Workers' Compensation

Category archives for Workers’ Compensation

Safety experiences of union carpenters, imagine what it’s like for the rest of them

A survey of more than 1,000 union carpenter apprentices describes how production pressure can compromise safety and how suffering an on-the-job injury can compromise your job security. The frank comments from workers who have the protection of a union makes me wonder how bad it must be for non-union workers.

Researchers studying workers’ compensation claims have found that almost one in 12 injured workers who begin using opioids were still using the prescription drugs three to six months later. It’s a trend that, not surprisingly, can lead to addiction, increased disability and more work loss – but few doctors are acting to prevent it.

It’s Tuesday evening and as usual, the small parking lot outside the Workers Defense Project on Austin’s eastside is packed. The dusty lot is strewn with cars and pick-up trucks parked wherever they can fit and get in off the road. I’ve arrived well before the night’s activities begin, so I easily secure a spot. But my gracious guide and translator, a college intern named Alan Garcia, warns me that I might get blocked in. It happens all the time, he says.

Last month, more than 70 ironworkers walked off an ExxonMobil construction site near Houston, Texas. The workers, known as rodbusters in the industry, weren’t members of a union or backed by powerful organizers; they decided amongst themselves to unite in protest of unsafe working conditions in a state that has the highest construction worker fatality rate in the country.

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,…