Jun 2018

2017 Saw 11-Year High in Massachusetts Worker Deaths

Massachusetts workers' compensation attorneyOn April 27, a ceremony in honor of Workers’ Memorial Day was held on the steps of the State House in Boston. Each year, Workers’ Memorial Day is set aside to remember those who lose their lives on the job.

This year, however, the day also saw the release of a new study by the Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health (MassCOSH) in cooperation with the AFL-CIO, which identified 74 worker deaths in Massachusetts from January 2017 to March 1, 2018, marking an 11-year high in workplace deaths in our commonwealth.

Understanding the Numbers

WorkersCompensation.com explains the history and details of the 32-page report. Some selected details of concern include the fact that 74 deaths in Massachusetts amounts to a fatality rate of 2.1 for every 100,000 workers, the highest rate per year in over a decade. Fatal accidents occurred most often in the construction industry, which claimed 21 deaths – a full third of the total workplace fatalities for the year.

While the construction industry provided the most common setting for worker deaths, transportation was the most common cause. There were 31 workers killed in transportation incidents last year, including nine workers struck by vehicles and two fishermen who died at sea. One major factor in transportation deaths last year was a lack of seatbelt use, which contributed to a significant number of those 31 deaths.

Responses to the problem

It is incredibly difficult to monitor the safety of our workers as well as employees deserve in our current environment. With only 29 OSHA inspectors in the commonwealth, working under a system that is actively turning against workers on the federal level, it is impossible for them to visit every work site quickly and effectively enough to protect every worker. The report, however, outlined plans that could help, which includes the passing of two different bills already in existence which put much more accountability on employers to maintain and report on worker safety.

We will continue to monitor changes to the federal and Massachusetts laws and how they impact your rights as a member of our great workforce. We urge our lawmakers to take these 74 lost lives as a wake-up call and act to protect the people who keep our society and economy running. Already, we have seen the passage of state laws that extend OSHA regulations to the public sector, update corporate manslaughter laws, and protect pregnant and nursing mothers in the workplace.

We are moving in the right direction, but we need to do more. Until every worker is protected from workplace injury, we will continue to fight for the rights of those hurt or killed on the job. Contact us today to learn how we can help you.

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May 2018

The Learning Curve on Opioids: Finding the Truth between Health and Helplessness

Rhode Island workers' compensationJanet Currie, a professor at Princeton University, writes in a research brief, entitled Addressing the Opioid Epidemic: Is There a Role for Physician Education, that “there is a striking relationship between opioid prescribing and medical school rank.”

In the article, Currie discusses her 2006-2014 study, conducted with Molly Schnell, a Ph.D. candidate in Economics, concluding, “If all general practitioners had prescribed like those from the top-ranked school [Harvard], we would have had 56.5% fewer opioid prescriptions and 8.5% fewer overdose deaths.”

Currie’s argument is based not only on “the number of opioid overdose deaths in the United States” which have “doubled,” but the fact that “many of those deaths were caused by drugs legally prescribed by a physician.” Currie’s premise is that not only do physicians need to know what they are prescribing but patients themselves need to be aware what physicians are prescribing to them—and how knowledgeable they may be.

“A distinguishing feature of the opioid epidemic is that many overdoses and deaths can be attributed to legal opioids that were prescribed by a physician,” Currie said. “Training aimed at reducing prescribing rates among the most liberal prescribers, who disproportionately come from the lowest-ranked medical schools, could have large public health benefits.”

Effects of opioids on injured workers

In Market Watch, Maria Lamagna describes the relationship between opioids and the American worker as being “increasingly” complex. Lamagna notes that while the opioid crisis is “devastating families and costing the country billions of dollars,” when opioids are used prudently, they can allay pain and enable workers to remain in the workplace, instead of being too ill to work.

A recent study by the Workers’ Compensation Research Institute in Cambridge, Mass., the Alice Peck Day Memorial Hospital in Lebanon, N.H. and the Department of Economics at the University of California, Irvine, showed “longer-term use of opioids roughly tripled the amount of money employers spend on temporary disability benefits, compared to workers with similar injuries who [did] not get opioid prescriptions. The researchers did not find evidence that opioids prescribed in workers’ compensation cases would be beneficial.”

