Whether in Pennsylvania or anywhere else, being employed in the construction industry can be dangerous work. Construction accidents can happen for any number of reasons: falls from high places; being pinned under heavy equipment; or being exposed to fire or explosion hazards. It was this last one that led to a construction worker suffering burn injuries this week -- but it could have ended up much worse for him.
People who work in Pittsburgh might get a lot of information about workers' compensation from various sources -- some of it conflicting. Many folks might have personal experience dealing from being injured on the job, and want to offer advice to an injured worker about how to handle a claim. While the experience may have worked for a particular person and their situation, the situation is not likely a universal one.
As we have often discussed on our Pittsburgh workers' compensation law blog, construction is one of the most dangerous occupations around. Great heights and heavy machinery can spell disaster for construction workers, who often must depend on workers' compensation benefits for extended periods if they are hurt on the job. Sometimes, however, construction accidents are so serious that they are fatal for the people involved.
Exposure to asbestos is a big concern to Pennsylvania residents who spent their working lives in certain industries. Employees who worked in certain types of manufacturing or industrial jobs might have been exposed to the chemical, which can cause serious and often fatal illnesses including lung cancer. Many workers, some of them retired for decades, have been diagnosed with serious diseases in their retirement and blame the companies that produced materials for their exposure.
Not all workplace injuries that are suffered by employees in Pittsburgh are dramatic in nature. While people who work in a factory or in some kind of construction job might be more likely to sustain a fall or be injured in an explosion, folks who have desk jobs can be also injured at work. It's just that, more often, their injuries are not necessarily obvious to the untrained eye.
During the Oscar ceremony Sunday March 2,2014 host Ellen DeGeneres packed Hollywood elite together for a selfie, and the photo quickly became the most retweeted image ever. In fact it caused Twitter to crash and it replaced the record previously held by President Barack and Michelle Obama. DeGeneres granted rights to the image to the Associated Press, but Intellectual Property experts continued to discuss whether Degeneres really is the copyright owner or could others assert ownership.
For folks who have lived in Pennsylvania for a long time, it might seem hard to believe that the Three Mile Island nuclear plant accident happened 35 years ago this month. For a whole generation of people in this country, the words "Three Mile Island" conjure up the dangers of nuclear energy when it is not tended to with the appropriate oversight. A partial meltdown at the plant led to cleanup that lasted for more than a decade and cost hundreds of millions of dollars.
Laws are in place to protect injured workers in Pennsylvania. While it can be a straightforward process, it is not always a cut and dried matter of filling out forms and cashing checks when a construction site accident befalls a worker.
When we flip an electrical switch, whether we're turning on the television or the washing machine, we assume the power will be there. Our electric grid here in Pittsburgh and all over the country is maintained by well-trained, dedicated employees. These workers have to contend with the dangers of working with electricity on not just warm sunny days, but often in rainy, cold and otherwise treacherous environments.
Pennsylvania mine workers who filed claims related to black lung disease between January 2005 and March 2010 may be able to take advantage of a new federal program to make compensation more likely. The program, which will be launched as a pilot initiative, will apply to miners who worked underground for 15 years or more. Applicable miners must also be presumed to be totally disabled due to black lung disease.