WHAT JOBS AND INJURIES ARE COVERED UNDER WORKERS COMP ?
Those injured on the job often wonder whether their injuries are covered under workers comp laws. While the laws of various states often differ, Maryland, the first state in the nation to pass workers comp legislation, had laid the foundation for other states.
Below is a discussion of a selection of occupations that are covered under Maryland workers compensation laws but it is important to note that almost every occupation is covered by workers comp. The discussion is based on Maryland law and should not be relied upon as legal advise or evidence, or legal argument in any circumstance. Workers Comp injuries should be discussed with a qualified attorney.
You can speak with Baltimore workers compensation lawyer Andrew M. Rodabaugh for a FREE consultation Call , Click to email or just fill out the form below and Mr. Rodabaugh will contact you!
Workers Comp covers Behavior Specialists
Occupations Requiring Driving are covered under workers comp Jump to this Section
EMT (Emergency Medical Technicians), and Paramedic are covered under workers comp See Section
Workers Comp covers Grocery Store Employees See Section
Workers Comp covers Hospital Employees, Nurses, Doctors, Food Workers… See Section
Loggers, Lumberjacks, and Tree Climbers are covered! See Section
Certified Nursing Assistants or CNA’a are covered under workers comp See Section
Constructions workers are entitled to workers comp- electricians, plumbers, HVAC, Carpenters, Painters, Sprinkler installers… Jump to
Warehouse workers, Assembly line worker, and Material Handlers are covered under workers comp See Section
Restaurant workers See Section
Roofers are covered under workers comp See section
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What determines if an injured worker is covered under workers comp ?
There are a number of factors to consider when determining whether an injured worker is covered under workers compensation. While this list is not conclusive it is a good starting point for the analysis:
- Is the injured worker an independent contractor? If so they will likely have to seek coverage under their own workers compensation policy.
- Was the injury sustained while performing work related duties? Please note this may consider injuries while on lunch breaks, traveling for a personal and work related errand.
- Was there drugs or alcohol involved in the accident? Under Maryland law even if there is a positive drug test the injured worker may still be entitled to some workers compensation benefits!
- Are there any prior injuries this workers sustained to the same body parts? It could be argued that the new accident only resulted in an aggravation of a pre-existing condition; however money compensation and medical treatment can still be sought under workers compensation .
- Did the accident occur as a result of an idiopathic condition? For example, a worker who suffers from epilepsy is injured when he falls to the ground at the while working at the employers office. These accidents are rarely covered. An attorney should still be consulted.
Behavior Specialists are covered under Workers Comp
Those employed as behavior specialists, Counselors, and therapists in Maryland are often injured on the job. It is important to note that a great majority of the behavior specialists are entitled to workers compensation benefits. The inherent risk of the occupation makes it almost impossible to alleviate all the dangers associated with being behavior specialist so it is vital that workers compensation is available in the event an injury is sustained. Mr. Rodabaugh has represented numerous workers who sustained injuries after an attack or other mechanism of injury.
With the help of Workman’s Compensation attorney Mr. Rodabaugh, behavior specialists, counselors, and therapists can obtain all of the benefits to which they are entitled under workers compensation.
Those Specialists and Counselors hurt at work in Maryland are entitled to numerous benefits under workers comp:
Lost wages for time missed from work because of the injury. Referred to as temporary total disability payments (TTD);
Complete payment of medical bills from treatment, consultations, diagnostics, medication, or other medically related items such as transportation to the doctors appointments, braces, crutches, alternative means of transportation such as scooters and walkers.
Vocational Rehabilitation is often available as well. This would include job counseling and assistance in the job search.
Vocational Rehabilitation benefits, in the same amount as TTD will be paid to the injured worker while searching for a job or undergoing training in a new occupation.
If the Behavior Specialist, Counselor, or therapist does not recover from the accident 100% they will be entitled to a permanency award. Mr. Rodabaugh will help set up a rating appointment to determine what if any permanent partial disability the injured worker has.
Insurers often fight medical treatment, especially when the case has be reopened. Mr. Rodabaugh can assist Behavior Specialists in obtaining lifetime medical care if the nature of the injury so requires.
