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ARCHIVES: December 2018

Amazon Worker Safety

Columbia Workers' Compensation Lawyers weigh in on Amazon worker safety. Amazon has succeeded in becoming a giant in the e-commerce business. The company boasts that it has more than 1,000 safety and health professionals at their fulfillment centers in North America. A spokesperson for the company has claimed that safety is its number one priority and that each incident of a workplace injury involves a review of practices and protocols to ensure the well-being of Amazon’s employees.

Amazon’s accident and injury records are not nearly as positive as its record of business expansion and profit-making. Moreover, its record of injuries and fatalities is getting worse. In the past five years, there were seven fatalities at Amazon warehouses. Some employees were crushed by forklifts, conveyor belts, or pallet loaders. Others were hit by vehicles. One 29-year-old employee died of a heart attack after his overnight shift.

Robots in Warehouses

Recently, an automated robot pierced a canister of bear repellant exposing dozens of workers to capsaicin at a New Jersey warehouse. The compound is an irritant and causes difficulty breathing as well as burning throat and eyes. Over 50 employees were exposed in the incident and a number of them required treatment at a hospital. This was the second time Amazon had an incident of exposing workers to bear repellent.

Amazon owns a patent on an employee tracking device to be worn by a worker that buzzes them if they make a wrong move. The device has insidious undertones. Some argue that Amazon is going to extremes to treat employees like fleshy robots. At the same time, Amazon is seeking to replace workers with robots.

Amazon Makes List of Dirty Dozen Employers

The National Council for Occupational Safety and Health (National COSH) is an umbrella organization dedicated to the betterment of workplace safety and health. Among other things, it tracks performance of employers in the protection of the safety and health of workers and communities. Each year National COSH prepares a Dirty Dozen list of employers who put workers and communities at risk.

Criteria for the Dirty Dozen include severity of injuries experienced by workers, exposure to recognized hazards, and repeat violations of safety and health laws. Due to its track record of repeated violations of safety and health laws, as well as its high rate of workplace fatalities, Amazon has been identified as one of National COSH’s dirty dozen employers.

Safety and Health Inspections Help Workers and Employers

National COSH notes that a lack of regular safety inspections puts workers at risk. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is the federal agency tasked with performing workplace inspections. OSHA’s budget has been slashed in the past few years. This despite research findings that regular and random safety inspections can save employers money as well as improve worker safety and health.

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

If you have been injured at work, you may be entitled to compensation for lost wages and health expenses. To discuss your rights regarding Workers’ Compensation benefits, call Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. today at 803-929-3600 or 800-531-9780 to arrange a free consultation with a seasoned Columbia Workers’ Compensation lawyer. You can also contact us online.

We assist injured workers across 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.

What is Your Recourse After an Accident with an Uninsured Driver?

Columbia Car Accident Lawyers discuss recourse after an accident with an uninsured driver.Auto insurance covers medical expenses and property damage resulting from a crash, but what happens if the other driver involved in your collision does not have insurance? How will you pay these costs, which can often be significant depending on the severity of your accident injuries? Fortunately, you do have some recourse to recover the cost of your damages, even if you are in an accident with an uninsured driver. There are several different options for collecting damages in this scenario. Some involve choosing certain types of auto insurance to protect you in the event you are involved in a wreck with driver who has no car insurance.

  • Collision coverage: Collision insurance coverage is available, in addition to your required liability coverage. It covers damage to your vehicle after an accident with an uninsured driver or a hit-and-run driver. South Carolina does not require drivers to purchase collision insurance.
  • Uninsured motorist coverage: Uninsured motorist coverage (UIM) is additional coverage available for purchase from your auto insurance provider. It protects you if you are in an accident with an uninsured driver when they are at fault for the crash. Car insurance companies are required to offer it to consumers, but it is only mandatory in a few states. UIM is mandatory in South Carolina.
  • Lawsuit: Some drivers believe their insurance company should not have to pay for damage caused by an uninsured driver. They may instead choose to file a personal injury lawsuit. In some states, this is not permitted under the law. No-fault car insurance states make residents responsible for paying for their own damages. However, South Carolina is a tort-liability state, where the driver who was not at-fault for a car accident can sue the driver who was at-fault for damages.

