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Workers' Compensation Archives

Department of Labor proposes stricter mining safety standards

Safety advocacy groups in South Carolina were likely pleased on June 7 when the Labor Department proposed tougher inspection and reporting standards for the mining industry. According to data from the Mine Safety and Health Administration, more than 60 percent of the 122 mineworkers killed while on the job between 2010 and 2015 lost their lives in accidents connected with violations of safety regulations.

A fall in opioid prescriptions to injured workers

Research conducted by the Workers Compensation Research Institute has found that the prescription of opioid painkillers like fentanyl, oxycodone and hydrocodone to workers' compensation claimants fell sharply between March 2012 and March 2014. South Carolina was one of 25 states studied by the Massachusetts-based nonprofit group, and opioid prescriptions to injured workers in the Palmetto State fell about 15 percent during the period reviewed. An increase in opioid prescriptions was only seen in Virginia, Missouri, Iowa and Wisconsin. The largest fall in opiod prescriptions was observed in Michigan.

Workers' comp insurers use social media to combat fraud

South Carolina employees may not be aware that insurance companies routinely use surveillance and social media to investigate workers' compensation claims. According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, fraudulent claims cost insurers around $7.2 billion annually.

Ways employers and insurance companies minimize costs

When South Carolina workers are injured on the job, it is important for them to understand some of the tactics their employer and the employer's workers' compensation insurance carrier may take. It is common for both employers and insurance companies to try to either dispute claims or minimize the amount they pay on a claim.

Reports draw attention to work-related illnesses

Many workers in South Carolina fall ill after they are exposed to toxic substances on the job. According to government statistics, around 50,000 workers in the United States die each year because of work-related illnesses. In comparison, gun violence kills about 30,000 people each year. While shooting deaths draw a lot of public attention, deaths from work-related illnesses usually don't make the news.

Silica protections for workers to increase

Serious lung diseases can affect South Carolina workers who are exposed to excessive levels of silica dust. However, it has been more than 40 years since safety standards related to this hazard have been increased. Changes are set to be implemented by the U.S. Occupational Health and Safety Administration in the coming months as maximum exposure levels for workers in the construction and marine sectors will be reduced.

Lung disease for workers in some plants

People in South Carolina who work in plants that manufacture flavorings or microwave popcorn should be aware of symptoms of a lung disease known as obliterative bronchiolitis. It is caused by constriction and scarring in lung airways that restricts breathing. Symptoms may range from a mild cough without phlegm to a severe cough, difficulty breathing during exertion and wheezing.

Fall protection shortcomings contribute to deadly fall

One of the leading causes of workplace death in construction is falls, and South Carolina employees need to be aware of safety standards related to working in elevated settings. Nationally, fall-related deaths have increased every year since 2011. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that approximately 40 percent of construction deaths in 2014 were attributed to falls. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is responsible for establishing and overseeing standards for safety in various work environments, and when an employer violates those standards, OSHA may impose sanctions in the form of monetary penalties. However, this does not always result in improved safety on the job.

Long shifts can adversely affect EMS workers

South Carolina emergency services workers are at a significantly increased risk of work-related illness and injury, according to a 2015 study of the industry. The study analyzed shift schedules for 4,000 employees over the course of three years as well as 950 occupational health records from industry leaders. Researchers found that extended shifts resulted in an elevated risk of injury and posed the potential of reducing EMS workers' ability to function in their high-stress jobs.

Hazardous lighting conditions and worker safety

State-of-the-art flashlight technology may change the way South Carolina workers are protected on the job. Construction industry professionals frequently rely on flashlights to maintain safe working conditions, and new technology has given them a wide range of options to choose from. Hand-held flashlights delivering flood light brightness and lights meant for use in hazardous environments provide numerous safety features to workers.

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Anderson, SC 29621

Phone: 864-261-1571 (Personal injury)
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