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Workers’ compensation laws cover some 135 million employees. Such laws are responsible for a collective payout of more than $7 trillion each year, making workers' comp one of the largest government-mandated programs in the country. The following sections outline which industries generate the most workers’ compensation claims in Ohio.[1]
Healthcare
People think of healthcare workers as individuals who save lives, but such individuals also put their own lives on the line. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration reports that the private healthcare industry records more instances of work-related illness and injury than any other private sector in America. About 580,000 workers’ comp cases are filed annually in healthcare, 30% for musculoskeletal injuries or ailments.[2]

How might healthcare workers find themselves in a position where they need to file a workers’ comp claim? Here are some examples:

Slips, falls
Lab-related hazards
Manual lifting injuries
Exposure to radioactivity
Biological hazards and toxicity
Blood-borne pathogens and illnesses
Exposure to chemicals, waste, drugs, or toxic gas
Infectious diseases transmitted by patients or other workers

People who work in healthcare and become injured or sick because of work should file for workers' comp.
Transportation and Warehouse Employment
As one might imagine, jobs involving moving large objects around or operating heavy machinery and vehicles could put one at risk for injury. That’s why the transportation and warehouse sector is in second place after healthcare as the industry that produces the highest rate of workers’ comp claims each year.

Transportation and warehousing employ about 5.5 million workers, and these individuals are at risk for injury daily. Common causes of injury include:

Traffic accidents with other automobiles
Physical overexertion from lifting objects that are too heavy
Slips, falls, and other accidents caused by irregular work surfaces
Airborne objects that impact workers and cause serious injury or death
Heavy, moving equipment that causes musculoskeletal harm to workers
Toxic chemical exposure, corrosive spills or burns, noxious fumes, or poison

Today, at least 5.1 cases of injury and illness are reported each year for every 100 workers in this field.[3]
Forestry, Farming, Fishing, and Professional Hunting
Anyone who steps outdoors and engages with the natural world puts themselves at risk for injury, whether they do so for recreation, work, or both. Logging, farming, fishing, hunting, working in the forest, and performing conservation work are all industries that involve exposure to the environment and the risks that come with it.

Some examples of common injuries related to extensive work outdoors include:

Excessive cold
Excessive heat
Extreme noise exposure
Exposure to inclement weather
Respiratory hazards due to heavy machinery
Impact and pressure hazards due to heavy machinery
Exposure to chemical hazards and toxic or corrosive liquids
Unsanitary working conditions due to poorly regulated working environments
Extreme risk for bodily harm due to dangerous equipment, machines, silos, grain bins, etc.

The industries in this category report about 5.3 injuries or illnesses each year for every 100 workers, making it a leading sector for workers’ comp claims.[4]
Manufacturing Jobs
Manufacturing covers a wide range of jobs, and all such jobs carry a higher-than-average risk for workers. Throughout the manufacturing process, workers may have to handle dangerous chemicals, use high currents of electricity, work around large machines and assembly lines, and work in complex factories with lots of moving parts. Because of that, workers are at risk for slips and falls, and they might face exposure to dangerous chemicals, biological hazards, electrical currents, fire, or suffocation. Depending on the product being manufactured, the weight of objects handled can also be an issue, leading to back injuries and other musculoskeletal trauma from heavy lifting or accidental impacts and collisions.

From manufacturing clothing to making children’s toys, building tools, assembling cars, mixing solvents for industrial cleaning supplies, or doing something as seemingly harmless as assembling parts on an assembly line, manufacturing is complex and can sometimes be chaotic, hence the risk.

The data shows that there are 3.4 annual cases of work-related injury per 100 workers in the manufacturing field. Given the high risks of injury but the minimal ability to predict risk factors or instances of injury, people who work in this field should make sure their employer offers a robust workers' compensation package.[5]
Recreation, the Arts, and Entertainment
Recreation, arts, and entertainment might be the last field where anyone would expect serious injuries and illnesses to occur. But especially for those working behind the scenes to produce entertainment, this field can be quite dangerous to one's health and safety.