The inherent risks of working as a Behavior Specialist, Counselor, or Therapist.
Children and troubled youth are unpredictable and irrational at times. Going into the profession most Behavior Specialists and Therapists know this but are willing to put their safety on the line for the greater good. The risks associated with working around troubled youth can be obvious at times. They can become combative towards staff or other youth and such acts of aggression often lead to injuries of a great variety. Injuries can vary in degree and nature- from a sprained finger during an altercation to a fractured skull because of a surprise attack. Ensuring these employees are covered under workers comp is important.
There are also other risks associated with the occupation that are not apparent. Those risks relate to anyone that is in an educational setting like teachers. (See Baltimore City Teachers). Being active for many hours of the day can lead to sprains and strains. The requirement to be standing a majority of the day can and will lead to increased risk of injury by way of a trip, slip, or fall. Many Behavior Specialists are required to provide materials used for education which may on occasion require heavy lifting. In other circumstances those behavior specialists that are required to participate in physical education are at an increased rate of sustained sports related injuries.
Some of the injured Behavior Specialists, Therapists, or Counselors Mr. Rodabaugh has helped get covered under workers comp:
Behavior specialist who was assaulted by a student from behind. She was punched in the back of the head and wrestled to the ground by the student. With the help of staff she was able to escape the attack however not without injuries. The result of the attack was a head injury, back sprain, and neck strain. The client was covered under workers compensation laws and awarded back pay and permanency money with the help of Mr. Rodabaugh.
Behavior therapist was walking from the parking lot of the facility to start his day of work when he tripped on a piece of cracked cement. He fell to the ground and landed on his knee. Surgery was required to remove a chuck of the bone and repair a ligament.
A behavior specialist witnessed a very troubled youth self mutilate himself
. The horrific nature of the scene led to the specialist needing psychological treatment. After an extensive course of therapy he was able to recover from the trauma completely and workers comp covered lost wages and medical treatment.
Behavior Specialist was teaching a course when a student became unruly. The student was asked to leave the class and the response was to throw a chair at the teacher.
You can speak with Baltimore workers compensation lawyer Andrew M. Rodabaugh for a FREE consultation Call , Click to email or just fill out the form below and Mr. Rodabaugh will contact you!
Delivery Drivers Injured While Transporting Goods, Food, or Services are covered under workers comp
The question often arises whether delivery drivers are covered under workman’s comp benefits. The short answer is YES. If the drivers are performing a job related task at the time of the accident then they will likely be covered under workers comp benefits. While the range of accidents which lead to work comp coverage is great there are certain driving occupations, and types of accidents that are particularly more common. Pizza delivery drivers, Parcel services such as Fed Ex, UPS, DHL, product delivery drivers, and even service drivers such as limo drivers and taxi drivers may be covered.
Pizza delivery drivers and other food delivery drivers are covered under Maryland Workmans’ Compensation law
Whether the worker is a driver for a large chain pizza restaurant, or a smaller mom and pop type restaurant they are likely covered under workers comp in Maryland. The fast pace work environment, exposure to the weather elements, and late hours all lead to vulnerability for drivers. The severity of the injury ordinarily does not factor into whether the injured worker is entitled to benefits, but does ultimately have an affect on the final permanency award. Only to some extent does the time, place and manner of the accident actually affect a workers claim to benefits. A task that is specifically job related would be covered under workers comp.
Common types of accidents food delivery drivers may sustain that would lead to coverage under Maryland Workman’s Comp
Accidents that would be covered include: a burn on hot food, slipping while walking out of the restaurant to go on a delivery, falling while returning from a delivery, getting attacked by a dog while performing a delivery, getting in an auto accident while in route for delivery. Regardless of fault, an auto accident would be covered under workers compensation if it occurred during the course of employment.
If the deliver driver was performing an act that was solely for his own gain they would not be covered. This would include a scheduled break where the driver punched out and went home for his own personal reasons. However, a delivery driver that quickly stopped by their house while on a delivery run would be covered under workers comp! An act that was of mutual benefit to himself and the employer would be covered under Workers Comp in Maryland. An example of this would be a personal trip to the grocery store but also to pick up an item of food for the restaurant such as two liters of soda.
