Start Your Free Consultation: 800-531-9780
logo
MENU

ARCHIVES: August 2018

Choosing Your Own Doctor After a Work Injury

Columbia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers weigh in on choosing your own doctor when suffering with workplace injuries. The Workers’ Compensation Act in South Carolina provides compensation to employees who have been injured in the workplace. Workers may be entitled to collect compensation for:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Permanent disability benefits

Under the current law, the Workers’ Compensation covers all medical expenses stemming from a work-related injury. Injured workers must seek treatment from a medical provider chosen by the employer’s Workers’ Compensation insurance company.

Those who choose their own doctor without the permission of the employer may be required to pay their own medical expenses. However, there are some circumstances where changing your current doctor or choosing one’s own doctor is permissible.

Emergency Care

Workplace injures can be devastating. As a result, it is not uncommon for an employee to require immediate emergency care. For example, a construction worker who falls off a scaffold will, in most cases, require an ambulatory trip to the nearest emergency room.

Workers’ Compensation will generally make allowances for this even though the employer did not authorize the attending physician or the medical facility.

Initial Evaluation

Employees do have a right to choose their own physician for their initial injury evaluation. However, those that do should be certain to tell their doctor that they were injured at work and plan to file a claim. Although this visit may not be covered by Workers’ Compensation, the doctor will mostly likely need to fill out the necessary forms to not only prove that an injury occurred at work but is severe enough to warrant a claim.

Can I Get a Second Opinion?

In some cases, a doctor may feel that an injury does not qualify for Workers’ Compensation. In this case, injured workers in South Carolina are entitled to a second opinion. This can be done in one of three ways:

  • Contact the employer’s Workers’ Compensation insurance carrier
  • Request a hearing with the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission (Form 50)
  • Contact an experienced Workers’ Compensation attorney who can assist clients in obtaining quality medical care

What if I Do Not Find My Current Doctor’s Quality of Care Satisfactory?

Problems often arise when injured workers are not satisfied with the level of care that the required physician is providing. When this happens, it is possible to request a change of doctors. The worker must contact the Workers’ Compensation insurance carrier and follow the required protocol to do so. Another qualified physician will most likely be assigned by the employer’s insurance company.

Columbia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Advocate for Injured Workers in South Carolina

If you have more questions regarding Workers’ Compensation or suffer from injuries due t-o a workplace accident, call Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. at 803-929-3600 or 800-531-9780 today or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. A knowledgeable, experienced Columbia Workers’ Compensation lawyer can assist with filing an initial claim, appealing denied claims, and investigating other avenues of compensation.

Our offices are conveniently located throughout South Carolina and serve clients in Columbia, Aiken, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville, Florence, Beaufort, Irmo, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, West Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Lexington, Winnsboro, Summerville, and throughout the counties of Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Charleston County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Spartanburg County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, and Newberry County.

Higher Fatality Rates among Older Workers

Columbia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers discuss the rate of fatalities and serious injuries in older workers. Every year, more Americans are working well past the retirement age of 65. In fact, the federal government estimates that by 2024, one-quarter of employed adults in the U.S. workforce will be seniors. Questions arise as to how to keep older workers safe considering the unique health concerns and limitations that come with age. In 2015 alone, 35 percent of job-related accidents involved workers age 55 or older.

Even as workplace fatality rates continue to decline since 2006, deaths among baby boomers are on the rise. Workplace safety advocates have been searching for ways to encourage seniors to work and stay productive well into their golden years while also making their safety a top priority.

 A Closer Look at Senior Worker Fatalities

According to an Associated Press (AP) analysis of federal data, the number of fatal work accidents fell 22 percent between 2006 and 2015. Yet, among senior workers, workplace fatalities rose from 50 percent to 65 percent during that same time period.

One reason for the increase is there are simply more senior employees than ever in the American labor force. While seniors among the population as a whole rose 6 percent, in the workforce, they increased by 37 percent. The AP used data collected from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Census for Fatal Occupational Injuries for their analysis, excluding cases of workers who died of natural causes.

The data showed significant increases in:

  • Contact with objects and equipment
  • Fall-related accidents
  • Fires and explosions
  • Transportation accidents

Why Older Workers are More Vulnerable to Injury

Some of the changes most of us will experience as we get older also make us more susceptible to a workplace accident and potentially serious injuries as a result. These may include:

  • Balance issues
  • Chronic health or medical problems
  • Declining hearing
  • Decreased response time
  • Worsening vision

Separate research on the subject found almost half of older workers said their jobs involved physical effort all or most of their workday, and 36 percent of them said it was becoming harder to perform these physical tasks as they got older.

