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March 2013 Archives

5 Things an Injured Worker Need to Know about Workers Compensation Benefits

A work injury presents many concerns; one concern for every injured worker is navigating the maze of Workers Compensation. There are many legitimate questions posed by workers. Few so called experts have the right answers.

OSHA Identifies Four Causes of Construction Worker Fatalities

Construction workers make up 17.5% of the overall work related deaths per year. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the top four causes of worker fatalities with regard to construction-related accidents cause 410 deaths per year. OSHA has determined that the "Fatal Four" accounted for most of the construction worker deaths in 2011. (Statistics for 2012 are not yet available.) The Fatal Four are falls, struck-by (falling) objects, electrocutions and caught-in/between accidents.

Traumatic Brain Injury: What Victims Need to Know

Victims suffering from traumatic brain injuries are often left confused, with a feeling of helplessness and many unanswered questions. Block O'Toole & Murphy, a firm comprised of highly accomplished New York traumatic brain injury lawyers, offers some help for victims of brain injuries.

Lack of basic safety procedures at some NYC construction sites

For 10 months spanning the years 2010 and 2011, a contractor hired several non-union employees to do construction work on a building in upper Manhattan. The employees, some of whom were undocumented, claimed that standard construction site safety procedures were not followed and added that they lacked the proper equipment needed to break up the floor. Machinery typically used at similar sites was not available; much of the work was instead done by hand.The employees worked from eight to 10 hours each day, with a half-hour unpaid lunch break, for $10 an hour. They had no benefits and sometimes worked seven days a week. Their employer failed to even provide them with such basics as drinking water or a place to eat. They didn't have protective gear or face masks, unless they were undergoing a city inspection. As they dug further into the ground, the holes risked collapse since required supports were not in place. When they complained, they were told they could quit. One worker summed up the group's opinion by stating that their hard work saved his employer money.

Even mild brain injury can have long-term effects

Severe brain injuries sometimes incapacitate victims, preventing them from leading normal lives. Indeed, traumatic brain injury can be the most devastating kind of accident a person can suffer. Yet even a mild brain injury, it has been found, can have long lasting effects.

Chronic Pain: 6 Helpful Hints For The Loved Ones of Those That Are Suffering

When chronic pain is a constant companion, it consumes your life, effecting every facet of your day. It also impacts greatly the lives of those you care most about. The 'National Association of Injured and Disabled Workers', a terrific site that benefits workers recently published a piece offering suggestions for people to consider when their loved ones battle chronic pain.

Block O'Toole & Murphy to be Featured on Z100 Radio Show

New York trial lawyers Stephen Murphy and Daniel O'Toole, of the personal injury law firm Block O'Toole & Murphy, will be appearing as guests on Z100 to discuss their work and accomplishments, and detailing their commitment to helping The St. Jude Children's Hospital.

Antibacterial drug may lead to arrhythmias and death

Many drugs - on the market under hundreds of brand names - can be prescribed for any given disease. That's why patients depend on medical practitioners to prescribe the correct medication. Nevertheless, medical practitioners make mistakes, and one misguided prescription may lead to fatal side effects.

Fatal Car Accidents Lead to Movement Towards Installation of Speed-Enforcement Cameras

Car accidents continue to plague New York and Department of Transportation Officials think speed-enforcement cameras will curb serious injuries and fatalities that result from motor vehicle collisions. A recent article in 'Am New York' discusses the frequency of car accidents, particularly near schools. The Department of Transportation suggests that the cameras will have a chilling effect on drivers that have a "heavy foot," reducing the number of speeding drivers on our roads. Citing statistics that point to 75% of speeding vehicles being in close proximity to our schools, the Transportation Commissioner, Janette Sadik-Khan, offered the cameras as part of the solution to protecting "New Yorkers on our streets."

New study claims minor hits may result in brain injuries

A recent study claims that even minor hits to the head can, over time, result in debilitating long-term effects. New York sports fans should be interested in this latest study asserting that repeated minor trauma, such as minor hits sustained during a football or soccer game, can result in head trauma, and ultimately in memory and thinking problems.

New anemia medication causes allergic reactions and deaths

People undergoing dialysis treatment are more sensitive to medication than other people. They are more prone to infections and diseases. New Yorkers undergoing dialysis treatment should consult their doctors and check for any adverse effects. A simple mistake, like not checking for allergies, could lead to allergic reactions, having dire consequences for a patient.

