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It is widely known that construction works face a variety of hazards each time they step onto a work site. Statistics have shown that four out of every 100 workers will be hurt on the job annually. Deaths in this industry account for 18 percent of all work-related fatalities that occur yearly. Some of the most common causes of accident include:

1. Falls

Construction workers often work in high places. They may balance on scaffolding, climb ladders or work on roofs. Falls account for 34 percent of all work-related fatalities among construction workers.

2. Electrocutions

In addition to working in high places, construction workers frequently work with exposed wiring. These men and women also work near power lines and unfinished electrical systems. Coming into contact with any of these things can cause anything from a mild shock to deadly electrocution.

3. Falling Objects

Projects that have multiple levels pose a threat of falling objects. Heavy tools, materials used for building and other debris can fall from above, striking workers who are on the ground.

4. Getting Caught

There is heavy machinery on construction sites. There are also different types of equipment, including vehicles. Getting caught between pieces of equipment and stationery objects can happen quickly. This can cause crushing and other types of injuries.

5. Overexertion

Working for long hours performing physical labor is taxing on anyone’s body. Working in hot and humid conditions can be deadly. Many workers will push through to get the job done. This can be a risky choice to make.

When construction workers are injured on the job, it affects them and the people they love. When workers are injured, they may be unable to return to the site. This means a loss of paycheck and, in turn, financial hardship. A construction injury can be truly life altering.

If you have been injured on the job in Charlotte, you may be entitled to receive compensation for your injuries. Reach out to our team of experienced attorneys today and schedule an appointment for a free case evaluation. We will review the details of your injury and advise you of your options under current state and local law. Call today for assistance.

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OSHA has recently released a warning to workers regarding the dangers of methylene chloride. The warning comes after a worker was killed as a result of exposure to the chemical. Anyone who works with the chemical is urged to take extra precautions.

According to OSHA, the worker was removing a bathtub coating using a paint stripper. The worker was performing the job in a small bathroom in an apartment. The window was open partially in order to provide ventilation. Just a couple of hours after the project was started, the worker was found unconscious. The cause of the worker’s death has been ruled as asphyxiation with acute methylene chloride toxicity.

Most people working with harsh chemicals in small spaces take the time to open windows to let air circulate. Unfortunately, in this incident, that precaution was not enough. OSHA is advising that there are safer alternatives to products that contain methylene chloride. When a safe alternative is not readily available, workers should do the following:

  • Monitor air samples
  • Utilize respiratory protection
  • Work in an area that is properly ventilated
  • Use personal protective equipment
  • Provide hazardous chemical training to employees

In many cases, like that when methylene chloride is being used, simply opening a window for ventilation is not adequate. Turn on fans for air circulation and use a respirator. If you are unable to do these things, the chemical should not be used. As has been seen in the case mentioned above, the results could be deadly.

If you are not sure if the chemical is in the solution that you are using, read the label or ask someone who should know. Methylene chloride can be found in paint strippers, pesticides and in some solutions that are used in the processing of photographic film.

Working with chemicals should always be considered hazardous. If you have been injured on the job and need assistance with workers’ compensation in Charlotte, reach out to our team of attorneys. We will review the details of your case at no cost to you and advise you of your options. Call now for assistance or browse our website for more information about our firm.

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Molds are a type of fungi that can be found virtually anywhere. When molds grow excessively and you breathe in their spores, you can become ill or breathing issues could worsen. If you are exposed to mold on a regular basis at work and become sick as a result, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation. Here is more information on mold and the health problems it can cause.

Mold Exposure

Mold can’t grow without moisture and organic material. While many people are familiar with greenish-blue and even black mold, the fungi can come in a variety of colors, including white, brown and orange. Some mold is easily visible, while other outbreaks hide in corners and crevices, never seen by the human eye.

If you are exposed to mold on a regular basis, you may breathe in the pores. You can also be exposed to mycotoxins which grow on mold if you come into contact with it. Exposure to both materials can have a different effect on your health.

Symptoms

People exposed to mold react in different ways, depending on their sensitivity. Typically, you can expect to have an allergic reaction, similar to one you would have if you are allergic to pollen and other outdoor organisms. People who are overly sensitive to mold may experience serious symptoms, including infections of internal organs.

