Article provided by Vellner Law
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Workplace accidents are common. Many workers would be hard-pressed to say that they didn't know a fellow employee that was injured on the job if they hadn't been injured at work themselves. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 4,383 workers were killed in 2012. This equates to be about 12 deaths a day and 84 a week.
Two equally horrific events
Although workplace accidents are common, they receive minimal attention from the media. For example, in April of 2013, three people were killed at the Boston Marathon Bombings and at least 264 were injured, says CNN. These bombing were particularly significant, not just because of the havoc they caused on the streets of Boston, but because these bombings were the first terrorist attack that occurred on American soil since September 11, 2001.
Although the Boston Marathon Bombings shouldn't be discredited, an equally harmful event occurred at a Texas fertilizer plant that same week. According to the Huffington Post, this workplace accident killed 14 and injured at least 200 more but, because it did not pose the threat of a terrorist attack, it received much less attention from the media.
This explosion was an example of the lack of safety and health regulations that many companies take to protect their employees. Even though the chemical plant housed tons of explosive chemicals, an emergency plan filed with the Environmental Protection Agency in 2011 stated that there was "no risk" of these chemicals causing a fire or explosion.
The basics of workers compensation in Pennsylvania
Since workplace injuries are common, it is important for workers in Northampton County to understand the basics of workers compensation. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, the majority of workers in the state are covered under the Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation Act. This act allows injured workers the opportunity to receive compensation for their medical bills as well as for their lost wages. However, this act does not cover workers that:
-Harmed themselves on purpose.
-Were illegally using drugs at the time of the injury.
-Were intoxicated when the injury occurred.
In order for an injured worker to protect their rights to workers' compensation, they should report the injury or accident to their employer or supervisor as soon as possible and give them information regarding the date and place of the injury. Failure to do this may result in the loss of compensation or denial of the injury claim.
However, filing a claim that is not submitted correctly or is missing information can also hurt an injured worker's chances for proper compensation. Speak with an experienced attorney in your area to find out what you can do to protect your rights to workers' compensation after an injury or accident at work.
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