What is Workers’ Compensation and how does it work in Massachusetts?

Workers' Compensation provides wage replacement coverage to Massachusetts workers who are injured in on-the-job accidents. Filing a workers' compensation claim can an extremely complicated process. Doing so without the help of an experienced Boston workers' compensation lawyer can be stressful and overwhelming, often resulting in delayed benefits, reduced benefits, or no benefits at all.

Most work-related injuries are eligible for workers' comp benefits, but employers and insurance companies rarely make the process an easy one. With the help of a skilled workers' compensation lawyer, your chances of receiving full benefits in a timely manner are significantly improved. If you've been injured on the job, and are not sure what to do next, give us a call and we will explain what benefits you should be receiving.

Although workers' comp effectively removes the employee's right to sue the employer, third-party claims may still be filed against a vendor or contractor if third-party negligence played a role.

Common Accidents Covered by Workers' Compensation:

Most work-related injuries are covered, even if the injury was the employee's fault. Some of the most commonly-cited workers' comp accidents include:

  • Crane accidents
  • Scaffolding accidents
  • Industrial accidents
  • Construction site blasting accidents
  • Trench and excavation accidents
  • Accidental electrocution

When a worker reports an on-the-job accident, an investigation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will usually follow. If the employer is found to be in violation of OSHA standards, fines and penalties may be imposed. Contact our Boston workers’ compensation lawyers at Altman & Altman, LLP today for a free and confidential consultation about your case.

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Workers' Compensation is supposed to guarantee certain benefits to workers who get injured on the job, including coverage of medical expenses, wage replacement, and additional compensation for permanent injuries and death. Unfortunately, receiving these benefits is not always an easy task. With the help of an experienced Boston workers' compensation attorney, your chances of receiving full benefits in a timely manner are greatly improved.

Workers' compensation pays benefits for work-related injuries that result in partial disability, disfigurement and/or loss of function, total disability, permanent disability, and death. At Altman & Altman, LLP, our knowledgeable legal team has an impressive track record of protecting clients from difficult insurance companies and employers. Our attorneys are skilled at negotiating for the highest possible settlements to be paid immediately.

In addition to ensuring you get the full benefits you deserve in a timely manner, Altman & Altman, LLP will fight to get additional benefits when appropriate. For example, if you have suffered a traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, or a serious burn injury, the "full" workers' comp benefits may not cover all of your costs. Further, if a third party, such as a machine manufacturer or negligent contractor, played a role in your injuries, you may be entitled to additional compensation.

At Altman & Altman, LLP, we will thoroughly examine all details of your case to determine the best method of recovery for your unique situation. We will file claims against any and all negligent parties so that you receive the highest settlement or verdict possible. If you've been injured in a work-related accident and need an experienced Boston workers’ compensation attorney, contact Altman & Altman, LLP today for a free and confidential consultation about your case.

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Disclaimer - By publishing this information on this Web site, the Boston, Massachusetts law firm of Altman & Altman LLP is not claiming to represent any clients or cases mentioned here. The content provided is designed to inform readers and is not intended as legal advice.

Workplace-related burns are most common in occupations that involve working in close proximity to chemicals, high temperatures, electrical currents and machinery. Workplace burns can be thermal (high temperature), chemical, or electrical. Burns can result in serious, potentially life-threatening injuries. But they can also cause permanent scarring, which may be accompanied by emotional pain and suffering if the scars are located on a highly-visible part of the body, such as the face.

Facts About Scar Compensation in MA

In MA, workers’ compensation covers most work-related injuries. But what about scarring? What if you suffer from severe facial scarring, but your ability to perform your job duties isn’t affected at all? Can you still obtain workers’ comp benefits? A MA work injury lawyer can help you determine how to obtain compensation if you’ve been injured on the job. The facts below provide some pertinent facts about how workers’ comp handles on-the-job scarring.

  • The location of the scar is important. In order to be compensated for a scar, it must appear on your face, neck or hands. Under Section 36 of the MA Workers’ Compensation Statute, any scar on these parts of your body is compensable.
  • If you have a compensable scar, you do not need to miss work to receive workers’ comp payments. For example, if you are burned while working as a chef, you do not need to miss a single day of work to receive benefits, assuming that the scar is on the face, hands or neck.
  • The scar does not have to meet a minimum length or size to be covered. If you have a scar on your face, hands or neck, the size and length will certainly impact the amount of benefits you are eligible to receive, but a small scar does not disqualify you from receiving benefits.