The conclusion Lamagna draws is that “considering how many risks are associated with opioids, is it even a good idea to prescribe opioids in the first place, with the hope that employees will get back to work sooner? It turns out, long-term use of opioids may actually cost employers more, because employees who use opioids for an extended period have to be out of work for longer.”

Lamagna writes that the study, distributed by the National Bureau of Economic Research in Cambridge, Massachusetts, “should not suggest that opioid prescriptions are always unnecessary.” However, she suggests “there is at least some overuse of longer-term opioids, they concluded, considering that workers with similar injuries could return to work sooner without using opioids over a long period.”

The learning curve regarding opioid prescriptions

The takeaway from the Currie and Schnell study and the Lamagna articles is that there is a learning curve regarding the prescription of opioids—both for the physician and the patient. This poses a dilemma: do we work in an amount of daily discomfort, or do we refuse to tolerate pain and leave open the possibility of opioid addiction and an endless cycle of dependence? It is up to patients and doctors to investigate non-addictive remedies for pain.

For more than 30 years, the knowledgeable attorneys at the Law Offices of Deborah G. Kohl have been successfully helping hard-working people like you in New England to obtain the just compensation they deserve. We realize your case is about more than just finances. It’s about justice. It’s about holding all those accountable who are responsible for their actions—and for your injuries.

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May 2018

Safety & Production, Not Safety vs. Production

Rhode Island workers' compensation attorneyCompanies have to hold aspects of their operation in balance all the time. They must deal with opposing forces such as supply and demand or income and costs. Too often, employee safety and productivity are treated as another equation for an employer to balance.

However, this view of workplace safety doesn’t just threaten employees. According to David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor at OSHA from 2009-2017, it is not even accurate.

Merging the Fields

Michaels recently wrote a piece for Harvard Business Review about his experiences at OSHA and the important lessons he learned through them. The main thrust of the article is his claim that workplaces can be profitable and safe at the same time, if these two goals are seen as complementary rather than opposing forces. In fact, he argues that the vast majority of workplace accidents are preventable and serve as evidence that production is not being properly managed.

Some key ways employers can ensure workplace safety include having upper management invested in safety, embracing safety and health management systems, keeping safety as a central aspect of operational plans instead of a separate system, and valuing the input of OSHA and similar inspectors as low-cost safety consultants. These are all key systems that will go far in ensuring that safety is given its proper importance in the workplace, and their applications may differ from one workplace to another. Michaels details them well. There are others he discusses, however, that deserve special, and largely universal, attention.

Humans, Not Data Points

Michaels also talks about the need to focus on identifying workplace dangers before they strike rather than waiting for recordable incidents to occur, and why employees should not bear the blame for workplace accidents. Ultimately, both of these concerns are about trusting employees and viewing them primarily as people who understand their environment and have real needs rather than as data points waiting to be calculated.

Employers need to be proactive about collecting information from employees about potential dangers in the workplace, including near-miss incidents, unsafe conditions, and other suggestions. By having employees notice these issues and then taking action on them, employers show that they value workers, and this in turns helps employees invest in their work and their duties.

Employees are also human, and as such, will occasionally make mistakes due to tiredness, distraction, or simple miscalculation. Safe workplaces have backup systems to prevent minor mistakes from causing major injuries, and understand that injuries are often the result of multiple factors that could have been prevented with operational measures. Michaels advises that “the most effective path to preventing injuries is to consider human errors as the consequences, rather than as causes, of operational failure.”

When workplace systems break down, employees suffer. They should not then have to also endure the blame for preventable dangers. If you have suffered a workplace injury, contact us today to discuss your next steps.

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Apr 2018

Preventing the Unthinkable: Putting the Brakes on Health Care Workplace Violence

Massachusetts and Rhode Island Workers' CompensationMost of us think of needing to go the hospital only in times of an emergency, whether that’s an automobile accident or due to an injury on the playing field. Expectant mothers are both looking towards the birth of a healthy child and readying themselves for the unimaginable pain of labor and childbirth. Elderly people worry about falls and collapses. In each of these cases, we think about the healing we’ll receive at the hospital in the wake of an injury or illness.

