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Hicksville Workers' Compensation Law Blog

What should employers do to prevent wet and slippery accidents?

Not only does an employer have a moral duty to employees to keep his or her workplace safe and free of unnecessary dangers, but the employer also has a legal duty to maintain safe premises. If the employer is grossly negligent in failing to keep his or her premises risk-free, for example – in addition to being able to file a workers' compensation claim – an injured employee may have a viable cause of action to pursue financial damages in civil court.

To prevent unnecessary accidents, one thing that employers must pay particularly close attention to is the prevention and speedy elimination of wet and slippery surfaces. Here is what employers and managers can do to eliminate such dangers:

  • Parking lots have to stay in good repair. If workers are walking through the parking lot, they shouldn't have to navigate slippery oil spots, ice, large potholes or cracks that could trip them and result in injuries.
  • During winter months, any snow and ice on sidewalks or outdoor areas frequented by employees must be removed as quickly as possible. If necessary, employers should cordon off slippery areas during extreme weather conditions to prevent slipping risks.
  • Wherever there is a potentially slippery area frequented by employees, employers should apply anti-skid paint or anti-skid adhesive striping. Employers should also use anti-skid floor cleaning solution to give employees as much traction as possible.
  • Employers should assign an employee to "anti-slip" duty. This employee should inspect work areas at least several times a day to ensure that there aren't any unnecessary slip and fall risks.

Should my neighbor help pay to replace our boundary line fence?

Imagine a winter snow flurry took down the boundary line fence between you and your next-door neighbor's property last year. You've been wanting to replace the fence and it seems only natural that your neighbor should help foot the bill. However, you can't agree how high the new fence should be, what color to paint it or what materials should be used to build it. Can you turn to the law for support?

If you're in a situation like this, you might want to learn a little bit more about fences and neighborhood boundary line disputes. In some cases, all of your and your neighbor's disagreements will be solved by reviewing your local fence ordinances. These will usually offer parameters for the following:

  • How high it can be
  • Where you can install it
  • The materials you can build it with
  • What it looks like

What medical benefits will I receive through workers' comp?

Injured workers in New York typically benefit from unlimited medical benefits without any deductibles following a work-related injury. The insurer will pay for medical care triggered by the work-related injury until the injured employee is either healed or has received the maximum amount of relief possible.

Payments generally happen effortlessly, as they are made to the workers' compensation carrier and then transmitted to the medical provider. All the injured employee needs to do is listen to his or her doctor and follow the prescriptions and recommendations of the doctor.

Ladders: 1 of the most dangerous objects you’ll use at work

Have you ever considered what the most dangerous object is at your workplace? Maybe you have a sneaking suspicion that, one day, changing the water jug on the water cooler is going to cause you a serious back injury. Maybe you're eyeing the gun on your security guard utility belt suspiciously, wondering if it could ever go off and shoot you in the foot. It's a good idea to be careful with both of these obviously-dangerous items, but sometimes it's the not-so-obvious things that pose the most serious threats to our safety at work.

For example, think of the stepladder you use to change the light bulb in your office. Regardless of the size of the ladder – whether it's a three-foot stepladder or a 30-foot extension ladder – this relatively innocuous piece of equipment can be deadly when used irresponsibly.

Commercial truckers face numerous risks on the job

One might be prone to believe that truck driving is an easy job. All you have to do is sit behind the wheel, enjoy the view and listen to some music while chatting in "trucker speak" to your pals on the CB radio, right? Not so fast. Working as a commercial vehicle driver is -- in reality -- a serious job with a lot of dangers and responsibility associated with it. To help counteract the dangers associated with driving a big rig, here are a few things that truck drivers can do to keep themselves and others injury-free on the road:

Get the rest you need: A fatigued truck driver is a driver who's more likely to get into a crash. However, it's not easy to sleep when you're doing a long trip in a semitruck. If you're trying to sleep in your cabin, for example, you may be dealing with an uncomfortable bed and a lot of exterior noise. Or, if you're sleeping while your partner is driving, the quality of sleep could be dramatically diminished while you're in motion. Take the time to investigate and resolve any sleep challenges you're facing.