How to Avoid Workplace Burns

Burns in the workplace are actually very common, but nearly all of these accidents are easily preventable. By following the tips below, you can dramatically reduce your risk of serious injury, disfigurement and death:

  • Familiarize yourself with workplace safety rules. It is your employer’s responsibility to ensure that you are aware of this information at all times, and that you receive adequate safety training on a regular basis. Talk to your employer if you are unaware of company safety policies. If your employer isn’t receptive to your concerns, you can always contact OSHA.
  • Use extra caution around hot surfaces and hot substances (oil or grease), chemicals, and electrical wiring. A Boston work injury lawyer can help you determine how to proceed if you’ve been burned on the job.
  • Wear appropriate safety clothing and gear. Depending on your occupation, protective clothing may include fire-resistant fabrics and materials, gloves and eye protection.
  • Know what to do if an accident occurs. No matter how careful you are, accidents can happen. Before beginning any high-risk job, ensure that there are easily-accessible fire extinguishers (and that they are functioning), eyewash stations and first aid kits on hand.
  • Stay focused. In this day and age, it’s not hard to get distracted. But distractions can be deadly when you’re working with electricity, high temps and toxic chemicals. Avoid taking shortcuts, and keep your mind clear and focused. If you’re having a bad day or you’re ill, it may be best to ask for a lower-risk task that day.

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In short, no. In almost every case, you can only receive benefits from the job where your work-related accident or illness occurred. But that doesn’t mean that a second job is irrelevant. If you are injured on the job, and you have multiple jobs, it is essential that you report the other job to your employer, and to your MA workers’ compensation attorney. Failing to do so can result in serious repercussions.

To receive workers’ comp benefits, you must prove that you suffered an accidental injury or illness, and that the injury or illness arose in the course of employment. However, even when you are able to prove this, employers and insurance companies usually don’t give in without a fight. And when it comes to multiple jobs, the fight can get even more complicated. According to USA Today, about 7.8 million Americans have two or more jobs. What happens to these workers when they are injured at one job, receive workers’ comp benefits from that employer, but cannot work at their other full or part-time job?

Total Disability

Workers’ compensation benefits generally cover up to two-thirds of your average weekly pay. Considering that you can only recover compensation from the job at which you were injured, the 7.8 million workers with multiple jobs may find themselves in a sticky financial situation. But there is some good news. If a work-related injury leaves you totally disabled, the pre-injury wage from which your benefits are calculated will include wages from other jobs. In fact, it will even include overtime and bonuses received. Benefits for total disability can last up to three years.

Partial Disability

If, on the other hand, you are partially disabled, benefits will be based on the difference between your current earnings and your pre-injury wages. As such, multiple jobs will still be factored into the calculations. For example, if you make $500 per week at job A and are injured at job A, and you make $250 per week at job B, what happens if you can’t work at either job? In this scenario, the 60 percent will be based on the difference between pre-injury and post-injury wages. Since this is $750 vs. $0, the difference is $750, and the benefits will be based on that amount.

Can a Second Employer Terminate Me for Missing Work?

We’ve discussed workers’ comp pay when multiple jobs are involved, but what about job security? Well, it depends on the type of employer. If you are injured at job A and your injury prevents you from working at job B, your position at job B is safe if job B is required to pay workers’ comp benefits. Some employers are not held to these laws. A Boston worker’s comp attorney can help you determine if second and subsequent employers are required to hold your job while you recover.  Continue reading

A total of 70 people died in work-related accidents in Massachusetts in 2016. That’s a 10 year high for on-the-job fatalities. In South Boston, a worker in a seafood warehouse died from exposure to ammonia fumes. A Braintree worker died from drowning while inspecting a municipal water tank. And a trench collapse killed two construction workers in the South End.

According to a recently released report by the Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health (MassCOSH), 62 of the 70 deaths occurred on the job. The remaining deaths were from occupational diseases, such as lung cancer, and all of those were firefighters. All but one of the workers who died were male. A Boston work injury lawyer can help you obtain the compensation you deserve if you’ve been injured on the job.

Since 2012, where a total of 32 work-related fatalities occurred in MA, the number of annual deaths has been rising. According to Marcy Goldstein-Gelb, the co-executive director for the National Council for Occupational safety and Health, the increase in fatalities is reflective of the increase in subcontractors and workers employed by staffing agencies. Goldstein-Gelb said that these employers are not as invested in overall worker safety.

