Many Maryland workers may be subject to potential injuries caused over time by exposure to vibration in the workplace. Jackhammers, grinders, pneumatic wrenches, saws, sanders, heavy construction equipment and dental tools are all sources of high-rate vibration. Depending on how and where the vibration is focused in the body, the type of vibration is categorized as hand-arm vibration or whole-body vibration. The former can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome, while whole-body vibration is a leading cause of lower back pain.
The work environment in Maryland as well as across the country has been changing, gradually allowing an increasing number of workers to work at least part time from their home. What people may not know, however, is that in some cases telecommuters may be eligible for workers' compensation benefits even if they are working at home when they suffer an injury.
All employees have the right to expect their employers to provide a safe working environment for them to perform their work responsibilities. Depending on the type of work involved, some employees could be at risk of a workplace injury, particularly if there are certain occupational hazards. Some injuries may occur suddenly such as from a fall. Others, however, may develop gradually over time. For example, the repeated exposure to loud sounds during work hours could cause hearing loss before an employee is even aware of the damage.
Employees in Maryland may be interested in learning more about some of the common questions involving certain workers' compensation issues. When a covered worker misses at least three days due to an illness or injury suffered on the job, they are entitled to receive wage replacement benefits. When employees miss at least two weeks due to a condition caused by work, they may be entitled to recover benefits for the first three days missed as well.
It has been reported that a worker at a road construction site near Rocks State Park was killed while working on Jan. 16. The incident reportedly happened around 1:30 p.m. at the bottom of a ravine on MD Route 24.
Highway work zones are dangerous for both drivers and construction workers. While Maryland is not ranked in the top three states for fatalities involving highway work zone accidents, drivers and workers need to be aware that fatalities too often occur in the state as well.
All employers subject to oversight by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, including those located in Maryland, are now required to promptly report fatalities and in-patient hospitalizations related to workplace incidents. A time limit of eight hours has been imposed for employers to make reports for cases involving a death on the job. Loss of an eye, amputation, or hospitalization must be reported within 24 hours of learning of an incident.
Maryland workers may be interested in some information regarding the process of filing a workers' compensation claim if they are injured on the job. Depending on how the claim is treated, the employee may need to file for an appeal or attend a hearing.
Residents of Maryland who work in the retail or wholesale industries may benefit from a recently published report by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health that offers several tips that could significantly reduce the growing amount of work-related musculoskeletal injuries. These types of injuries, which affect people whose job involves lifting and moving large amounts of stock, freight and other heavy materials, account for about a third of all reported workplace illness and injury cases for 2012, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Ergonomics is the study of properly fitting people in their work environments. Ergonomics can have positive effects on multiple levels, the most important of which is protecting workers from injury.