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PA Workers Comp: Winter Injuries

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Pennsylvania residents know that winter in Pennsylvania can lead to some scary weather conditions.

 

And for the Pennsylvania workforce, that can unfortunately lead to work-related injuries. Here are some of the most common injuries associated with winter.  

 

Car Accidents
During snow storms, driving should be avoided unless it is absolutely necessary. If you are in work-related situation where you MUST drive during a snow storm, you should make sure that all snow is removed from the vehicle (windows and mirrors especially). Also, make sure the vehicle has a functioning heater, the tires are suited for snow travel, and that the vehicle has four-wheel-drive.  It’s also essential that you use your headlights and wear your seatbelt.

 

Slips and Trips
Winter in Pennsylvania means ice on the ground. And ice on the ground can lead to slips. If you encounter an icy spot while on the job, avoid running and stay focused. It’s your employer’s responsibility to make sure that all sidewalks, walkways, and parking areas are safe to use, but this may not always be the case.

 

Cold-Related Illnesses
Pennsylvania workers that work outdoors are also at risk for cold-related illnesses. This was especially true last winter, when temperatures were as low as 9°F in Harrisburg. These include frostbite, hypothermia, and trench-foot. To avoid conditions such as these, it’s important to wear waterproof gloves, hats, and coats. You should also dress in layers, wear insulated footwear, and be sure to drink plenty of fluids. Take plenty of breaks, especially if you are starting to feel cold, and NEVER work in extreme cold conditions by yourself.  

 

If you live in Pennsylvania and have been injured on the job, you may be entitled to Pennsylvania workers’ compensation benefits. If you live in the Harrisburg, York, or Lancaster area, contact PAWorkersCompHelpNow at (717) 234-2402 or send us a message online. We will evaluate your case free of charge.

 

We proudly serve Jefferson, Juniata, and Lackawanna County, as well as all other areas in Pennsylvania.
 

Pa Work Comp Safety: Working With Heavy Machinery

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As many construction workers know, working with heavy machinery is a dangerous job that should not be taken lightly. The simplest of mistakes can lead to serious, and often fatal, injuries.
 
If you receive a work-related injury related to heavy-machinery, you may be entitled to PA workers’ compensation, and should contact an attorney right away. Some of the most common types injuries associated with heavy machinery include back, neck, shoulder, knee, and carpal tunnel syndrome.  Here are some safety tips you and your coworkers can use to remain safe on the job when working with heavy machinery. 
 
Keep The Machines in Working Order
Even machines with the slightest malfunctions should not be used until the issues have been resolved. This includes loose parts, broken grips, and inconsistencies in operation (for example, a forklift or crane that keeps stalling). If something feels out of the ordinary when you are using a heavy piece of machinery, stop immediately and have it inspected and/or fixed. Make sure that all machines on the job site are regularly inspected and that all aging equipment is replaced. Also, it’s important to take proper care of all work machines. All moving parts on a machine should be properly oiled, all devices should be stored safely, etc.. For more information on the safety requirements for heavy machinery, check out OSHA’s Heavy Equipment and Powered Industrial Truck Use page
 
Wear Proper Safety Equipment
When working with big machinery, it’s important for workers to protect themselves with proper safety equipment. Hard hats, ear plugs, gloves, goggles, steel-toed boots, etc. should all be worn if the duty calls for it. Also, much like the machinery you work with, your safety gear needs to be in good condition and must fit properly. 
 
Use The Equipment Properly
If you have not been thoroughly trained on how to use a piece of heavy machinery, you SHOULD NOT be using it. If your employer asks you to use a device you have never used before tell them that you will not use it until you have been shown how. It’s best if there is some kind of class and test a worker must pass before operating a piece of machinery, as well as a safety manual available for employees at all times. 
 
Pennsylvania workers’ compensation benefits are available for those that have been injured on the job as a result of working with heavy machinery. If you live in the Harrisburg, Williamsport, or Lewistown areas, contact PAWorkersCompHelpNow at (717) 234-2402 for a FREE consultation!
 
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PA Workers Comp Benefits: What Treatments are Covered?

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PA Workers Comp Benefits: What Treatments are Covered? 
 
PA Workers’ Compensation benefits, by definition, cover any medical treatment that is reasonable, necessary, and related to the injured person’s work injury. However, determining what is considered reasonable or necessary can sometimes be difficult. Below is some information to clarify what treatments are covered by Pennsylvania workers’ compensation and which ones are not.  
 
Choosing a Healthcare Provider
 
For the first 90 days, Pennsylvania workers are required to treat with a medical provider on the employer’s list of designated physicians. The list of healthcare providers must be prominently posted in an easily accessible area in the workplace. However, if none of the physicians on the list are qualified to deal with the person’s injury, the worker is allowed to visit a doctor of his or her choosing. 
 
After the first 90 days of treatment have passed, the injured person can begin seeing a physician of his or her choosing. However, he or she MUST notify their employer within five days of the appointment or the employer will be voided of medical bill responsibility.
 
Treatments
 
As we mentioned above, any treatment that is considered reasonable, necessary, and related to the person’s work injury is covered by Pennsylvania workers’ compensation benefits. Common examples include physician visits, hospital stays, physical therapy, chiropractor visits, medication, and assistive devices. 
 
