It can take anywhere from a couple months to half a year for workplace accidents and injuries statistics to work their way into the public sphere. In this case, workers’ compensation practitioners and businesses are just seeing the final numbers for 2017 and estimates for 2018 here in December. What do these new numbers tell us about workplace accidents in recent years?
Data from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the number of fatal workplace accidents dropped from 2016 to 2017 and the approximate numbers for 2018 show another slight decrease this past year. Specifically, in 2017, the fatal injury rate was 3.5 fatalities per 100,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) workers in the United States. This number is down from 3.6 fatalities reported in 2016.
The data on fatal workplace accidents also tells us a lot more about injuries, illnesses, and infamously dangerous industries in the United States in the most recent years.
What Does the Drop in Workplace Fatalities Indicate?
The total number of workplace fatalities in 2017 is 5,147. This number represents all fatalities from all causes and across every industry in the United States for last year. The total fatalities account for slip and fall, electrocution, work-related car accidents, and even heart attacks occurring in the workplace. There were only 43 fewer fatal accidents in 2017 than in 2016.
While it is encouraging to see a slight drop in the number of workplace fatalities, this information doesn’t indicate much to a worker’s compensation or …Read More
There are some jobs in New Jersey and the United States as a whole that appear inherently more dangerous than others. For example, the use of heavy machinery and heavy lifting in construction makes it an obvious workplace for employees injured by equipment, electric shocks, improper use of tools, and manual lifting or pushing.
Similarly, the dangers of working in a restaurant or other hospitality setting are readily apparent. There are slick floors, spilled beverages, and a lot of time standing. The longer a waitress or waiter is on a shift, the greater increase there is in employees injured by slips and falls. Finally, we can look to firefighters and police officers as brave individuals taking on a job with evident dangers. These first responders are thrown into chaotic and dangerous situations as part of their job description.
These Surprising Jobs Have a High Number of Injured Employees
On the other hand, there are some professions in New Jersey where the number of employees injured at work seems inconsistent with the job description. You may not think of nursing and in-home care as particularly dangerous careers, but in fact, healthcare professionals have one of the highest rates of injury in the United States according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Another career that is high on the list of employees injured each year is taxi drivers and chauffeurs. These professional drivers don’t have some of the typical risks found in an office space of manufacturing facility …Read More
There is a legal requirement that NJ employers acquire and carry workers compensation insurance at all times. This insurance should cover all employees of the company, including new hires. It is a non-negotiable and extremely firm requirement that exempts few NJ employers. The structure of the workers compensation insurance obtained by your NJ employer may vary, but the legal obligation to protect workers through a policy is finite.
Yet, each year a small number of NJ employers neglect their workers compensation policies, fail to renew plans, forget to pay premiums, or just choose to take the legal risk and not obtain the mandatory insurance. What should an injured worker do if they discover their NJ employer doesn’t have workers compensation insurance?
#1: Determine There Isn’t an Applicable Exception
Upon the discovery that an NJ employer doesn’t have workers compensation insurance, your first step is confirming the employer is violating an NJ law. There are two major exceptions to the requirement to carry workers compensation insurance. You should be certain your employer doesn’t fall outside the insurance obligations.
First, the workers compensation law in NJ exempts any employer covered by a federal program from the workers compensation insurance requirements. This is a blanket exception, meaning it is applicable to all employers that receive insurance commitments from a federal program, but it is also extremely limited. There are few employers in NJ that would meet the criteria of the exception.
The second exception is applicable to employers that qualify for self-insurance. Again, …Read More
Following an NJ injury in the workplace, the injured employee is required to follow certain processes and procedures. For example, NJ law mandates that every workplace injury is reported to the management or the human resources department at your employer within 14 days of the accident or discovery of the injury. Informing your employer doesn’t need to be writing and a verbal report suffices under the law, but it is in your best interest to document this exchange.
In addition to reporting your injury, what other information and events should be documented during your NJ workers’ compensation case?