Preventing injuries to healthcare workers caused by violence

However, what we rarely think about is injury caused to the EMTs, nurses, and physicians themselves who provide healthcare to us. Yet acts such as this occur with such frequency that the Health Care Workplace Violence Prevention Act was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on March 8th. This proposed bill would enable OSHA to create a commonsense standard policy which would require that healthcare facilities would develop and implement facility- and unit-specific workplace violence prevention plans. The legislative bill was introduced by Representative Ro Khanna (D-CA) along with the support of 12 other House Democrats in order to bridle workplace violence in healthcare facilities nationwide.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports in the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries that 58 workers died due to results of workplace violence from 2011 to 2016. The Government Accountability Office also cites a 2016 study in which healthcare workers employed at inpatient facilities were 5 to 12 times more likely to experience workplace violence than all other workers combined. That element of vulnerability regarding healthcare workplace violence is a cause for concern and for legislative action.

A safe environment for healthcare workers

The state of California enacted regulations in 2014 which acted as a precedent for Rep. Khanna’s Health Care Workplace Violence Prevention Act. The California bill directed Cal/OSHA to create a workplace violence prevention standard. The law mandates all healthcare facilities in California to have developed and issued plans to prevent workplace violence and to ensure safety of both patients and workers by April 1, 2018.

Khanna’s bill applies the same concept at the national level. Input from physicians, nurses, and custodial workers regarding violence in the workplace would inform the creation and implementation of comprehensive violence prevention plans. The bill also emphasizes the basic elements of prevention, training, and worker participation. The definition of workplace violence is broadened to include both physical acts of violence and threats of violence. The bill emphasizes the importance of staff as a significant element in violence prevention and response to violence itself.

Khanna admonished in a March 8th press release that “health care workers, doctors, and nurses are continuously at risk of workplace violence incidents—strangling, punching, and other physical attacks—that can cause severe injury or death.” Khanna continued, “This is simply unacceptable. The Health Care Workplace Violence Prevention Act puts a comprehensive plan in place and is a national solution to this widespread problem modeled after the success seen in California.”

National Nurses United, the nation’s largest union of registered nurses, offered strong support. NNU Co-President Deborah Burger advocated in a press release that “under the proposed federal standard, hospitals would need to assess and correct for environmental risk factors, patient-specific risk factors, staffing and security system sufficiency. There are a number of interventions that can reduce violence in the hospital.”

“For example,” Burger continued, “affixing furniture and lighting so they can’t be used as weapons, maintaining clear lines of sight between workers while they are caring for patients, and providing easy access to panic buttons or phones to call for help. It is imperative that nurses, doctors, and other healthcare workers, along with security staff and custodial personnel, are all involved in the development and implementation of these plans.”

Insights from workers lead to improvement of safety standards

What is key to the success of the implementation of The Health Care Workplace Violence Prevention Act is its origins—the input of physicians, nurses, custodians and other healthcare workers becomes the basis for the act itself, which gives the legislation credibility. We need to improve safety standards based on the insight of  healthcare professionals themselves—not on an arbitrary administrative or political bias.

For more than 30 years, the knowledgeable attorneys at the Law Offices of Deborah G. Kohl have been successfully helping healthcare workers and other hardworking people in Massachusetts and Rhode Island to obtain the just compensation they deserve.

If you have been injured in the workplace, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Contact us today to schedule a free case evaluation.


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Apr 2018

State’s Top Court Weighs in on Dispute Over “Regular Compensation” for Injured Worker

Massachusetts workers' compensation attorneyRobert Vernava was injured at work in Massachusetts on June 13, 2010. Like any worker in the state who suffers from an on-the-job injury, he had a right to workers’ compensation benefits.

Vernava, who was employed by the Swampscott Department of Public Works, began collecting workers’ compensation on the day he was hurt. He also collected supplemental pay under Massachusetts law, which included two hours per week of sick or vacation pay.

The supplemental pay he received created a legal argument that eventually made its way to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, the state’s highest court. The justices ultimately determined that injured workers cannot use sick or vacation payments as “regular compensation.”

The case, called Public Employee Retirement Administration Commission v. Contributory Retirement Appeal Board, involved a question about Vernava’s effective retirement date following his injury.

The following summarizes what happened – and illustrates how a workers’ compensation claim can become complicated.

It began when the Swampscott Retirement Board approved a request by the town to retire Vernava involuntarily for accidental disability, which is allowed by law. Another agency, the Public Employee Retirement Administration Commission (PERAC), found the last day Vernava received “regular compensation” was on July 7, 2012. Therefore, that was determined to be his effective retirement date.