Play it safe with these construction tool safety tips

Nearly every tool that construction workers use on a daily basis can result in a serious injury. Even a screwdriver could slip and puncture you, resulting in a debilitating wound. This is why it's vital that you do everything you can to stay safe while using tools at your construction job. Here are a few tips to keep in mind in this regard:

  • Use the right tool for the job: If you've got to pry something, use a crowbar. In other words, don't use a rusty piece of rebar.
  • Don't yank a tool by its hose: If the tool has a cord or hose hanging off it, don't be tempted to carry it or yank it by the hose or cord. Carry it the proper way, by its handle.
  • Protect your eyes and ears: Use safety goggles and safety ear protection whenever you're near something that could harm your eyes and ears. Power tools, noise-emitting tools, saws, drills and many other devices could all present to your ears and eyes in this regard.
  • Keep machine-operating areas clear of other people: If other workers are around while you want to use a piece of heavy machinery or another kind of smaller machinery, ask them to give you more distance so they're not in danger of getting hurt.
  • Follow all your workplace safety procedures: There's a reason why it's a rule to wear your hard hat at all times. It's to keep you safe. Never skimp on adhering to your workplace safety guidelines.

At the end of the day, there's only so much you can do to avoid an accident. However, if you follow the above safety guidelines and all others you've learned, there's less of a chance you'll get seriously injured, and less of a chance you'll need to pursue a workers' compensation claim to pay for your medical care.

A few ladder safety tips to help you prevent injuries

If you're using a ladder on a daily basis, there's a good chance you could fall off the ladder and hurt yourself. For this reason, you may want to brush up on the following ladder safety tips from the Occupational Safety and Health Association (OSHA).

Here's what you need to know in terms of ladder safety:

  • Always read the labels on ladders and familiarize yourself with the safety information found on labels before using them. Be careful to adhere to these safety rules.
  • Keep away from any kind of electrical hazards. Makes sure your ladder is not close to power lines.
  • Inspect the ladder before using it. Fix the ladder if it's damaged and don't use it.
  • Keep three points on the ladder at all times. Either two hands and one foot or two feet and one hand. Keep your weight centered toward the middle of the steps when climbing.
  • Never put your foot on the top step or rung of the ladder you're using.
  • Only set up the ladder on a level and stable place.
  • Never put the ladder on an unstable base like a box or piece of equipment.
  • Don't move the ladder while someone is on it.
  • Secure ladders that are vulnerable to being hit or knocked over by other work activities.

What are the reasons for a workers' compensation denial?

Insurers deny workers' compensation claims for numerous reasons. In some situations, the denial of benefits is legitimate and there's nothing a worker can do. In other situations, workers can appeal the denial to get the benefits they have a legal right to receive.

Here are some of the most common reasons why insurers reject a workers' compensation claim:

  • The employer claims that no accident ever happened and there aren't any witnesses to the accident.
  • The employee was not working at the time the injury occurred.
  • The injury wasn't serious enough to award compensation.
  • The type or nature of the injury or illness isn't covered under workers' compensation insurance.
  • A preexisting condition was the actual cause of the injury/illness.
  • The worker didn't require any medical treatment.
  • The worker didn't submit an injury report within the time limitation guidelines.
  • The employee was drunk or impaired by drugs when the accident happened.
  • The worker was not actually an employee when the accident happened.

4 common construction site injuries

Workers' compensation lawyers see clients who have been hurt in virtually every kind of construction accident imaginable. However, there are some categories of accidents that attorneys tend to see again and again. Over time, attorneys develop hard-won experience in these areas of workers' compensation law, and this experience helps them represent their clients more effectively.

Here are four categories of accidents that frequently beset construction workers. Did you get hurt in one of these kinds of accidents?

Will workers' compensation benefits trigger tax liabilities?

Imagine you fell of a ladder and broke your leg while carrying out your job duties in New York City. The broken leg will heal, but in the meantime, you're being hit with huge medical bills and the costs of not earning an income. Fortunately, you can qualify for workers' compensation benefits to pay for your medical care and the majority of your lost wages. The question is: What does the IRS have to say about these payments?

Many workers are concerned that they will have to pay taxes on the workers' compensation benefits they receive. However, the only situations when workers' compensation benefits could be partially taxed is when the worker is also receiving Social Security Income or Social Security Disability Insurance. Otherwise, no tax liabilities will be incurred due to the receipt of work comp benefits.

  • American Association for Justice
  • NYCOSH-New York Committee for occupational Safety & Health
  • NYSTLA
  • Queens County Bar Association
  • Society of New York Workers’ Compensation Bar Association, Inc | 1945
  • National Organization of social security claimants Representatives
  • NYSBA
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