Workers who build sets for film or theatre, fitness trainers who work with heavy weights, amusement park attendants operating heavy machines, the list goes on. Workers in these sectors have very active jobs that have injury risks. That’s why this field reports 5.4-per-100 work-related injuries or illnesses each year.[6]
No Matter Your Industry, Make Sure You Seek Legal Representation When Injured on the Job
For every type of job performed in America, there are just as many, if not more, ways that one might become injured or ill as a result of working at that job. Different sectors may have different risk factors, but all workers injured on the job are entitled to benefits. Further, injured workers should seek free legal advice before filing a claim to get the best benefits package possible. Contact NRS Injury Law today at 855.977.6670 for a free consultation.

Sources Cited:

[1] SSA. “Workers’ Compensation Program Description and Legislative History.” Social Security Administration, 2017. ssa.gov

[2] OSHA. “Healthcare.” Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 2022. osha.gov

[3] BLS. “Warehousing and Storage.” Bureau of Labor and Statistics, 2022. bls.gov

[4] BLS. “Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing, and Hunting.” Bureau of Labor and Statistics, 2022. bls.gov

[5] BLS. “Manufacturing,” Bureau of Labor and Statistics, 2022. bls.gov

[6] BLS. “Performing Arts, Spectator Sports, and Related Industries.” Bureau of Labor and Statistics, 2022. bls.gov

Every job comes with some injury risk, but some industries see more workers’ comp claims than others. For example, the wood product manufacturing industry has one of the highest per-capita rates of workers who become injured on the job. Even though wood product manufacturing is a relatively small field, the risk for injury is high, and thousands of workers in this sector file for workers’ comp each year.
Efforts are Ongoing to Make the Workplace Safer
Thankfully, because people are becoming more aware of the need for safe workplaces, technological developments have made some high-risk workplaces safer. In the transportation sector, innovations like lane-change notifications, backup mirrors, HID headlights, night-view lights, and automatic high-beam assists make this industry safer for truck drivers. However, several industries are still dangerous, so workers must know how to maximize compensation claims.
In the Event of an Injury, Follow These Steps to Maximize Your Workers’ Compensation Claim
Not all injuries can be prevented, but how workers respond to an injury can influence their workers’ compensation claim. Workers should follow these steps to maximize their claim:

Seek immediate medical care. Don’t wait, as waiting for medical attention may jeopardize a workers’ comp claim.

Notify your employer immediately. Putting off formally notifying an employer is not helpful.

File a claim quickly. Delaying is not good, as that makes the insurance company wonder if the injury is work-related.

Get a doctor who represents you accurately. If you’re not satisfied with your doctor’s assessment of your injury, seek a second opinion.

Be consistent in your claims. Always stick with the truth and stay consistent when reporting how you were injured.

Seek legal representation as soon as possible. Ideally, you should seek legal representation before you file a workers’ comp claim. A legal professional can advise you on how to negotiate with employers and insurance companies, handle paperwork, present for an Independent Medical Examination, negotiate recorded statements, interact with insurance representatives, and effectively advocate for the full benefits package you deserve.
Understand the Terminology
Finally, and this deserves a section of its own, injured workers are much more likely to secure a full workers’ compensation benefits package when they understand the terminology of workers’ comp. Thankfully, the Ohio Bureau of Worker’s Compensation published a detailed glossary of workers’ compensation terms.[1]
Don’t Face a Workers’ Comp Case Alone
Workers who become injured or ill are almost certainly entitled to benefits. Those who say otherwise might be trying to save the insurance company money. That’s why injured workers should seek free legal advice before filing a claim. That way, they’ll ensure they continue to receive compensation while recovering from their injury. To get started, contact NRS Injury Law today at 855.977.6670.

Sources Cited:

[1] BWC. “Injured Worker Glossary.” Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, 2022. bwc.ohio.gov

Everyone wants to have a safe experience on America’s roads. But with vehicle accidents and traffic fatalities rising, a safe experience is never guaranteed. The number of vehicles on the roads will only increase in the coming years, exacerbating risk factors and potentially making travel by automobile even more dangerous.

