Sleep deprivation may lead to workplace injuries

When a person frequently works odd shifts, such as an early morning shift directly after a late night shift, this work schedule can deprive them of the sleep they need to be safe on the job. Additionally, sleep deprivation may cause a drop in productivity.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has conducted a study that shows nearly 30% of American workers do not get the amount of sleep they need. This figure has risen from about 24% in the 1980s. NIOSH recommends employers allow their workers at least ten hours in between shifts.

Sleeping for fewer than six hours a night can cause health problems. However, many people work irregular shifts, which wreaks havoc on their sleep schedule. Not getting enough sleep can lead to numerous hazards including a decline in mental function and an increased risk of injury.

If you work unusual hours and have been hurt on the job because of it, contact the Raleigh workers’ compensation lawyers of Scudder Seguin, PLLC, at (919) 851-3311 for a case consultation.

Jay-Z sued for workers’ compensation

Rapper Jay-Z is being sued the the Workers Compensation Board of New York for not paying three months worth of workers’ compensation insurance in 2009.

The lawsuit claims that Jay-Z, real name Shawn Carter, owes $18,000 for the three months of nonpayment. The workers’ compensation covered domestic employees of Carter, including chefs, cooks, maids, and drivers. His lapse was only temporary as the 42 year-old musician has continued to pay workers’ compensation except for the outstanding $18,000.

Carter has responded to the lawsuit, claiming that it is a clerical error and denies he has ever failed to pay his employees workers’ compensation.

If you have been injured on the job, contact the Raleigh workers’ compensation attorneys of Scudder Seguin, PLLC at (919) 851-3311 today.

Heat exposure, dehydration, and workplace injuries

Heat exposure and dehydration can lead to a variety of dangerous situations in the workplace. Not only have heat and dehydration been connected to heat exhaustion, cramps, fainting, and heat stroke, but they can also cause fall accidents and equipment operation accidents.

Blurred vision, dizziness, fatigue, disorientation, and sweaty palms are all symptoms of heat exposure and dehydration. Another common problem associated with heat exposure in the workplace is fogged safety glasses. All of these can lead to accidents and serious injury.

Statistics show that a dehydration level of 2 percent of an individual’s body weight impairs vision and a dehydration level of 4 percent of body weight causes a 23 percent reduction in reaction time. Furthermore, data shows that about 80 percent of people wake up in the morning dehydrated.

Heat-related workplace accidents and injuries can occur in both indoor and outdoor workplaces. Contact the Raleigh workplace injury lawyers of Scudder Seguin, PLLC at (919) 851-3311 today, if you or someone you love has been injured in a workplace accident.

National Workers Memorial Day

On April 28th, communities and workplaces across the country recognized National Workers Memorial Day.  The first Workers Memorial Day was recognized in 1989 and was assigned its date because it marks the anniversary of the Occupational Safety and Health Act signed in 1971.

The day is recognized every year to memorialize workers injured or killed performing work duties.  Workers Memorial Day was honored by the United Nations in 2001 as World Day for Safety and Health at Work.

According to the latest U.S. worker injury and fatality figures, 4,340 were killed on the job in 2009.  In addition, 50,000 people were estimated to have passed away from occupational diseases. Furthermore, 4.1 million people reported being injured or becoming ill in workplaces.

Workers’ compensation insurance rates to increase

After two years of decreases in workers’ compensation insurance rates in North Carolina, the North Carolina Rate Bureau approved a .06 percent increase in voluntary market rates and a 4.1 percent increase in the pooled, or assigned-risk, market.  The rate change will take affect on April 11, 2011.

The Rate Bureau was initially pushing to have rates increased by 1.2 percent in the voluntary market and 5.5 percent in the pooled market.  State regulators negotiated with the bureau and were able to settle at the lower rates.  With the lower rates, North Carolina business save $7 million.  Officials estimate that employers in North Carolina will pay $1.6 billion in insurance premiums next year.

Employers are required to purchase workers’ compensation insurance to protect their employees in the case of an accident, injury or illness.  If you have been injured or disabled on the job and are not receiving the workers’ compensation benefits you deserve, contact the Raleigh workers’ compensation lawyers of Scudder Seguin, PLLC at 919-851-3311 to learn more.

