A report released by the Labor Department stated that sickness and injuries on the job are having a major impact on the widening gap between the rich and poor across the nation, including South Carolina. The report stated that deficient worker compensation programs are adding to that gap by not providing sufficient income to the employee while they are recovering from injuries. It is estimated that nearly 4 million severe injuries are disclosed to employers every year. Employees who are granted workers' compensation receive on average 15 percent less from their paycheck while out of work.
An occupational disease is defined as a disease that a person acquires via excessive hazards that are particular to the workplace where he or she is employed. For the disease to be recognized as an occupational disease, it must be distinctly associated with the particular employment, occupation, process or trade whereby the employee was consistently exposed over time within ordinary working circumstances related to that particular employment, occupation, process or trade. Employees who file for workers' compensation benefits because of an occupational disease must establish that the disease was naturally acquired as a direct result of being exposed to those hazards particularly associated with the infected worker's employment.
South Carolina residents may be surprised to learn that motor vehicle accidents are to blame for a little more than a third of all on-the-job deaths that transpire in the U.S. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, during a seven-year period from 2003 to 2010, people working near heavily traveled areas such as highways and industrial sites were at the greatest risk of death by a motor vehicle.
On Oct. 23, a 27-year-old driver in Beaufort County struck and killed a construction worker, according to the South Carolina Highway Patrol. The pedestrian accident reportedly occurred on eastbound South Carolina Highway 170 at around 2:10 a.m.
People who have been injured on the job in South Carolina may be unsure of their rights when they prepare to seek workers' compensation benefits. The South Carolina Workers' Compensation Act entitles injured workers to certain considerations and protections in the process of filing a claim or appeal.
According to reports, a South Carolina sheriff's deputy died and another official was wounded as they were engaged in a shooting incident on Sept. 8. A third individual, a retired Isle of Palms fire chief, also died when he tried to assist officers in the incident.