Parisi & Gerlanc, Attorneys at Law
Helping Injured People Since 1936
551-587-8915 Free Consultation
Helping Injured People for More Than 70 Years
learn More

Hackensack Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Forklift accidents common causes of injuries and death

Forklifts are commonplace in a variety of industries, especially those requiring the use of warehouses, all across New Jersey. Many businesses categorize these machines as invaluable equipment with which work could not happen. However, they are also dangerous and account for a significant number of workplace accidents, according to Tools of the Trade.

Many of these accidents could have been prevented with proper safety measures in place. Following simple guidelines, such as using headlights, observing speed limits, yielding to pedestrians and retaining a clear field of vision, could have prevented 70 percent of forklift accidents. These accidents do not just affect the driver; pedestrians are also at risk. In fact, pedestrians are involved in almost 80 percent of accidents. 

Common construction hazards resulting in injuries

Construction is one of the most dangerous industries for workers in New Jersey and around the country. There are around 252,000 active construction sites each day, with around 6.5 million workers nationwide, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. There are common hazards in this industry that cause many of the injuries.

The most common hazards, as stated on OSHA's site, include:

  •        Falls (from heights);
  •        Trench collapse;
  •        Scaffold collapse;
  •        Electric shock and arc flash/arc blast;
  •        Failure to use proper personal protective equipment; and
  •        Repetitive motion injuries. 

What do I do if my claim is denied?

Here at Parisi and Gerlanc, people often ask us about their rights after their workers' compensation claim is denied. Insurance companies find many reasons to deny a claim for benefits. There are typically two main categories for the denial: either your injury or illness is not work-related or it was due to inappropriate behavior that you allegedly engaged in.

In New Jersey, there is a standard procedure to follow if you find yourself with a workers' compensation claim denied by your employer's insurer. This is known as an appeal, in which you formally contest the decision and ask for it to be reviewed a second time. According to the Department of Labor and Workforce Development, if you disagree with the ruling from your employers' insurer, you can submit an application for an informal hearing or a formal claim petition or to dispute the decision.  

What is the most common workplace accident to end in fatality?

When you go to work every day in New Jersey, you probably do not think too much about the danger to your life, unless you work in a high-risk environment. Although the overall number of workplace injuries and death has decreased as health and safety practices increased, approximately 3.3 per 100,000 full time equivalent workers succumbed to a fatal accident in 2013 and 2014, around the country, according to preliminary numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In 2014, the number of people who died due to workplace accidents rose slightly from the previous year for a preliminary total of 4,679. You might be thinking that these fatal incidents only involved workers in the more high-risk industries, such as law enforcement, construction and oil fields. However, there were fatalities across many industries you might not expect, including educational and health services, financial activities and information. As you might assume, transportation and construction did top the list of industries with the most fatalities, with 874 fatalities in construction and 735 in transportation and warehousing.

New Jersey hospital making changes after attacks on workers

Workers in the health care industry can be at a higher risk of injury than employees in other occupations. This is not surprising since workers are often exposed to illness on a daily basis, must lift heavy patients, work long hours and may have to deal with combative residents. It is the responsibility of New Jersey hospitals or medical facilities to make sure that there are precautions and policies in place to protect their workers from unnecessary harm.

Bergen Regional Medical Center states that it recently made changes after it was warned by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and then cited, over violence within its walls against workers. The hospital, which provides psychiatric care, states that to protect workers from bites or scratches, long sleeves are now required. Additionally, hair must be worn in a bun by staff members if it falls past a specified length and the facility now bolts charts down, which were previously movable.

Am I struggling with PTSD?

Like other people in New Jersey, you expect your work environment to be a safe one. However, as numerous news stories can testify, workplaces can become the scene of violence – sometimes at the hands of total strangers and other times at the hands of a co-worker. If you have witnessed a traumatic event, you may be struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder.

According to Mental Health America, every year, 14 million people in the United States have PTSD. There are a wide range of symptoms and these include the following:

  •          Depression
  •          Nightmares
  •          Anxiety
  •          Constant feeling of fear
  •          Panic attacks

Brain injuries are often hard to treat

Whether you work in a store, on a construction site or in public service around Bergen, a workplace accident can happen at any time, leaving you severely injured. Here at Parisi & Gerlanc Attorneys at Law, we have seen many injured workers and one of the most difficult to treat injuries that you can suffer is a brain injury.

Without the brain, it is doubtful that we would be able to function. Who we are, our skills, our memories and our personality are determined by the processes within our brain. Additionally, we rely on the brain to tell our bodily systems how to function correctly. Due to the immense job that our brains have, it should not be surprising that scientists know little about it. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, research is still being done to understand the impact of an injury on our brain, which could lead to new treatments and strategies for medical care.

Workplace hazards in the pharmaceutical industry

In New Jersey, there are many prominent industries that help to support the state’s economy and make it a great place to live and work. Each represents a different landscape for its employees, and all are regulated by federal standards that ensure workplace safety. According to Choose: New Jersey, the pharmaceutical industry is one of the state’s top employers, and it continues to grow rapidly.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration identifies the occupational hazards that pharmaceutical professionals face and provides guidelines to employers to prevent injuries and illnesses. In particular, people whose job duties involve compounding medications may be exposed to dangerous levels of toxic substances. Some examples of high risk compounds include hormone medications, some antibiotics and cancer drugs.

Considering workers’ compensation medical care coverage rules

According to recent research by the Workers Compensation Research Institute, injured workers from New York are increasing costs to employers by coming to New Jersey for treatment at ambulatory centers. The number of workers travelling to New Jersey for treatment is on the increase.

Why would injured New York workers come to New Jersey for medical treatment? According to the institute, it is because New York’s workers’ compensation system allows out-of-state providers to bill at the going rate in their geographical area. The costs can be significantly greater out-of-state, sometimes by thousands of dollars.

Recent high court ruling highlights importance of workers’ comp claim notification

We previously wrote about a recent ruling by the Massachusetts Supreme Court which held that employers who have multiple workers’ compensation insurance carriers may not select which insurance carrier is responsible for paying an injured worker’s claim.

The significance of the case for injured workers can be seen in the court’s comment that Massachusetts workers’ compensation law makes insurance companies directly liable for paying workers’ comp benefits to injured workers, and that this liability kicks in not once the employer notifies the insurance company of the claim, but once the employee notifies the employer of an injury.