There are many misconceptions people have about the workers' compensation program in Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, theses misconceptions can lead to some costly mistakes, like deciding against filing a claim or waiting too long to get help.
When you think about dangerous occupations, you might think about people who are construction workers, police officers and firefighters. These are undoubtedly dangerous occupations, but there are others that might surprise you.
Workers who aren't properly trained to climb cellphone towers could put themselves at serious risk of injury or death. Between 2011 and 2015, there were 36 fatalities around the country involving workers and these types towers according to OSHA. One of the biggest safety issues cited was the fact that many workers are employed by subcontractors, and there is no guarantee that they have received proper traning.
Many Pennsylvania employees who are injured at work have a legal right to workers' compensation benefits, but businesses often have safeguards in place to protect them from fraudulent claims. Workers' compensation fraud is a crime, and it is estimated to cost businesses and insurers about $7.2 million a year. Surveillance can help insurance fraud investigators to find evidence, and social media is increasingly being used as another tool.
Industrial, mining, construction and other worksites in Pennsylvania utilize cranes for heavy lifting among other basic operations. However, there is no agreed national standards of training for the crane operators, nor is any accreditation required by law.
Studies have repeatedly found that effective respiratory equipment can help to protect workers in Pennsylvania and around the country from potentially dangerous airborne contaminants, but ensuring that employees actually wear the safety equipment available can be extremely challenging for employers. Workers often complain that breathing equipment is restrictive and uncomfortable, and fears about diseases that may not develop for years or decades if at all are frequently not enough to convince them to put up with discomfort at work.
As with many types of equipment, scissor lifts can prove to be invaluable at some Pennsylvania workplaces, as long as they are used correctly. However, when not properly utilized, scissor lifts can also cause serious injuries. There are some ways that employers and their employees can deal with this type of industrial device.
Digging trenches and excavating work sites are two of the most hazardous tasks for construction workers in Pennsylvania and in other parts of the country. Proper planning and strict adherence to safety protocols are crucial if accidents are to be prevented. Cave-ins are usually one of the chief concerns of construction crews performing trenching or excavation work, but flooding, toxic fume inhalation and oxygen depletion are also considerations when work is performed in close confinement.
Many workers in Pennsylvania are familiar with the complications that can arise out of workers' compensation claims. A report released by Liberty Mutual shows the heavy toll such incidents have taken on businesses in recent years and details some of the primary causes of these injuries. Given the high costs of such incidents for employers and employees alike, it's worthwhile to take a moment to better understand what the statistics might mean.
The number of workers in Pennsylvania at or over the age of 55 is growing, and older workers are expected to make up about a quarter of the nation's workforce by 2022, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. While more experienced workers are often a valuable asset, they also take longer to recover from injuries suffered in workplace. Most experts say that economic factors are preventing employees from retiring early, and the numbers are expected to increase sharply in the coming years as the baby boom generation ages.