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Baltimore Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Reducing muscle-related injuries in the workplace

Residents of Maryland who work in the retail or wholesale industries may benefit from a recently published report by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health that offers several tips that could significantly reduce the growing amount of work-related musculoskeletal injuries. These types of injuries, which affect people whose job involves lifting and moving large amounts of stock, freight and other heavy materials, account for about a third of all reported workplace illness and injury cases for 2012, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The common workplace injuries that retail establishment manual laborers experience stem from overstrained muscles, joints and ligaments within their shoulders, arms and lower back area. To lessen these occurrences while increasing business productivity, the report suggests employers should use devices to help workers as they lift and transport goods. This can be especially important for industries heavily involved in transporting large amounts of internet orders, but have only a handful of workers to do the work.

Maryland subcontractor hurt when tree falls on him

A tree trimmer subcontracted by Baltimore Gas and Electric was seriously injured when a tree fell on him in Fallston Nov. 25. The accident happened around 9:40 a.m. on the 2800 block of Pleasantville Road.

According to authorities, the worker was trying to remove a dead tree near power lines about 60 feet from the road when he was struck by a falling tree. A representative with the Fallston Fire and Ambulance Company said the victim was not trapped or pinned by the tree, but he suffered serious injuries to his upper body. He was transported by ambulance to a nearby church parking lot where he was placed on a Maryland State Police Medevac and airlifted to Shock Trauma in Baltimore.

The three most common causes of repetitive stress injuries

The first time doesn't hurt.

Neither does the second, the fifteenth or the one hundredth time. But after repeating the same motion several thousand times, the human body often begins to feel the wear and tear. In fact, repetitive motion or repetitive stress injuries (RSIs) account for myriad work-related injuries every year. Sometimes the damage is so severe that the employee is no longer able to perform his or her job at all.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) lists the three most common causes of RSIs:

What is ergonomics? And how can it improve Maryland workplaces?

Ergonomics is the study of properly fitting people in their work environments. Ergonomics can have positive effects on multiple levels, the most important of which is protecting workers from injury.

Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are some of the most common types of work injuries, and effective ergonomics processes in the workplace can reduce the risk of MSDs, which include injuries to the neck and back. Here let's go over some important things Maryland workers should know about MSDs and ergonomics.

Steel rod causes injuries to construction worker in Bethesda

It is no surprise that construction sites are dangerous. Construction workers are continuously handling heavy machinery and equipment and are exposed to work environments with high risks for injuries if safety gear is not worn or safety precautions are not taken. Often it is a good idea for workers to work in pairs or groups in case an injury happens and medical professionals need to be contacted.

In October, a man in his 40s fell from a ladder while working alone at a construction site in Montgomery County. Upon falling, the man was impaled by a steel rod that caused serious injuries. He was discovered by a passerby soon after falling.

OSHA: Faulty equipment caused circus accident

Work-related injuries happen in every industry, and employers in Maryland are required by law to provide workers' compensation when an employee is injured on the job. Employees also have a right to notify the Occupational Safety and Health Administration if an employer fails to provide a reasonably safe work environment.

OSHA recently concluded its investigation of a headline-grabbing work accident that injured eight circus performers back in May. The acrobats were doing a hair-hanging act called a "human chandelier" when the rig they were hanging from fell to the ground. An OSHA investigation determined that the equipment used in the stunt was faulty.

Maryland jury awards $21.7 million after paralyzing work accident

We recently discussed how the legal relationship between a worker and an employer can affect workers' compensation claims. Specifically, we considered the question of whether a subcontractor's employee can receive workers' comp benefits through the contractor.

If you have been seriously injured while working for a contractor, then it is important to have a work injury attorney handle your case and protect your rights. Depending on the facts of the accident, it may be appropriate to sue the contractor for negligence. With that in mind, consider a Maryland case that was recently reported in The Washington Post.

The 'fatal four': stopping them could save hundreds of lives

In the construction industry, there are so many dangers present to anyone on the site. There are precarious positions and heights that must be reached to do work; there are powerful machines constantly churning and smashing; and there are dangerous materials that pose a risk to workers if they are not handled and dealt with in a proper manner.

Sadly, many of these situations give rise to serious or fatal circumstances that change the lives of a construction workers -- and their families -- forever. However, there are four types of construction accidents that are more dangerous than any other, and they have an ominous name: "the fatal four."

Can a subcontractor's employee get workers' comp from the contractor?

As with many matters in workers' compensation law, the answer to that question depends on a number of factors.

With workers' compensation claims involving subcontractors and contractors, the first question to ask is whether the injured worker had a legally recognized employee-employer relationship with the alleged employer. In other words, did the alleged employer have the right to control the manner of the worker's employment? This question came up in a Maryland case in 2013.

What are the temporary disability benefits for Maryland workers?

Recently we discussed permanent disability benefits available under the Maryland Workers' Compensation Act. You can learn more about permanent disability benefits here.

Now let's discuss temporary disability benefits. There are two types:

  • Temporary total disability (TTD)
  • Temporary partial disability (TPD)
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