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Bridgeport Workers Compensation Law Blog

Workers' compensation and injuries caused by third parties

Among other things, the Connecticut workers' compensation system is supposed to encourage employers to keep their workplaces safe. When employees suffer injuries at work or while performing work duties, the employer must provide certain benefits. However, what about when employers are injured on the job through no fault of the employer?

Recently, a Walmart employee was among those hurt when a man suddenly rammed a car through the front of the store, got out and started attacking people, apparently at random, with a blunt object. Four people were injured, one of them seriously. Police said they suspect the man was on drugs.

Connecticut cracks down on uninsured employers

Connecticut labor laws require most employers must carry some kind of insurance for workers' compensation benefits in case their employers are injured on the job. Unfortunately, some employers try to sneak out of this obligation in order to save money. As a result, when a worker is hurt, the employer is unable to provide workers' compensation benefits.

Connecticut officials recently ordered 27 construction firms working in the state to stop working on the projects, saying that the companies were illegally trying to avoid their obligations to workers' compensation and other labor laws. The state Department of Labor's Division of Wage and Workplace Standards said the companies were purposefully misclassifying employees as independent contractors who did not require workers' compensation coverage.

Workers' compensation and fatal accidents

Connecticut's workers' compensation system is set up to pay fixed benefits to employees injured on the job without the need for a lawsuit. The purpose of the system is to not only make sure injured employees are compensated for lost wages and medical expenses, but also to make sure that employers don't have to fight off lawsuits every time someone is hurt on the job. The goal behind workers' compensation is ordinarily to both keep the business running and get the worker back on the job as soon as possible.

Sadly, that's not always possible. In just about any kind of workplace, there can be injuries that permanently disable or kill. For that reason, the workers' compensation system provides benefits for permanent disabled workers and the families of fatally injured workers.

Floating computer mouse could help with workplace illness

A designer recently announced that he is developing a computer mouse designed to prevent a work-related illness that many Connecticut workers know all too well. The proposed mouse will prevent carpal tunnel syndrome and other repetitive-strain injuries, the designer says, because it levitates above a user's desk.

The mouse, called "The Bat" by the designer, will float 10-40 millimeters above a mouse pad on an invisible cushion of magnetic force. This could eliminate pressure on the wrist, a leading factor in carpal tunnel syndrome.

Connecticut workplace injury rate jumps 11 percent

Connecticut's rate of workplace injuries is among the highest in the country, according to a recent government report. The U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics found that Connecticut had an injury rate of 4.5 cases per 100 full-time employees in 2011, significantly higher than the national average of 3.5 cases per 100 full-time workers.

According to the Bureau, private industry employers reported nearly three million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses in 2011, the most recent year for which data are available. Connecticut had 50,600 of those injuries and illnesses, an 11 percent increase over the number in 2010.

Connecticut workers' compensation may soon cover mental trauma

Connecticut's workers' compensation program has long covered work-related illnesses, such as those caused by exposure to asbestos. The principle that workers' compensation should cover this kind of workplace illness is well established, but it is often less clear when workers' compensation applies to work-related mental illnesses.

Now the state legislature is moving to make workers' compensation apply to mental illness that is caused by workplace trauma. A new proposal would cover treatment costs for workers who have experienced the death or "maiming" of someone at their workplace. The latest move was prompted by first responders who said they felt traumatized by what they saw after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown last December.

Hurricane refugee hurt in Connecticut workplace accident

Workplace accidents can happen to all kinds of workers and they can be devastating to the injured workers and their families. Sometimes injuries at work happen at an especially tragic time in a worker's life.

According to news reports, a man who was just recently relocated to Connecticut after Hurricane Sandy was severely injured at a New Milford workplace. According to one report, he lost several fingers in a workplace accident and was hospitalized.

Snow removal workers at risk of fall-related workplace accidents

Connecticut employers might be aware of the safety risks involved in working at heights. Falls are one of the leading causes of worker deaths in the United States, with most falls involving construction workers, tree workers or workers engaged in maintenance, painting and cleaning of high-rise buildings. Snow removal workers are also at a high risk of falls and other safety hazards. Ladder falls, scaffolding falls and falls from roofs and windows are frequently reported among snow removal workers, especially from those workers who are inexperienced or improperly trained.

In one recent workplace accident, a snow removal worker slipped and fell off of a rooftop and died after he smashed his head onto construction materials stacked at the base of the building. In another incident, a worker fell from a residential construction site while removing snow from the rooftop and was killed when he fell onto an erect piece of scaffolding.

Obsolete decompression tables threaten tunnel workers

Connecticut construction workers who work in tunnels with compressed air and high pressure levels may suffer from various health complications. Decompression-induced illness may include nitrogen narcosis, known as the "bends," bone lesions and joint pain. More serious ailments that affect critical organs, such as the spinal cord and brain, may also result. An individual that suffers from an occupational illness resulting from executing a job in an unsafe environment is deserving of compensation under workers' compensation laws.

According to government researchers, the decompression table, established by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration in 1971 to protect workers from the effects of high-pressure environments, has become obsolete. Technological advancements in boring operations have made modern-day underground infrastructure projects that use new tunnel-boring machines even more dangerous. These projects typically require working in pressure levels above 50 pounds per square inch. The existing OSHA tables are only effective in eliminating nitrogen from a worker's body at pressure levels up to 36.5 pounds per square inch.

Connecticut construction worker dies after a fall

Despite explicit and stringent Occupational Safety and Health Administration guidelines concerning workers functioning at tall heights, falls continue to be one of the leading causes of worker deaths. Construction industry workers are undoubtedly at higher risk of falls than workers in other industries, given the nature of their jobs.

Recently, a Connecticut construction worker accident resulted in the death of a 35-year-old man from New Haven. The accident occurred in Middlefield, located about 40 miles northeast of Bridgeport.

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Law Offices of Wesley Malowitz
1055 Summer Street, Second Floor
Stamford, CT 06905

Phone: 203-517-0110
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Stamford Law Office

The Law Offices of Wesley M. Malowitz are located in Stamford, Connecticut, and serves accident and injury victims and families in the communities of Greenwich, Bridgeport, Norwalk, Westport, Fairfield, New Canaan, Darien, Danbury, Milford, Newtown, West Haven, Branford, Stratford, Weston, Guilford, Madison, Wilton, Easton, Redding, Monroe, Shelton, Woodbridge, Ridgefield, New Milford, Bridgewater and Middlebury, as well as Fairfield County, New Haven County and Middlesex County.