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Our Atlanta Workers Compensation lawyers are helping injured workers with their workers compensation claims
There is a pending house bill that effect your workers compensation claim and your Georgia workers compensation benefits.
The Georgia Legislature is looking at a new workers compensation law that would make changes to the benefits that injured workers receive in the Greater Atlanta area.
Some of these proposed changes will be beneficial to injured workers. The bill will:
- raise the cap on weekly income benefits from $500.00 to $525.00.
- require insurance companies to reimburse injured workers for mileage expenses within 15 days of being notified
The bad news is this House Bill 154 will decrease the time period for your medical treatment.
Any injury is not considered to be "catastrophic" will be restricted to medical treatment for a maximum of 400 weeks from the date of the injury.
To find out more about your rights under Georgia workers compensation law contact our Georgia For The Injured Worker Helpline today.
Many on the job injuries can be fatal. Our workers compensation lawyers can help if you have lost a loved one due to an occuaptional, on the job injury.
Report on Fatal on the Job injuries in the U.S
NATIONAL CENSUS OF FATAL OCCUPATIONAL INJURIES IN 2011
A preliminary total of 4,609 fatal work injuries were recorded in the United States in 2011, down from a
final count of 4,690 fatal work injuries in 2010, according to results from the Census of Fatal Occupational
Injuries (CFOI) program conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The rate of fatal work injury for
U.S. workers in 2011 was 3.5 per 100,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) workers, as compared to a final rate
of 3.6 per 100,000 for 2010.
Over the last 3 years, increases in the published counts based on additional information have averaged
166 fatalities per year or about 3 percent of the revised total. Final 2011 data from the CFOI program
will be released in Spring 2013.
Key preliminary findings of the 2011 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries:
– Fatal work injuries in the private construction sector declined to 721 in 2011 from 774 in 2010, a
decline of 7 percent and the fifth consecutive year of lower fatality counts. Fatal construction injuries
are down nearly 42 percent since 2006.
– Violence and other injuries by persons or animals accounted for 780 fatalities, or about 17 percent of
the fatal injuries in the workplace in 2011. Included in this count are 458 homicides and 242 suicides.
(See note in box below about recent changes to the classification system for case characteristics.)
– Work-related fatalities in the private mining industry (which includes oil and gas extraction) were
down 10 percent in 2011 after an increase of 74 percent in 2010. Coal mining fatalities fell to 17 in 2011
from 43 in 2010.
– Fatal work injuries in private truck transportation rose 14 percent in 2011-the second
consecutive year that counts have risen in this sector after reaching a series low in 2009.
– Fatal work injuries increased among non-Hispanic black or African-American workers and among Hispanic
or Latino workers in 2011, but declined among non-Hispanic white workers (down 3 percent).
– Fatal work injuries involving workers 55 years of age and older as well as workers under the age
of 18 were both lower in 2011, but fatal work injuries among workers in the 20 to 24 age group were
up nearly 18 percent.
| Changes to the OIICS Structure |
| Information in this release incorporates a major revision in the Occupational Injury and Illness |
| Classification System (OIICS), which is used to describe the characteristics of fatal work injuries. Because |
| of the extensive revisions, data for the OIICS case characteristics for reference year 2011 represent a break |
| in series with data for prior years. More information on OIICS can be found at www.bls.gov/iif/oshoiics.htm. |
Profile of fatal work injuries in 2011 by worker characteristics
The number of fatal work injuries involving non-Hispanic white workers declined 3 percent in 2011, but were higher
for black or African-American workers. For black workers, this increase follows three years of declining numbers of
Fatal work injuries among Hispanic or Latino workers rose to 729 in 2011 from 707 in 2010, an increase of 3 percent.
The higher count in 2011 was the first increase in fatal injuries for Hispanic or Latino workers since 2006. Of the
729 fatal work injuries involving Hispanic or Latino workers, 500 (or 69 percent) involved foreign-born workers.
Overall, there were 823 fatal work injuries involving foreign-born workers in 2011, of which the greatest share
(338 or 41 percent) were born in Mexico.
