with, it is important to know what type of workers' compensation your employer has and if they are self-insured or insured through the state fund. It is important to know how the employer is insured because it impacts if the employer will pay workers' compensation benefits directly to the employee or if the benefits will be paid through the state. It is also important to know the managed care organization if applicable to you.

Workers' compensation benefits basics in Ohio

In Ohio, the workers' compensation process can help injured workers with the costs they face following a workplace injury or workplace illness. Workers' compensation insurance is insurance purchased by employers that covers employees, regardless of fault, who are injured at work in a workplace accident.

While it is important to keep in mind that though workers' compensation benefits provide important protections, it is also important to be aware that in some instances using the workers' compensation process can preclude an injured worker from filing a claim for damages against an employer. Claims for damages against third parties, however, may still be possible depending on the circumstances.

The importance of workplace safety

Workers have an expectation of safety in their workplaces and should be familiar with the resources available to help ensure that but also to be familiar with their rights and remedies if they have been injured in a workplace accident. Additionally, employers should not only have policies in place to respond to a workplace accident but should also take steps to help prevent one from occurring.

To create a workplace environment that fosters safety, training is key in addition to creating a workplace that emphasizes safety. To begin with, an environment that is safe physically and organizationally should be created for workers. One method of doing this is to create a committee tasked with focusing on safety and identifying potential safety risks in advance. Best practices to prevent workplace injuries can be developed based on the information provided and it is important to enforce those practices once established.

What exactly is a repetitive stress injury?

Repetitive stress injuries can be serious and, though you may have heard the term, you may also have wondered what exactly the term refers to. Repetitive stress injuries are a category of injuries that can be work-related that can make it difficult for a worker to do their job.

In addition to preventing the worker from being able to perform their job, repetitive stress injuries can also be painful. Repetitive stress injuries including carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis and bursitis can be debilitating as well. Workers suffering with a repetitive stress injury may experience symptoms including swelling, tingling, numbness, stiffness, weakness and sensitivity to cold or heat. Over time, repetitive stress injuries can worsen both in terms of painfulness and in terms of their impact on the worker's ability to perform their usual daily activities.

The different types of workplace injuries

Unfortunately, there are certain types of injuries that are not uncommon in the workplace. Fortunately, workers' compensation benefits serve as a resource that is available to help workers injured on the job as they face an uncertain future that may be filled with medical bills and an inability to work while they recover from their injuries.

Injuries that workers may suffer while on the job can include back injuries such as lower back injuries, spine injuries or a herniated disc; joint injuries which can occur in different places throughout the body including the shoulders, elbows, hips and knees; repetitive motion or stress injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome; crush injuries to hands or other body parts caught in machinery or equipment used at the workplace; and brain injuries including traumatic brain injuries which can be life altering.

Process for obtaining additional awards for VSSR

There are many workplace accidents in Ohio every year. There are many different causes for these accidents and many different outcomes. Sometimes the workers may just need to clean up a mess or receive minor medical treatment. However, many others result in severe injuries for the workers involved. In these situations, it is very important that the workers receive the proper workers' compensation benefits. The proper amount can include an additional award though if there was an employer violation of specific safety requirement (VSSR).

Injured workers may be entitled to this if the employer violated a safety precaution that is ordered by law and that violation led to the accident and subsequent injuries. However, in order to receive this additional award the worker must apply for it and go through the process.

Loading dock accident claims life of Ohio worker

Loading docks are a fairly standard structure at many businesses. Some loading dock operations are more substantial than others, but loading dock areas are places where shipments are processed by the business. Whether shipping out freight or taking it in, loading docks can be very busy on the average business day. However, an accident at an Ohio business' loading dock was far from ordinary.

The process for loading or unloading items at the docks usually starts with the truck that is carrying or picking up freight. At the time of this particular work accident, a worker was repairing a hydraulic mechanism on the loading dock when a semi-trailer pinned him against the dock. The man succumbed to his injuries at the scene of the industrial work accident.

Repetitive stress injuries are more than a nuisance

It can be more than monotonous to do the same motions over and over again. While it may be boring, it can also be harmful. Repetitive stress injuries can occur when a person does the same movement over and over, essentially overusing a part of the body that can lead to a permanent level of disfunction or disability. Did you know that these injuries are potentially compensable?

Repetitive stress injuries can come in many forms, due to a variety of movements. Something as small as typing can bring on repetitive stress injuries in the hands and wrists. Operating machinery and lifting or pressing repeatedly can cause injuries in the back and neck. Even straining your eyes to see can cause issues with your sight in the long term. Certain tendons, joints or other tissues can be damaged permanently when they are overused.

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Morgan & Justice Co., LPA

Morgan & Justice Co. LPA
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Columbus, OH 43205

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