Injured workers’ sick or vacation pay does not count as “regular compensation”

But then the Division of Administrative Law Appeals (DALA) stepped in and reversed the decision made by PERAC. Vernava’s sick or vacation pay did not count as “regular compensation” under the law, DALA concluded. He last received regular compensation on the day he was injured, which was June 13, 2010.

DALA’s decision resulted in a new effective accidental disability retirement date: Aug. 1, 2011. PERAC sought additional review from other ruling bodies, but the DALA decision was affirmed each time.

The case ended up before the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, which noted that the law defines an employee’s regular compensation as “compensation received exclusively as wages by an employee for services performed in the course of employment for his employer.”

Regular compensation shall not include “unused vacation or sick leave,” the court concluded. Because Vernava was “not merely out sick or taking a vacation,” the supplemental pay should not be considered as regular compensation. He was no longer able to perform services for his employer.

As the Vernava’s case illustrates, workers’ compensation claims can quickly become complicated. A dispute can become costly and time-consuming, and it may result in a delay in payment or a reduction in compensation.

If you or a loved one was injured on the job, you should contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney immediately. A delay could result in unwanted complications. For a free consultation, contact our workers’ compensation attorneys serving Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

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Apr 2018

Balancing Safety and Productivity in the Workplace

Massachusetts workers' compensationBusinesses often operate in a dualistic system: they feel the need to balance productivity with employee safety and must make sacrifices. David Michaels, who served as Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA from 2009 to 2017, has had a great deal of experience with that balancing act and has poured much of what he learned into an article published by the Harvard Business Review.

In the article, he argues that safety should not be viewed as a single system offset by systems such as sales and production but must be an integral part of a company’s DNA in order to truly yield a safe workplace. He then goes on to give safety advice to businesses, not in the form of specific action steps, but with an eye to the core of a company’s operations.

Corporate Safety Systems

One point Michaels focuses on is that accidents and injuries are rarely the fault of a single human error, and discourages blaming employees for accidents that could have been prevented with more organizational planning. There are risks inherent to all workplaces, and these risks will vary by a multitude of factors. A company committed to safety must be vigilant about the dangers posed in their specific operation and establish systems that will prevent a single human error from resulting in an injury or death. This includes taking all injuries seriously, possibly even ensuring that upper management is made aware of them, and that such events are thoroughly investigated.

Michaels notes that many workplace safety systems rely on data that comes after an accident, such as injury reports and OSHA records. Injury rates should not be ignored, they have their place, but that place is not at the center of a company’s safety plan. That spot should be reserved for data that actually comes before an accident. These are called leading indicators, and may include hazard identification, near-miss reports, identification of potentially unsafe conditions, and other factors specific to a company’s operational needs. Encouraging employees and direct management to spot and report conditions that may lead to an accident, and then quickly and effectively correcting those conditions, helps employees invest more in their company and reduce, or eliminate, injuries before they happen.

When an employee suffers a severe or life-threatening injury at work, their employer has failed them. Whether it is a breakdown of good systems or a lack of a good system to begin with, the employer must be held accountable for their part in causing the accident. If you have been the victim of your employer’s insufficient safety planning, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation. Contact us today so we can fight for the justice you deserve.

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Mar 2018

Work-Related Asthma Deaths On The Rise

Massachusetts workers' compensationEmployers are expected to take the health of their workers into consideration by ensuring that the work environment is safe, employees are properly trained to handle materials and employees are provided with protective gear.

Failure to do so can result in one of the many fatal consequences among workers – deaths caused by asthma. According to Mayo Clinic, asthma is a condition that causes swelling, narrowing and inflammation in the airways. While asthma doesn’t always cause serious complications for those who suffer from it, an asthma attack can be deadly. For those who suffer from asthma, their work environment can be a contributing factor in an asthma attack.

Occupations and chemicals most likely to cause asthma

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that an estimated 18.4 million adults in the US suffered from asthma in 2015, with approximately 3,396 asthma-related deaths. Additionally, occupational exposure to hazardous material was reported to cause 11 to 21 percent of asthma-related deaths among workers ages 15 to 64 from 1999 to 2016.