One less common treatment we receive frequent questions about is mental health coverage. Mental health treatments are absolutely covered by Pennsylvania workers’ compensation benefits, and can be beneficial for those that have suffered from anxiety attacks, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, or any other mental health issue.  
 
On the other hand, alternative treatments such as massage therapy and acupuncture can be difficult to get coverage for. To get treatments such as these covered, you will need to prove their necessity and have them approved. If you are considering alterative treatments, consult with both your physician and your attorney before moving forward. 
 
One thing an injured person will definitely not want to do is try to get more than what is necessary for his or her injury. Pennsylvania workers’ compensation exists to help honest, injured workers get by while they are unable to work. Furthermore, asking for unnecessary coverage may make you look dishonest and could anger the judge. It’s best to consult with your Pennsylvania workers’ compensation attorney before determining what treatments you are going to try and get compensation benefits for. 
 
If you have been injured on the job, live in the Harrisburg, Reading, or York areas, contact PaWorkersCompHelpNow at (717) 234-2402 for a FREE consultation. Don’t miss out on the benefits that you are entitled to. 
 
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PA Workers Comp Safety: Working in Retail

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When it comes to Pennsylvania workers compensation and occupational hazards, retail is one of the most often overlooked positions. This is because most people consider retail to be a generally safe industry to work in. 
 
However, it may surprise you to know that, in 2012 alone, 125,650 retail workers were injured on the job. In this post, we will share some information about the most common work-related injuries that occur in retail, as well as what can be done to prevent them. 
 
Injuries
Most retail jobs involve light to medium labor. Employees can be doing anything from stocking shelves to mopping the floor. Tasks such as these usually require a lot of lifting and bending over. Here are the most common injuries associated with retail: 
 
 
Safety and Injury Prevention
Most retail injuries are caused by lifting. When doing any kind of lifting, it’s important to utilize the best lifting practices.  
 
The most common cause for lifting-related injuries is trying to lift an object that is too heavy. This usually occurs when the object weighs more than 50 pounds. If an object weighs more than 50 pounds, it should either be move with some type of machinery (forklift, pallet jack), broken down into smaller pieces and moved in multiple trips (if possible), or lifted and carried with the assistance of a coworker. 
 
Additionally, workers are at great risk for injury when they do not lift objects using proper posture. It’s important to lift with the knees, not the back. Avoid reaching (use a ladder if necessary), and hold onto the object with both hands, keeping it close to your body, regardless of how light it may seem.  
 
Those that work in retail are also at great risk for overexertion and repetitive-stress injuries. Overexertion takes place when the body is pushed beyond its limits. For example: hurting your back when lifting a heavy box, choosing to ignore the pain, and continuing to work. 
 
A repetitive-stress injury occurs when someone continually performs a task or motion that damages one ore more parts of the body. Examples include working with vibrating equipment, working in uncomfortable positions, bending over, and heavy lifting. 
 
The best way to prevent injuries such as these is the listen to your body. Take frequent breaks and don’t work in awkward positions. And, if you feel any pain whatsoever, stop working immediately, speak with your supervisor or, if necessary, seek medical attention. 
 
If you work in retail and have been injured on the job, you may be entitled to Pennsylvania workers compensation benefits. If you live in the Harrisburg, Lancaster, or Chambersburg area, contact PaWorkersCompHelpNow at (717) 234-2402 for a free consultation. 
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Pennsylvania Workers Compensation Injury: Fall Prevention

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Fall protection was OSHA’s number 1 most cited violation in 2012. Considering this frightening information, it should come as no surprise that, in Pennsylvania alone, there were 23 job-related deaths caused by on the job falls, slips, and trips throughout 2012. This is unfortunate, because on-the-job falls are completely preventable. Here are some tips you and your coworkers can use to prevent these terrible occurrences from happening on your jobsite.  
 
Equipment
 
Every job calls for different kinds of equipment. It is imperative that, when working from an elevated surface, you use the tools that are right for the task at hand. Any worker that is six feet or more off the ground is at serious risk for injury or death. Anyone in this scenario should have proper safety equipment such as scaffolds, ladders, harnesses, and hard hats. Before using these tools, they should be inspected to make sure they are safe. Check for things like worn out parts and loose screws and make sure that all safety clothing fits properly. 
 
Training
 
Having the proper safety equipment isn’t enough to guarantee on-the-job safety. All workers using this equipment need to be thoroughly trained. Make sure everyone knows how to set-up all of the gear as well as how to properly use each tool, including which tools can and cannot be used for certain tasks. 
 
Resources
 
OSHA has put together an excellent fall prevention program stating that on-the-job falls can be prevented by following these simple steps: Plan, Provide, and Train. More information on this campaign can be found here, while OSHA’s fall prevention fact sheet can be found here
 
If you have been hurt on the job as a result of a slip, trip, or fall, you may be entitled to Pennsylvania workers’ compensation. If you live in the Harrisburg, Clearfield, or Lewistown area, contact PaWorkersCompHelpNow for a free consultation. 
 
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