Latino Workers are Most at Risk

In addition, Goldstein-Gelb believes the increase in work-related deaths is partly due to a decline in labor unions and an increase in undocumented workers, who rarely report unsafe working conditions out of fear of retaliation. The death rate among Latino workers is the highest of any ethnic group, with four out of every 100,000 workers dying on the job annually.

“When workers can’t speak up, then there is a greater risk that a hazard will not be identified and addressed and workers will suffer the consequences,” said Goldstein-Gelb. “The less people speak up, you will see an increase in deaths.”

And the problem isn’t just in Massachusetts. The number of people killed in work-related accidents hit a national seven-year high in 2015, at a total of 4,836 deaths. Deaths from occupational illnesses are estimated to cause a shocking 95,000 deaths in the United States every year. A MA work injury lawyer can help you determine how to proceed if you’ve been injured in a work-related accident.

MA Company Facing Manslaughter Charges in Worker Deaths

The MassCOSH report listed 12 employers that put workers at an increased risk. Among them was Atlantic Drain Services, which is currently facing manslaughter charges for the deaths of Robert Higgins and Kelvin Mattocks, the two workers who drowned in the South End trench collapse last fall. According to the Suffolk district attorney, the company had multiple safety violations prior to this tragedy, and forged documents stating that workers had attended safety training in an attempt to mislead investigators. In response to those deaths, the Boston City Council passed an ordinance requiring the submission of safety records prior to receipt of a work permit. Continue reading

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Review Commission recently cited two MA contractors for safety violations after a scaffolding accident injured three workers. When the 2014 accident occurred at a Wenham worksite, Daryl Provencher and A.C. Castle Construction Co. Inc. were conducting business as Provencher Home Improvements. As such, OSHA cited the two companies as a single employer.

At the time of the accident, the three employees were working on a ladder jack scaffold. When the plank on which they were working broke, they fell about 20 feet to the ground. An OSHA investigation revealed that the plank was not approved for use on scaffolds; this fact was even stated on the product’s invoice. The investigation turned up additional violations, including a lack of fall protection for workers and deficiencies with other scaffold components. A Boston work injury lawyer can help you determine how to proceed if you have been injured in a work-related accident.

In 2015, due to the common management and worksites of the two companies, OSHA cited Provencher and A.C. Castle as a single employer. Both companies contested their citations and associated penalties. A.C. Castle contended that it was not responsible for worksite safety, as the general contractor. In February 2017, Administrative Law Judge Sharon D. Calhoun ruled that, at the time of inspection, the companies were operating as a single employer. Although A.C. Castle attempted to review the decision, the request was declined by the commission, and on April 17, 2017, the ruling was made final.

Judge Calhoun’s decision cited multiple factors, including instances in which A.C. Castle acted as more than a general contractor. For example, the presence of A.C. Castle signs and the lack of Provencher signs, and A.C. Castle’s ability to fire and discipline employees. In addition, when A.C. Castle applied for building permits, it represented that it had no subcontractors. As a result of these violations, OSHA has fined A.C. Castle $173,500. As Daryl Provencher passed away in 2016, the claims against him have been removed.

“The judge’s decision, now a final order of the commission, upholds OSHA’s findings that A.C. Castle exercised a degree of control and oversight over Provencher’s operations sufficient to render the two a single employer under the Occupational Safety and Health Act, making them responsible as one entity for their employees’ safety,” said the regional solicitor of labor for New England, Michael Felson. A MA work injury lawyer can help if you’ve been harmed due to another’s negligence.

Most Common OSHA Safety Violations in 2016

“Serious” violations are defined as those “in which there is a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result, and the employer knew or should have known of the hazard.” The most common OSHA safety violations change little from year to year. In 2016, the top ten list included:

  • Fall protection
  • Hazard communication
  • Scaffolding
  • Lockout / tagout
  • Respiratory protection
  • Ladders
  • Machine guarding
  • Powered industrial trucks
  • Electrical – wiring methods
  • Fall protection training

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In October 2016, two employees of Atlantic Drain Service Co. Inc. died when the trench they were working in collapsed. The trench was adjacent to a fire hydrant supply line, which broke in the collapse, filling the trench with water and killing Robert Higgins and Kelvin Mattocks.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) launched an investigation into the incident, and found that Atlantic Drain had failed in its duty to provide safety training and safeguards against collapse. A MA work injury lawyer can help you determine how to proceed if you have been injured in a work-related accident.