Baltimore Workmans’ Comp Cases we have handled representing food delivery drivers
Food delivery driver received an order for a number of pizzas and two liter sodas in Baltimore. The driver made the trip and arrived at the delivery spot with no issues. The person who ordered the delivery was actually someone planning on mugging the delivery man. The driver was robbed at gunpoint, beaten, hit in the head with a handgun, and pushed down a flight of cement steps in Baltimore. The case settled for over six figures.
Parcel delivery agents such as Fed Ex drivers, UPS drivers, DHL drivers and food and beverage delivery drivers would be covered under Workers’ Comp in Maryland
There are numerous risks that make parcel drivers susceptible to injury while on the job. For many drivers, time is of the essence. The public relies on timely shipping of their packages and these companies strive to meet that demand. Presumably this can lead to long arduous hours with many deliveries throughout a particular area on any given day.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health conducted an ergonomic study in an effort to study, identify, and reduce risks associated within the soft drink and beverage delivery industry. These findings may be applied loosely to those whom drive for particular parcel services as well as those in the delivery industry.
Injuries among Parcel and Product delivery drivers are usually covered under Workers comp
Parcel delivery drivers may work up to 15 hours in a day with the potential of delivery to over 100 stops within any given day. Packages range in size. For the heavier packages strains and sprains to the low back, knees, or shoulders may be common. For the smaller packages- even repeatedly lifting packages of less than 30 lbs may lead to sprains and strains. An enlightening and interesting article can be found here at A Day in the Life of a FedEx Driver. If you stop and look around the room you sit each and every item was delivered by someone at some point in the logistics process. From the furniture weighing hundreds of pounds to the boxes of pens that may have been packaged by the thousands, all have been lifted and carried by at least one, and likely multiple delivery personnel.
Notwithstanding the repeated lifting of heavy or moderate packages throughout the day, there are other risks that lead to injuries for the product delivery driver. With any transportation job, auto collisions are an associated risk. Again, regardless of fault delivery drivers may likely be covered under Maryland Workmans’ Comp laws. When bad weather is present the risks of injury increase. Slip and Falls are expected during wintry weather, and summer rain may contribute to an increase in collisions.
Parcel and Product delivery drivers we have helped obtain workers comp coverage.
A soda delivery driver was operating a hand truck in Baltimore that he stacked with about four cases of soda. Pushing the hand truck up an incline on the sidewalk he sustained a low back strain. The workers comp insurance company urged him to return to work which ultimately resulted in an aggravation injury to the low back. The soda delivery driver underwent a course of physical therapy and injections were recommended. The case(s) were later settled for $22,000.
A Bakery delivery driver in Baltimore was pushing carts loaded with rolls and bread out of his truck. The driver did not see a break in the flooring and twisted his knee. Surgery was performed, therapy undertook, and eventually a permanency award was obtained in the case.
Delivery driver was tasked with taking a load to a grocery store. The store was located in a particular bad part of Baltimore. The timing of the delivery was late in the evening and there was poor lighting at the drop off spot. The driver was mugged, beaten, stabbed and left on the ground. Fortunately the driver was found and recovered after over a year of intense psychological and physical therapy.
Service Drivers, Taxi drivers, and Shuttle drivers may all be covered under workers Comp
There are a number of occupations that do not ordinarily come up when thinking about who would be covered under workers comp. Service providers, taxi drivers, and shuttle drivers do not ordinarily come to mind when thinking of work injuries, however for the most part these employees do occasionally get injured and are covered under workers comp laws.
A large portion of the services industry spends considerable time on the road in between calls and job sites. This would include but is not limited to plumbers, HVAC mechanics, appliance repairman, exterminators, and fuel company drivers. All of these occupations require multiple trips throughout the day. For the plumber, HVAC, appliance repairman they may have to drive to the residence diagnose the problem, drive to the supply house, return to the office or move on to a second call. Inherent risks include those with any traveling occupation, however these workers often have to lift heavy parts and replacement products which lead to strains, sprains, breaks, and tears. All of which would require some degree of coverage under workers comp.
