Archive for May, 2022

May 2022

Conveyor Belt Systems Pose a Big Risk to Workers

Boxes on a conveyor belt system

Conveyor belt accidents in warehouses, factories, and other workplaces often result in serious injuries, according to workplace accident statistics compiled by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

In many cases, injured workers can receive workers’ compensation benefits to pay for their injury-related expenses. But actually getting the money injured workers rightfully deserve can sometimes be more challenging than many people might realize.

How common are conveyor belt accidents?

Workplace accidents caused by conveyor belts cause an estimated 9,000 injuries and 40 to 50 workplace deaths every year, according to BLS statistics. That’s more than one conveyor belt accident every hour of every day. This is why it’s critical that companies take steps to prevent serious or potentially fatal conveyor belt accidents in the workplace.

What are common conveyor belt injuries?

Because conveyor belts are powerful pieces of equipment, they often cause very serious workplace injuries. Some of the most common – and most serious – conveyor belt injuries include:

  • Bone fractures or broken bones, especially in the hands or arms, which can easily be crushed in a conveyor belt.
  • Head injuries, including concussions and other types of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) caused by objects falling off a conveyor belt.
  • Amputation injuries, including the loss of an arm or another body part trapped in a conveyor belt.
  • Abrasion injuries to the skin caused by conveyor belts.

Did you sustain another type of conveyor belt injury? Whatever type of injury you’re dealing with, make sure you get immediate medical care. Then, talk to a workers’ compensation lawyer right away to learn more about your legal rights and options.

How do conveyor belt accidents happen?

Often,  conveyor belt accidents have one thing in common – the injured worker’s employer didn’t take the necessary steps to prevent such an accident. Examples of such reckless or negligent behavior can include:

  • The company failed to regularly inspect the conveyor belt system to make sure the machine was safely operating.
  • The employer did not provide training to workers, teaching them how to safely operate a conveyor belt.
  • The company did not properly maintain the conveyor belt, resulting in a malfunction that caused the accident.
  • The conveyor belt was overloaded, resulting in boxes and other objects on the conveyor belt falling off and hitting a worker.

These are just some of the reasons why conveyor belt accidents happen. And in each case, injured workers need to make sure such accidents are investigated and their rights are respected. That’s why employees need an experienced workers’ compensation attorney on their side.

Get the compensation you deserve for your conveyor belt accident

When you have an attorney handling your workers’ compensation claim, you can make sure your conveyor belt accident receives the attention it rightfully deserves. Even if an inspector from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is already investigating your accident, your lawyer can make sure you receive the financial compensation you need to get your life back on track.

At the Law Offices of Deborah G. Kohl, we know how to handle complex legal cases. That’s because we have years of experience fighting for injured workers in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. When you have our legal team handling your case, you can focus on what matters most – your recovery. We’ll handle everything else.

Discover what we can do for you. Contact us today to schedule a free case evaluation with a workers’ compensation lawyer you can count on when it matters most. We have three offices located in Rhode Island and Massachusetts and handle workers’ compensation claims in both states.

May 2022

Study Shows Injury Claims by First-Year Employees Are Rising

Warehouse worker's boot gets snagged on debris laying on the floor.

Workplace injuries involving first-year workers have steadily increased in the past decade, according to a recent study by Selective Insurance, which analyzed workplace accident statistics nationwide, according to EHS Today.

Workers’ compensation benefits cover injury-related expenses due to on-the-job injuries and illnesses. However, it’s important to understand how the legal system works when it comes to work-related injuries or illnesses, especially if you get hurt during your first year on the job.

First-year work-related injury claims increase

Selective Insurance conducted the study, which analyzed work-related injuries nationwide between 2011 and 2021. During that 10-year period, the number of injury claims filed by first-year workers increased by 18 percent.

In particular, 38 percent of first-year employees filed a work-injury claim the first year on the job in 2021. In contrast, 32 percent of first-year employees filed a work injury claim in 2011, according to the study.

In 2011, employees filed their first work injury claim 6.4 years after they started work. In 2021, that figure had fallen to an average of 5.2 years.

What are common injury claims?

Certain work injury claims are more common than others. According to the Selective Insurance study, the most common workplace injury claims between 2010 and 2021 varied from one industry to another. The three most common work-related injuries by industry were:

Construction Work

  • Strain injuries – 22.4 percent of work-related injury claims
  • Slip and fall accidents – 19.7 percent
  • Cut, puncture or scrape injuries – 16.8 percent

Manufacturing and Wholesale Work

  • Strain injuries – 27.2 percent
  • Cut, puncture or scrape injuries – 18.6 percent
  • Struck by object accidents – 16.4 percent

Retail and Professional Services

  • Cut, puncture or scrape injuries – 23.5 percent
  • Slip and fall accidents – 21.1 percent
  • Strain injuries – 17.3 percent

What can employers do to keep workers safe?

There are steps employers can take to prevent work-related injuries, including:

  • Educate new workers and provide them with proper safety training.
  • Provide workers with appropriate safety equipment and train them on how to use it.
  • Regularly inspect workplaces to make sure they’re free of hazardous conditions.
  • Quickly fix and address hazardous work conditions.

There are other steps employers can and should take to make workplaces safer, depending on the specific nature of the work being done. If you get hurt at work, it’s critical that you understand your legal rights and options, including the right to seek workers’ compensation benefits.

Talk to a workers’ comp attorney today

You might think you don’t need a lawyer if you got hurt at work. The problem is work injury claims can turn into complicated legal cases for a wide range of reasons, and if you’re not careful, you could miss out on the compensation you’re entitled to.

The workers’ compensation lawyers at the Law Offices of Deborah G. Kohl can help you every step of the way. We thoroughly understand how the workers’ compensation system works in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. That’s because we have years of experience helping injured workers get the money they deserve to get their lives back on track.

Learn more about your legal options. Contact our law firm and schedule a free case evaluation with a workers’ compensation attorney you can trust to put your best interests first. We have three offices located in Rhode Island and Massachusetts and handle workers’ compensation claims in both states.