South Carolina is one of the states where injuries among older workers are increasing. While many seniors work to stay active and social, many others work to support themselves and their families. When a job illness or injury renders them unable to work, they lose crucial income and face daunting medical expenses for their care and recovery.

Columbia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Help Older Workers Recover Compensation for Work Injuries

The Columbia Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. advocate for injured workers of all ages in every industry to recover the benefits they need to provide for themselves as they recuperate. Call 800-531-9780 or contact us online to get started today. We have several offices locations in South Carolina to serve clients in Columbia, Aiken, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville, Florence, Beaufort, Irmo, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, West Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Lexington, Winnsboro, Summerville, and throughout the counties of Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Charleston County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Spartanburg County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, and Newberry County.

Senior Driving Safety

Columbia Car Accident Lawyers weigh in on senior drivers. Approximately 85 percent of drivers over the age of 65, also known as senior drivers, possess valid driver’s licenses. While research shows maintaining the ability to drive can help seniors live independently and decrease feelings of isolation or depression, many safety experts warn that driving over the age of 65 can present unique challenges.

Physical challenges associated with senior driving include a driver’s inability to turn their head to look for oncoming traffic while merging lanes or to grip a steering wheel, visual perception problems, hearing issues, and muscle control problems that hinder their ability to quickly brake the vehicle. Advanced age can also affect a driver’s strength and flexibility. Senior drivers should schedule routine vision tests to monitor for glaucoma, cataracts, and other common geriatric vision problems.

Adjusting to Limitations

Adjustments can be made to overcome many of the physical limitations associated with advanced age. Steering wheel covers can help with grip and turning problems, and occupational therapists can provide other assistive driving devices when necessary. Changes to vehicles, such as the installation of larger, easy to read dials, can be made to improve driving safety. For many senior drivers, adjusting the time when they drive is necessary. Certain individuals may no longer be able to safely drive in the dark and will restrict their driving to daylight hours.

According to a study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, even mild cognitive decline can increase accident risk in senior drivers.  Researchers concluded that in older drivers without dementia, lower levels of cognitive function and depression were associated with higher motor vehicle accident risks. While distracted driving is a serious safety risk for drivers of all ages, senior drivers may struggle with adjusting radio dials or programming GPS systems, which remove the driver’s attention from the road. When weather causes difficult road conditions or poor visibility, senior drivers may find delaying their trip to be the safest option until the driving situation improves.

Many senior drivers take the proactive step of updating their driving skills by enrolling in a driver refresher course. Several car insurance companies will provide a discount on insurance premiums for senior drivers who successfully complete a refresher skills course.

Avoid Medications That Cause Drowsiness

Senior drivers taking prescription medicine should be aware of side effects that inhibit the ability to drive. Some pain or sleep medications can cause drowsiness, dizziness, or other unforeseen effects that make it unsafe to drive. Always consult with your doctor or pharmacist before operating a motor vehicle while taking prescription medicine. Drivers of any age should avoid drinking alcohol or using drugs, including medically prescribed marijuana.

One of the most difficult decisions for a senior driver is when to stop driving entirely. If you believe your ability to drive safely has been compromised, or another person has expressed this concern to you, it may be time to stop driving.

Columbia Car Accident Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Advocate for Victims of All Types of Car Accidents

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, compensation may be available. At Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A., our experienced Columbia car accident lawyers will hold the negligent party accountable for your injuries and obtain the compensation you deserve. Call us today at 803-929-3600 or contact us online for a free consultation.

Our attorneys are proud to provide the highest quality legal service and exceptional representation to injured victims and their families throughout South Carolina, including the areas of Columbia, Aiken, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville, Florence, Beaufort, Irmo, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, West Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Lexington, Winnsboro, Summerville, and throughout the counties of Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Charleston County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Spartanburg County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, and Newberry County.

FDA Expands Product Recall of Heart Medication Valsartan

FDA Expands Product Recall of Heart Medication ValsartanThe FDA is expanding the recall of the widely used heart medication Valsartan. Back in July, an initial recall of the blood pressure and heart failure prevention drug was announced due to a cancerous substance detected in the medicine. Various pharmaceutical companies manufactured and distributed Valsartan, which contained a substance called N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), was discovered to be dangerous for users, and classified as cancerous by the EPA. A list was posted by the FDA with the names of the drugs that still contained the lethal substance. Now the FDA is working with drug manufacturers of Valsartan to ensure that future formulations of the medicine do not contain any active ingredients that may prove fatal or cause medical conditions for patients ingesting the drug.