“The deaths of these two men could have and should have been prevented. Their employer, which previously had been cited by OSHA for the same hazardous conditions, knew what safeguards were needed to protect its employees but chose to ignore that responsibility,” said OSHA’s New England regional administrator, Galen Blanton.

The Massachusetts Workers Compensation Act states that workers’ compensation is provided for “emotional disabilities only where the predominant contributing cause of such disability is an event or series of events occurring within any employment.” Basically, this means that an employee may be entitled to workers’ comp benefits for emotional injuries, but only if a work-related event was the primary cause of that injury.

If a work-related event or events results in stress, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or depression, an employee may be entitled to workers compensation. But certain requirements must be met. Simply claiming that your job is stressful isn’t going to work; you have to show that a specific event, such as sexual assault or harassment, directly caused your stress. If you can answer yes to the following questions, your condition will likely be covered.

  • Have you developed a permanent impairment due to the stressful event or events?
  • Can you prove that a work event directly caused your stress?
  • Was the stressful event outside the norm for this particular job?

Outside the Norm

Consider the third question above: Was the stressful event outside the norm? This is important because you cannot recover workers’s comp for a “stressful event” that you should have known is just a normal part of the job. For example, construction workers routinely work at high elevations. Although heights may be stressful for some people, working from high places is a normal part of construction work. As such, a workers’ comp claim for height-induced stress will probably be denied.

A MA workers’ compensation attorney can help you determine if you qualify for benefits following a work-related stress injury. But there are things you can do to expedite the process and improve your chances of success. For starters, keeping a journal of stressful events that are occurring at work can be immensely helpful if you decide to apply for benefits or bring a personal injury lawsuit. And although workers’ comp covers most work-related injuries, if negligence or misconduct played a role in your injuries, you may be entitled to additional compensation for lost wages, pain and suffering, and medical expenses.

What if I Have PTSD?

Workers’ compensation claims are complex; this is especially true when the injury is emotional. Stress is a relatively broad term, but PTSD is a form of stress caused by a specific traumatic event or series of traumatic events. For example, soldiers often come back from combat with PTSD, and people may experience PTSD after a serious car accident or an assault. If a serious work event has caused you trauma that negatively impacts your ability to do your job, you may qualify for workers’ compensation. Some symptoms of PTSD include:

  • Flashbacks
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Anger
  • Violent or self-destructive behavior
  • Trouble concentrating or focusing
  • Chronic nightmares
  • Headaches
  • High blood pressure
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue

All of the symptoms above can make it difficult to hold a job. A Boston work injury lawyer can help you determine how to proceed if you are suffering from work-related stress or PTSD. Continue reading

A 54-year-old heating/ventilation/air conditioning (HVAC) worker died Tuesday after he fell 30 to 35 feet from the roof of the Blackstone Valley Cinema De Lux. John B. Folkes of Canton worked for Medford-Wellington Service Co., a heating/ventilation/air conditioning vendor contracted by the cinema.

According to police, the 911 call came in at 12:22 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon. The caller reported that a man had fallen from the cinema’s roof. When emergency responders arrived to the scene, another worker was performing CPR, but Folkes was unresponsive. Emergency medical services personnel rushed the victim to Mass Memorial Medical Center – University Campus in Worcester, where he was pronounced dead.

Folkes was alone on the roof when the incident occurred. He was working with a four-foot square aluminum heat exchanger at the time. There were no witnesses or video of the 30 to 35-foot fall. State police and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) are investigating the incident. According to police, the fall appears to be an accident and no foul play is suspected.

Work-Related Falls

Same-level falls are more common than falls from high places, but elevated falls are more likely to result in serious injuries and death. The following statistics about elevated falls illustrate how serious this type of accident can be. A MA work injury lawyer can help you determine if negligence contributed to your work-related accident.

  • More than 60 percent of elevated falls occur at less than 10 feet.
  • Slips, trips, and falls account for about 15 percent of all work-related accidental deaths.
  • Slips, trips, and falls also account for between 12 and 15 percent of annual workers’ comp costs.
  • Each slip, trip, and fall accident costs employers about $40,000.