Removing Mold

If you have been tasked with removing mold from your workplace, you should take the proper precautions, including the wearing of latex gloves, eye protection and a respirator. Wash hard surfaces with everyday cleaning products. Avoid the use of toxic chemicals to clean mold as they are not necessary.

If you notice mold in carpet or in drywall, do not attempt to remove it on your own. This type of mold growth should be handled by someone with proper training in its removal to ensure the safety of everyone.

If you believe that you have been exposed to mold at work and fallen ill as a result, you may be entitled to compensation. Call our team of attorneys today for assistance with workers’ compensation in Charlotte. We will review the details of your case at no cost and advise you of your options.

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If you have a FitBit or similar device, you are familiar with wearable technology. We will soon be moving beyond wearable technology that simply tracks our level of exercise and fitness. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the Indego exoskeleton, a piece of wearable technology that can help those who have been paralyzed or disabled walk again. It is just one example of how technology could aid in the treatment of people who have been injured on the job.

The devices that are being tested and released are ushering people into a new age of personal health and wellness. The workers’ compensation industry is wrapping its figurative arms around the latest in wearable tech. Doctors are writing prescriptions for it, claims managers are considering using it to help patients deal with injuries, and attorneys will begin to consider the cost of wearable technology into claims and lawsuits.

Wearables, as they are being called, are currently being utilized most often for people that have been injured already. People in the workers’ compensation injury are beginning to look at how these devices can be used to prevent injury. Here are a few examples of how industry leaders believe that they can be put into use:

  • Workers in the mining and construction industries can be assigned wearables to alert managers and supervisors if they enter high-risk or restricted areas.
  • Workers can wear fitness trackers to help monitor their current level of fitness. This can be especially useful in industries where physical fitness is an important part of the job.
  • Outdoor workers can wear technology that will alert them when they have been in the sun or heat for an amount of time that has been deemed a risk to their health.

These are just a few of the ways that industry experts are looking into as a way to prevent illness and injury on the job. Used for prevention and healing, wearable technology could change the face of workers’ compensation as it is known today.

If you have been injured at work and need assistance with workers’ compensation in Charlotte, you need an attorney you can trust will stand up for the rights of you and your family. Call our office today for a free initial consultation and let us offer you our assistance.

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People who are physically injured on the job are aware that they can file a workers’ compensation claim to assist them in paying for the costs associated with those injuries. Slips and falls, lacerations and incidents involving machinery are all covered. There are even instances in which telecommuters hurt on the road or at home may be compensated for their injuries. What happens, though, when the injuries you sustain are not physical, but mental?

When it comes to workers’ compensation in Charlotte, you may be compensated for workplace stress or even sexual harassment. Proving workplace stress or harassment due to negligence can be difficult, but not impossible. In many cases, your attorney can argue the point that you would not be suffering with mental distress had your employer taken the proper steps to prevent that distress. Here are some examples.

1. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

In 2003, a nurse filed a lawsuit against her employer, claiming that she was suffering with PTSD. The woman presented evidence that she worked with patients that were suicidal, homicidal and otherwise disturbed. The court concluded that she was indeed subjected to stress at her workplace, a psychiatric hospital, and that her PTSD was a direct result of her employment.

2. Harassment

Claims of sexual harassment have been denied in most courts across the nation, with judges handing down opinions that sexual harassment is not workplace specific. There has been a case, however, where a plaintiff was awarded compensation due to general harassment. In that case, the worker was able to prove that she had filed complaints according to policy and that, because her complaints were mishandled, her harassment and subsequent stress were the direct result of her employer’s negligence.

Do not assume that because the injuries you have suffered at work are not physical, you do not have a right to compensation. An attorney will be able to advise you of your options depending on the circumstances surrounding your injury.

If you need assistance filing for workers’ compensation in Charlotte or your claim has already been denied, call our team of attorneys. We will offer you a free initial case evaluation and review the details of your case. Call now for assistance or browse our website for more information about our firm and the types of cases we handle.

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People who work outdoors know that they need to worry about the heat. When you stay outside in high temperatures for too long, your chances of heat exhaustion or stroke climb. Unfortunately, heat isn’t the only thing that workers need to worry about this summer. The Zika virus is a real concern this summer.

