Finding a Better Way to Avoid Workers’ Compensation

The traditional ways businesses have tried to avoid the expenses of workers’ compensation is perhaps the most brutal imaginable: they would contest the cases, even when it was obvious the employee was fully entitled to compensation. This would lead to some individuals who had already been injured either fighting for compensation in the most difficult moments of their lives, or else not getting the compensation they were legally entitled to.

There’s a far better way to go about this, and it’s amazing it’s taken this long to figure it out. The answer to avoiding serious financial difficulties through workers’ compensation issues is by hiring those most capable of the job upfront. Perhaps this was always obvious, but until recently, it was very difficult to be sure a business was getting the person best physically able to handle the work. The tests just weren’t available, or they were prohibitively expensive.

However, recently, some businesses have cropped up that specialize in providing these tests, making it possible to reduce the risk of a workers’ compensation claim dramatically. Take WorkSTEPS. Their New Hires tests allow business to be sure the new employee has the agility, the strength, the cardiovascular health, and other important qualities to handle the job required of them.

Instead of taking someone’s word that their health is good enough (which, considering they are looking for a job, they are almost certain to say regardless), a business looking to fill a position with serious physical work can be far more confident they are getting someone who can dependably handle what is required of them.

This, of course, could be stretched too far. Not every job is so physical and requires these kinds of tests. Many jobs aren’t filled by the most physically fit but by the most qualified, the most experienced, or the most creative applicant.

At the same time, many workers’ compensation claims are unavoidable. Even someone with good heart health today may end up having a heart attack in a year’s time, given certain unpredictable issues. Other compensation claims come from mistakes made by individuals in perfectly good health, but simply too tired or too disinterested to make sure an object is secured, a machine is properly functioning, or the spills on the floor have been cleared up.

In other words, businesses will still have some workers’ compensation claims, no matter what tests they run, but the tests WorkSTEPS and others offer will allow businesses to cut out the most avoidable claims, allowing them to more easily shoulder any financial costs associated with the unavoidable claims. This, in turn, makes it less likely businesses will fight legitimate claims, allowing employees to get the compensation they need quickly.

It is no stretch to say this is a game-changing development for businesses and employees. It can save money for businesses and get better assistance to those employees who need it faster. Everyone wins when pre-hiring tests become the norm.

Workplace Injuries: How to Cope With Sudden Disability

The Bureau of Labor Statistics found that there had been 2.8 million work-related injuries reported in the private industry sector for the year 2014. A lot of these injuries resulted in disabilities. There have been many individuals disabled due to workplace injuries every year. For a lot of these workers, experiencing sudden disability can be a great challenge.

Aside from the physical and financial concerns that come as a consequence of it, a new disability can also cause individuals severe emotional distress. Adjusting to a new reality can understandably take some time. This is why many experts emphasize the importance of a reliable support system. People still adjusting to their disability will find relief in the company of family, friends, and other individuals with similar experiences.

When dealing with sudden disability, it’s also important to read up and learn more about what this new situation requires in terms of lifestyle choices and other similar concerns. While it has obvious challenges, remember that a disability is not an impediment to living a full life. Certain lifestyle changes will have to be made, but this doesn’t mean that life will have to remain at a standstill. At this stage, it’s important to consult with a physician and a psychologist, as both can provide appropriate advice and assistance.

For individuals disabled by workplace injuries, consulting with an attorney experienced in labor and employment law is particularly crucial. In most instances, injuries acquired while on the job entitle individuals to receive workers’ compensation benefits. These payments can be a huge help with sorting out medical expenses and other financial concerns caused by the new disability. Workers’ compensation claims can easily become complicated, however. To ensure that the process is expedited, it’s best to ask a professional for help.

Explosion Victims and Burn Injuries

Explosions are a risk that industrial companies hope to never experience. According to the website of the Williams Kherkher law firm, businesses that experience explosions are often fertilizer plants, refineries, oil and gas transportation, oil and gas storage, manufacturing facilities, industrial complexes, and chemical plants. The volatile chemicals stored and used within industrial settings require specific handling and care.

In order to make sure that employees and surrounding businesses are safe, the government places regulations on the transportation and handling of potentially flammable or explosive chemical substances, like ammonium nitrate. Ammonium nitrate is a chemical compound present in fertilizer; it is flammable and reactive to heat.

In April the West, Texas community was devastated by an explosion after the fertilizer plant, which employed many citizens of the town caught on fire. The ammonium nitrate accelerated the fire too quickly disabling firefighters from extinguishing the flames prior to combustion. The blast from the plant was able to be felt 50 miles away, damaged property within a 37-block radius, and registered on seismographs earthquake with a magnitude of 2.1.

Fifteen people were killed as a result of the explosion and about three-hundred people sustained injuries. According to the website of attorneys at the Hach & Rose, LLP, common injuries resulting from a catastrophic event, like the West explosion, are severe burns, spinal cord injuries, and head injuries. The fertilizer plant had been fined numerous times for not keeping the plant up to safety code. Many victims of the West, Texas explosion still face physical, mental, emotional, and property damage. The city of West, Texas has sued the owner of the fertilizer plant in order to collect financial compensation for damages.

Eagle Ford Injury

The Eagle Ford Formation, also known as the Eagle Ford Shale (EFS), is a sedimentary rock exposure that, very recently, has been found to be rich in natural gas resources. The EFS stretches throughout Central and South Texas, drawing oil companies to the area. Petrohawk was the first company to drill in the Eagle Ford Shale in 2008. The shale is rich in carbonate which makes drilling easier. The carbonate makes the rock formation brittle and more accessible to penetrate using a technique called induced hydraulic fracturing (popularly known as “fracking”). Fracking is used to draw unconventional oil and gas to the ground’s surface.

Fracking occurs by fracturing rock by pressurized liquid; water is mixed with sand and chemicals and injected into a wellbore. The water mixture then migrates toward the natural gas source. While fracking is extremely effective, there are plenty of environmental concerns that companies must confront when drawing natural gas out of the ground. Fracking can cause ground water contamination, raised levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, migration of toxic gasses (like hydrogen sulfide) and chemicals to the ground’s surface.

Many oil and gas companies have rushed to the EFS in order to take advantage of the natural resources. As a result of the high-paced environment, many companies overlook environmental and safety concerns. In addition to environmental issues, the EFS is the site of numerous worker injuries. The most common work-related injuries at EFS are well-site accidents, pipeline explosions, oil tank explosions, transportation truck accidents, chemical leaks, and contamination. Workers and surrounding residents of EFS sites have been injured by the drilling pursuits of companies. As a result, many of the EFS victims have taken legal accident against corporate negligence.