Given the predicament, some experts indicate that self-driving cars could increase road safety.
A Need for Self-Driving Cars to Improve Road Safety
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 38,824 people lost their lives in motor vehicle crashes in 2020. Further, NHTSA’s preliminary data has 2021’s figures at 42,915 fatalities, a ten percent increase over 2020 and the highest death toll in 16 years. That means automobile accidents are again a leading cause of preventable and injury-related death in the United States.[1]

Information like this means self-driving automobile manufacturers must put safety at the forefront of all tech innovations and future developments.
How Might Self-Driving Cars Increase Road Safety?
Thankfully, plenty of evidence suggests self-driving cars will indeed increase road safety. Self-driving cars will have a 360-degree view at all times. The cars will be able to sense if other cars or obstacles are too near, will be able to spot when a vehicle ahead is braking and will follow speed limit laws. Self driving cars safety features will be compliant with other highway safety and respond to road hazards, poor weather, and congested traffic.

That’s just a start. Proponents of self-driving cars also say that automated systems will cut reaction time in accident scenarios. Given that a significant percentage of accidents are the result of slow reaction time and being distracted (on the part of the driver), self-driving cars may be able to save lives by responding faster and by never becoming distracted in the first place. Quoting the NHTSA, “In some circumstances, automated technologies may be able to detect the threat of a crash and act faster than drivers. These technologies could greatly support drivers and reduce human errors and the resulting crashes, injuries, and economic tolls.”[2]
Who is Liable When an Accident With a Self Driving Car Occurs?
Though such instances will hopefully be rare, self-driving vehicle systems will fail from time to time, and accidents will occur. When the NHTSA was asked to comment on who would be liable in an accident caused by a self-driving vehicle, they responded that questions about liability were still being discussed.

Even though the NHTSA wasn’t willing at the time to go on the record in saying that the companies that manufacture self-driving cars are potentially liable in the event of an accident, that is almost certainly the case. If you or someone you care about is involved in a car accident involving a self-driving or partially-automated vehicle, please call NRS Injury Law at 855.977.6670.

Sources Cited:

[1] NHTSA. “Newly Released Estimates Show Traffic Fatalities Reached a 16-Year High in 2021.” National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2022. nhtsa.gov

[2] NHTSA. “Automated Vehicles for Safety.” National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2022. nhtsa.gov

With school back in session and thousands of Ohio teens obtaining driver’s licenses’ and driving to school or work for the first time, parents should take extra steps to ensure their teens drive safely.
Ohio Teen Driving Statistics
To raise awareness of the unique risks that teens face on the road, the Ohio Department of Public Safety released information highlighting teen traffic accident statistics:[1]

From 2016 to 2018, 132,744 automobile accidents in Ohio involved at least one teen driver. Even though teens comprise a small percentage of drivers in Ohio (just 7%), they were involved in more than 15% of all accidents.

During that period, ODPS (Ohio Department of Public Safety) estimated that action on the part of the teen driver contributed to 71% of accidents (94,861 crashes).

In the last decade, at least 1,000 Ohio teen drivers have died in traffic accidents. Between 2016 and 2018, 251 teen drivers lost their lives in automobile accidents.

Though it earns significant media attention, drug and alcohol impairment is not as severe a problem among teen drivers as it used to be. Today, only 2% of all at-fault teen driver crashes are caused by drug or alcohol-impaired driving.

Unfortunately, the improvements have been made to reduce teens driving impaired has been outpaced by another severe crisis, distracted driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, distracted driving on the part of the driver is responsible for at least 9% of all teen driving fatalities.[2]

While teens face clear risk factors when they start driving, parents can take steps to make driving safer for them.
What are Critical Risk Factors for Teen Drivers?
Research suggests that the five main causes of crashes among teen drivers (and how parents might address them) are as follows:

Lack of experience. Lack of experience plays a role in teen car accidents. Even after a teen gets their license, their parents should still ride as passengers in the car to help provide advice, monitor their driving, and coach as needed.

Following too close. Following too close is a leading cause of rear-ending accidents. Parents should coach their teens on maintaining a minimum three-second following distance between their car and the car in front of them.

Failure to yield. Failing to yield leads to traffic accidents at intersections. Parents should coach their teens on always looking for road signage that indicates yielding.

Improper lane change. A major part of defensive driving involves performing head checks to look for other vehicles that may be obstructing a planned lane change. Teens might not have this habit yet, so parents should always remind their teens to do head checks and examine their blind spots before changing lanes.