Exterminators and fuel truck drivers are often traveling to multiple residence each day. Upon arrival they are required to unravel hundreds of feet of heavy hose, maneuver around yards, landscaping, and other stationary objects just to get to the drop off point. Common injuries among exterminators and fuel truck drivers include shoulder injuries but also injuries to other parts of the body are sustained when they slip, trip or fall. Being covered under workers comp is important so they are able to obtain medical treatment and not have to worry losing money while off from work.
Airport shuttle drivers, Maryland Mobility drivers, and MTA drivers are all covered under workmers comp if injured while working. The common risks associated with spending many hours on the road are certainly present for these drivers however other risks often arise. Airport shuttle drivers on occasion have to lift heavy suitcases which may lead to shoulder, neck, or back problems. They also ccasionally have to step out into the weather elements. For Mobility drivers they are often tasked with helping the disabled or elderly from their home steps to the vehicle. It is quite possible that Mobility drivers are required to assist in maneuvering heavy wheelchairs or lifts.
Taxi Drivers, Uber, Lift
For taxi drivers coverage under Maryland workman’s comp can be a tricky question that almost always requires the involvement of an attorney. The reason is that often these drivers are categorized as an independent contractor which places them outside of the coverage for workers compensation. How taxi drivers are paid, who they take orders from, how much direction they are given, and specific job requirements all come into play in the analysis as to whether they would be covered under workers comp.
Some Service Drivers in Baltimore and throughout Maryland we have represented in obtaining workers comp benefits
An exterminator was tasked with spraying an acre of property with a bug repellent. With hundreds of feet of hose unraveled the driver attempted to pull the hose a bit further when he felt a snap in his shoulder. Being covered under workers comp was imperative to this injured worker because he was unable to work for over 1 year. The Torn ligament led to multiple surgeries and eventually a settlement over $100,000.
An HVAC mechanic was tasked with maneuvering an air conditioning condenser out of a tight space when he felt a twinge in his neck. He underwent a course of physical therapy and was able to return to work in a full capacity only possible because he was covered under workers comp.
You can speak with Baltimore workers compensation lawyer Andrew M. Rodabaugh for a FREE consultation Call , Click to email or just fill out the form below and Mr. Rodabaugh will contact you!
EMT, paramedics and emergency personnel are covered under workers comp!
Common work injuries among EMT and Paramedics
Certain occupations require more physical activity than others which results in a higher rate of injury among those employed in such occupation. Employees of the public safety sector are regularly on the move responding to emergency calls in order to assist citizens involved in accidents. In 2015 there were 754 injuries sustained by Fireman Including Volunteer & Ambulance services resulting in a slight reduction from prior years. While there does not appear to be any subjective data collected on the severity of these particular injuries or how they occurred, there does seem to be common sources of work injuries for EMT and Paramedics which result in them relying on workers comp coverage.
EMT and Paramedics are occasionally injured while maneuvering patients onto or off of stretchers or gurneys. It is quite common for emergency personnel to suffer minor back and shoulder strains while attempting to move a patient. Particularly a patient that is motionless weight, or excessive weight. Even minor accidents may lead to needing to be covered under workers comp. Unfortunately there are instances where the injuries are not just a minor strain or sprain but result in complete ligament tear, or herniated discs.
Paramedics and EMT are also susceptible to being injured at work while in transport to and from emergency calls. One of the more obvious modes of injury for all emergency personnel are auto accidents which are almost always covered under workers comp according to Maryland law. The nature of the occupation requires a quick response time and sometimes auto accidents are unavoidable. Even the most cautious driver is still susceptible to accidents that are caused by other drivers but if you add in the faster speeds that paramedics and EMT’s must travel at then the chance of a non-at fault auto accident is increased. In addition to auto accidents there are other risks while in transport to and from calls.
Any occupation that requires regular and constant travel will include exposure to inherent dangers. It is not uncommon for EMT and Paramedics to be injured while walking to their unit or walking from their unit to the location of the emergency. Injuries from falls while descending and ascending steps, slips while maneuvering through the elements, especially in icy conditions, and injuries while moving through patients homes are common work injuries among EMT and Paramedics which require them to be covered under workers comp.