Zika is a virus that is transmitted through mosquito bites and coming into contact with infected blood. It can also be transmitted through sexual contact. For those who are working outdoors during hot, humid days, the greatest risk is from mosquitoes. Here’s how you can protect yourself.

1. Eliminate Standing Water

If you are working near a body of standing water, remove it. If it is not up to you to get rid of the water, talk to whose job it is. Still water attracts mosquitoes. Getting rid of it will help to keep the insects at bay.

2. Cover Up

Wear clothing that covers your limbs. This can be difficult if it is hot outside and the humidity is soaring. If you must wear short sleeves, treat your shirt with permethrin, an insecticide that keeps mosquitoes at bay.

3. Use Insect Repellent

Wear outdoor insect repellent, and reapply it according to the package’s instructions.

4. Wash Containers

Any container on site that holds water, no matter how little, should be emptied weekly. Once emptied, the container should be scrubbed and dried before being filled with water again.

5. Know the Signs

If you work outside, you have a chance of contracting Zika. While it may not have spread through the country just yet, it is here — and North Carolina is becoming a hotspot. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. Zika presents similarly to the flu. You may be fatigued, have a fever, joint pain or a rash. If you notice any of these symptoms, visit a doctor as soon as possible.

The good news is that Zika, when contracted by otherwise healthy people, tends to be self-limiting. Your symptoms should disappear in a week to 10 days if you are unlucky enough to catch the virus.

If you do catch the Zika virus while on the job, you may be entitled to compensation. We can help you with worker’s compensation in Charlotte. Call our office today for a free case evaluation.

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If you are injured at work, you can reasonably expect that your injuries will be covered by workers’ comp. That’s what the insurance is put in place for. But what happens if you put in a claim and that claim is denied? The good news is that you still have options. Here is a brief outline of the denial of workers’ compensation claims.

Reasons for Denial

When your claim is denied, the first thing you want to do is determine why. You should reason a denial letter that tells you exactly why you were turned down for benefits. Common reasons include:

  • Timely Reporting: You did not report your injury in the time frame allotted by state law or you did not file your initial claim within the time limit.
  • Employer Dispute: Your employer may dispute your injury for a disqualifying reason (horseplay, outside the scope of employment, etc.)
  • Not Compensable: This does not argue that you were injured, but that your injury is not compensable under state law.
  • Medical Attention: You failed to seek medical attention after your injury.
  • No Evidence: There is not enough evidence to prove that your injury occurred on the job.

Appeal

If your workers’ comp claim is denied and you know the reason why, you can file an appeal. Within the letter will be a date by which the appeal must be filed. One of the first things to do before you file an appeal is to meet with your employer. In some cases, a denial is made over a simple clerical error that can be cleared up quickly. If this is not true in your case, you will want to consult an attorney.

Legal Representation

While you can certainly file an appeal on your own, an attorney experienced with workers’ compensation law can be of great value. Most attorneys offer a free initial consultation to look over your denial and advise you if it would be wise to appeal. Take advantage of this consultation. It is a waste of time to move forward if you do not stand a chance of winning.

If you need assistance with workers’ compensation in Charlotte, call our office. A member of our team will review your case at no cost to you and advise you of your options. This is true whether you are filing an initial claim or considering an appeal of denial. Call today for assistance or browse our website for more information about our firm.

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People who telecommute are subject to injury just like employees who work on-site. While telecommuters are generally covered by workers’ compensation, they may find it a bit more difficult to prove that their injury occurred during the scope of their employment.

Telecommuters have filed workers’ compensation claims and won. Courts across the country have found that even though an employer cannot control the working conditions of the telecommuters home, that has no baring on whether or not they must pay claim awards. In fact, employers are responsible for providing a safe work environment for telecommuters.

Employers are encouraged to implement these practices:

  • Create a policy that outlines the expectations had for any person permitted to work at home.
  • Limit the ability to telecommute to those employees who are able to work efficiently and safely without supervision.
  • Establish guidelines to be followed for employees using a home office.
  • Provide training for telecommuters working out of their home, including workstation setup, safety procedures, and the importance of ergonomics.
  • If possible or appropriate, visit the home office and help the telecommuter eliminate safety hazards.
  • Set fixed work hours, breaks and meal times for telecommuters. This helps establish a work schedule and will make it easier for both the employer and employee to determine if an injury occurred during the course of employment.

