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Columbus Workers' Compensation Law Blog

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.

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.

Officials urge drivers to exercise caution in Ohio construction zones

Spring and summer are seasons of increased road construction in Ohio. In fact, the Ohio Department of Transportation has announced that a "record number of construction projects" are planned or underway throughout the state, and drivers are urged to exercise due caution in work zones.

Sadly, that warning comes after a fatal construction zone accident outside of Dayton. The crash involved a dump truck and a semi truck, and a 43-year-old construction worker lost his life.

Falling debris is unsafe, wear a helmet at construction sites

From heavy machinery to several tons of building materials in some cases, no one needs to remind a construction worker here in Ohio that they have a dangerous job. They know that the danger is all around them, putting them at risk of suffering an on-the-job injury at any moment. They also know that the injury could be so devastating that it could force them out of work for a few months or for good.

It's because of this constant threat of danger that we have state and federal laws in place that require construction workers to wear protective equipment while on the job. As our more frequent readers know from previous posts, wearing protective equipment can sometimes mean the difference between suffering no injury or just a minor one, and suffering a far worse fate. This is most apparent with head injuries.

Do employers have to accommodate an employee with a disability?

Suffering an on the job injury can be incredibly problematic in some instances because the injury may be so great that a person becomes disabled as a result. And as if going through the process of applying for benefits wasn't enough of a challenge for an injured worker, it's possible that a worker may also need to request an accommodation from their employer as well.

But do employers here in Ohio have to make accommodations for employees with disabilities? The answer is yes but not because of state law. The statutory requirement to provide reasonable accommodations to a person with disabilities is actually a federal law included in the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. But what rights do employees have under this law, you might ask? Let's take a look.

Don't let your employer fool you, you have rights to compensation

If you're like a lot of our more frequent readers and have been injured while on the job, then chances are you were also filled with a sense of fear when it happened. Not only were you probably afraid of how you'd be able to pay your medical expenses and other bills if you had to leave work to recover, you might have also been concerned that you might lose your job as well.

For some people, this fear stems from conversations they've had with their employers about reporting workplace injuries. Despite our state's laws, there are still some employers here in Ohio that take advantage of their employees and try to convince them that it's wrong or even illegal to report a work-related injury. We'd like to point out once again to our readers though that you do have rights to compensation.