Thousands of patients use drugs like Valsartan to lower blood pressure and protect users from heart failure. Unfortunately, a medication which was designed to help individuals who may be at-risk for developing serious heart and blood pressure issues received a rude awakening when the product recall revealed that Valsartan contained a cancer-causing substance. Physicians and their patients trust pharmaceutical companies to produce medications that help those suffering from serious health conditions, not harm them.

If you or someone you love developed medical issues due to a defective drug, our Columbia defective products lawyers at Chappell, Smith & Arden, P.A. will ensure that you and your family receive justice. Call us today at 803-929-3600 or 800-531-9780 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation. We proudly serve clients in Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, and Newberry County, including those towns of Columbia, Lexington, Irmo, Chapin, Rock Hill, Aiken, Sumter, Newberry, Florence, and Spartanburg.

Drunk Driving Risks on Labor Day Weekend

Columbia Car Accident Lawyers discuss Labor Day drunk driving. Alcohol-related accidents are a very serious concern throughout any holiday weekend. The combination of more people on the roads and higher rates of alcohol consumption greatly increases the risk of wrecks. With Labor Day fast approaching, organizations like the National Highway Traffic Association (NHTSA) are pushing public awareness campaigns to decrease drunk driving accidents.

A 2016 NHTSA report showed that deaths by drunk driving had increased nationally as well as in South Carolina. Their statistics revealed that from 2015 to 2016, DUI driving fatalities were up by 1.7 percent from 10,320 to 10,497. There were 331 drunk driving deaths recorded in South Carolina that same year, up from 24 in 2015. South Carolina ranks sixth in the country for alcohol-related driving deaths.

“Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over”

NHTSA’s Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign will be in full force nationwide through September 5. Officials are getting the message out that drunk driving places drivers, their passengers, and others on the road at risk for serious accidents and deaths. The message focuses on driver responsibility and recommends making plans beforehand to prevent intoxicated drivers from getting behind the wheel at all.

Planning ahead to avoid DUI this holiday weekend requires little time and effort and should be done well in advance of any alcohol consumption. Before the holiday party even starts, choose someone who will not be drinking to be the designated driver. If this is not an option, NHTSA offers its SafeRide app, which can contact a friend or taxi. SafeRide is available through Apple’s iTunes store and Google Play for Android – and it should be downloaded and activated while sober.

Law enforcement officers are also increasing traffic patrols by 50 percent over this holiday weekend. This kind of high-visibility enforcement is effective and can decrease drunk driving deaths by up to 20 percent.

More Safety Tips

Those hosting holiday parties also need to focus on preventing drunk driving accidents. Even though a host may not be driving, their guests may end up making a fatal mistake once they leave the festivities. It is not always easy to spot an intoxicated guest, so hosts should always accompany each one to the door as they are leaving; no one should leave the premises without a sober driver. Allowing them to walk out and get behind the wheel is not only dangerous; the host can be liable for a resulting accident under South Carolina’s Social Host Liability Law.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) reports that on average, drunk drivers drive while intoxicated 80 times before being caught by law enforcement. Sober drivers should be aware of others on the road that may be driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Swerving, driving too fast or too slow, and erratic lane changes are all signs of impairment. Finally, always wearing a seatbelt is the best protection against drunk drivers.

Columbia Car Accident Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A.  Seek Justice for Drunk Driving Victims

If you have been seriously injured or suffered the wrongful death of a loved one in a drunk driving accident, a Columbia car accident lawyer at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. can help. We are highly experienced in drunk driving cases and will fight for your rights. Call us today at 803-929-3600 or toll free at 800-531-9780 or complete an online contact form for a free case evaluation.

We represent individuals and families throughout South Carolina, including those in Columbia, Aiken, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville, Florence, Beaufort, Irmo, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, West Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Lexington, Winnsboro, Summerville, and throughout the counties of Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Charleston County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Spartanburg County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, and Newberry County.

Collision with a Police Car

Columbia Car Accident Lawyers weigh in on police car accidents. Even the most diligent and alert police officer can become distracted while driving, or make a mistake that leads to a wreck. Police cars are filled with GPS devices, scanners, and laptops. Officers are also required to remain in constant communication with police dispatch. Any of these devices or activities can distract the officer when they are behind the wheel.