According to OSHA, the hazards that most commonly lead to fatal falls from high places are:

  • Unprotected roof edges
  • Roof and floor openings or holes
  • Improper construction of scaffolds
  • Unsafe ladders or improper ladder use

H0w to Prevent Falls

The best way to dramatically reduce the risk of serious injury or death in a work-related fall is through proper safety training and the use of safety equipment. If you are working at heights of six feet or higher, your employer should provide you with the appropriate fall protection equipment, such as personal fall arrest systems (PFAS), and the appropriate ladders and scaffolds for the particular job. Training programs should be required for new workers, and ongoing training should be regularly provided to anyone who is working at heights of six feet or higher. A Boston work injury lawyer can evaluate the details of your case to determine if employer negligence played a role in your injuries.  Continue reading

A 54-year old Boston recently died after falling from scaffolding at a Waltham construction site. The man, who has not been identified, was unresponsive when first responders arrived to the scene, at 427 Lincoln Street. He was rushed to a local hospital, where he died from severe head injuries. According to police, the incident is under investigation by state police and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The man worked for a gutter company based in Watertown.

Scaffolding Dangers

Scaffolding accidents occur across the country with relative frequency. The statistics below show just how dangerous it can be to work on scaffolding, especially when OSHA’s safety guidelines are not followed:

  • Each year, about 10,000 construction workers are injured in scaffolding accidents in the United States.
  • Dozens of these accidents result in death.
  • About 72 percent of these accidents are caused by structural problems, workers slipping and falling, or workers being struck by falling objects or debris.

Fatal scaffolding accidents are frequently caused by third-party negligence. Negligence occurs when those responsible for safely assembling or maintaining the scaffolding do not do their job. The scaffolding manufacturer may also be on the hook if design or manufacturing defects contributed to the accident. A MA work injury lawyer can help you determine who is responsible for your injuries.

How to Prevent Scaffolding Accidents

The good news is, the majority of annual scaffolding accidents are easily preventable by following established safety protocol at all times. If you believe that your employer is neglecting to follow the safety guidelines below, you should report your concerns to a supervisor. If your supervisor fails to address your concerns, you can always contact OSHA. The agency will come to your work site to assess the situation.

  • Scaffolding should always be erected on solid, stable ground.
  • Scaffolds should have guardrails and toe boards.
  • Ropes used to suspend scaffolds must be kept a safe distance from sources of heat.
  • Scaffolds should be at least 10 feet from power lines at all times.
  • Scaffolds and scaffold accessories should be regularly inspected for safety problems.
  • Scaffolds and scaffold accessories should receive regular maintenance.
  • A management alert system should be established for the reporting of broken or defective parts.
  • Broken or defective parts should be fixed or replaced immediately.
  • Workers should receive regular safety training and refresher courses.
  • Employers should provide workers with necessary safety equipment, such as harnesses.
  • Spills and debris should be regularly cleaned from scaffolds to prevent falls.

Following the tips above can dramatically reduce your risk of serious injury or death in a scaffolding accident. Even with these efforts, however, injuries do still occur. A MA work injury lawyer can help you determine how to proceed if you have been injured in any type of work-related accident. Continue reading

According to a recent National Safety Council survey, more than 70 percent of employers nationwide report being directly affected by the misuse of prescription drugs in their workplaces. Despite this, only 39 percent of employers surveyed view prescription drug abuse as a safety threat, and even less – 24 percent – consider it to be a measurable problem. And although 71 percent of U.S. employers agree that abuse of prescription drugs is a disease that requires treatment, 65 percent consider it a justifiable reason for employee termination. A Boston injury lawyer can help you determine how to proceed if you have been terminated due to a substance abuse disorder.

The results above show the significant gap between the actual cost of prescription drug abuse for U.S. workplaces, and employer perception. The reality is that substance abuse costs American taxpayers more than $440 billion each year. Businesses suffer significant losses due to healthcare costs, low productivity, and absenteeism of workers with addictions. However, research has shown that it benefits both employer and employee when the employer helps get the employee into treatment. In fact, doing so can save the employer up to $2,607 per year. But a change in employer perception is crucial to a positive outcome. As long as 65 percent of employers feel that employee termination is the answer to addiction issues, the possibility of employer-initiated treatment programs is slim. But firing and re-hiring may actually cost much more in the long run.