Fatal work injuries were higher for workers 20 to 24 years of age, rising to 288 in 2011 from 245 in 2010, an
increase of 18 percent. For workers 55 years of age or older and workers under the age of 18, fatal work injuries
were down. Fatal work injuries involving women increased slightly in 2011 to 375, but declined by 2 percent for
men to 4,234 in 2011 from 4,322 in 2010.
Fatal injuries to both wage and salary workers and self-employed workers declined slightly in 2011.
For more detailed information on fatal injuries by demographic characteristics, see the 2011 tables
Profile of 2011 fatal work injuries by type of incident
Transportation incidents accounted for more than 2 out of every 5 fatal work injuries in 2011. (See chart 1.)
Of the 1,898 transportation-related incidents, about 57 percent (1,075 cases) were roadway incidents involving
motorized land vehicles. Nonroadway incidents, such as a tractor overturn in a farm field, accounted for
another 11 percent of the transportation-related fatal injuries. About 16 percent of fatal transportation
incidents in 2011 involved pedestrians who were struck by vehicles. Of the 312 fatal work injuries involving
pedestrians struck by vehicles, 61 occurred in work zones. Workers who were fatally injured in aircraft
incidents in 2011 accounted for 146 fatalities or about 8 percent of the transportation total.
Overall, 780 workers were killed as a result of violence and other injuries by persons or animals, including
458 homicides and 242 suicides. Shootings were the most frequent manner of death in both homicides (78 percent)
and suicides (45 percent). Another 37 deaths were due to animal- or insect-related incidents. Of the 375 fatal
work injuries involving female workers overall, 21 percent involved homicides. In nearly 2 out of every
5 homicides to female workers, the assailants were relatives, with almost all of the relatives being
spouses or domestic partners (current and former). Robbers were the assailants in another 22 percent of these
fatalities. For male workers, homicides accounted for approximately 9 percent of all fatal injuries.
In contrast to female workers, relatives accounted for only about 2 percent of assailants. Robbers were the
assailants in over one third of the homicide cases involving male workers.
Fatal falls, slips, or trips took the lives of 666 workers in 2011, or about 14 percent of all fatal work
injuries. Falls to lower level accounted for 541 of those fatalities. The revised Occupational Injury and
Illness Classification System (OIICS) added the capability of recording the height of the fall. In 2011, the
height of the fall was reported in 451 of the 541 fatal falls from higher level. Of those 451 cases, about
one in four (115) occurred after a fall of 10 feet or less. Another fourth (118) occurred from a fall of
over 30 feet.
A total of 472 workers were fatally injured after being struck by objects or equipment, including 219 workers
who were struck by falling objects or equipment and 192 who were struck by powered vehicles or mobile equipment
not in normal operation.
There were 152 multiple-fatality incidents in 2011 (incidents in which more than one worker was killed) in
which 354 workers died.
Our workers compensation lawyers are experienced wrongful death and on the job fatalities lawyers. On the job fatalities can come from falls, toxic substances, asbestos, occupational diseases, vehicle accidents and fires.
For more detailed information on fatal injuries by incident, see the 2011 tables at www.bls.gov/iif/oshcfoi1.htm.
Profile of fatal work injuries in 2011 by industry sector
The number of fatal work injuries in the private construction sector declined by 7 percent in 2011. Fatal work
injuries in construction have declined every year since 2006 and are down nearly 42 percent over that time.
Economic conditions may explain much of this decline. Despite the lower fatal injury total, construction
accounted for the second most fatal work injuries of any industry sector in 2011 with transportation and
warehousing having the most fatal work injuries. (See chart 2.)
Private sector mining fatalities were down 10 percent to 154 in 2011 from 172 in 2010 after rising 74 percent
in 2010. Fatal work injuries were down sharply in coal mining to 17 in 2011 from 43 in 2010; the Upper Big
Branch mining disaster in 2010 which killed 29 workers was a major factor in the high fatality counts
in 2010. Fatal work injuries in support activities for mining were up 6 percent.
Fatalities in agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting were down by 10 percent to 557 in 2011 from 621 in 2010,
led by a sharp drop in crop production fatalities. Manufacturing fatalities were also slightly lower.