When a car accident occurs due to negligence, police officers can be held liable for injuries and damages like any other driver. Even though they are a city, state, or federal employee, they are bound by the same rules of the road that civilian drivers are expected to follow. Even in the case of a high-speed police chase, law enforcement officials are expected to keep public safety as their top priority.

Who is at Fault in an Accident Involving a Police Car?

Determining fault and liability in an accident with a police car can get tricky. If an officer is negligent or careless and an accident occurs, they may generally be held liable for their negligence. Police officers have the benefit of strong legal teams, personal relationships with government officials and judges, and the unwavering support of other police officers. It can be overwhelming for an average citizen to fight the system if the legal team for the police officer is denying liability.

A consultation with an experienced and skilled car accident lawyer can help victims injured in an accident with a police car seek justice and compensation for their property damage and injuries. An experienced personal injury attorney with knowledge of state and local laws will be able to provide a strong case for their client. Evidence from the accident is crucial to proving who is liable for damages.

What to Do After a Police-Involved Accident

The first thing that anyone involved in a car accident should do is assess injuries and summons emergency medical personnel, if necessary. After all parties are stable, the wreck should be handled the same way any other accident would be handled. Police should be called to the accident scene so that an official police report can be filed by an objective party.

Pictures are hard to dispute, so photographs of the accident scene and the surrounding road conditions should be taken. The position of the cars, any skid marks on the road, traffic lights, stop signs, and obstacles or debris on the roadway should be recorded. Medical records, property damage estimates, witness testimony, and personal accounts from those involved are also pertinent.

Whenever an accident involves injuries, it is wise to seek the counsel of an experienced car accident lawyer. Time is of the essence. It is important to file your claim with your insurance company and with the police department as soon as possible. Delays are common when claims involve government officials. As insurance companies battle among themselves, the car accident lawyer can ensure that the victim’s legal rights and best interests are protected.

Columbia Car Accident Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Advocate for Those Injured in Accidents Involving Police Cars

If you have been injured in a car accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Call the Columbia car accident lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. at 803-929-3600 or 800-531-9780, or contact us online to schedule a free consultation today. Our offices are located throughout South Carolina, allowing us to serve clients in Columbia, Aiken, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville, Florence, Beaufort, Irmo, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, West Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Lexington, Winnsboro, Summerville, and throughout the counties of Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Charleston County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Spartanburg County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, and Newberry County.

Drunk Driving in College

Columbia Car Accident Lawyers discuss drunk driving in college. As summer ends, many college freshmen will have their first taste of freedom as they head off to college. Unfortunately, those first weeks on campus often include drinking. According to the Impaired Driving Center at the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, freshman tend to drink more than upperclassmen. However, an alarming number of college students overall have reported that they are guilty of drunk driving or riding in the car with an intoxicated driver.

Underage Drinking and Drunk Driving Penalties

Simply put, underage drinking is illegal, and all college students should keep in mind that that if they get behind the wheel, they are risking their life and the lives of their passengers and others on the road. For students younger than 21 years, it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.02 percent or higher. This is significantly lower than the 0.08 percent limit for older drivers.

Underage drinkers caught behind the wheel face a license suspension of at least three months. Although this may not seem like a harsh punishment, additional criminal penalties will include all or some of the following:

  • $400 fine
  • Up to 30 days in jail
  • License reinstatement fees
  • Completing an alcohol and drug safety program
  • Community service

However, the penalties are much more severe for second and third time offenders, those who have injured others in a car accident, and those that refuse a breathalyzer test.

How Will a DUI Affect My College Career?

Universities and colleges set their own rules for handling criminal convictions and illegal behavior. It is important to note that even if a student gets cleared from a charge for driving under the influence (DUI), the university may impose their own penalties. These include:

  • Expulsion
  • Denied admissions or initial application denial
  • Loss of campus housing
  • Removal from sports teams and clubs

However, even if a university allows a student to remain enrolled, those that face extended jail time will most likely be forced to withdraw for the semester. A felony DUI conviction may also disqualify those from applying for or receiving federal financial aid. Additionally, private scholarships may withdraw their funding. A college student convicted of a DUI can face serious financial consequences.

Columbia Car Accident Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Fight for Victims Injured by Drunk Drivers

If you or someone you love has been injured by a drunk driver, call Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. at 803-929-3600 today or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. An experienced Columbia car accident lawyer can help those who suffer due to the negligence of another obtain the justice they deserve and the compensation necessary to recover.