If you are considering filing a claim against an uninsured driver, it is important to consider the likelihood of recovering all the compensation you deserve. More than likely, the driver does not carry insurance because they cannot afford it and thus, will not be able to pay you. Before you decide to sue the other driver, your Columbia car accident lawyer may choose to conduct a thorough discovery looking for any hidden assets they may possess. Another option may be to file a claim with your own insurance company. Because every accident is unique, it is important to consult an experienced car accident lawyer before making any important decisions regarding your accident.

Columbia Car Accident Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Protect Victims from Uninsured Drivers

Do not be discouraged if you are in an accident with an uninsured driver. While your medical bills and auto repairs may seem daunting, the Columbia car accident lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. are here to help. For decades the firm has been fighting for clients throughout South Carolina, protecting the rights of the injured and holding negligent parties responsible. Call 800-531-9780 or 803-929-3600 or contact us online to schedule your free initial consultation today.

We proudly serve clients 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 areas 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.

South Carolina’s Distracted Driving Laws

Columbia Car Accident Lawyers weigh in on South Carolina's distracted driving laws. Distracted driving is never a good idea, but it is more prevalent on the roads than ever before. Lawmakers do not always agree on what constitutes distracted driving. As a result, the laws vary from state to state. Unfortunately, South Carolina does not have a good record for distracted driving. It has been reported that the state ranks third for worst driving in the country. Some believe that these numbers reflect the fact that South Carolina does not have stringent regulations in place for distracted driving.

According to the South Carolina Department of Insurance, distracted driving is defined as operating a motor vehicle while doing something else that diverts their attention. Within the state, distracted driving can include grooming, eating, or interacting with passengers while driving. One of the leading causes of distracted driving is cell phone usage, but the state has only made texting while driving illegal. There are no other restrictions on cell phone usage while driving.

Distracted Driving Penalties in South Carolina

For now, South Carolina police can issue tickets to motorists for texting while driving. The fines start at $25, which is less than 25 percent of first offense fines in other states, and no points are added to the driver’s license. Also, it is legal for the drivers to hold their phones while driving for other reasons, such as use of navigation. Repeated infractions do not substantially increase the fine amounts, nor do they pose a risk for driver license suspension. The procedures make it hard to implement the law, and few tickets are written as a result. There are laws under review that may address these issues.

Penalties in Other States

Keeping in mind that South Carolina has a $25 texting while driving fine without increases for additional offenses, the following are examples of regulations in other states:

  • Maryland: Drivers using cell phones must be hands-free. First offenders pay $83, with the limit being $160.
  • New York: Drivers using cell phones must be hands-free. First offenders pay $50, with the limit being $250.
  • North Carolina: Cell phone usage does not have to be hands-free, but texting and application use is not allowed. Fines range from $25 to $100.
  • Pennsylvania: Phone calls are permitted, but interactive wireless communication is not. Fines start at $50 for the first offense.
  • Virginia: Distracted driving includes texting and other actions, such as eating. The first offense is $125, and this can increase with repeat offenses.

Laws May Be Changing

State lawmakers are proposing stricter laws to address the crisis. A AAA Carolinas spokeswoman stated that distracted driving is an epidemic in South Carolina, and it is even more concerning than drunk driving. She added that stiffer penalties are needed to change driver behaviors. Representative Bill Taylor recommended increasing the first offense fine to $100, with $300 and two points for second and third offenses. Nothing has been decided yet, but these changes could make South Carolina a safer state for drivers.

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

Distracted drivers are a threat to other motorists, and cause thousands of wrecks each year. If you need legal guidance with any type of motor vehicle accident, contact the knowledgeable Columbia car accident lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. We represent clients throughout the state of South Carolina. Complete our convenient online contact form or call 803-929-3600 or 800-531-9780 for a free consultation today.

We proudly serve clients 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 areas 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.

Numetric Develops Technology to Help Prevent Wrecks

Columbia Car Accident Lawyers discuss new technology developed by Numetric that can help prevent accidents. Utah-based traffic safety data analysis company, Numetric, recently introduced two new technology suites designed to identify and correct common hazards causing motor vehicle accidents in communities across the country. The CEO of Numetric says their goal is to help every traffic safety organization make data-driven decisions to improve the function and safety of roadways. The technology is already receiving rave reviews from law enforcement officials. Numetric technology is delivering crucial accident data in mere moments, helping them prevent accidents and save lives throughout the state.

