State drug formularies to be discussed by workers’ comp expert

Health Strategy Associates principal Joseph Paduda is scheduled to talk about North Carolina’s workers’ compensation drug formularies at the twentieth annual North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Educational Conference this coming Wednesday to Friday, October 14 to 16 at the Raleigh Convention Center.

Paduda will be talking about this subject in response to questions concerning the impact of state drug formularies to workers’ compensation fees in general. He is expected to lay out the different types of formularies, with their corresponding pros and cons.

Paduda will illustrate state drug formularies found in Texas, Oklahoma, Washington, and Ohio and relay these states’ experiences with their corresponding formularies. Paduda’s definition of the term formulary is “a list of medications that can be dispensed without prior authorization and a ‘restricted’ list of medications that require pre-authorization”.

Paduda noted that Texas saw a 10% decrease in opioid prescriptions during the formularies’ first year of implementation, saying that one of the key goals of state drug formularies is to reduce pharmacy expenses in workers’ compensation systems.

Being hurt in a workplace accident is devastating. Not only do you face the burden of paying for expensive medical bills to cure your ailment, you lose the opportunity to work and earn your daily wages. If this happens to you in Raleigh or other areas in North Carolina, our attorneys at Scudder Seguin, PLLC can help you file for workers’ compensation benefits. Contact us today by dialing (919) 851-3311.

North Carolina penalizing businesses without workers’ comp

The North Carolina Industrial Commission’s Fraud and Compliance team is seeking to punish employers that have failed to acquire workers’ compensation insurance as is required under law, according to the Triangle Business Journal on July 14.

According to the North Carolina Department of Commerce, most of the proceeds from these penalties will be re-invested into a state fund that is used to support the state’s public schools.

Businesses that do not comply with the policy of providing workers’ compensation insurance to its employees are given civil penalties and can even be charged criminally under state law. The commission has the duty and responsibility to bring forth punitive and corrective measures against offenders, such as filing charges and enforcing policies at individual businesses.

Between 2014-2015, these actions resulted in the acquisition of $992,965 in penalties from enforcement operations in the counties of Mecklenburg, Wake, Durham, Guilford, and Pitt. This amount was also allotted to the public school system fund.

Our attorneys at Scudder Seguin, PLLC, in Raleigh handle workers’ compensation and workplace injury cases in the state of North Carolina. If you have been hurt in a workplace accident and you need legal help to create a workers’ compensation claim, call our offices today at (919) 851-3311.

Bill protecting companies from undercover threats passed

House Bill 405, a bill that seeks to eliminate employees who are secretly working against their employers, has been approved by the North Carolina Senate in a 32-13 vote, the Times-News reported on May 19.

The bill originally targeted undercover investigations of farm conditions by animal rights activists but was expanded to include all workplaces.

A provision of the bill allows a civil recourse for employers to file a lawsuit against employees who use their positions to steal documents or to illegally take note of company records that are not public knowledge. However, some critics say this bill reduces the protection of whistleblowers, who would then be discouraged to report illegitimate or illegal practices by their employer.

The attorneys at Scudder Seguin, PLLC, help those who have been injured in Raleigh workplace accidents. Call us at (919) 851-3311 today to discuss your options for receiving financial compensation while you are unable to work.

Workers’ compensation rates vary in differing states

A recent report released by ProPublica and NPR brought to light the vast range of workers’ compensation rates in differing states for the same injuries, the Atlantic reported on March 7.

For instance, the report compared the financial compensation for the loss of an eye in two states: $27,280 in Alabama versus $261,525 in Pennsylvania. In part because of these vast differences, many states have begun to shift towards lowering the price of their workers’ compensation rates and premiums closer to the national average.

The report stated that the United States Department of Labor has not been paying close attention to workers’ compensation either–the department stopped tracking how states’ workers’ comp payouts compared to national guidelines in 2004.