Our attorneys are proud to provide the highest quality legal service and exceptional representation to injured victims and their families throughout South Carolina, including the areas of Columbia, Aiken, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville, Florence, Beaufort, Irmo, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, West Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Lexington, Winnsboro, Summerville, and throughout the counties of Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Charleston County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Spartanburg County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, and Newberry County.

Alternative Applications May Reduce Distracted Driving

Columbia Car Accident Lawyers weigh in on vehicle technology and distracted driving. All forms of distracted driving pose dangerous risks, which increase the likelihood of an accident. Distracted driving behaviors that can cause accidents include using a cell phone to talk or text, changing radio dials, eating or drinking, applying makeup or brushing your hair, and checking maps.

Built-in infotainment systems are a major cause of distracted driving. These systems place additional visual and mental demands on drivers, which can have fatal consequences. While any type of distracted driving poses a significant safety risk, a recent study from the University of Utah and the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has found that certain car applications may be less distracting than others.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

Researchers focused on two alternative infotainment system applications, the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. These applications allow a mobile device, like a cell phone, to connect to a vehicle’s built-in infotainment technology system.  Using a power cord or through wireless transmission, the mobile device can tap into a vehicle’s audio system and information screen. Drivers can then access navigation applications, such as Google Maps, from their cell phone rather than using the car’s built-in infotainment system. Music applications, like Pandora, also may be accessed easily.

The study concluded that both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto placed a lower level of visual and mental demand on drivers than the built-in systems installed by the auto manufacturers. These two applications created an overall moderate level of demand on drivers using these applications.

Saved Time

Both applications can preload addresses and browsing histories, which decrease the amount of time a driver is interacting with the system. Alternative applications like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which already exist on a driver’s phone, can be especially appealing to drivers who can easily navigate their phone’s technology. The alternative applications often perform better and faster than the native infotainment systems. Many of the alternative applications are free to cell phone users, which increases their desirability.

Manufacturers Prevent Application Interaction

Not all vehicles are designed to allow the interaction between Apple CarPlay and Android Auto with the vehicle’s infotainment technology. Some native infotainment systems created by auto manufacturers will lock the functions of alternative applications if the driver attempts to use them. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety hopes these study results will encourage auto manufacturers to allow the integration of safer technology to lower the visual and mental demands placed on drivers. Other manufacturers, such as BMW, charge users for the integration of alternative navigation applications like Google Maps.

The study warns drivers that using any application while driving remains unsafe. While some smart phone technology has reduced the level of mental and visual demand on drivers, any type of distracted driving can result in a car accident. Limiting all types of distraction while driving continues to be the ultimate traffic safety goal.

Columbia Car Accident Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Advocate for Victims of Distracted Driving Accidents

If you have been injured in a car accident caused by a distracted driver, the experienced Columbia car accident lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. are here to help you obtain the maximum compensation for your injuries. Call us today at 800-531-9780 or contact us online to schedule your confidential consultation.

We represent injured accident victims and families throughout South Carolina, including those in the areas of Columbia, Aiken, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville, Florence, Beaufort, Irmo, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, West Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Lexington, Winnsboro, Summerville, and throughout the counties of Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Charleston County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Spartanburg County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, and Newberry County.

Taking Action Against Workplace Violence

Columbia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers weigh in on taking action against workplace violence. The National Safety Council reports that each year more than two million people are victims of workplace violence. In fact, violence is the third leading cause of death for those in the professions of healthcare, education, law, and media.

Workplace violence can happen in any profession, though it can be prevented in many cases. The first step in doing so is to adopt a zero-tolerance policy. Through employee training, communication, and an emergency response plan, companies can begin to take action against workplace violence.

Employee Training

Training workers to recognize the signs that an employee may be a danger to others is an important step to help employers deter workplace violence. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has authored several extensive training manuals, specific to various occupations, that can be used to train employees to recognize symptoms that may lead an employee to an episode of violence. Some common warning signs are:

  • Substance abuse
  • Unexplained absenteeism
  • Depression or withdrawal
  • Resistance to change
  • Complaints of unfair treatment
  • Violation of company policies
  • Concealment of a weapon

Communication

Another key component to deter workplace violence is to encourage employees to share their observations or suspicions with clear policies on how to do so. However, when a violent episode is underway, employees should also have knowledge of protocol on how to contact and communicate details to emergency responders.