Among service-providing industries in the private sector, fatal work injuries in transportation and warehousing
accounted for 733 fatal work injuries in 2011, an increase of 11 percent over the final 2010 count (661 fatalities)
and the highest count since 2008. The number of fatal injuries in truck transportation, the largest
subsector within transportation and warehousing in terms of employment, increased by 14 percent in 2011, led
by a 16 percent increase in general freight trucking and a 12 percent increase in specialized freight trucking.
Among other transportation subsectors, fatal work injuries in air transportation were lower, but fatalities in
water and rail transportation were higher in 2011.
Fatal work injuries in the professional and business services sector were up 16 percent, led by an increase in
fatalities in landscape services to 167 in 2011 from 133 in 2010.
Fatal occupational injuries among government workers increased by 2 percent from 2010 to 495. Local government
increased to 294 in 2011 from 269 in 2010 due to a 24 percent increase in police protection. Fatal work
injuries were lower among both state and federal workers.
In 2011, CFOI began collecting additional information on fatally-injured workers who were working as contractors
at the time of their deaths. Preliminary 2011 data show that 492 of the 4,609 fatally-injured workers were
classified as contractors at the time of their fatal injuries. (For more information on contractor definitions
and other new data elements please see http://www.bls.gov/iif/oshcfdef.htm.)
For more detailed information on fatal injuries by industry, see the 2011 tables at www.bls.gov/iif/oshcfoi1.htm.
Profile of fatal work injuries in 2011 by occupation
Fatal work injuries in construction and extraction occupations declined slightly in 2011 to 770–the lowest
level since the occupational series began in 2003. Fatal injuries among construction trades workers also recorded
a series low in 2011, falling 7 percent to 511 in 2011 and have declined 48 percent from the high reported
in 2006. Fatal work injuries involving construction laborers, the worker subgroup accounting for the highest
number of fatalities in the construction trades worker group, were down 6 percent in 2011 to 190 fatal work
injuries. The number of fatal work injuries involving extraction workers was about the same as in 2010.
Fatal work injuries in the building and grounds cleaning, and maintenance occupational group were up 14 percent
to 265 fatalities in 2011–the highest level since 2006. The biggest increases within this occupational group
were among landscaping and groundskeeping workers and among tree trimmers and pruners.
Fatal work injuries involving farming, fishing, and forestry workers declined by 5 percent in 2011 after increasing
in 2010. Fatalities involving agricultural workers, including farm workers and laborers, declined to 138 in 2011
from 161 in 2010. Fatalities among logging workers were higher in 2011, to 64 in 2011 from 60 in 2010, but fatal
work injuries among fishers and related fishing workers were about the same as in 2010.
The number of fatal work injuries among protective service occupations increased for the second straight year,
rising to 278 in 2011 from 261 in 2010. The increase in 2011 was led by higher numbers of fatal injuries among
security guards and first-line supervisors of police and detectives.
Fatal work injuries involving workers in transportation and material moving occupations increased by
5 percent in 2011 to 1,213 fatalities, which is the highest level since 2008. Fatal work injuries in this
occupational group accounted for about one quarter of all occupational fatalities. Driver/sales workers and
truck drivers, the subgroup with the highest number of fatal work injuries within the transportation and
material moving group, led the increase. Fatalities in this subgroup rose to 759 in 2011 from 718 in 2010, an
increase of 6 percent.
Fatal work injuries involving resident military personnel increased to 54 in 2011 from 46 in 2010.
For more detailed information on fatal injuries by occupation, see the 2011 tables at www.bls.gov/iif/oshcfoi1.htm.
Profile of fatal work injuries by state
Twenty-three states reported higher numbers of fatal work injuries in 2011 than in 2010, while 25 states and
the District of Columbia reported lower numbers. Two states reported the same number as in 2010.
For more detailed state results, contact the individual state agency responsible for the collection
of CFOI data in that state. Although data for Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam are not included
in the national totals for this release, results for these jurisdictions are available. Participating agencies
and their telephone numbers are listed in Table 6.
