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Columbus Workers' Compensation Law Blog

AEP worker shocked by 19K volts at construction site

Despite precautions, working with or near power lines can be dangerous, even deadly. Exposure to electric current can cause terrible injuries, and even electrocution, which is a fatal shock.

An Ohio man went into cardiac arrest after touching a live power line at a construction site recently. The Columbus Dispatch says he may have been exposed to as much as 19,000 volts. His current condition is unknown.

8 common construction worker accidents

The Centers for Disease Control and prevent reported that more than 9 percent of nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses in 2009 were sustained by construction workers. That year, construction workers suffered 4.3 nonfatal injuries and illnesses per 100 workers.

A construction site contains a variety of ways for workers to get hurt. All of them can cause terrible injury, permanent disability, or death. Here are 8 common sources of construction injuries:

What is an occupational illness?

It has been about six weeks since we discussed how heat illness can put people who work outdoors in the summer at serious risk. Many workers are not vulnerable to heat illness, due to the nature of their jobs, but may still develop an occupational illness that makes them seriously ill, and may even cause their death.

An “occupational illness” is one that one catches or develops on the job. On its website, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics divides occupational illnesses into five categories:

Dehydrated driving compared to drunk driving for truck drivers

Ironically, for truck drivers not drinking enough is as dangerous as drinking too much.

Confused? The answer to this riddle is hydration. Proper hydration is necessary to keep your brain able to make good judgments and operate the vehicle. A new study suggests that dehydration impairs truck drivers as if they have been drinking alcohol, Fleet Owner reports.

Injured Ohio workers can appeal a rejected workers' comp claim

If a party to a lawsuit does not agree with the verdict after trial is done, he or she usually has the right to ask for an appeal. A valid basis for appeal should lead to a new trial or other relief for the aggrieved party.

Though workers’ compensation claims in Ohio do not start out in court, workers still have the right to appeal if the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation turns down their claim. Many people who have suffered serious injury or illness on the job nevertheless have their claim rejected, and must appeal to get the workers’ comp benefits they deserve.

Ohio company fined $43K after teen worker loses hand

Most parents agree that letting teenagers have a part-time or summer job teaches them about financial independence, working with other people, and personal responsibility. State law allows people under 18 to work a variety of jobs, many of them physically taxing, but there are limits to what teenagers are allowed to do.

For instance, as the Cleveland area director of the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently pointed out, workers under 18 are not supposed to operate power-driven woodworking machinery. This is because using these types of machines carries a real risk of serious injury. Without the proper training and safety equipment, the risk is even greater.

Employee or contractor? What could be at stake for Uber drivers

With the Ohio General Assembly currently discussing the passage of regulations for ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft, it's possible that new conversations could begin regarding the employee status given to drivers who work for such companies.

If you've been paying attention to the news lately, you know that California recently voted on whether Uber drivers should be considered employees or independent contractors. Based on California employment laws, the state believed that Uber drivers should be considered employees and therefore eligible for employee benefits, such as workers' compensation. The question some of our Columbus readers may be asking now: could a similar decision be made here in Ohio as well?

Ohio BWC testing reduced paperwork for contested injury claims

One common problem for injured workers in Ohio is delays in getting their injuries treated. Paperwork and red tape from the state Bureau of Workers’ Compensation can make it take longer to receive needed medical care, such as rehabilitation or surgery, than if the victim had sustained the same injury outside of work.

As the BWC administrator told the Akron Beacon Journal, the longer a person injured on the job spends recovering, the less likely it will be that he or she will return to work. Thus, cutting down on paperwork delays can only help workers heal faster and more completely, while reducing the cost of many claims.

In summer, many workers are vulnerable to heat illness

Today is the first day of July. Though it is still early summer, many parts of the country have already experienced intense heat waves. Those places that have not yet felt the full blast of summer soon will.

People who spend most of their days indoors may not think about it, but the sun can make you sick. Many jobs, such as construction or agricultural work, require workers to spend their time outside. Without proper and reasonable precautions, like sufficient rest breaks and access to water, heat illnesses can occur.

Logging, fishing still the deadliest American industries

Every worker in the Ohio may potentially develop a workplace-related illness or injury, whether they work in an office, supermarket, factory or outdoors. But some jobs carry a much heavier risk than others. Office-related injuries like carpel tunnel syndrome, while painful and debilitating, are fairly minor when compared with fatal accidents.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the deadliest jobs in America in 2012 were logging and commercial fishing. The BLS reported that 62 loggers died on the job that year, a rate of 127.8 fatalities per 100,000 full-time workers. That same year, 32 fishers also died, giving fishing the second-worst rate of fatal accidents in the country.