Dugan & Associates, P.C.
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Serving all of Western Pennsylvania
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February 2013 Archives

Paper Social Security checks bite the dust this week

Previous posts on this blog have discussed the Social Security Administration's upcoming transition to only distributing benefits electronically. Now, this change is nearly here. This Friday, March 1, marks the deadline for transitioning to electronic benefits. The change applies to a range of benefits distributed by the SSA including Social Security disability benefits and Supplemental Security Income.

OSHA: lack of burn protection contributed to oil workers' injuries

Last August, a gas well fire in part of the Marcellus Shale formation in West Virginia seriously injured three workers. Now, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has assessed a fine against the responsible company, a nationwide oil and gas company called Hall Drilling, LLC, for putting its workers at serious risk. In fact, OSHA found two serious workplace safety violations that likely contributed directly to the serious burns and other workplace injuries the three employees suffered.

5 years after deadly industrial combustible dust accident, new bill

On Feb. 7, 2007, 14 workers were killed and dozens more injured when combustible dust caused a massive explosion at the Imperial Sugar factory in Port Wentworth, Georgia. The deadly industrial accident certainly gave nationwide attention to the dangers of explosive dust from sugar, wood, coal and metal accumulating in manufacturing facilities, although it is estimated that 50 more explosions or fires caused by combustible dust have occurred since that time.

Family struggles to cover ill daughter's medical bills

For one family with a teenage daughter, medical bills are anything but simple. The now 16-year-old was diagnosed with Tourette syndrome and obsessive-compulsive disorder as a 5-year-old. Treatments for her various medical issues have been difficult on the entire family.

NY court: worker's comp board ruling applies in personal injury case

Whenever there's an accident on a construction site, discovering exactly what happened and who is responsible can be a challenge. There are a lot of potentially hazardous things going on, often with numerous companies and their crews on site -- contractors, subcontractors, vendors and others.

Pennsylvania man killed in helicopter crash while working on TV show

Last Sunday, three people were killed in a helicopter crash new Los Angeles. The three were part of a production company called Eyeworks USA that was shooting a television show for the Discovery Channel. One was a 45-year-old man from Indiana, Pennsylvania.

Allentown bottling company fined for repeated worker safety risks

A - Treat Bottling Co. in Allentown was recently fined $129,745 by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for 16 worker safety and health violations. Shockingly, even though the violations were discovered during a follow-up inspection to check on problems found in 2011, 14 of the violations were repeats, meaning that the company had been put on notice but still hadn't fixed them. One of the violations was categorized as "serious," meaning that OSHA defines as one that creates "a substantial probability that serious physical harm could result."

Woman's story shows value of Supplemental Security Income

One woman who has been unemployed for a few years understands well what it means to be short on money and food. Since she was laid off two years ago, this woman and her teenage son have relied on her Supplemental Security Income for rent and utilities. This woman states that she spends approximately two-thirds of her SSI disability money on rent and utilities.

Injured in Pennsylvania means workers' comp here, says Appeal Board

On Aug. 20, 2005, Miami Dolphins wide receiver Kendall Newson was playing here in Pittsburgh when, in the third quarter, he caught a ball that was punted to him. A defender was right in front of him, ready to tackle, so he moved to the right, took a few steps, and planted his foot to head left.

Wilmerding man killed when crane dislodges 5,000 pound steel coil

A tragic accident has taken the life of a 60-year-old Wilmerding man who had worked for around 30 years at the manufacturing plant where he died. The fatal industrial accident occurred Monday morning at Plum Corp., a company located in the Hempfield Industrial Park in Greensburg, which has about 15 employees.

Aging Americans turn to Social Security when jobs are scarce

As Americans continue to find their way out of difficult situations brought on by the recession, certain groups of workers are having a harder time recovering from the financial slump than others. According to the New York Times, many baby boomers who are nearing retirement age are at a disadvantage in getting hired in today's workplace.

High risk of fatal, job-related traffic accidents for oil workers

A study recently published in the Journal "Accident Analysis & Prevention" revealed that certain oil and gas extraction workers are at a higher risk of fatal, work-related traffic accidents than those in other industries. Employees of operators, service companies and drilling contractors were at the highest risk within the oil and gas industry, and only transportation and warehouse workers were at greater risk.

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