Background of the program
The Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI), part of the BLS Occupational Safety and Health Statistics (OSHS)
program, compiles a count of all fatal work injuries occurring in the U.S. during the calendar year. The CFOI
program uses diverse state, federal, and independent data sources to identify, verify, and describe fatal work
injuries. This assures counts are as complete and accurate as possible. For the 2011 data, over 20,000 unique
source documents were reviewed as part of the data collection process.
Another OSHS program, the Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (SOII), presents frequency counts and
incidence rates by industry and also by detailed case circumstances and worker characteristics for nonfatal
workplace injuries and illnesses for cases that result in days away from work. Incidence rates for 2011 by
industry will be published in October 2012, and information on 2011 case circumstances and worker characteristics
will be available in November 2012. For additional data, access the BLS Internet site: www.bls.gov/iif/. For
technical information and definitions for the CFOI program, please go to the BLS Handbook of Methods on the BLS
web site at www.bls.gov/opub/hom/pdf/homch9.pdf.
Our Greater Atlanta For The Injured Worker workers compensation, on the job injury lawyers are experienced with toxic substance lawsuits. These lawsuits include occupational diseases and Toxic Torts.
Workers Compensation Lawyers For Toxic Substance Injury
Many workers are injured by toxic substances in the workplace that become fatal. Diseases from environmental hazards include mesothelioma, asbestos-related diseases, and fatal cancers. Job sites and specific industries are more prone to work injuries that include exposure to asbestos, welding fumes and other toxic chemicals. Railrod workers are often exposed to toxic fumesand can receive compensation under the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA).
Breathing asbestos and the resulting Mesothelioma is almost always fatal. Thousands of workers have suffered the effects of asbestos fiber exposure. Our asbestos exposure lawyers are here to help you with a mesothelioma lawsuit.
Benzene Exposure Injury Lawyers
Benzene exposure results in the development of leukemia or other blood-related diseases. Benzene, a known carcinogenic chemical used in the manufacture of numerous products including: dyes and detergents to plastic and rubber. Exposure to benzene can be fatal.
Our workplace injury lawyers also represent occupational welders and other workers whose job resulted in overexposure to welding fumes. Inhaling welding fumesresults in an illness called welder's disease akin to Parkinson's disease.
Most Common Occupatioal Diseases
Chemical Exposure lawyers,
Occupational skin disease lawyers
Noise related hearing loss,
Occupational respiratory diseases,occupational asthma, mesothelioma, asbestosis, lung cancer,lung disease
Call for a Greater Atlanta toxic exposure occupational diseases lawyer today.
Have you been Injured on the job in Georgia? You are entitled to workers comp benefits under certain circumstances: Atlanta, Marietta, Jonesboro, Albany, Valdosta, Tifton, Columbus, Warner Robbins, Macon, Augusta and all t of the Greater Atlanta area coverage.
We Can Help You With Your Georgia Workers Comp, On the Job Injury Claim
Have you been injured or have become ill on the job as a result of your employment or work environment? You may be entitled to Georgia worker’s compensation benefits. Do not go it alone. The workers comp lawyers of For The Injured Worker have years of experience and have hlped 1000's just like you.
When you have a work injury claim it is important to have an attorney to get the worker’s comp help that you need. The best part is there is not cost to you. Workers comp lawyers work on a contingency basis.This means that it costs you nothing up front to retain the worker’s comp lawyer and get the help that you need.
Georgia On The Job Injuries
- Health care and social assistance
- Transportation and warehousing
- Arts, entertainment and recreation
- Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting
- Beverage and tobacco product manufacturing was the riskiest occupation
Occupational Disease Injury Lawyer
Occupational disease is a medical condition which is due to causes and conditions which are characteristic of and peculiar to a particular trade, occupation, process or employment, and to exclude all diseases of life to which the public is exposed, unless the incidence of the disease are substantially higher in a particular trade, occupation, process or employment than for the general public. Mesothelioma from asbestos is an occupational disease.
If you were injured on the job call us first.
For the injured worker georgia Workers Compensation Lawyers help injured workers In Atlanta, Columbus, Albany, macon, Savannah, Augusta, Valdosta with TBI Injury and getting workers comp benefits.
Physical and occupational therapists help TBI patients recover faster
Apr 1, 2011
By: Jennifer Walker
When Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was shot in the head and critically injured by Jared Lee Loughner Jan. 8, she was lucky in a way.