Safety Suite

Numetric Safety Suite allows local public transportation agencies to access current motor vehicle crash data, isolate intersections and other high-risk areas, and identify common causes of car accidents. Safety suite also includes a program called Crash Reports, which speeds up the process of responding to requests for crash data. What once took an entire team days and weeks to do, now takes Safety Suite mere moments.

This data empowers agencies to arrive at the best safety solution for each common crash location. In some cases, it may be a simple fix, like installing rumble strips or a median. In others, the ideal solution may require roads to be redesigned.

Design Suite

After the local public transportation agency and Safety Suite have identified a problematic location, Design Suite is used to analyze the cost and efficacy of various safety solutions. Numetric understands that most municipalities have limited resources to dedicate toward road safety improvements. Design Suite helps engineers and planners estimate the value of different options.

South Carolina Car Accident Statistics

In 2016, a traffic collision occurred every 3.7 minutes in the state of South Carolina. Fatal wrecks happened on average every 9.3 hours. Every 8.5 minutes someone was injured in a motor vehicle accident. Not only do these accidents cause immeasurable physical and emotional pain and suffering, they cost billions of dollars in medical costs, lost productivity, and property damage.

According to crash data available for 2016, environmental factors were the second leading cause of traffic collisions that year. These are precisely the types of accidents Numetric is hoping to prevent with their technology. South Carolina is one of six states currently utilizing Numetric road safety programs. The company also announced plans to roll out more technology to assist agencies in utilizing safety funds in smart ways for real safety advancements across roadways nationwide

Columbia Car Accident Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Pursue Justice for Victims of Negligence

If you were injured in a car accident, the Columbia car accident lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. work tirelessly to help victims recover and begin the healing process after a crash. To learn more about the legal services available to you after your car accident, call us today at 800-531-9780 or contact us online. We will do whatever it takes to protect your claim and help you heal after your accident.

We proudly serve clients 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 areas 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.

Traffic Jams

Columbia Car Accident Lawyers discuss traffic jam accidents.In a perfect world, there would be no such thing as traffic jams. How nice it would be if everyone always drove at consistent speeds and arrived safely to work or play. It would make everyone’s lives easier, but bad traffic and car accidents it causes are unfortunate parts of everyday life.

According to the Federal Highway Administration, over the last 15 years, 220,316 more miles were added onto our nation’s public roads. There are more drivers on the roads than ever before, and new roads are not being built fast enough. Supply is not keeping up with the demand. Volume-related traffic can be typical when driving through certain areas during rush hour.

This begs the question: why do traffic jams also occur on highways with four or five lanes? There is always a root cause. Traffic can get congested near on-and off-ramps as vehicles enter and leave highways. Traffic jams can also be started by one vehicle slowing down or braking, creating a domino effect. The vehicles behind that car all must slow down, and the congestion can travel backwards, like a wave.

Rubberneckers and Lane Changers

Traffic jams are also caused by random events. Accidents obviously cause traffic problems, and their aftereffects can stretch for miles on both sides of the road, when other drivers rubberneck. This is when they slow down and turn their heads to look at what happened. This can cause additional accidents when drivers are not paying attention to what is in front of them.

Reckless drivers also contribute to traffic disturbances. When someone changes lanes too quickly or is speeding, other drivers may slam on their brakes or slow down abruptly. This also affects the other drivers nearby and can lead to a chain reaction of slowing and stopping.

Becoming Better Drivers

Aside from writing to state officials about insufficient highways, the only way most people can combat traffic jams is to look for alternate routes and prevent traffic disturbances. The following are a few tips:

  • Do not use a cell phone while driving. This includes texting and talking, since both take a driver’s attention away from the road.
  • Avoid other types of distracted driving, including looking at a GPS, smoking, eating or drinking, and grooming.
  • Do not drive while intoxicated or when tired.
  • Aggressive and erratic driving is dangerous. Running red lights, speeding, and unsafe lane changing can lead to accidents. Drivers should strive to remain calm and focused.

Columbia Car Accident Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Fight for Victims of Traffic Jam Wrecks

Not all motor vehicle accidents are preventable, and if you were involved in a traffic jam or any other type of car accident, we can help. Reach out to a knowledgeable Columbia car accident lawyer at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. for a free case consultation today. Call us at 800-531-9780 or submit an online form.

We proudly serve clients 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 areas 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.