The CDC also determined the cause of asthma-related deaths in the workplace in 26 states during 1999, 2003, 2004, and 2007 to 2012. They found that:

  • Approximately 14,296 men and 19,011 women died from asthma.
  • The leading occupations in asthma-related deaths were construction for men and healthcare for women.
  • Industries with the highest rate of deaths involving asthma were food, beverage and tobacco manufacturing among men, and social services and social assistance among women.
  • Those most at risk of asthma-related deaths were workers ages 55 to 64, females, non-Hispanic/Latino people, and African-Americans.

According to the American Lung Association, other workers in other occupations are at risk of developing or worsening asthma. They include:

  • Teachers and school staff
  • Beauty salon workers
  • Janitors and housekeeping staff
  • Animal handlers
  • Construction workers
  • Laboratory technicians
  • Manufacturing laborers handling paper, textile, plastic and other materials
  • Bakers
  • Office workers

Occupational asthma can often be attributed to chemical exposure. These include:

  • Cleaning materials
  • Solvents
  • Disinfectants
  • Rubber latex
  • Antibiotics
  • Welding fumes
  • Paints
  • Chemicals found in insulation
  • Chemicals found in plastic
  • Rubber and foam
  • Compounds found in some foods

Asthma complications can start, or worsen, immediately after coming in contact with these materials. Sometimes, symptoms may take hours or days to manifest, but they always worsen while in regular contact with hazardous materials.

Preventative measures you can take

The first course of action to reduce asthma-related deaths in the workplace is taking preventative measures. In Massachusetts, reporting occupational diseases, such as asthma, is required by State Law (105 CMR300.180). The purpose of this reporting is so the Occupational Health Surveillance Program can collect and analyze data relating to occupational diseases.

If you find that your wheezing, coughing or difficulty breathing at worsens at work, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation. In that case, you should consult with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney who can further discuss your options. Contact The Law Offices of Deborah G. Kohl and find out how we can help you.

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Feb 2018

Recent Case Endangers Contractors In Massachusetts

Massachusetts workers' compensationIn January, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court was tasked with answering the question of how the rising number of independent contractors are to be treated when it comes to workers’ compensation. The case of Ives Camargo v. Publishers Circulation Fulfillment had been found in a lower court generally in favor of the company, but an appeal was requested by both parties over details in how the ruling impacted them.

What’s At Stake

According to Jobs for the Future, a nonprofit operating in favor of working people at high risk of exploitation, the number of independent contractors in the United States has been increasing nearly every year since the late 1990s. Aside from one dip in employment that affected both employees and contractors in 2010, the number of contractors has continued to rise even when the number of employees was falling or remaining stagnant. There are benefits to this shift of employment status.

For contractors, this arrangement offers greater freedom in how, when, and where their work is performed. For employers, independent contractors provide needed or peripheral services with little obligation placed on the company. That benefit to companies is also reflected in one of the major drawbacks to contractors: Companies are not held to the same standards in their treatment of contractors as they are when dealing with employees. This means, for instance, that employers are not under obligation to cover workers’ compensation benefits for independent contractors.

What rights do independent contractors have?

Jobs for the Future argues for greater protections of independent contractors. They note a struggle in various cities to expand the rights of contractors, including a law in Seattle that is under a lawsuit and has been at least temporarily suspended by the courts. The Massachusetts court, in Camargo v. PCF, ended up ruling that Camargo should be considered an independent contractor and therefore is not entitled to compensation for the injuries she received while performing her duties to the company. While they cited other cases with similar employer/worker arrangements, this case establishes precedent for the specific matter of workers’ compensation, and it is a dangerous one to set.

Those who carry out the work of these companies deserve the basic protections that workers in America enjoy and should be able to hold their employers accountable for dangers that arise as part of their duties. We fight for workers who must battle their employers for their rights and protections. If you have a workers’ compensation claim, do not hesitate to call us and find out how we can help you.

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Feb 2018

Workplace Injuries and Illnesses on the Decline

Rhode Island workers' compensationThe Bureau of Labor Statistics has released data on workplace injuries and illnesses for 2016. These results continued a downward trend in overall reports that began in 2004, only interrupted in 2012 when the overall numbers did not change. While this information is highly encouraging on the surface, a deeper study shows that there is actually very little, if any, change in significant sets of available data.