That's because the bullet entered through and exited out of the left side of her head. If the bullet had traveled from the left to right side of the brain — crossing the area where several major blood vessels lie — the damage could have been much worse.
Still, the damage is done and now Giffords has a long road to recovery. The left side of the brain is responsible for language, memory of verbal and written messages, and analysis. (The right side, on the other hand, controls spatial reasoning, memory of events seen and done, and the ability to put pieces of information together to form a whole.) Her days will be filled with physical, occupational, and speech therapy sessions, one after another.
Giffords' specific treatment plan is still developing. But four therapists who have worked with patients suffering from traumatic brain injuries (TBI) — caused by everything from falls to strokes — share their patients' stories of how they worked to regain their independence.
(Note: Pseudonyms are used for the patients' names.)
Photo : Getty Images/Rubberball/Mike Kemp
Physical therapy assistant Don Meadows, LPTA, clearly remembers one of the TBI patients he worked with while on assignment in Oklahoma City. Jason was in a truck accident, having hit an oilrig.
At the time, Jason was able to walk, but he had terrible balance. When he had a boot on his right foot, he could stand on that leg. But his left leg was unstable. Meadows worked on helping Jason stand up and get comfortable with putting his weight on his right leg only while maintaining his balance when standing, and finally transition from a walker to crutches.
But Meadows' biggest challenge was convincing Jason that he had injuries that required him to be in the hospital. "He thought everything was fine with him," Meadows says.
Poor attention spans like this, Meadows explains, are common in TBI patients. He often has to redirect them back to the task at hand. For example, he had a TBI patient who was also a veteran diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. Susan liked to talk about everything that was bothering her during her physical therapy sessions. "You listen a little bit," Meadows says. "Then it's like, 'OK, let's get back to work.'"
Meadows also points out that he can't leave TBI patients alone for a second because impulsivity can be a side effect of their injuries. Case in point: a patient who took off in his wheelchair during a session with one of Meadows' colleagues. The session was on the fifth floor; later, they found the man down on the second floor.
As a traveler, though, Meadows' time on assignments is short. He has left patients in the middle of recovery when he gets a new assignment. "You really hate to leave, especially with the patients because you get to watch their progress to a certain extent," he says. But he'll stay in touch. Sometimes he'll call the facilities he used to work in; sometimes patients will call him.
As an assistant physical therapist, Meadows says he's able to spend more time with his patients. And that's his favorite part of the job. He loves watching them progress in their treatment plans and meeting their families. "I'm the worker bee," he says with a laugh. "I love to do the work."
In Columbus, marietta, Atlanta, Albany, Valdosta, Savannah, Macon,Augusta, Warner Robbins, Jonesboro on the job injuries for custodial workers and janitorial workers are quite common.
Most common job injuries include:
- Slip-and-fall accidents ,
- Lifting injuries,
- Routine janitorial work,
- chemical exposure,
- chmical burns,
- Chemical Splashes ,
- Lifting heavy objects,
- Slip and falls,
- Exposure to chemicals and cleaning agents,
- Hearing loss,
- Cuts and lacerations,
- Auto accidents in the scope of employment,
if you are a janitorial worker and have been injured of the job call the Georgia Workers Compensation helpline today
Injured Policemen Need an Experienced Workers Compensation lawyer. Our policemen like firemen are our first line defense and help in all emergencies. An injured policeman must have his or her rights protected.
Police officers face tough challenges almost every day on the job. Officers also have to worry about those challenges turning into serious injuries. If you are a police officer who has been hurt on the job, you are entitled to recover workers' compensation benefits to help you with medical bills and wages until you are ready to return to work.
Police officer is one of the most hazardous jobs there is. According to national statistics the chance of being injured on the job is 11.7%. The number of injuries in 2009 was 50,800.