Distracted driving. As referenced earlier, distracted driving is responsible for more than 4X the number of teen driving fatalities than alcohol or drug impairment. Parents must insist their teens remain focused on the road while driving, not talking on the phone, texting, or looking at their phone screens.
Professional Representation can Help Teens Affected by an Accident
A teen traffic accident is a parent’s worst nightmare. If you or someone you care about has a teen involved in a car accident, please call NRS Injury Law at 855.977.6670.

Sources Cited:

[1] ODPS. “Ohio Traffic Safety. Ohio Department of Public Safety, 2022. publicsafety.ohio.gov

[2] NHTSA. “Recent NCSA Publications.” National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2022. crashstats.nhtsa.gov

Autumn is just around the corner, which means the flannels are coming out of the closet, and family members and friends are coming over for a toasty warm fire in the backyard fire pit.

However, anywhere fire is involved, it’s important to:

A). Follow local laws and ordinances.

B). Observe safe fire pit practices.

Before building a fire, one should always check city and county regulations regarding backyard fire pits. If everything checks out legally, follow the safety tips in the next section.

Backyard Fire Pit Safety

Following are nine simple tips on how to enjoy a backyard fire pit safely:

  1. Pay attention to the weather. Don’t build fires on especially dry or windy days.
  1. Build a fire out in the open. Don’t set up the fire pit near buildings, fences, trees, or other flammable material.
  1. Don’t burn construction lumber! Construction lumber is treated with chemicals and glues, which create toxic fumes when burned.
  1. Be ready to extinguish the flames. Always have two methods of fire suppressant to hand, such as a fire extinguisher and a garden hose.
  1. Keep chairs away from the fire. Chairs are for sitting in, not for catching on fire!
  1. Never leave a fire unattended. Winds can pick up, sparks can fly, resulting in a horrendous blaze, serious injury, or even death if one isn't careful.
  1. Drink responsibly around a fire. Don’t let alcohol intoxication turn an enjoyable experience by the fire into a trip to the emergency room.
  1. Heed no-burn alerts. If the city you live in has a no-burn alert or Air Quality Alert, no fires are allowed on that day. Check local and state ordinances before building a fire.
  1. Store firewood safely. Don’t keep stored firewood too close to the fire pit.

Ohio Laws Regarding Backyard Fire Pits

Ohio has a statewide law that says fire pits must be maintained at least 10 feet away from houses and cannot be used on days when Air Quality Alerts have been issued.[1]

That’s the statewide rule, but individual cities in Ohio have their own rules. The following cities are each linked to their laws about backyard fire pits:

The Fall Season is Coming, Be Ready for Safe Backyard Fires!

The fall season is right around the corner, meaning thousands of Ohioans will enjoy fire pits, backyard fires, campfires, and open-fire grills. Fire safety is vital around backyard fire pits, and if you or a loved one become injured due to someone else’s negligence and a backyard fire, please contact NRS Injury Law today at 855.977.6670.

Sources:

[1] OEPA. “Requirements for Backyard Fires.” Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, 2006. ohioepa.custhelp.com

[2] TCC. “Open Burning Guidelines.” The City of Columbus, 2022. columbus.gov

[3] AL. “Fires and Fire Prevention.” American Legal, 2022. codelibrary.amlegal.com

[4] TCD. “Open Burning in the City of Dayton.” The City of Dayton, 2022. daytonohio.gov

[5] TFRD. “Open Burning/Illegal Burning.” Toledo Fire & Rescue Department, 2022. toledofirerescue.com

[6] HCES. “Open Burning.” Hamilton County Environmental Services, 2022. southwestohioair.org

Applying for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits is no walk in the park. Endless paperwork accompanied by deadlines, confusing legalese, and government representatives who are not always available to answer your questions complicate the process.

The following section identifies and answers the most frequently asked questions about SSD.

Frequently Asked Questions about Social Security Disability Benefits

Q. What are the eligibility requirements to receive Social Security Disability Benefits?

A. The Social Security Administration will pay monthly benefits to workers who cannot work for a year or more or who have a condition expected to end in death.