When transporting patients often times an EMT or Parmedic must be in the back of the unit administering medical treatment. Increased risk of injury occurs when the medical provider is not seat buckled but is moving freely throughout the cabin of the ambulance. The risk of fall is apparent, but also some risk of getting injured while working on the patient using medical equipment. Risks such as getting stuck with needles, being injured by aggressive patients, or being hit by equipment or supplies increases dramatically when the ambulance is in motion.
Workers Compensation Benefits for EMT and Paramedics
EMT and Paramedics are covered under workers comp just as any other employee is entitled to workers compensation benefits. The benefits of which injured workers regularly receive under workers compensation include:
Medical Treatment for EMT/Paramedics through workers compensation-
An injured worker is entitled to medical treatment to the injured body part for the remainder of their life according to Maryland workers comp law. The caveat to this rule, which is regularly misunderstood among injured workers, is that the nature and extent of the injury must justify lifetime medical treatment. If the injury is minor then the future medical treatment may be minor or non-existent for the injured EMT or Paramedic.
Temporary Total Disability/Lost wage payments by workers comp-
As long as a physician is indicating that the injured EMT or Paramedic is unable to work in any capacity then temporary total disability/lost wages are due. Lost wages should be paid at 2/3 of the average weekly wage of the injured paramedic by the workers compensation insurer. In some when an EMT or paramedic is held out of work by their doctor they may receive full wages. See EMT and Paramedics benefits as public safety employees below.
Temporary Partial Disability-
If working but not making the same wages that were being paid prior to the accident then temporary partial disability benefits should be paid by workers comp to the injured EMT or paramedic. These payments are calculated as 50% of the difference of the pre-injury and post injury wages.
Permanent Partial Disability awards to EMT/Paramedics through workers compensation-
Once discharged from treatment the EMT or Paramedic injured at work qualifies for permanent partial disability. This will only apply in cases where there is some remaining physical problems, complaints, pain, or discomfort. Maryland workers comp Attorney will have an evaluation performed by a specialized orthopedic surgeon who will provide an impairment rating. The rating assists the EMT’s workers compensation attorney in determining a reasonable settlement amount or an expected permanency award. There are legal doctrines such as industrial loss, combined other cases, which are also considered when estimating settlement or permanency award the EMT should expect.
Permanent Total Disability
In very rare circumstances a person is not able to return to work in any capacity because of the severity of their injury. If the paramedic has sustained such serious injuries from a work accident that they are not physically able to seek any gainful employment then a permanency finding of “permanent total” may be awarded by the commission. These findings are quite rare and most paramedics would not qualify for a permanent total award by the Workers Compensation Commission.
Vocational Rehabilitation Benefits to EMT/Paramedics are covered under workers comp
If no longer able to perform the work duties and the employer does not have an accommodation available EMT and Paramedics who are getting workers comp may be candidates for Voc Rehab. A vocational counselor will be assigned to the case while the injured EMT and Paramedic search for employment. While the job search continues so will the workers compensation benefits.
Reimbursement of Expenses
The injured EMT or Paramedic should not be required to make out of pocket payments for prescription medication, or be expected to pay parking when visiting their doctor. However, this does occur in many cases. These expenses are to be reimbursed to the injured.
Mileage may be covered under workers comp
Under Maryland workers compensation laws the injured employee is entitled to be reimbursed for mileage when traveling to and from a treating doctors.
In certain circumstances the injured employee is entitled to transportation to and from each scheduled doctors or therapy appointment. Your Maryland workers compensation attorney may be able to arrange your pick up and drop off free of cost to you.
On occasion additional benefits can be obtained from the insurance company. Mr. Rodabaugh has represented clients and successfully obtained financial advancements on multiple occasions, payment for weight loss programs, changes to personal vehicles to suite disability, and access ramps to the injured workers home.
In addition to the above stated workers compensation benefits to which every injured Maryland worker is entitled, as public safety employees EMT’s and Paramedics are entitled to other benefits.
How are EMT’s and Paramedics’ workers compensation benefits affected as public safety employees?