The Events Leading to an NJ Injury in the Workplace
Eventually, your employer, the insurance company, an NJ workers’ compensation lawyer, and possibly the NJ Division of Workers’ Compensation will want to hear how the workplace accident occurred. You’ll want your recollection of the events to be clear and fresh in your mind when you relay them to these different parties, but these conversations and a hearing will not occur immediately.
Rather, you should document the exact events leading to an NJ injury in the workplace soon after it occurs. This documentation not only serves as your reminder when speaking with an employer or insurance company but can also be incredibly helpful to an NJ workers’ compensation lawyer that may take your case.
Documenting Medical Attention and Appointments
Most workplace injuries in NJ require some form of medical attention to treatment. A medical practitioner should even assess the cuts, bruises, and …Read More
Filing and receiving NJ workers compensation benefits is a process. You have to inform your employer of the injury, seek medical attention, and then you file a claim. This claim process could be incredibly straightforward and smooth, with the support of your employer. On the other hand, receiving the NJ workers compensation you deserve might be a frustrating legal battle.
Under the second scenario, it is very common for the medical attention you received to become medical bills that are due and payable. Your doctor, the hospital, or emergency services likely provide somewhere between 30 and 90 days for you to pay your bills. This timeframe isn’t always sufficient to cover the expenses with workers compensation benefits if there is a dispute or disagreement over the claim.
What should you do about seeking medical treatment and paying medical bills as you await approval of NJ workers compensation benefits?
Should You Seek Medical Assistance Immediately?
Many employees wonder if they should seek medical assistance immediately after an NJ workplace injury, or wait until they have confirmation of their NJ workers compensation claim. In all instances, you should obtain the medical treatment you need. This includes accepting emergency services, such as an ambulance or on-site treatment, and seeking out physical therapy or rehabilitation treatment, when recommended by a doctor.
Your choice of medical treatment could be important for approval of your NJ workers compensation claim, but this should never impede on your need for immediate care. If you are seriously injured in …Read More
The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development handles every New Jersey workers compensation claim. Regardless of the severity of your injury, the industry of your employer, or complexity of your claim, your case will eventually pass before the same department.
However, there are certain steps you must take to make a valid claim, and the process isn’t always as straightforward or simple as you may imagine. Our team at the Law Offices of Albert J. Talone takes you through the five steps to filing a New Jersey workers compensation claim, but simultaneously encourage any injured employee to contact our office for assistance with one or all of these steps.
#1: Report Your Injury to a Supervisor
The first action you must take after a workplace injury in New Jersey is to inform your employer. Under New Jersey workers compensation law, an employee is required to provide notice of a workplace injury before filing a claim with the Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
You are expected to provide notice to your employer within 14 days of an injury, but the sooner you report the injury the better. If you fail to report a workplace injury within 90 days of such injury or onset of illness, then you may lose your right to New Jersey workers compensation benefits.
#2: Obtain a Medical Report and Evaluation
In most New Jersey workers compensation claims, the most important aspect is recovering costs for medical treatment. If you required emergency care, a …Read More
It may surprise you to learn that hospitality is one of the most injury-prone professions in the United States (a list of other industries with an unexpected number of workplace injuries can be found here). The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that for every 100 full-time workers in hospitality 3.4 are injured or fall ill each year because of a workplace accident. Of those injured or ill, over half require time off work to recover.
The total number of workplaces injuries in hospitality is higher than in manufacturing, warehouses, and other industrial work.
Given there are several million people working in the hospitality industry, at hotels, restaurants, bars, and in tourism, the days off from a workplace injury amount to a lot of missed hours and uncovered shifts. What are the risks and hazards in the hospitality industry? Why does this industry experience a high number of workplace injuries each year?
Manual Handling or Pushing, Pulling, and Lifting
Throughout the hospitality industry employees are required to lift, push, and pull heavy inventory and objects. The result is that nearly 50% of all workplace injuries in the hotel industry, and similar numbers in bar and restaurant work come from manual handling.