Dangers Facing Delivery Drivers

Columbia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers weigh in on injured delivery drivers.With the boom of online shopping, many consumers rely on delivery drivers during the holiday season to deliver orders to their doorstep or to the intended gift recipient. However, many are not aware that delivery drivers are at an increased risk of accidents and injury while working. This risk increases substantially in the fall and winter months.

Most delivery drivers are covered by their employers Workers’ Compensation insurance, which provides for injury-related medical expenses and a portion of the driver’s lost wages. In the event of a fatal work accident, dependents of the deceased may be entitled to death benefits.

Road Accidents

Like anyone who spends their day driving, truck drivers are naturally at an increased risk for traffic accidents. However, delivery drivers face additional challenges during the holiday and winter months.

  • Reduced visibility: Fewer hours of daylight reduces visibility during delivery times.
  • Inclement weather: Snow-covered, icy roads can make driving treacherous.
  • Intoxicated drivers: Holiday parties and celebrations increase the number drunk drivers on the road.
  • Increased traffic: Shopping, visiting, and holiday events increase road congestion.

Slip and Falls

Icy walkways, broken staircases, misplaced holiday decorations, and unmarked potholes are just some of the many hazards a delivery driver may encounter when making a delivery to a residence or commercial location.

Although many consider a slip, trip, and fall as nothing more than a stumble that is quickly recovered from, delivery drivers are often seriously injured in these types of falls. The injuries can be compounded if the individual is carrying a package, as this makes it harder to use his or her arms to catch a fall.

Common types of delivery driver slip and fall injuries include:

  • Back injuries
  • Spinal damage
  • Elbow fractures
  • Severe head trauma

Delivery drivers injured in slip and fall or trip and fall accidents are typically eligible for Workers’ Compensation benefits. Those injured on the job in South Carolina should speak to a Columbia Workers’ Compensation lawyer about filing a claim and other possible avenues of injury compensation.

Robbery of Delivery Drivers

Delivery drivers are at an increased risk of robbery around the holidays, and depending on the type of delivery, drivers are at risk for several different types of theft:

  • Vehicle theft
  • Truck Contents or package theft
  • Armed robbery for cash

Drivers can follow a few safety precautions to reduce the risk of truck break-ins and robberies. The first is to remain vigilant and do not hesitate to call 911 if people are loitering or acting suspicious near the delivery truck. Never park in an isolated area for meals or rest breaks and carry as little cash as possible. Make sure to keep the doors to the truck locked at all times and always have a cell phone at hand.

Columbia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Represent Delivery Drivers Injured on the Job

If you have been injured while working as a delivery driver, an experienced Columbia Workers’ Compensation lawyer at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. is ready to hear your story. Our attorneys can help determine who is responsible for your accident and what types of compensation you may be entitled to. To schedule a free consultation, contact us online or call 803-929-3600 or 800-531-9780 today.

We assist injured workers across 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.

Runner Fatally Struck in Lexington County Pedestrian Accident

Runner Fatally Struck in Lexington County Pedestrian AccidentA runner was fatally struck in a crosswalk in Lexington County, South Carolina on Tuesday morning. Around 5:15 am, the 36-year-old woman entered a crosswalk between Augusta Highway and Charter Oak Road near the local high school. The driver of the vehicle sustained no injuries and stopped to assist the runner after the pedestrian accident.

Devastating pedestrian accidents occur all too often and, at the very least, may cause physical trauma and emotional distress for the victim. Many may think a pedestrian accident consists of an individual walking down a street or crossing at a traffic light, but anyone who is sitting along the side of a road or jogging may be vulnerable in this type of wreck as well. In some cases, drivers may be unaware of the presence of a pedestrian or fail to use caution when driving near the individual.

If you or someone you love became injured in a pedestrian accident, our Lexington County personal injury lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. will lend a helping hand. To schedule a free consultation, contact us at 803-929-3600 or toll-free at 800-531-9780 or contact us online. We serve clients throughout South Carolina in the following counties, Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, Newberry County, and in the municipalities of Columbia, Lexington, Irmo, Chapin, Rock Hill, Aiken, Sumter, Newberry, Florence, and Spartanburg from our six offices in the state.

 

Workers at Risk of Infection at Hospital Facilities

Columbia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers weigh in on the risk of infections for hospital workers. For many hospital workers, the fear of contracting an infection from an antibiotic- resistant bacteria like methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is very real. A recent study suggests changing privacy curtains surrounding hospital beds can reduce these risks.

