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Hackensack Workers' Compensation Law Blog

How can I find out about toxins in my New Jersey workplace?

Many New Jersey employees work with or around dangerous chemicals, although workers may not know how harmful they are. Employers are expected to inform workers about toxic chemicals and the hazards they pose to employees' health and safety. Those rules, regulated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, are sometimes ignored.

The agency's Hazard Communication Standard compels chemical manufacturers to label products and include "material safety data sheets." MSDS let chemical buyers know about dangers involved in using the products. This information should be -- but isn't always -- passed along from employers to employees.

Qualifications for New Jersey workplace accident benefits

New Jersey laws protect Bergen County workers injured on the job. Employers are required to self-insure or carry workers' compensation insurance to cover wage losses and medical bills for victims of work-related injuries. Temporary and permanent benefits are paid to eligible employees, and in the event of deaths, to employees' families.

Eligibility depends upon worker status and circumstances surrounding an injury or illness. The victim's job classification must be "employee" -- an independent contractor classification would not fit this criteria. Employer guidelines on this issue are posted in a guide on the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development website.

Compensation for New Jersey work-related illnesses

New Jersey officials monitor the health status of workers each year. Data collected clarifies which employees carry the highest risks of on-the-job injuries and illnesses. The information helps identify occupational illnesses and influences state and national health policies and resource distribution.

State health officials learned asbestos was linked with more than 90 percent of worker pneumoconiosis hospitalizations between 2000 and 2010. Pneumoconiosis, including silicosis and asbestosis, are lung diseases caused by prolonged inhalation of metallic or mineral dust. New Jersey's rate of malignant mesothelioma, an asbestos-related cancer, was significantly higher than the national rate during the same period.

The prevalence of New Jersey construction accidents, injuries

Hazardous conditions are inherent in construction work. Bergen County construction workers labor at great heights on ladders, roofs and scaffolding, operate heavy equipment and are exposed to falling objects and harmful substances. It's not surprising, with all the potential for on-the-job harm, construction workers are among the most injured employees in the nation.

Federal health officials reported 3.3 million workers nationwide suffered job-related illnesses or injuries in 2009. Construction workers made up nine percent of the total.

Work illness proof is vital to New Jersey benefits approval

A loss of productivity keeps New Jersey employers interested in the health of employees. A workplace flu outbreak can decrease the supply of products or services to customers. Ultimately, an unhealthy workforce can eat into a company's profits.

The flu is an illness that can be picked up through contact with anyone at work, at home or in public. Some illnesses or aggravations of medical conditions can be traced to unsafe job environments. Job-related illnesses made up more than 5 percent of 3 million occupational conditions that harmed employees in 2012, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

New Jersey companies have new job injury reporting rules

Bergen County employers must follow reporting requirements when a worker is hurt or dies on the job. Employees or their representatives must let companies know about workplace injuries as soon as possible. The employer is responsible for filing a workers' compensation claim in a timely manner and when an injury is serious or fatal, the employer also must inform the federal government.

Federal injury reporting conditions will change at the beginning of the new year, according to the U.S. Labor Department. Employers will be required to let the Occupational Safety and Health Administration know about work-related fatalities within eight hours and severe injuries, requiring hospitalizations within 24 hours.

What are the job safety rights of a Bergen County worker?

Employees' rights to safe work environments are protected in New Jersey at state and federal levels. The Public Employees Occupational Safety and Health Program is a state-run program reserved for public sector employees. The private sector workforce has similar protections under the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

The agencies are responsible for developing and enforcing occupational safety standards. Many Bergen County employees may not be aware of the rights they have to monitor an employer's safety practices and report violations. For instance, if a worker worries that negligent safety precautions could cause a construction accident, he or she could file a complaint with a New Jersey OSHA office.

North Bergen worker killed by driver in construction zone

Laws in many states are designed to deter drivers from risking the lives of people who work in construction zones. In New Jersey, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association, any fines associated with moving violations in a construction zone are doubled whether or not workers are at the site. Negligent drivers who ignore the rules endanger the safety of everyone around them.

A North Bergen man was working in a construction zone on the Garden State Parkway when he and another worker were hit by a car. The overnight work site was set up in the right lane of the highway. State troopers said that an SUV driver switched from the center lane to the right lane before the accident.

Surgery followed New Jersey worker’s industrial accident

A Bergen County employer should be informed as soon as possible after a work injury occurs, is suspected or becomes known. Making that report in a timely manner is important, so employers can file claims with workers' compensation insurers for employee benefits. If a worker is incapacitated by an injury or dies, someone else may file the report on the employee's behalf.

A New Jersey worker was hospitalized recently following an on-the-job accident. The man was injured while operating a high-pressure hose at Bayonne Dry-Dock & Repair, Inc. Water hoses are used regularly by the company in painting and blasting work.

Elevator shaft falls kills worker at New Jersey apartments reported there were approximately 900,000 elevators nationwide on which riders made 18 billion annual trips. An average of 27 people dies in elevator accidents every year. Fifty percent of victims who are killed die while performing elevator service or maintenance jobs or who are otherwise at work.

Two workers from United States Elevators, Inc. based in Fairfield, New Jersey, were dispatched to an Atlantic City apartment building earlier this month. The men were brothers. The 150-unit structure, home to disabled and elderly residents, has two elevators which receive annual inspections by the same company.