Traveling employees: “Injured on the job” can happen anywhere

Oct 27 2017

“Injured on the job” does not mean, “injured at your workplace.” Rather, it refers to any injury suffered while working. This is a very important distinction for a traveling employee whose workplace might be a moving car, truck or airplane (or the various destinations to which those vehicles travel). This bears repeating: If you working when you are injured — no matter where you are — you can file a workers’ compensation claim. Often, traveling employees have more than one legal claim after an injury. It can sometimes be easy to forget that, in addition to a personal injury or…

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The true cost of new safety regulations

Oct 24 2017

According to a recent Mayor’s Management Report, worker injuries in New York City this year are on the increase from 526 to 622. In response to the 18 percent jump in serious and fatal accidents, the city’s chief executive Bill de Blasio signed a recently passed bill. The new bill passed unanimously in the New York State Assembly and signed by the mayor mandates at least 40 hours of safety training for 185,000 construction workers. Many see the rise in accidents running concurrent with growth in the city’s construction activity. However, de Blasio believes the increase in injures is the…

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Did a major transit authority put their bus drivers at risk?

Oct 17 2017

A great deal can happen over the course 48 hours. In that amount of time, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority kept a fleet of hybrid buses manufactured by NABI after being notified by a maintenance superintendent that buses’ engines ran the risk of stalling, putting drivers and passengers at risk. In late July, mechanics began installing new master switches to replace the old ones. One problem. According to union mechanics, a wire in the switch cuts power on the bus if a wire becomes loose or breaks. On September 25, a NABI bus crashed after stalling and losing power. The…

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Injured workers caught in the crossfire of state vs. federal law

Oct 04 2017

Of all prominent personalities quoted before any court, Jerry Garcia is rarely referenced. Yet, in his opening remarks, Norman Trask, an attorney appearing before the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, cited the Grateful Dead leader’s own words that also served as the title of the band’s second compilation album. “What a long strange trip it’s been.” For Gaetan Bourgoin, it has been a long and painful trip. Bourgoin injured his back in 1989 at the paper mill in Maine where he worked. He initially tried prescription painkillers. While providing relief, use of the drug led to addiction and thoughts of suicide….

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The growing problem of workplace violence against nurses

Sep 26 2017

It is a job where a “typical workday” may include yelling, spitting, or serious assaults. In fact, many feel that the risk of violence these professionals face on an ongoing basis makes it one of America’s most dangerous jobs. Nursing. A 2016 Government Accountability Office report found that the likelihood of workplace violence in health care settings is five to 12 times higher than any other job. A recent Occupational Safety and Health Administration survey of nurses reveals 75 percent question had suffered physical and verbal abuse by not only their patients, but also their family members and visitors. Specific…

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Afraid your work comp claim will hurt your employer? Fear not.

Sep 20 2017

You’re a good person. You like your employer. Your injury isn’t that bad. So why should you file a workers’ compensation claim against your employer? Many of the people that come into our law office are worried about how their workers’ compensation claim will affect their employers. We understand that, but we also want you to know: An insurance company, not your employer, will pay your claim. In other words, if you were injured at work, you can and should file for workers’ compensation. The history of the Colorado workers’ compensation system A hundred years ago, if workers were injured…

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“I was harassed after filing a work comp claim. What can I do?”

Sep 19 2017

“Maria” injured her back in a slip-and-fall at work. She filed a workers’ compensation claim and was successful. She returned to work under modified duty/light duty. While back at work, her immediate boss continually assigned her to the least desirable tasks at work, did not step in when fellow employees repeatedly mocked her and implied that her injury wasn’t real, and refused her applications for a promotion. Maria endured the treatment. She had already rocked the boat by filing a workers’ compensation claim. If I speak up now, she thought, I will lose my job. She dreaded going into work…

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The nation’s deadliest job is not what you think

Sep 12 2017

Police officers and professional firefighters understand the dangers inherent in their jobs. They all recognize any day that they leave for work could be the day when they will not come home. Yet, as risky as those professions are, being a trash collector means holding the most dangerous job in the country. Garbage workers are far more likely to die while on the job.Fatalities are on the rise, with deaths in 2015 peaking to the highest point in a decade. The most significant danger they face every day is being struck and killed by other drivers passing their routes. Drivers…

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Where Colorado stands on controls of toxic chemicals

Sep 01 2017

Exposure to toxic materials is something to take seriously. If you know that something could do you harm, chances are you will strive to avoid situations where contact might be possible. Unfortunately, there are industries in Colorado in which exposure to hazardous chemicals is unavoidable. If you work in one, your employer has a responsibility to make sure you are aware of the dangers and equipped with the proper protection and training to minimize the risks. If you do suffer illness or injury as a result of your work, you are entitled to certain medical and financial benefits. Obtaining the…

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Settlement conferences: The process and the benefits to you

Aug 29 2017

Settlement conferences are valuable and effective ways to resolve workers’ compensation cases. Two parties who struggle to find compromise have the opportunity to negotiate a compromise outside of the courtroom. Both sides can benefit from a middle ground that provides closure and allows injured workers to move on with their lives. Simply stated, everyone involved has a say in the outcome of settlement talks. They can avoid the lengthy process that comes with a formal workers’ compensation hearing. Specific information injured workers should know about settlement conferences include: Workers’ compensation claims in Colorado can be settled at any step in…

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