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Columbus Injured Worker Legal Blog

Mental health and a person's ability to continue working

When a person is struggling with a mental health condition, it can affect many areas of his or her life. In the event that a mental health condition affects a person's ability to work, it begins to take a toll on finances and the person's entire family. A person can seem healthy and capable, but an invisible condition can leave that individual unable to hold gainful employment.

Mental health conditions are valid medical issues, and it is possible your disorder could make you eligible for disability benefits through the Social Security. It can be quite complex to actually secure benefits, particularly for those who must prove a mental health condition. Therefore, you should know your rights and what to do in order to avoid unnecessary setbacks and complications.

Migraines could make it difficult to work

Ohio residents and others who have migraines might be entitled to disability benefits. However, the specific facts in a given case will determine if an applicant will have his or her request for financial assistance approved. To obtain disability benefits, an individual would need to prove that he or she cannot generate a substantial and gainful income. There are many different types of evidence that a person could use to show that he or she is no longer able to meet that threshold.

For instance, it may be possible to submit a migraine journal that details when a migraine occurred and its specific impact on your life. It should also describe whether any medication was taken and if it helped to reduce or eliminate any symptoms associated with a migraine. Other tests such as an MRI or CT scan may further bolster an individual's claim that he or she should be entitled to disability benefits.

How to inform employees about workplace emergencies

Companies in Ohio need to be ready to keep their workers safe in the event that an emergency situation occurs. One way to keep employees out of danger is to make use of mass notification systems. These systems make it possible to alert hundreds or thousands of people about a danger or potential danger that they may face. Messaging systems can also provide instructions about what they can do to stay safe.

It is important that companies use a variety of tools to disseminate information to their people. For instance, it may be a good idea to use a combination of text messages, emails and posts to the company's social media account to warn workers about an incoming storm or toxic exposure event. It can also be a good idea to post warnings on electronic signs located throughout an office building or warehouse.

Working in a nail salon can be hazardous to your health

There is often a year-round demand for the services of nail technicians. Manicures, pedicures and other services performed at nail salons are a popular way for people to pamper themselves when they want a relaxing and indulgent experience.

However, the work is usually anything but relaxing for those who work in nail salons, whether they are here in Ohio or elsewhere. The hazards of working in this environment can cause you serious harm.

How employees bring toxic exposure home with them

Workers in Ohio and throughout America who are exposed to toxic substances may face an increased risk of getting sick. A report found that workers may be coming home with traces of toxic material on their bodies or clothes. This can cause health and development problems for children of all ages, and it could also be a hazard to others who have compromised immune systems. The report stressed that worker carelessness isn't necessarily to blame for the problem.

In some cases, workers don't feel as if they can talk about potential hazards caused by exposure to toxins. Undocumented immigrants may not raise the concerns that they have with their employers for fear that they could be deported or experience other negative consequences. Other workers who don't benefit from employment protections may also refrain from speaking out in an effort to retain their jobs.

Lab workers face dangers on the job

Lab workers in Ohio and around the country may be concerned about their safety on the job, especially if they regularly handle potentially dangerous chemical or biological agents. Toxic exposure can lead to occupational diseases and serious workplace injuries. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has created specific standards to protect the over 500,000 laboratory workers across the country. These standards can apply to a range of laboratory work environments, including academic facilities, chemical storage rooms, waste handling areas, and receiving and loading docks.

These workplace safety standards apply to all labs where workers handle some form of hazardous chemicals. According to the OSHA regulations, employers must name a trained chemical hygiene officer to create a safety plan for the laboratory. This can also include making sure that all workers who may interact with toxic substances are properly trained and provided with the correct personal protective equipment to minimize the risk of hazardous exposure.

Potential risks of coronavirus on the job

Ohio workers may have a number of concerns about health and safety on the job, but one of them is getting attention around the world: novel coronavirus, or 2019-nCoV. Whenever a new viral disease emerges on a global scale, new analysis can be important to determine how it could affect workers on the job. Wuhan, China, where the coronavirus developed, has seen severe restrictions on public activity and interaction in an attempt to stop the disease from spreading. Health care workers, however, have remained at particular risk. Official records note that 16 health workers were already infected as of early February 2020, some of them before the new disease was fully identified.

The World Health Organization has declared that novel coronavirus is a global health emergency, and the Chinese government is taking extensive efforts to stamp out the virus. Still, coronavirus has already spread due to travel, especially before people realized that they were sick or that the new virus existed. There have been several cases of coronavirus confirmed in the U.S. and Canada. Workers may be particularly concerned about their rights if they develop coronavirus on the job or due to exposure mandated by their profession.

Administrative law judges argue new rule may be illegal

A newly proposed rule by the Social Security Administration could negatively impact people in Ohio and around the country who apply for Social Security Disability benefits. If the rule is enacted, people whose initial claims are denied will no longer be able to have their appeals heard outside of the Social Security Administration by administrative law judges.

A majority of the applications for SSD benefits are initially denied. People then have a right to appeal the agency's decision and to have it independently reviewed at hearings before an administrative law judge. ALJs do not fall under the SSA's umbrella and are independent. However, the new rule would bring the appeals hearings under the agency's control, and some of them could be decided by hearing officers instead of ALJs.

Should you file for workers' compensation or disability benefits?

When you suffer an injury on the job, it can affect virtually every area of your life. You may not be able to continue with your job, and on top of that, you could be facing medical bills that just keep piling up. How can you pay these bills and meet other financial obligations when you aren't bringing in a paycheck?

Injured workers often need financial support to help with their recovery needs. Recovery can be long and expensive, taking a toll on your whole family. What happens if your injury is such that you may not be able to return to your job? What happens if you will be out of work for years? In this case, you may have a valid disabling condition, qualifying you for other types of benefits. It's not easy to know what benefits you may be able to get or if you are even eligible.

Should your employer be protecting you from silica dust?

Some jobs come with certain risks, including the risk of exposure to toxic materials. In high-risk occupations, it is especially important for employers to protect the interests of their workers by providing a reasonably safe environment. Depending on the type of job you have and where you work, one of the things your Ohio employer should be doing is protecting you from silica dust exposure. 

Estimates suggest that as many as two million workers face exposure to silica dust every year. This means that two million people could be facing a higher risk of developing an illness that could have significant and long-term impacts on their lives. Thankfully, there are steps businesses can take to ensure that workers don't experience unnecessary exposure.

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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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