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Columbus Injured Worker Legal Blog

Can self-operating construction equipment improve site safety?

If you are an Ohio construction worker, you know that one of the biggest risks you face at work involves the use of heavy machinery and equipment. A combination of human error and improper maintenance can lead to devastating accidents on construction sites, but technological advances may be able to change that. At some point in the future, self-operating construction equipment may make your job safer.

Construction is an inherently risky occupation. It involves physical labor using potentially dangerous equipment in a variety of environments. Every day, workers suffer life-altering or fatal injuries due to issues that are preventable. Safety must be a priority on every jobsite, and certain types of equipment may be able to help employers accomplish this and reduce the overall number of construction accidents.

Those suffering from Parkinson's can apply for SSD benefits

Some illnesses can make it difficult for a patient to lead a normal life. Not only do those illnesses lead to significant physical discomfort but they also make it almost impossible for the patient to hold a job and earn a steady income. The end result is that the patient and their family have to face a multitude of emotional and financial problems. An example of such an illness is Parkinson's disease.

According to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research, Parkinson's disease is a neurological disorder that is both chronic and progressive. It is related to the human motor system. Disorders of the motor system, in turn, are a result of the loss of dopamine-producing brain cells. Dopamine is the chemical that facilitates communication between brain cells.

What you should know about your right to safety at work

Did you know that no matter what type of job you have, you are entitled to a reasonable expectation of safety in the workplace? This means even if you work in a relatively dangerous job, you should not have to face unnecessary risks and hazards. Every Ohio worker would be wise to learn more about these rights and how he or she can protect these entitlements.

One of the most important rights you have is the ability to seek benefits through a workers' compensation claim after a workplace accident. If you suffer injuries at work or are suffering from the effects of an occupational illness, you would have a rightful claim to financial support through your employer's workers' compensation insurance provider. You have the right to know how to proceed with this type of claim. 

Victim's kin claim $20 million for fatal construction accident

A workplace fatality can wreak havoc in the life of a victim's family. Not only does that family suffer a loss of income but they must also encounter various other financial and emotional challenges in their everyday lives, which can sometimes continue for a very long time. Fortunately, Ohio law allows the family members of the victim to claim wrongful death damages for fatal workplace accidents.

One such incident of a wrongful death claim was recently reported in several Ohio news outlets. According to those reports, the family members of a 25-year-old construction worker, who died in a trench collapse at a home construction site in Ohio in December 2017, have filed a $20 million lawsuit against the home builder and the construction contractor.

Establishing the existence of mental disorders for SSD benefits

It is not unknown that there are some mental conditions that can lead to a patient not being able to work. If you are a resident of Columbus, Ohio, who is ether suffering from a mental illness or you know someone with a mental illness, you should know that there are several mental conditions that are eligible for Social Security Disability benefits. In order to claims those benefits, you must prove that you are suffering from a medically determinable mental disease or condition that exists and/or will continue to exist.

According to the Social Security Administration's Red Book, Social Security disability benefits for mental illnesses are available for the entire listings of mental conditions that are on the SSA's website. Primarily, they are divided into nine diagnostic categories. Each listing is accompanied by a description and the SSA's disability determination is based on this. Impairments that are physical can be described by an applicant but psychiatric signs and symptoms are determined by medical tests. The tests are conducted to conclude whether the applicant suffers from abnormalities related to developmental patterns, behavioral patterns, mental orientation, or certain other specific psychological abnormalities.

OSHA imposes fine in excess of $1.3 million on company

Accidents can happen at any type of workplace. No employer can make a workplace entirely safe. However, employers do have a legal duty to follow safety regulations and make their workplaces reasonably safe. When they breach their duties, they may face fines under state and federal law.

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration recently imposed a fine in excess of $1.3 million on a company based in Ohio. According to news reports, OSHA conducted an inspection at the metal heat treatment company in October 2018 and the latest action is based on the findings of that inspection. Per OSHA's statement, the company was cited for 25 willful workplace safety violations related to confined spaces, falls, machine guarding, respiratory protection, chemical exposures and electrical equipment.

Periodic reviews of an SSD beneficiary's medical condition

Those from Franklin County who receive SSD benefits will have their benefits reviewed at various points. The notice of the first review is given by the Social Security Administration at the time of awarding the benefits and subsequent reviews are conducted based in the severity of the disabling condition and the likelihood of improvement.

In addition to the list of eligible medical conditions, the SSA's Red Book contains the guidelines based on which the administration conducts periodic reviews in order to determine whether the SSD benefits for an individual are to be continued, revised or stopped. Broadly, the reviews can be classified into three categories that are based on the possibility of improvement: "Improvement Expected" cases are reviewed 18 months after the award of SSD benefits; "Improvement Possible" cases are reviewed every 3 years after; "Improvement Not Expected" cases are reviewed every 5 to 7 years after.

What can your employer do to make your job safer?

Ohio workers have the right to a workplace that is free from preventable hazards and unnecessary risks. Employers are responsible for doing everything they can to keep workers safe. No matter what type of job you have or the nature of your work environment, there are probably ways to increase safety and reduce the chance of an accident.

Establishing and maintaining a safe workplace is important, but this takes vigilance and a commitment to the well-being of all employees. As a worker, you will find it helpful to review the potential hazards you may face while on the job, as well as what you can do to protect your rights and interests in the event you suffer an accident in the workplace.

What workers' comp type benefits are available to rail workers?

The railways are an integral part of the transport infrastructure of any state or country. Several thousand miles of railroads traverse Ohio and the rest of the country and provide an important means of transport for both freight and passengers. In order to make sure that such a vast rail network functions smoothly, railroad companies employ a large number of workers for the upkeep of the network. These workers, however, are often exposed to workplace hazards that are unique to the railways.

The Congress passed the Federal Employers Liability Act in 1908 to protect railroad workers. This federal act covers the thousands of railroad workers in Ohio and the rest of the country. According to the FELA, a worker employed by a railroad company is eligible for compensation if he or she is injured while on duty, irrespective of whether such duty was being carried out on the railway tracks or away from it. In the event of a workplace death, the family of the deceased worker is entitled to compensation.

Are there jobs that place you at a higher risk for injury?

Ohio workers have the right to a workplace that is reasonably safe and free from unnecessary risks. However, certain jobs are more dangerous than others simply by nature. If you work in a specific occupation, you may face a higher risk of injury every time you are on the clock. 

No matter how dangerous your job is, you still have certain rights in the event of a workplace accident. It may be helpful for you to learn about the factors that could be placing you in harm's way as well as what to do in the event you need support and help after suffering an injury. You may be eligible for help through a claim filed with your employer's workers' compensation insurance.

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Philip J. Fulton Law OfficeRepresenting Victims Of Workplace Injuries And Disability

89 East Nationwide Boulevard
Suite 300
Columbus, OH 43215

Toll Free: 866-552-6353
Phone: 614-929-3126
Fax: 614-224-3933
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