Workers’ compensation laws vary from state to state. Employers should work with their workers’ compensation carrier and their attorneys in order to manage workers’ compensation risks and coverage for their telecommuting employees.

If you are a telecommuter, you share in the responsibility of making sure that your workplace is a safe one. Make sure that you are putting your home office together with your health and safety in mind.

If you have been hurt in the scope of your employment and need assistance with workers’ compensation in Charlotte, reach out to our team of experienced attorneys.  We will review the details of your injury at no cost to you. Call now or browse our website for more information about our firm. We are here to assist you as you take the next steps to recovering what you are due.

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If you have ever experienced heat illness, you know just how miserable it can be. You know that your body is overheating when you begin to experience flu-like symptoms. You may even become disoriented and confused. For people who work in the summer heat and can’t find escape from high humidity, the danger of heat illness is very real.

Employers and employees share responsibility in avoiding heat illness. In 2014, more than 2,500 workers suffered with some form of heat illness and 18 people died from heat stroke. These illnesses and deaths are preventable. Here’s what you can do.

Employers

OSHA says that you are responsible for providing a safe workplace for your employees. This includes protecting them from the hazards of heat. If your workers are routinely exposed to high temperatures, you need to establish a prevention program.

  • Provide water, shade and frequent breaks.
  • Allow those workers who are not used to the heat to build their tolerance by providing increasing workloads and more frequent breaks.
  • Make a plan for emergencies and provide training for that plan.
  • Monitor your employees closely for any signs of heat illness and take appropriate action when you notice symptoms.

Employees

You are the only person who knows how you feel. Many of the symptoms of heat illness are internal and the best way to deal with it is to avoid it altogether.

  • Wear light colored clothing and loose layers.
  • Drink water every 15 minutes.
  • Take a break in the shade when you can.
  • Pay attention to your co-workers for signs of heat illness.
  • Take your time to get used to the heat before you take on heavy workloads.
  • Know the signs of heat illness and what to do if you experience symptoms.

If you or anyone near you is experiencing symptoms of heat illness, notify a supervisor immediately. If there is no supervisor available, call 911. Stay with the person until medical help arrives.

When you need assistance filing for workers’ compensation in Charlotte, call our office. A member of our experienced team will provide you with a free case evaluation and help you take the next steps. Call us today or browse our website for more information about our firm.

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There is a significant risk of injury to anyone who works in the construction industry. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there were just over 3 million nonfatal workplace injuries reported in 2009. Of those, 9 percent were incurred in the construction industry. Of those injuries sustained, 22 percent were due to falls.  Here are the most common causes of accidents in the construction trade.

Falls

This is, without a doubt, the most common cause of injury among construction workers. Whether falling from great heights or just a few feet off of the ground, falls can cause catastrophic injury.

Falling Objects

Falling objects strike construction workers by the hundreds. When objects are not properly secured, they can easily fall to the ground, striking innocent people on their way. Falling objects can result in a variety of injuries, from minor scrapes to serious head trauma.

Equipment

Improperly used or maintained equipment is a third cause of injury among construction workers. If a forklift fails to work properly, the driver can be seriously injured. Any equipment that is unsafe should be taken out of the fleet immediately and repaired or discarded properly.

Compression

Compression injuries occur when a worker is caught between two objects. These may be vehicles, walls or concrete. Compression injuries can result in fractures, tissue trauma and internal damage.

Collapses

Trenches that are being built need to be supported to prevent collapse. Buildings that are being demolished can quickly collapse in an unexpected way. The cause of accidents such as this may be negligence or error. They typically occur when safety protocols are not followed correctly.

Respiratory Diseases

Construction workers work in chronically dusty and dirty conditions. These particles are breathed into the lungs and can cause serious disease. From 1990 to 1999, there were more than 1,000 workers pronounced dead of pneumoconiosis. It’s a condition legally defined as chronic dust disease.

If you have suffered illness or injury as a result of your work in the construction industry, you may be able to file a personal injury claim or workers’ compensation in North Carolina. You won’t know what you may qualify for unless you contact an experienced attorney like Auger & Auger. Call today and a member of our team will provide you with a free case evaluation.

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