Wealthy Business Interests Continue To Cry Poor In An Effort To Weaken New York's Worker Safety Laws

Yet again, it's Profits Over People. According to a report in Tuesday's "Crain's New York Business", a panel was held Tuesday morning before the Greater New York Construction User Council at the Scandanavia House on Park Avenue in Manhattan to discuss efforts to effectively dismantle New York Labor Law 240(1), a law that has protected New York's construction workers for over a century. Indeed, for well over 100 years, New York State has maintained certain laws that protect construction workers from dangerous work site conditions that lead to gravity-related injuries. The most significant statute is New York Labor Law Section 240(1), which typically functions to protect workers who are exposed to the risk of falling, or having an object fall down onto them. When a worker falls because of a defective ladder or scaffold, or as a result of not being provided proper personal fall protection, for example, the statute generally applies to protect the injured worker and hold the entities with the actual power to control the work site (namely, the owner and general contractor) responsible for such safety failures.

Crane Accidents: What injured worker's and their family need to know

Crucial in today's world of construction is moving large and heavy loads, particularly here in New York where construction rarely seems to slow down. Cranes are frequently used to accomplish this task. There are significant safety issues to be considered, both for the operators of cranes, and for those workers in close proximity to them. While cranes are a key part of construction, they can also be extremely destructive and if not operated or maintained properly, serious injuries or death can result. Given the size and power of various types of cranes, the potential for injury at sites or operations utilizing cranes without proper planning and safety procedures is tremendous. The numbers clearly tell the story.

Car Accidents Remain Number One Killer of Kids

A horrific motor vehicle accident transpired yesterday in Dumas, Texas when a Chevy SUV carrying five teens collided with a truck, sending both vehicles up in flames. All five occupants of the SUV, who were between 15 and 17 years old, were killed. According to reports, the accident was caused by the SUV operator ignoring a stop sign and entering an intersection at the same time as the truck. The truck driver survived the crash, but was airlifted to a local hospital with multiple burns where he was reported to be in critical condition. This Texas collision occurred just hours after an SUV struck a guardrail and flipped over into a pond in Warren, Ohio, taking the lives of its six teenaged occupants.

Over 550 to join lawsuit against government agencies

More than 550 people in the area near the Love Canal landfill have filed notices indicating their intent to join a lawsuit alleging toxic contamination of the area due to the landfill. The lawsuit alleges that the Niagara Falls-area landfill has created a "public health catastrophe" and workplace hazard for many people who work and live in the area. Filing a public notice of claim is a step that is required before plaintiffs can bring suit against a government agency in state court in New York. A public notice of claim is intended to notify government defendants that individuals are planning to file claims in court against them.

Device to put a stop to surgical equipment left inside a patient

As New York residents know, surgical procedures are conducted to improve the health of the patient. Sadly, some surgeries go awry and the patient's health is endangered. In these instances, surgical malpractice may be the cause.

New study highlights long-term effects of head trauma

New York residents are known to be passionate, almost zealous, in their support for their sports teams in basketball, baseball, football, among other sports. Similarly, people who play professionally or even recreationally are also known to be very enthusiastic. While the enthusiasm results in a more intense game, the same fervor may also lead to head trauma.

Steel plate injures World Trade Center construction worker

New Yorkers may have heard about a recent accident at the site of the World Trade Center. On Feb. 23, 2013, a 48-year-old carpenter was injured at the construction site when a steel plate fell. He was taken from the site of the construction accident by ambulance. Reports stated that the man remains in stable condition. He suffered a number of broken bones, including a broken leg. The circumstances under which the steel plate fell on the man were not clear immediately following the accident. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration is investigating the situation to determine how the accident occurred.

Politicians Demand Tougher Regulations by The Department of Transportation Amid Tragic Death of East Harlem Student

In response to the tragic death of 6 year old Amar Diarrassouba, several politicians gathered outside P.S. 155 demanding tougher regulations to protect pedestrians from vehicular traffic. The tragedy unfolded last week when 6 year old Amar was struck and killed by a tractor trailer at an intersection in East Harlem while walking to school.

New NY rules for hospitals named after misdiagnosed boy

Most people are unaware of the dangers of sepsis, but in New York State alone, 43,608 severe cases of sepsis were recorded in 2011. This number represents a huge increase from the 6,001 cases in 2005. Sepsis mortality rates are comparable to well-known diseases like colon, lung and breast cancer. This increase in cases of sepsis is attributed mainly to doctor misdiagnosis.

NYC excavation workers at risk of dangerous exposures

Construction work in New York City can be extremely dangerous if construction site managers and employers fail to properly oversee the safety of a worksite. This negligence can mean that construction workers are left vulnerable to a workplace injury or illness. Most often, it is incidents of a crane collapse or falling debris that makes the headlines in New York City in relation to the harm of a construction worker. While those are significant causes of concern, so too is toxic exposure.