Workers' Compensation

Category archives for Workers’ Compensation

When most of us think of sustainability and construction, the usual suspects probably come to mind: efficient cooling and heating, using nontoxic building materials, minimizing environmental degradation — in other words, being green. But in Austin, Texas, a new effort is working to expand the definition of sustainability from the buildings themselves to the hands that put them together.

Cost of work-related injury and disease higher than cost for heart disease, cancer

Money talks, as the saying goes, and a recently published paper on the annual cost of work-related injuries and illnesses should get policymakers to listen up. The number is staggering: $250 Billion, and it’s a figure on par with health conditions like cancer, coronary heart disease, and diabetes that attract much more attention and research…

No way to treat a guest (worker) or U.S. workers for that matter

At a recent congressional hearing called “Workforce challenges facing the agricultural industry,” one Minnesota employer explained why he relies on “guest workers” to fill his seasonal jobs: “…few Americans who are seriously seeking work will apply for, accept, and remain in seasonal and intermittent employment, especially in the agricultural sector. Many who are hired do…

Teenage workers lose legs at work, their employer didn’t have workers’ comp insurance

[Update (10/11/2011) below] Phyllis Zorn of the Enid (OK) News and Eagle reports that the employer of the two teenage workers who lost legs last month in a grain auger failed to maintain workers’ compensation insurance. She writes: “Oklahoma Department of Labor has fined the company $750 for failing to comply with workers’ compensation law,…

OSHA news releases rarely name company’s work comp carrier

When OSHA proposed penalties in January 2011 totaling nearly $1.4 million against two Illinois grain handling companies, I noticed the agency’s news release mentioned the employers’ workers compensation insurance carrier. It was the first time that I’d see this in an OSHA news release, and I wondered if it was the start of something new.…

Willful violations assessed by OSHA in grain elevator deaths, insurers named in announcement

OSHA proposed penalties totaling nearly $1.4 million against two Illinois companies for violations of safety standards that led to the deaths of three workers last summer in grain elevators. Haasbach LLC received 24 violations, including 12 classified as willful, for failing to take steps to workers from engulfed 30 feet deep in corn. Alex Pacas,…

The Charleston Gazette’s Ken Ward Jr. reports that one of West Virginia’s oldest and largest law firms, Jackson Kelly PLLC, is being sued for hiding evidence of coal miners’ black lung disease.  Ward writes: “Earlier this year, an investigative panel of the state’s Lawyer Disciplinary Board filed misconduct charges against Douglas A. Smoot.  Smoot hid a key…

Workers Comp Nightmares and Opportunities

The New York Times’ R.N. Kleinfield and Steven Greenhouse offer us a glimpse of the nightmare known as the workers’ compensation system.  In their article A World of Hurt: For Injured Workers, a Costly Legal Swamp,* they report from the Queens NY office of the NY State Workers’ Compensation Board and explain that injured workers: “come to the board…

What do the Alaska Community Action on Toxics, the Migrant Clinicians Network, Center on Race, Poverty & the Environment, and 65 other organizations have in common?  They’ve all endorsed the “Protecting Workers on the Job Agenda”, a collaborative product of the American Public Health Association’s Occupational Health and Safety Section and the National Council for Occupational Safety and…

CBS 60 Minutes on Worker Safety

Set your wristwatch alarms or your VCR for this Sunday (June 7) at 7:00 pm (EST) to watch CBS’s 60 Minutes and a hard-hitting story on OSHA and its failure to protect workers and communities from combustible dust explosions.  CBS’s correspondent Scott Pelley  interviews Carolyn Merritt (former Member of the US Chemical Safety Board), Tammy Miser (whose brother Shawn was killed…