Additionally, employers should be certain to make sure workers have constant cell phone access and Wi-Fi. Emergency applications such as first aid techniques and CPR instructions can also be downloaded on smartphones.

Emergency Response Plan

Companies should have a solid emergency response plan in place to deter acts of violence. For example, once an employee has been identified as a risk to others, procedures should already be in place to quickly remove or terminate that employee. Additionally, facilities can install security cameras and issue security badges to ensure that only approved workers are able to access the facility.

However, should an act of workplace violence occur, the key elements of a successful plan must outline how workers should react in a violent situation.  The plans should include effective procedures for:

  • Evacuation: Identifying all possible exists in a facility before an emergency occurs.
  • Hiding Out: When evacuation is not possible, secure protected areas should be utilized.
  • Taking Action: When life is in imminent danger, throwing objects and yelling are two techniques used to deter an aggressor.

Columbia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Advocate for Victims of Workplace Violence

If you are victim of workplace violence or have been injured in a workplace accident, contact the dedicated Columbia Workers’ Compensation lawyers of Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Our experienced team can help you navigate the Workers’ Compensation claim process to obtain the compensation you deserve. For a free consultation in one of our six South Carolina offices, contact us online or call 803-929-3600 or toll free at 800-531-9780.

We serve clients in the communities of Columbia, Aiken, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville, Florence, Beaufort, Irmo, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, West Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Lexington, Winnsboro, Summerville, and throughout the counties of Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Charleston County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Spartanburg County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, and Newberry County.

Uncovering Slip and Fall Hazards in the Workplace

Columbia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers discuss workplace slip and falls. According to the National Safety Council, fall injuries in the U.S. cost approximately $70 billion in Workers’ Compensation and medical costs each year. Falls are one of the leading causes of workplace injuries, second only to overexertion. It is therefore important for employers to be able to spot slip and fall hazards in the workplace to reduce on-the-job injuries and associated costs. The following are a few effective ways to uncover slip and fall hazards in the workplace:

Conduct Comprehensive Safety Audits

Comprehensive safety audits can reveal unsafe workplace conditions that must be addressed to reduce risk of employee injury, illness or death. However, traditional safety audits often do not address floor safety. Employers should inspect all walking-working surfaces and conduct a more in-depth floor safety audit. Floor safety audits can be conducted either internally or by a certified walkway auditor which can be found on a list maintained by the National Floor Safety Institute.

Evaluate Incident Reports

Incident reports may provide some valuable information regarding recurring safety issues that need to be remedied. Slip and fall injuries may be repeatedly occurring in certain areas of the workplace or under certain circumstances. Being aware of these hazards can help focus employers’ attention on problem areas that must be fixed and monitored to reduce risks to employee safety.

Track Liquid Shipments

Many workplaces receive bulk shipments of liquids that are stored in cans, drums and tanks. Employers should track the liquids from arrival to storage to disposal. These storage containers can pose a hazard if they are leaky or if there is a spill. Use a floor plan to track the liquids’ movement through the facility and identify all potential hazards. Make spill response materials available to employees so they can clean up any spills and reduce their risk of suffering a slip and fall injury.

Encourage Employee Involvement

Encourage employees to take an active role in workplace safety and health. They often have the most firsthand knowledge of floor safety hazards and can provide valuable information regarding areas that pose the most risk. Employers can encourage employee involvement by sponsoring contests for employees to identify floor hazards which otherwise may be overlooked.

Ask for Advice and Assistance

Outside parties such as vendors and insurance carriers may be able to provide valuable advice and assistance. For example, floor vendors may be able to recommend cleaning products and technologies that make floors less slippery and safer for everyone. Insurance carriers have dealt with many claims for workplace slip and fall injuries and may therefore also be able to provide valuable information and resources to help identify and eliminate hazards. Inspection checklists, trainings and low- or no-cost audits can help to minimize slip and fall hazards and the reduce the risk of injury to employees.

Columbia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Represent Workers Injured in Slip and Fall Accidents

If you were injured in a slip and fall accident at work, contact the Columbia Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. For a free consultation, contact us online or call us at 803-929-3600 or toll-free at 800-531-9780. We proudly represent clients in Columbia, Aiken, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville, Florence, Beaufort, Irmo, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, West Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Lexington, Winnsboro, Summerville, and throughout the counties of Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Charleston County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Spartanburg County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, and Newberry County.

Schedule a Consultation

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Practice Areas