Working as a police officer, you’re putting yourself in potential danger each and every day. The very nature of your business is to defuse potentially harmful situations. And not only are the fatality rates for police officers high, as a profession, injuries are frequent. Below is a list of injuries police officers often get:
- Hand and fingers
- Open wound or laceration
- Assaulted by another person, in particular from getting bitten by an offender
- Occupational violence
- Muscle & tendon sprains & strains
- Assaulted by another person when restraining or arresting them
- Chasing offenders on foot and falling over
- getting out of vehicles onto uneven ground and falling;
- tripping over objects on the ground;
- arresting or restraining offenders;
- from undertaking physical skills training/experience,
- Muscle & tendon sprains & strains
- Slips, trips and falls
- Psychological stressors
- Mental stress and anxiety
- Exposure to violence or traumatic situations
- Occupational stress
- Muscle & tendon sprains & strains
- Arresting or restraining offenders
- undertaking physical skills training/experience,
- wrestling and practicing handcuffing and crowd control
- Manual tasks
- Muscle & tendon sprains & strains
- Vehicle accidents
- Plant, machinery and equipment
- Muscle & tendon sprains & strains
- Falling when getting out of vehicles;
- chasing offenders on foot; tripping on uneven ground surfaces;
- undertaking physical skills training/experience,
- running and doing obstacle courses
- Slips, trips and falls
- Contusions, bruising and superficial crushing
- Assaulted by another person when arresting or restraining them
- Occupational violence
- Chest (thorax)
- Contusions, bruising and superficial crushing
- Assaulted by another person when arresting or restraining
- Occupational violence
Source: Queensland Employee Injury Database. Data current as at August 2008 and is subject to change over time. Based on accepted workers' compensation claims, excluding commuting claims, between 2000-01 and 2006-07 which resulted in a musculoskeletal injury.
Police officers are also faces with death on the job. If you are an injured police officer and require a workers compensation lawye call the for the injured worker, workers compensation helpline today.
A Carpal Tunnel Syndrome lawyer is a workers compensation lawyer who can fight for your rights if you have carpal tunnel from a work related injury. Carpal tunnel comes from repetitive motion of the wrists putting pressure on the nerve called the carpal. Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the median nerve, which runs from the forearm into the palm of the hand, becomes pressed or squeezed at the wrist. The median nerve controls sensations to the palm side of the thumb and fingers (although not the little finger), as well as impulses to some small muscles in the hand that allow the fingers and thumb to move. Carpal tunnel is a very common work related injury.
Who Gets Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Manufacturing work
- Bank teller
- Clerical worker
- Construction work
- Computer programmer
Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Numbness or tingling in the thumb and next two or three fingers of one or both hands
- Numbness or tingling of the palm of the hand
- Pain extending to the elbow
- Pain in wrist or hand in one or both hands
- Problems with fine finger movements (coordination) in one or both hands
- Wasting away of the muscle under the thumb (in advanced or long-term cases)
- Weak grip or difficulty carrying bags (a common complaint)
- Weakness in one or both hands
What causes carpal tunnel syndrome?
- repetitive and forceful grasping with the hands
- repetitive bending of the wrist
- broken or dislocated bones in the wrist which produce swelling
- thyroid gland imbalance
- excessive typing
- hormonal changes associated with menopause
A workers compensation, carpal tunnel syndrome lawyer can help you get compensation and rehabilitation for carpal tunnel work related injuries.
Benefits allowed for custodian's injury while trying to stop rolling car. Workers Compmensation Ruling
In Georgia, a worker's injury while instinctively responding to a dangerous situation while on duty and performing a work-related task benefitting her employer is compensable.
Case name: Stokes v. Coweta County Board of Education, No. A11A2062 (Ga. Ct. App. 01/11/12).
Ruling: The Georgia Court of Appeals held that a custodian's injury due to her car rolling over her foot was compensable.
- Related Coverage
- After foiled attempt to deny benefits, Wal-Mart entitled to subrogation credit (04/01/10)
- First employer on hook for later surgery costs (08/23/10)
- Failure to perform light duty after surgery doesn't amount to bad faith (05/24/10)
- Worker's sleeping on job doesn't block vocational rehabilitation benefits (04/07/11)
- Late payments, denial of treatment entitle worker to attorney's fees (09/30/11)
What it means: In Georgia, a worker's injury while instinctively responding to a dangerous situation while on duty and performing a work-related task benefitting her employer is compensable.
