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December 2014 Archives

The Employment Relationship

The Workers' Compensation Act applies only to parties who have entered into an employment relationship. The existence of an employer-employee relationship therefore constitutes an essential condition of coverage under the fund. Absent proof of an employment relationship, the compensation law is inapplicable and provides no protection to injured employees or employers. 

Social Security Serving Veterans

In November, the Nation celebrated Veterans Day, honoring all those who served in the military. Social Security doesn't just honor these dedicated men and women on one day of the year-we have made it our daily mission to help service members who have defended our country.

Two Workers Injured at Ohio Rice-Cake Plant

Coldwater, OH (WorkersCompensation.com) - In response to a complaint of an electrical shock injury, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration found that a 20-year employee was injured while he performed service work on an electrical panel at a Coldwater rice-cake manufacturer. Following the investigation, OSHA has cited Basic Grain Products Inc. for two repeated and five serious safety violations.

Stay on hours-of-service rules leaves some worried about safety

Whether you work in an office building or your office is the cab of a semi truck, you are entitled to a safe work environment. This is true not only at the state level but the federal level as well. Employers who violate state and federal safety laws should be held accountable for their actions, especially if their negligence puts employees at risk of serious injury or death. This is a fact our readers know all too well because it's something we have highlighted many times before on this blog.

What is the Personal Comfort Doctrine?

The personal comfort doctrine is a legal principle that states that the course of employment is not interrupted by certain acts relating to the employee's personal comfort (such as short breaks for eating, drinking, using the restroom, smoking, and the like). Courts utilize the personal comfort doctrine to determine when an entirely personal workplace activity is sufficiently incidental to the employment to permit recovery under a workers' compensation statute. 

Obama Stops Social Security Payments to Nazi War Crimminals

President Barack Obama signed Thursday a new law that bars suspected Nazi war criminals from receiving US Social Security benefits. The legislation came in response to reports that suspects continued to receive benefits long after losing citizenship.

Scope of Employment

To be compensable, the injury must arise not only within the spatial confines of the employment environment, but also within the time and during the course of an employment-related activity. This includes the employee's performance of any duty that is either directly or indirectly of some service to the employer. In order for an employee's conduct to be considered incidental to the employment, the employee need only have been engaged in a pursuit or undertaking which is consistent with the contract of hire and which is some identifiable manner pertains to the employment. Still, the scope of employment concept varies with the nature of the particular work and the terms of the employment contract. In addition, events occurring within a reasonable interval of time before and after official working hours fall within the scope of employment if the employee was engaged in conduct preparatory or incidental to the employment when those events occurred. 

Musculoskeletal injuries and your right to compensation

Despite state and federal safety laws and despite an employer's best efforts to keep their workers out of harm's way, accidents may still occur that can lead to serious injuries. Here in the United States, according to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration, injuries to tendons, muscles and nerves account for a significant number of lost workdays every day. And unfortunately, there are very few occupations in which these injuries are not likely to occur.

Course of Employment

The "course of employment" component of a compensable claim tests workconnection in terms of time, place, and activity. As a general rule, an employee acts in the course of employment while performing obligations of the employment contract. However, employees need not have actually been performing their duties in order for their injuries to occur in the course of their employment. An employee who is pursuing his or her private or personal business, unconnected with the employment, is not acting within the course of employment. 

Aggravation of Pre-existing Disability

Workers' compensation does not presuppose a worker will meet any prescribed standard of health or physical condition; the employer instead accepts the worker in the workers' existing condition. This means that if an injury is the proximate cause of death or disability, the previous physical condition is immaterial and recovery may be had independently of the pre-existing weakness or disease. Such a substantial aggravation must be documented by objective diagnositc findings, objective clinical findings, or objective test results. 

Widow of Ohio Construction Worker Granted 23 Years' Worth of Compensation

The widow of an Ohio worker who died hours after his workplace injury should receive more than 23 years' worth of workers compensation benefits for the loss of his limbs, sight and hearing in the period before his death, an Ohio appellate court has ruled.

Has the ACA had an impact on workers' compensation claims?

Prior to the 2010 implementation of the Affordable Care Act, it was estimated that approximately 40 million Americans were uninsured in the United States.  In a majority of cases, those who sought medical treatment for injuries or illness struggled to make payments or could not pay at all.  In other cases, the cost was too much, forcing people to make the difficult decision to not seek medical help at all.

What is the Occupational Safety and Health Act?

The Occupational Safety and Health Act, known as "OSHA," authorizes the Secretary of Labor to promulgate standards in order to promote worker health and safety at both the federal and state levels. Under OSHA, a business that negligently jeopardizes the lives or health of its workers commits a federal misdemeanor. 

How to Proceed With a VSSR Claim

Purusant to Ohio Administrative Code § 4121-3-20(A), the Industrial Commission requires a claimant to file an application for an additional safety award within two years of the injury, death, or inception of a disability resulting from an occupational disease. The application for an additional safety award must set forth the facts which from the basis of the alleged violation and cite which section of the law or code that the employer allegedly violated. Applications for VSSR awards may also be amended after the expiration of the two-year limitation period, so long as the amendment does not raise an unstated claim but instead merely clairifies the claim of a previously alleged violation. 

New Year to bring broader work injury reporting rules

The holiday season is a time of joy. For the vast majority of Ohio residents, that's exactly how the time is experienced. In an ideal world, there would be nothing to disrupt those feelings, but the reality is that the rigors of daily labor include risks.

Ohio BWC Board Backs New First Fill Rule

A new rule approved recently by the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation (BWC) Board of Directors allows BWC to provide care to injured workers more quickly following an injury. The first fill rule will ensure that injured workers receive necessary medications while the future of their claims is being determined.

New tech may give physically disabled their sense of touch back

Imagine that you are a truck driver who has just been involved in a serious accident while transporting goods along your route. The accident leaves your spinal cord severed, taking away your ability to move your appendages and to walk.

If my claim is disallowed what can I do?

If your claim was disallowed, you may want to file an appeal. Once you have received the BWC order disallowing your claim, you have 14 days to file an appeal if you disagree with the decision. You may file the appeal online through the Industrial Commission Online Network (I.C.O.N.), or you may file an appeal in writing. To file an appeal in writing you must print the Notice of Appeal (IC-2) form, fill it out and send the form to any Industrial Commission service office. Once the Industrial Commission receives your appeal, they will notify you of the time, date, and location of your hearing. 

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The Bainbridge Firm, LLC

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