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Columbus Injured Worker Legal Blog

Did you know you have the right to be safe at work?

When you clock in at work, you are probably not thinking about the many ways that you could experience an injury in the workplace. Whether you work behind a desk or on a construction site, there are certain things that could cause you harm. No matter your job description, you have the right to expect safety in your place of work. 

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, workers are entitled to a reasonable expectation of safety when they are on the job. It is the responsibility of each employer to provide whatever employees need to be safe, whether that is specific types of training or equipment. In the event of a workplace accident, you also have the right to seek benefits through a workers' compensation claim.

How does workers' compensation affect SSD benefits?

When someone sustains a work-related injury, the first step they should take is to file a workers' compensation claim with the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation. The benefits that the injured worker receives are compensation for disability, lost wages and medical expenses. They will also receive assistance for travel expenses, rehabilitation and change of occupation. In addition to these benefits, an injured worker can also apply for Social Security disability benefits.

However, the worker must remember that workers' compensation can affect the SSD benefits that they receive. According to the rules set by the Social Security Administration, if an injured worker receives workers' compensation, or certain other public disability benefits, along with SSD benefits, the total amount of benefits that the worker receives from all sources combined cannot exceed 80 percent of the average current earning of that worker prior to becoming disabled.

Miner's rights per the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act

Ohio is among the major producers of coal and other minerals in the United States, which means that a significant number of workers are employed in the mining industry. Miners are often at a higher risk for injuries than most other workers, owing to the harsh conditions they usually have to work in. Therefore, in order to address the issues specific to the mining industry, the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act was passed in 1977. This act clearly states the rights and responsibilities of a miner.

Per the FMSHA, employers in the mining industry must not discriminate against any miner, miner group or representative in the event they raise concerns against the working conditions. The FMSHA also allows the miner or the representative to report any and all violations of safety measures or of the provisions of the FMSHA to the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration. In fact, the act also allows a miner or a representative to request the MSHA to conduct an inspection of the mine.

Understanding the SSD benefits available for mental disorders

It is well-known to many Columbus, Ohio, residents that people with physical disabilities have access to Social Security disability benefits. Unfortunately, many people think that it is only physical disabilities that are covered by the SSD insurance program. SSD benefits are also available for mental health conditions, such as schizophrenia, autism, depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and more, as long as the condition impairs the patient's ability to work.

As in the case with physical disabilities, receiving SSD benefits for mental health conditions requires an applicant to submit prior medical records that establish the disability. A separate medical consultative exam might also be necessary if the symptoms are not clearly manifest. It is crucial to determine whether, and to what extent, the mental disability impairs the person's ability to earn an income.

What are a construction worker's rights in the workplace?

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is a federal agency entrusted with implementing programs targeted at the health and safety of workers. By implementing safety programs, OSHA aims to reduce workplace hazards that can cause injuries or illnesses. There are many workers in Ohio and other parts of the United States who are aware of OSHA but, unfortunately, are not fully aware of the rights they have under the Occupational Safety and Health Act.

First and foremost, every construction worker has the right to know the safety standards their employer is responsible for maintaining at the workplace. The worker also has the right to access records regarding exposure to different hazardous substances. In cases where a worker feels that the employer is violating OSHA mandates, they can request OSHA to carry out an inspection, along with an employee representative authorized by the company.

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.

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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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