Statistics From the National Safety Council Report

The following statistics about substance abuse in the workplace were revealed during the survey:

  • Employees with substance abuse disorders are absent nearly 50 percent more often than their peers.
  • Workers with substance abuse disorders miss up to six weeks of work each year.
  • The industries that suffer the most from substance abuse disorders include entertainment, construction, and food service businesses; these industries have twice the national average of employees with these disorders.
  • Female-dominated industries have a two-thirds lower rate of these disorders.
  • Untreated substance use disorders cost employers between $2,600 and $13,000 per worker, annually.
  • Workers in recovery are less likely to miss work, and have significantly lower turnover rates.
  • By providing assistance, employers in some industries could save more than $8,400 per worker.
  • The cost of healthcare for a worker with a substance abuse disorder is three times that of the cost for an average worker.

“This is a wakeup call for businesses. When it comes to addiction’s cost in the workplace, the numbers are staggering,” said Gary Mendell, founder and CEO of Shatterproof, one of the companies that contributed to the National Safety Council report. To show employers the importance of having a workplace prescription drug abuse program, Shatterproof and the National Safety Council have developed the Substance Use Cost Calculator, which allows employers to calculate how this crisis is impacting their workplace. A MA injury lawyer can help if you have been fired because of a substance abuse disorder.

“Businesses that do not address the prescription drug crisis are like ostriches sticking their head in the sand,” said Deborah A.P. Hersman, the National Safety Council’s president and CEO. “The problem exists and doing nothing will harm your employees and your business. As the tool shows, the cost of inaction is far too great.” Continue reading

Men suffer more workplace injuries than women, but millions of women are joining the workforce in traditionally male-dominated jobs every year. And according to data from the Department of Labor, 57.2 percent of the 128 million working age women in the US have at least a part time job. In the 1950s, the same could be said for only 34 percent of working age women. Although women employed in high-risk industries, such as construction, see the greatest number of workplace injuries, all jobs have the potential to cause injury.

Common Fatal Workplace Injuries Suffered by Women

In 2014, workplace deaths among women increased by 13 percent from the previous year. Some work-related accidents are disproportionately common among women. In 2014, the most common causes of fatal workplace accidents included:

  • Homicides: Accounting for 19 percent of work-related deaths among women, workplace homicides are a leading cause of work-related death among US women. In 2010, there were 506 homicides reported in US workplaces, which is the lowest recorded total of all time. However, despite the decline in overall workplace homicides, they increased by 13% for women.
  • Motor vehicle accidents: Also one of the leading causes of fatal work injuries for male workers, about 19 percent of work-related deaths among women are due to roadway accidents. To reduce serious injury and death, it is crucial that all workers who drive on the job receive consistent and adequate safety training. A MA injury lawyer can help if you’ve lost a loved one in a work-related accident.
  • Slip and fall accidents: Falls, slips, and trips often occur indoors, where most women tend to work. To dramatically reduce fatal injuries from this type of accident, it is essential to keep work spaces clean and clutter free, immediately wipe up spills, make sure walkways are well lit, and improve workers’ safety behaviors through regular training.
  • Struck by object: When women work in industries such as manufacturing and construction, their risk of fatal accidents can be reduced through proper training, the use of safety equipment, and adherence to safety rules and regulations.

Women are also fatally injured in other jobs, including plant work, where workers may be exposed to toxic chemicals and gasses. These industries also have a higher potential for fires and explosions. A Boston workers’ compensation lawyer can help you determine how to proceed if you’ve been injured in a workplace accident.

Nonfatal injuries that disproportionately affect female workers include:

  • Musculoskeletal injuries, such as tendonitis and carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Infectious diseases
  • Respiratory problems
  • Reproductive problems (sometimes caused by exposure to harmful chemicals)
  • Anxiety and other stress disorders
  • Incidents specific to healthcare jobs, such as needlesticks

Hostile Work Environments and Stress

As women tend to experience more family conflict than men, emotional and stress disorders can  be compounded by home demands. When you consider that approximately 75 percent of single mothers work at least part time, it isn’t difficult to understand how stress can take a toll, both mentally and physically. In addition, women frequently have to deal with hostile work environments. They may be unfairly treated, or even sexually harassed by supervisors and other coworkers. This type of environment can make it difficult for women to feel comfortable reporting safety concerns, which can further add to the stress and anxiety that many female workers experience. Not to mention the distractions that come from hostile work environments. In some occupations, such as construction or plant work, a split-second distraction can be deadly. Continue reading

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