Workplace Injury and Illness Rates

The Bureau of Labor Statistics report tracks five types of workplace injuries and illnesses among private employers. Two of those five showed a decrease, including the overall number, leaving the other three unchanged. Those other three, however, included cases with job transfer or restriction, which have remained the same for six years in a row. Cases with at least one day of work lost, however, have only held a value of 0.9 per 100 full-time worker equivalents for two years in a row. The combined dataset of just those two values also remained unchanged this year. In fact, all the change seen on the graph is directly the result of a slight decrease in other recordable cases. On the positive side, these numbers, taken together and compared to changes in public employment numbers, resulted in a reduction of total actual injuries and illnesses. In 2015, there were 3.66 million workplace injuries and illnesses reported, while 2016 saw 3.53 million.

The administrator of the Occupational Health and Safety Administration from December 2010 through January 2017, David Michaels, expressed concern to Bloomberg Environment. He stated that, “Whether it is 3 million, 4 million, or 5 million, it is unacceptable.” He also noted that BLS has done research into the actual accuracy of their numbers, and found a problem. Namely, when compared to workers’ compensation claims and emergency room reports, employers appear to be downplaying the number of workplace injuries and illnesses they actually encounter per year.

While there is a lot of room for improvement still, we can celebrate declining numbers of workplace injuries and illnesses overall. As long as there are still workplace accidents, the victims of those accidents need the help of professionals who understand the responsibility of employers to maintain safe working conditions and care about getting you the results you deserve.

In the event of a workplace injury or illness, contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney at The Law Offices of Deborah G. Kohl and find out what we can do for you.

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Jan 2018

Winter Poses Hazards of Work Injury in Rhode Island

The new year has brought some brutal winter weather to New England.

However, for many workers, getting to work in inclement weather means the risks are just beginning. Snow and ice increase the risk of work injury in Rhode Island for a host of professions and can impact nearly everyone leaving the house to earn a living. Likewise, pursuing justice for injured workers may involve any number of areas of law, including traffic laws, premises liability, third-party liability, workers’ compensation and disability law.

IMPO Magazine, which focuses on Industrial Maintenance and Plant Operation, advises companies to review mandatory evacuation plans, perform a thorough job-hazards analysis focused on winter-weather conditions, provide training on identifying cold-related illnesses and injury risks (including risks associated with frostbite and hypothermia) and use signage and other visuals to highlight the risks.

Hypothermia and frostbite most often impact employees who work outdoors, although those working on docks or in warehouses, factories and storage facilities may also be at risk. Both absolute temperature and wind chill contribute to the risks. Employers must take steps to protect employees, including increased rest breaks and hydration. Hypothermia occurs when body temperature falls below 95 degrees. Frostbite results from frozen skin and most often impacts extremities, including fingers and toes, as well as exposed areas of skin like nose, ears, cheeks and chin.

Tens of thousands of injuries result from winter conditions

IMPO Magazine reports 42,000 employees a year miss at least one day of work due to injuries involving ice, sleet and snow. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration reports employees at particularly high risk of injury include delivery drivers, public safety personnel, roadwork crews and outdoor construction workers. Traffic accidents and slip-and-fall incidences are among the most common causes. Downed power lines, cave-ins from snow or ice accumulation on roofs and being struck by falling ice or debris are other potential causes of employee injury during winter months.

Risks associated with ice and snow removal include falls, heart attacks and back injuries, as well as risks associated with using snow-removal equipment like snowblowers and plows. While often overlooked, such risks often involve personnel inexperienced with using such equipment, which means workers are at increased risk of accident and injury.

For those driving for work or just to get back and forth to their job, the Rhode Island State Police offer a number of safety tips, including:

  • Never leave your car unattended while warming up.
  • Be especially careful on infrequently traveled roads and on bridges and overpasses, where ice will accumulate first.
  • Travel with a charged cell phone and at least half a tank of gas.
  • Do not follow too closely and allow yourself extra time to reach your destination.
  • Learn how to brake and steer to counter a slide.
  • Don’t pass snow plows and sand trucks.

While most of these risks are specific to winter, safety advocates remind motorists that driving in snow or ice also exacerbates the risks associated with common bad habits behind the wheel, like using a cell phone or driving distracted, speeding, following too closely and failing to use special care in high-risks areas like intersections and parking lots. If you have been hurt on the job due to winter weather conditions, speak to an experienced workers’ compensation attorney who can help weigh your options.

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