MRSA Risks

Exposure to MRSA can result in serious physical complications including:

  • Skin infections
  • Sepsis
  • Blood infections
  • Pneumonia
  • Surgical site infections
  • Death

MRSA is most commonly spread through direct contact with an infected wound. Some precautions hospitals usually take to control the spread of MRSA include: performing standard hand hygiene; wearing protective gloves; using mouth and nose protection; wearing gowns; properly handing patient care equipment; following proper laundering procedures for patient linens; placing MRSA infected patients in single patient rooms; limiting patient transport to only medically necessary purposes; limiting group activities when appropriate; and providing sterile environments when possible.

Problems with Privacy Curtains

A new research study suggested privacy curtains in hospital rooms may be creating additional MRSA safety risk for hospital workers. According to researchers, antibiotic-resistant bacteria may be breeding in hospital privacy curtains. These curtains, which are frequently handled by hospital workers throughout the day, have a high rate of cross contamination.

The researchers examined contamination levels of privacy curtains surrounding ten separate hospital beds over a 21-day period. Eight of the beds were patient-occupied with hospital staff frequently opening and closing the curtains. The two control beds were not being used by patients. While none of the patients occupying the rooms had the MRSA bacteria, after being left unwashed for over 14 days, the privacy curtains in over half of the occupied patient rooms tested positive for MRSA.

For hospital workers having direct contact with privacy curtains numerous times throughout the work day, the risk of cross-contamination could be significant. To ensure worker safety, hospital facilities should change or clean hospital privacy curtains on a regular basis.

Preventing Contamination

Privacy curtains are one of the most touched items in a hospital room. Hospital workers generally are less likely to wash their hands when handling an inanimate object like a curtain. To prevent cross contamination associated with the handling of the privacy curtains, hospitals are encouraged to regularly clean or replace the privacy curtains at least every two weeks. Hospital workers should be informed of the risk of cross contamination and encouraged to disinfect after touching privacy curtains. As more hospitals become aware of the problem of privacy curtain cross contamination, researchers expect hospitals and other health care facilities to begin implementing formal privacy curtain hygiene protocols.

When hospitals fail to provide safe working conditions for their employees, injuries and occupational illnesses can result. For hospital workers who frequently handle cross contaminated privacy curtains that are not properly changed or cleaned, that injury could be a MRSA or other Staph infection. Hospital workers who develop physical complications after being exposed to MRSA at work may be entitled to Workers’ Compensation benefits. The first step in recovering for the medical costs and lost wages associated with a work-related injury such as a MRSA infection is to contact an experienced Workers’ Compensation lawyer.

Columbia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Assist Injured Hospital Workers

If you or a loved one has suffered a workplace injury, the dedicated Columbia Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. are here to help. To arrange a free consultation, contact us online or call 803-929-3600 or 800-531-9780 today.

We proudly represent injured workers throughout South Carolina, including those in 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, as well as those 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, South Carolina.

Preventing Head Injury from Dropped Objects

Columbia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Head injuries resulting from dropped objects at construction sites can be especially devastating to workers. When an object unexpectedly falls onto a construction worker’s head, the impact can cause serious injuries including damage to the central nervous system, concussions, traumatic brain injury, and permanent brain damage.

Being Struck by Falling Objects

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 52,000 construction accidents each year result from falling or dropped objects. Five percent of the workplace fatalities reported in 2015 were caused by the impact of falling objects.

Some of the most commonly dropped items are improperly tethered or contained:

  • Water bottles
  • Hand tools (hammers, pliers, wrenches)
  • Cell phones
  • Tape measures
  • Building materials including bricks
  • Debris

The International Safety Equipment Association recently released a new industry standard for equipment used to contain or tether items. Design, testing and performance criteria for these items is included in the “American National Standard for Dropped Object Prevention Solutions” also known as ANSI/ISEA 121-2018. All dropped object prevention solutions must go through dynamic drop testing. Only those pieces of equipment that can withstand the impact of an object dropped multiple times without breaking will be certified under the standard.

Heights Matter

The height from which a dropped object falls greatly affects the amount of resulting damage. Due to gravity, the higher the height from which an object drops, the greater the amount of force generated. For this reason, even a small hand tool such as a hammer can cause devastating injuries if it hits workers at a great distance below them. The recent death of an independent contractor in New Jersey who was struck on the head by a small tape measure that fell over 50 stories is one example of the risks associated with even small items that drop on workers.