Q. What is the legal definition of disability?

A. The Social Security Administration defines disability as someone who meets the following quoted criteria: “You cannot do work and engage in substantial gainful activity (SGA) because of your medical condition. You cannot do work you did previously or adjust to other work because of your medical condition. Your condition has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year or to result in death.”

Q. Can a disabled worker return to work while receiving SSD benefits?

A. Yes. There are special rules governing how a disabled worker who recovers from their disability and who can return to work does so. There is often a trial period in which the worker can attempt to return to work without forgoing their disability benefits.

Q. What’s the difference between Social Security and Social Security Disability?

A. SSD benefits are a section of the greater Social Security network. Social Security retirement payments, for example, are to be funded out of employment taxes that the worker paid throughout their time in the workforce. Social Security Disability is a specific program intended to help those who become disabled, even if this occurs long before retirement age.

Q. For those already receiving SSD benefits, will they also get retirement benefits when they reach retirement age?

A. SSD benefits switch to retirement benefits when disability beneficiaries reach the full retirement age.

Q. How long does it take to get a decision on an SSD benefits application?

A. The duration of the application process depends on numerous factors, including the nature of the disability, how quickly one can get medical evidence of disability from their doctor, and whether or not the application has any mistakes or incomplete sections.

Q. What are Compassionate Allowances?

A. Such allowances allow the Social Security Administration to quickly send out disability benefits for people whose medical conditions are so severe that their conditions meet the disability definition precepts outlined above.

For more information about Social Security Disability Benefits, the Social Security Administration offers a full-length FAQ on its official website.[1]

NRS Injury Law, Ohio’s Best Social Security Disability Attorney

If you or a loved one feels rightful disability benefits are being withheld at any point along the application process, the correct action is to hire an Ohio Social Security Disability Lawyer. For further assistance and a free consultation, please call NRS Injury Law today at 855.977.6670.

Sources:

[1] SSA. “Disability (SDDI).” Social Security Administration, 2022. faq.ssa.gov

A catastrophic event hit close to home on the evening of September 20th and into the morning hours of September 21st. The event involved the BP-Husky Toledo Refinery in Oregon, Ohio, just across the river from Toledo, experiencing a major explosion and fire.

Two steelworkers, brothers Ben and Max Morrissey with United Steelworkers Local 1-346, were severely injured in the event. Sadly, both men died from their injuries. Quoting the press release put out by BP:[1]

Witnesses on the scene described clouds of black smoke, flames, and burn-off clouding the sky on Tuesday night, accompanied by at least one major explosion that witnesses could feel. Thankfully, first responders were able to extinguish the blaze by 10:15 p.m. that evening.

The BP-Husky refinery has been running in that location for over a century. It covers 585 acres of land in Oregon, Ohio, and can process up to 155,000 barrels of crude oil daily. The refinery produces gasoline, liquefied petroleum gas, diesel fuel, jet fuel, propane, propylene, flue gases, kerosene, sulfur, heating oil, pet coke, and asphalt.

A Help Fund Set Up in Honor of the Workers

WTOL 11, a local television station in Toledo, announced that Steelworkers Local 1-346 had set up a donation fund for the families of the two steelworkers killed, both of whom were fathers and husbands. The fund is called the “Ben and Max Morrissey Fund.” Donations are being accepted at:[2]

Creating a Safe Work Environment for All

A representative from OSHA arrived at the refinery on Wednesday. However, the cause of the explosion has not been released yet. However, the incident is a painful reminder of why worker safety is so important. For so many trades, workers perform their tasks in hazardous environments, places that can cause severe injury and death.

NRS Injury Law is dedicated to pursuing justice for victims of injury or wrongful death in the workplace. If workers are hurt, no matter the cause of their injury, they deserve compensation. And if their injuries result in death, their families need compensation to cope with losing a beloved family member and provider. If a workplace injury has severely harmed you or someone you know, contact NRS Injury Law today at 855.977.6670.

Sources Cited:

[1] BP. “BP America statement on the fire at bp-Husky Toledo Refinery.” British Petroleum, 2022. bp.com

[2] WTOL11. “Steelworkers killed in Tuesday fire and ‘explosion’ at BP refinery in Oregon identified as brothers.” WTOLL11, 2022. wtol.com

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