Nike agrees to pay $1.5 million to Honduran workers

On Monday, Nike Inc. announced plans to pay $1.54 million in workers’ compensation funds to over 1,500 Honduran workers who were suddenly laid off last year when the Choloma and San Pedro Sula factories were shut down without notice.  Nike had hired the two factories to produce Nike apparel.  Under Honduras law, the workers were owed $2.6 million in severance after the factories closed.

Initially, Nike had refused to pay any compensation or severance to the laid off workers, believing that it was the responsibility of their subcontractors, Hugger and Vision Tex.  However, after pressure from university and student anti-sweatshop groups, Nike Inc. decided to make a deal with the workers’ union Central General de Trabajadores de Honduras.

Nike will also cover the cost of enrolling the laid off workers in Honduras’ national health care program for one year.

If you or someone you love is seeking workers’ compensation, contact the Raleigh workers’ compensation lawyers of Scudder Seguin, PLLC at (919) 851-3311 to learn more about your rights.

White House orders federal workplace safety to improve

This week, President Obama issued an order asking federal workplace agencies to improve their workplace safety standards in order to reduce the number of claims by federal employees and the amount of federal money spent on workers’ compensation claims.

The order asks that in four years agencies will have cut the number of employee injuries and illness incurred on the job, as well as the amount of time spent to review a claim.  “Many of these work-related injuries and illnesses are preventable, and executive departments and agencies can and should do even more to improve workplace safety and health, reduce the financial burden of injury on taxpayers, and relieve unnecessary suffering by workers and their families,” stated Obama.

In 2009, 79,000 new claims were filed by federal employees and over $1.6 billion was spent by the federal government on workers’ compensation.

If you or someone you know has been injured or become ill on the job, contact the Raleigh workers’ compensation lawyers of Scudder Seguin, PLLC at (919) 851-3311 to learn more about your rights.

Veterans with PTSD included in disability benefits

The Veterans Administration decided to make it easier for veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder to receive disability benefits last week.   Previously, all veterans could be treated for PTSD, however only veterans with proof that they served on the front lines or were involved in a stressful event could receive disability benefits.

VA officials changed disability benefit regulations so that now, veterans only need documentation that they served in a war zone and an honorable discharge.

Josh Callahan of the Boise VA Medical Center stated, “Before this change, a soldier who had been in combat could get benefits, but others had more trouble, even if they had the diagnosis”.

If you or someone you love suffers from PTSD or another disability, contact the Raleigh temporary disability lawyers of Scudder Seguin, PLLC at (919) 851-3311 to learn more about your rights.

Davidson County landfill receives workplace safety award

The Public Sector Star Award is an award given to local government and state agencies with superior workplace safety standards.  Yesterday, the Davidson County Integrated Solid Waste Management Department was given the award for the second time.  Four years ago, the department was the first landfill in the nation to win the award.

North Carolina Commissioner of Labor Cherie Berry was on site to present the award to the department.  She praised them for looking out for fellow coworkers and stated, “It’s really that simple- be your brothers’ and your sisters’ keepers”.

The department has a record number of 871,000 man hours without lost-time injury, which they hope to bring up to 1 million later this month.  Furthermore, the number of recorded injuries fell from 69 in 2001 to 24 in 2009.

If you or someone you know has been injured in the workplace, contact the Raleigh workers’ compensation attorneys of Scudder Seguin, PLLC at (919) 851-3311 to learn more about your rights.

Accident at Fort Bragg kills contractor, injures another

Two Echota Technologies contractors were involved in a fatal training accident at Fort Bragg last month.  Echota Technologies is a defense contractor based in Tennessee.

The accident occurred on a weapons range during short-range live-fire training.

The two employees were working as range maintenance technicians at the time of the accident.  As range maintenance technicians they set up and control targets on weapons ranges, as well as record damage to range equipment and facilities.

57-year old Edward L. Jenkins died after the shooting accident at Womack Army Medical Center.  Another contractor, 27-year old Daniel R. Aliff, was also injured and was treated at UNC Hospital in Chapel Hill.

Our utmost sympathies go out to Jenkins’ family and friends.