Protection for Workers

Wearing protective head gear such as hard hats is one of the most effective ways to prevent head injury resulting from dropped objects. Hard hats should undergo proper maintenance and periodic inspections to ensure their effectiveness. Workers should store hard hats out of the direct sunlight, check for chemical damage to the suspension straps, and routinely inspect the hat’s shell for signs of damage and excessive wear including perforations or cracking.

Another way to protect workers from falling objects is to erect toe boards, debris nets, safety screens, or guardrail systems that will prevent a falling object from dropping to a lower level. Other safety precautions to prevent objects from dropping to a lower level include erecting canopy structures or other catch platforms which can keep objects away from edges or openings and barricading areas where dropped items are likely to fall.

Construction workers should wear fall protection harnesses to protect themselves from falling off of a building and engage a fall protection system to harness their tools and other objects that could potentially fall onto unsuspecting workers down below. Providing “connection points” for tools allows tools to be more easily tied off which can prevent accidental droppings. Fall protection gear for tools includes lanyards, wristbands, D-rings, self-vulcanizing tape, tool cinch attachments, and quick spins.

Columbia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Help Workers Injured by Dropped Objects

At Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. our experienced work injury lawyers assist individuals throughout South Carolina who have been hurt on the job, including those injured by dropped objects at construction sites. Call us today to speak with an experienced Columbia Workers’ Compensation lawyer at 803-929-3600 or 800-531-9780 to schedule a free consultation or contact us online.

From our six offices in South Carolina, we represent injured workers 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 areas 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.

Work Injury Benefits in South Carolina

Columbia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers discuss work injury benefits for injured SC workers. In the state of South Carolina, employees who become injured at work or develop an illness related to their job are generally entitled to receive Workers’ Compensation benefits. These crucial benefits help injured or ill workers cover the costs of medical bills and lost income while they are unable to perform their work duties.

The Workers’ Compensation process begins when you or your employer files a claim with the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission. If your claim is denied or you receive less than you believe you are eligible for, a Workers’ Compensation lawyer can assist you in appealing the Commission’s decision.

Workers’ Compensation Eligibility

The Workers’ Compensation system is “no fault” meaning you are not required to prove another party was at fault for your accident to receive benefits. You only need to prove that your accident happened in the course of your work or you developed an illness related to the conditions of your work environment.

Some workers in South Carolina are exempt from Workers’ Compensation benefits. They include agricultural workers, corporate officers, federal employees, and railway and railroad workers.

What Workers’ Compensation Benefits Include

Lost Wages

While you are recovering from your work injury, you may be eligible for a portion of the wages you would have earned had you not been injured. You must be unable to work for at least seven days to collect payment for lost wages. Payments are calculated as a percentage of your average weekly wage in South Carolina. Workers who become partially or totally disabled after work accident or illness may be entitled to additional compensation.

Medical Care

Your employer or their insurance company is required to pay all reasonable medical costs associated with your care related to a work illness or injury. That may include doctors’ visits, diagnostic tests, prescriptions, physical therapy, and surgeries. You may be required to see the doctor or hospital selected or approved by your employer or their insurance carrier to collect Workers’ Compensation benefits for medical care.

What to do After a Work Injury or Illness

Because Workers’ Compensation claims are time-sensitive, it is very important to report your injuries to your employer immediately after an accident or illness – in writing, if possible. If you wait more than 90 days to notify your employer, you may jeopardize your right to a claim.

After you notify your employer, he or she has ten days to report your accident to the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission. If they neglect to do so, you can file a claim yourself. A Columbia Workers’ Compensation lawyer can assist you throughout this process to ensure the best chance of approval. They can also advocate for you if you do not receive the amount you believe you are entitled to or if your employer disputes that your accident happened at work.

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

Columbia Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. work tirelessly to obtain the crucial benefits that South Carolina’s injured and ill workers need to support themselves and their families. Whether you have recently suffered a work accident or your claim has been denied, we are here to help. To discuss your situation with a skilled Columbia Workers’ Compensation lawyer, call 803-929-3600 or 800-531-9780 or submit an online contact form to schedule a free consultation today.

We represent injured workers 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.

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