When busing tables, you need to lift heavy bins of plates, cups, and silverware. Likewise, wait staff carries heavy trays from the kitchen to table many times a day. If you are working in housekeeping, you constantly life mattresses, push heavy cleaning carts and move furniture. Think bartenders have …Read More
The Internet and increased mobility are changing the way many businesses are structured. It wouldn’t be surprising if an office of 30 in New Jersey only had five or six employees that actually lived and worked in the area. As these business structures and the physical demands on employees change, the NJ workers compensation laws have tried to keep pace.
Yet, in certain instances, employees now fall outside the bounds of NJ workers compensation. Are you one of these employees?
#1: Remote Employees Working Outside New Jersey
Remote work is changing the landscape of America’s workforce. More people are working from home or coffee shops. Five years ago, these were the rogue workers of corporate America, but no longer. Today, many reputable and established businesses allow employees to work on a remote basis, and several NJ companies even allow employees to work out-of-state.
These remote employees may not be entitled to NJ workers compensation. Under the current law, an NJ employer is required to provide workers’ compensation benefits to an employee that works in the state or signed their employment agreement in the state. If you are an employee from Ohio, that lives, works, signed your employment agreement outside New Jersey, and has no physical contact with New Jersey – you aren’t covered by NJ workers compensation.
#2: Employees Covered by a Federal Program
One of the narrow exceptions to NJ workers compensation applies to those employees covered by a federal program. For the most part, this is limited to …Read More
Offices are generally safe and secure places to work in New Jersey. Unlike construction sites and industrial warehouses, you don’t usually encounter heavy machinery or the need for strenuous manual labor, and unlike nursing or other medical professions there is limited lifting, pushing and pulling. Yet, the U.S. Bureau for Labor Statistics estimated that in the finance and insurance industries, professions that typically operate out of traditional office space, one in every 100 employees were injured at work last year.
These workplace injuries spanned a surprising range of type and severity. Yet, just as nursing is particularly prone to neck and back injuries, and falls are common to working in construction – certain workplace injuries are more common than others in offices. Office managers, human resources, and upper management can save considerable costs and improve the working environment by proactively addressing the most frequent office injuries.
#1: Slips, Trips & Falls
Across industries, slips, trips and falls account for more workplace injuries than any other cause. These unfortunate accidents require employees to take significant time off work and are a major source of workers’ compensation claims in New Jersey. This includes claims that come from office workers, who are actually 2.5 more likely to slip or trip at work than workers in any other environment or industry.
Unsuspecting office employees are victims of hidden and overlooked trip and fall hazards every day. For instance, a huge number of office employees trip on cords, cables and wiring that are stretched across …Read More
In New Jersey, there are several procedural and factual barriers that an injured employee must overcome to have a successful workers’ compensation claim. There include providing proper notification of an injury, filing a claim within the required period of time, and bringing a case in the state with proper jurisdiction to determine an outcome. All of these procedural requirements must be met before an injured worker even gets a hearing date.
An upcoming case before the New Jersey Supreme Court takes a look at the parameters and requirements for one of these procedural requirements – jurisdiction.
The Facts of Williams v. Raymours Furniture Co Inc
In August the New Jersey Supreme Court agreed to hear the case of Keith Williams v. Raymours Furniture Co Inc. It is a case that began when Mr. Williams accepted a job back in 2014. Williams lived in New Jersey, and it is from his home in the state that he accepted a position at a warehouse in Suffern, New York. This is where Mr. Williams exclusively worked for Raymours Furniture.
During the course of his employment at the warehouse, Mr. Williams tripped and fractured his elbow. It was a serious injury that left Williams unable to work, and the New York Workers’ Compensation Board readily approved his application filing for medical treatment and indemnity benefits.
The New York workers’ compensation benefits eventually ended. At this time, Mr. Williams filed a claim with the New Jersey Division of Workers’ Compensation for partial permanent disability …Read More