Summary: The head custodian for an elementary school was required to unlock and open the gates leading to the school parking lot before other employees arrived each morning. She drove up to the gate and it was dark and raining. She pulled her car close to the gate so that her headlights could shine on the lock. While she was unlocking the gate, her car began to roll downhill, away from the gate. On instinct, she ran toward the car in an attempt to stop it. She tripped and fell, and the car rolled over her left foot. A few days later, her foot had to be amputated. She sought benefits. The Georgia Court of Appeals held that the custodian's injury was compensable.
At the time the custodian's car began to roll, she was on duty, physically located where her job duties required her to be, and she was unlocking the gate, a task required by her job duties and of benefit to the school. The court said that "but for the necessity that she stop her car on the sloped driveway" to open the gate, the accident would not have occurred.
The court explained that this was not an instance where a worker consciously decided to take advantage of a break in her workday to run a personal errand. The custodian responded "instinctively and instantaneously" to a dangerous situation that arose directly out of the performance of her job duties. To say that her attempt to stop the rolling car was a personal mission would contravene the humanitarian purpose of workers' compensation.
For the Injured Worker, Workers Compensation lawyers are here to help you if you have been injured on the job,
When a fiery blast rocked the Imperial Sugar refinery on the banks of the Savannah River four years ago this week, killing 14 workers and injuring dozens more, people were horrified, saddened and then outraged by an accident later deemed preventable.
Many committed themselves in the years that followed that unforgettable night to two words:
So what went wrong?
Why doesn’t the nation have new safety rules that could prevent accidents caused by combustible dust in workplaces?
Why are Washington politicians — with the notable exception of U.S. Rep. John Barrow, D-Savannah — treating this issue like an outbreak of political E. coli?
Does anyone outside Southeast Georgia, where many families will carry the hurt from this catastrophe for a long time, really care?
Let’s answer the last question first: Probably not.
That’s harsh. But sadly, it’s reality. Most people who didn’t lose loved ones or co-workers or who aren’t living with horribly scarred skin have other things on their minds.
Four years doesn’t sound like a long time. But the public’s attention span gets shorter by the nanosecond. What attracts eyeballs one moment causes eyelids to droop the next.
The nation’s finest scientists with the U,S. Chemical Safety Board still care passionately. They have been studying combustible dust since a series of deadly fires and explosions in 2003.
In 2006 — two years before the Imperial Sugar blast — they released a report that found 281 dust explosions and fires in the U.S. between 1980 and 2005. They noted that 119 workers were killed and 718 were injured. Given these clear and present dangers, they recommended then that the Occupational Health and Safety Administration develop regulations for controlling dust hazards.
So how are the scientists faring, even after the 14 additional Imperial Sugar deaths in 2008 and five more workers killed last year at a Tennessee metal powers plant?
Not so well. In late January, OSHA published its twice-annual regulatory agenda. Here’s the agency’s outlook on combustible dust: “Next action undetermined.”
“We really don’t know why OSHA is doing this,” Rafael Moure-Eraso told the Associated Press last week.
Who is Moure-Eraso and why is he flummoxed? He’s the chairman of the Chemical Safety Board. He’s one of five board members who are nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate, then serve five-year terms. He and his peers investigate accidents, determine root causes and make recommendations.
Moure-Eraso has two master’s degrees and a doctorate. But in one way, he’s as dense as a brick.
Put simply, most lawmakers and members of the Obama administration don’t give a rip about pushing forward with dust rules right now. Why? Because the public doesn’t seem to give a rip either. Besides, just look at the nifty photographs of Imperial Sugar’s new refinery, built with insurance money. The images suggest a place that’s so clean you could almost lick Dixie Crystals off the floor.
So maybe those pesky rules aren’t needed, right? Maybe. At least not until another plant explodes.
Moure-Eraso may know beans about politics. But he understands one thing that the president and 99 percent of all congressmen don’t: “We do know that workers keep dying,” he told the AP.
Just not often enough.
Tom Barton is the editorial page editor of the Savannah Morning News.
For the injured worker and the Workers CompenstionHelpline is ready to help you if you have been injured due to poor afety at the workplace or a refinery in Georgia