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
The seasons are shifting in New Jersey, and for now, the state is buzzing with autumn activities and pumpkin spice. But anyone familiar with the New Jersey fall knows that there are colder temperatures not far behind and so are the hazards of certain workplace injuries. What is now sweater weather and scary movies will soon turn to frosty mornings and cold temperatures.
In most parts of your life, it is wholly acceptable to ignore the approaching winter and cold weather, but not when it comes to preparation and planning for workplace injuries. There are entirely new hazards and concerns for the winter months, and the time to address these workplace risks is right now.
Whether you are an employee or employer this is the best time to start preparing for cold weather workplace injuries in New Jersey. Here are five of the common cold weather injuries and accidents you can take steps to avoid.
#1: Slips, Trips and Falls Increase Drastically
One common sign that winter is coming to the workplace is a gigantic leap in the number of slip and fall accidents that are reported to workers’ compensation insurance during the winter months. The cause of many slip and fall workplace injuries is probably obvious – frost, ice, and inclement weather – but these hazards are still overlooked by too many employers.
First, many employers put off their winter weather procedures, such as buying salt and bringing shovels out of storage, until the initial winter weather hits their …Read More
New Jersey workplace injuries occur for a variety of reasons. Sometimes an employee isn’t properly trained on equipment and in other instances the machinery or equipment malfunctions. There are accidents and the accidental spreading of illness. Chemicals, electrical issues, and improperly placed or stored inventory can all lead to New Jersey workplace injuries. However, even among the plethora of reasons for employee injuries, fatigue causes an unusually high number of these accidents.
Why Is America So Tired?
More than ever people in the United States are working two or more jobs to make ends meet and pay their bills. Over the past 15 years, there’s been a steady rise in the number of Americans reporting a second part-time job or even an additional full-time position. As of late 2017, an estimated 7.6 million Americans were working two or more jobs, which was an increase of .2% over the previous reporting year.
This increase in U.S. employees with multiple jobs is having a cooling impact on the U.S. economy, but there’s more. Many of these workers are finding their extra hours in positions with a high risk of workplace injuries, and it is suspected that working two jobs is only making these numbers climb higher.
Of the individuals working multiple jobs in New Jersey, a substantial percentage are exhausted and burnout – leading to a higher overall number of New Jersey workplace injuries due to fatigue.
How Frequent Are New Jersey Workplace Injuries from Fatigue?
All reports tell us that …Read More
Between 2010 and 2011, New Jersey firefighter Carl E. Larson filed two separate workers compensation claims for two separate work-related injuries. It took until February 2013, but the Paterson City Council in Passaic County eventually approved both of these claims. The total in workers compensation came to over $105,000.
In many instances, the approval of the applicable municipal legislature would bring closure to a workers compensation case, but soon after the approval of compensation and benefits, Larson needed to take two days off work, unrelated to injuries or workers compensation. This short leave initiated a chain of events that eventually led to Larson’s retirement from the city’s fire department.
As stated in his subsequent lawsuit, this was a retirement that Larson didn’t seek or desire – and in fact, was allegedly forced upon him by the department as retaliation for workers compensation claims in New Jersey.
Circumstances for Retaliation for Workers Compensation
In his original complaint against the City of Paterson alleged that the city’s fire department forced him to retire as retaliation for the two workers compensation claims filed years earlier. The facts that surrounded the claim made by former fire captain, Larson, include evidence that after two days of non-injury related leave, he was told to remain off-duty until he completed for a fitness of duty examination. Then, upon his insistence that he was prepared for such examination, the department would neither facilitate such test nor allow him to return to work.
A few weeks into this …Read More
Most Frequent Construction Injuries on New Jersey Job Sites
Workplace injuries can occur in any environment or location. There are nearly four million nonfatal work injuries in the United States every year, and they happened across all industries, locations, and level of severity. Even employees who work in office buildings and spend most of the workday at a desk are susceptible to repetitive motion injuries, trips, falls, and electric shock.
One industry with an inordinate number of injuries is construction. Construction workers in New Jersey are exposed to some obvious, and serious, risks. Job sites require the use of heavy equipment and machinery. Employees must manage working from heights and using ladders. Heavy, bulky objects and materials must be transported, often through human labor.
These risks, and others place construction sites squarely at the top of many reports that look at dangerous work environments.
What Is Being Done to Prevent Construction Injuries?
In New Jersey, state and federal regulations and recommendations try to address the safety concerns on construction sites. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) releases standards for construction sites across the country. There are best practices, requirements to wear personal protection equipment, and strict company polices.
Accidents still happen in the state. These can occur because of a failure to follow proper procedure, mishandling of materials, inappropriate operation of equipment, lack of training, and employee fatigue – just as examples. The most common injuries are serious, and construction still has more employee deaths than any other …Read More
Most employees in New Jersey have a regular commute to work. For some individuals this means hopping on the bus or even taking the train into New York, but the majority of New Jersey employees are driving to their jobs. In fact, across the United States over 85% of workers who commute go by automobile.
All of this rush hour traffic leads to multiple accidents on New Jersey roadways every day, and unsurprisingly, these accidents frequently result in injuries to employees who are going or coming from their workplace. The question often asked of a New Jersey workers’ compensation lawyer is whether injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident going or coming from work qualify for workers’ compensation benefits?
What Does the Statute Say?
Essential to determining whether an injured commuter is entitled to workers’ compensation benefits is a section of the Workers’ Compensation Act. Section 34:15-7 states that workers’ compensation covers accidents, “arising out of and in the course of employment.”
The New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Act goes on to clarify that employment begins when an individual arrives at the employer’s place of business and ends when the employee departs from the workplace. This statement seems to explicitly eliminate the drives to and from work as under workers’ compensation, but the act and New Jersey courts have provided some clarification and exceptions.
How Have New Jersey Courts Interpreted the Workers’ Compensation Act?
In 2014 the New Jersey Supreme Court, in the case Hersh v. County of Morris…Read More
Quite often, expenses and costs are perceived as a barrier to legal representation and recovery. Admittedly, it is true that participation in the modern day legal system can be costly. However, when it comes to workers’ compensation in New Jersey, the law provides mechanisms that try to ensure an injured employee can afford the costs of filing a claim. Therefore, this post will answer two questions: what costs are associated with a workers’ compensation claim and what mechanisms help alleviate these costs?
Compensation for Your Lawyer
New Jersey limits the amount and process for payment of a workers’ compensation lawyer. This provides safeguards for an injured employee and also ensures the path to recovering workers’ compensation benefits is available to all workers. First, workers’ compensation lawyers in New Jersey are paid on a contingency basis. This means you do not pay your lawyer until a settlement is obtained from the insurance company.
Second, the legal fees are based upon the amount of settlement you receive, as a percentage. Under the law, a workers’ compensation lawyer cannot receive more than 20% of a settlement. Of this amount, the employer is expected to cover 60% and the injured employee 40%. Therefore, if you receive $10,000 as settlement, your lawyer can collect up to $2,000, of which you will pay $800.
Keep in mind, that in order for your lawyer to be paid, you must be awarded a settlement of your workers’ compensation claim by the New Jersey Division of Workers’ Compensation, …Read More