Workers’ compensation benefits were instituted to help workers who suffered an injury on the job. If you need assistant filing or appealing a workers’ compensation claim, call the experienced attorneys of Scudder Seguin, PLLC, at (919) 851-3311 today.

Man died after material fell on him in workplace accident

Sixty-five-year-old Schofield, Wisconsin resident Neil Hynick died on January 28 when a load of steel and aluminum fell on him as he was delivering bundles of aluminum to Farmington, Connecticut-based Stanley Access Technologies, the Hartford Courant reported.

Stanely Access Technologies is located at 65 Scott Swamp Road. Hynick was inside his truck when a bundle of steel and aluminum fell on top of him, police said. Emergency responders performed CPR on an unresponsive Hynick and brought him to the University of Connecticut Health Center, where professionals declared him dead.

A spokesman for Stanley Black & Decker, parent company of Stanley Access Technologies, said Hynick was a third-party contractor and made no further comments. The workplace incident will be investigated internally, according to reports.

Officials from the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration went to the scene of the accident the same day to investigate the matter.

Workplace injury data to be made available to the public in a bid to be transparent

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) introduced major proposal changes to its workplace reporting rules that would require companies to electronically file injury and disease reports within the workplace to make such information available to the public in a bid for transparency.

According to OSHA head David Michaels, the change is in line with President Barack Obama’s goal to make public data more accessible to the American people. Michaels said the initiative would cover 38,000 American companies that have 250 employees or more. These companies would be mandated to electronically submit data on a quarterly basis.

Companies in high-risk industries, on the other hand, and are characterized as having 20 or more employees, will be required to electronically submit injury and illness reports within the company once a year. There are estimated to be around 440,000 companies fitting this criteria in the country.

Should you acquire an injury while at work or doing work-related tasks, you are likely entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Contact our Raleigh-based attorneys from Scudder Seguin, PLLC, at (919) 851-3311 to discuss your eligibility and how we may be able to help you.

Common Types of Workplace Injuries

Statistics from 2010 records show that over 4,500 American workers were fatally harmed while performing their day-to-day job activities and about a million suffered from non-lethal workplace injuries. Of these many injuries and accidents, some tend to affect American workers more often, including:

  • Body parts, such as fingers and hair, or everyday wear, like shoes and clothing, becoming entangled with a part of a machine, usually in a place like a factory where heavy equipment is used.
  • Repetitive motion injuries, which are less obvious but can also cause insurmountable health dangers in the long run. Examples of repetitive motion injuries are back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and vision problems due to using the computer 24/7.
  • Falling objects, which are usually dropped from a high vantage point. Wearing protective gear, such as hard hats, can help lessen the prevalence of injuries.

Suffering a serious workplace injury can be difficult, but may be easier to deal with when you have the help of a lawyer from Scudder Seguin, PLLC. Get in touch with us by calling our Raleigh office at 919-851-3311 today.

The Nature of Workplace Injuries

Workers are injured at their places of work because the immediate environment in which they work exposes them to certain dangers. Known as “occupational hazards,” all workers face at least some form of danger in this regard. Depending on the job that a person has, the type of injuries that they may suffer from will vary.

One common cause of employee injuries stems from carrying or lifting heavy objects. People in construction, the food industry, mail and delivery, and many other career fields may be exposed to this type of danger. As a result, it is critical that those who are required to lift heavy objects in their line of work exercise caution in their jobs.

Another common way in which an employee can get hurt is if he or she uses equipment incorrectly. This is often a problem in factories and production facilities. For example, a worker who isn’t appropriately cautious in using cutting tools can end up cutting themselves instead of the material.

Finally, exposure to general hazards, such as chemical toxins or poor ventilation, can result in substantial physical damage to workers over longer periods of time.

All of these potential sources of injury or illness may render a worker eligible to pursue a workers’ compensation claim.

At Scudder Seguin, PLLC, we are committed to helping employees with all of their workers’ compensation needs.