Many EMT’s and Paramedics are employees of municipalities, ordinarily county governments. As government employees they may receive a period of A-leave benefits. Accident leave can be paid in lieu of temporary total disability/lost wage payments. The benefit is that the EMT or Paramedic will get full wages for a period of time which is more than the 2/3 of their average weekly wage which is ordinarily the amount paid and covered under workers comp. The down side is that accident leave does not toll the statute of limitations for any given case.
As public safety employees EMT’s and Paramedics receive the second tier rate of payment on permanency awards that would otherwise be paid at the first tier rate. This means that EMT and Paramedics who have sustained the exact same injury as a non-public safety employee will receive almost twice as much compensation.
EMT and Paramedics are entitled to a number of legal presumptions. A legal presumption places less of an evidentiary burden on the EMT and Paramedic and gives them a slight advantage. Under Maryland workers compensation law EMT/Paramedics enjoy a presumption of compensability for occupational diseases including hypertension, heart disease, lung disease. Further presumptions of compensability are provided for those EMT and Paramedics who have worked at the department for 10 years, are not able to perform duties because of the occupational disease, and passed a physical prior to employment. If these terms are met then the employee will be covered under workers comp for leukemia, prostate, rectal, throat, brain, testicular, lymphoma or breast cancer.
Volunteer EMT and Paramedic workers compensation benefits
Volunteer EMT and Paramedics will enjoy most of the benefits that the paid EMT or Paramedic receives under Maryland workers compensation laws. One key distinction is how the volunteer EMT or Paramedic would be pad if they are not able to work. As a volunteer they do not receive wages so determining the amount of lost wages which would be covered under workers comp would be impossible, however Maryland law provides the average weekly wage from any full time employment the volunteer has would be used in determining the lost wage payment amount. For more on volunteer employees go here.
Sample Paramedic and EMT workers compensation cases Mr. Rodabaugh has handled:
EMT was working for a private ambulance company when he injured his right shoulder. He was rushing to his unit to respond to a call and slipped on some melted snow. Injury sustained was a rupture of the supraspinatus tendon. Mr. Rodabaugh helped the EMT get covered under workers comp for lost wages and a settlement over the amount of $50,000.
EMT was traveling in the rear of a response unit when the unit was involved in a collision. The EMT sustained neck and head injuries after being thrown about the back of the ambulance. Mr. Rodabaugh was able to have the claim deemed compensable and recovered lost wages.
Paramedic was attempting to raise a gurney when she felt a pop in her wrist and pain in her arm. The weight of the patient and the amount of strength needed to raise the gurney resulted in bilateral extremity damage. The Paramedic received extensive therapy and Mr. Rodabaugh assisted her in obtaining a permanency award before the workers compensation commission.
Grocery Stores Employees are covered under workers comp in Maryland!
Employees of grocery stores who are injured on the job in Maryland are covered under Maryland workers compensation!When workers compensation is mentioned most people automatically begin thinking of hard labor jobs such as construction, carpentry, plumbing, and electrical. It should be known that almost every occupation in the state of Maryland are covered under workers compensation and that includes employees of grocery stores!
What grocery store employees are covered under Maryland workers comp?
It is likely that every employee in the grocery store is covered under Maryland workers Compensation laws. This would include Bakers, Butchers, Cashiers, Managers, Cart boys, Customer service, stock clerks, and others.
Employees that may not be covered under workers comp are those that are considered a contracted employee. It is IMPORTANT to note that even if an employee is called a contracted employee by the grocery store they may not be considered a contracted employee by the Maryland Workers Compensation Commission and may still be covered under workers comp.
What are some common injuries sustained by Baltimore grocery store workers?
As with any occupation that requires an employee to walk around there is always the risk of a trip, slip, or fall. It is not unheard of to find spilled food or beverages on the floor of a grocery store. This can be a hazard not only for employees but also patrons.
It is commonly understood that meat cutters are particularly susceptible to developing carpal tunnel syndrome. The repetitive cutting in the cold environment creates an inherent risk of developing the syndrome. More on Carpal Tunnel
Stocking clerks are sometimes expected to lift heavy objects repeatedly which can occasionally result in sprains and strains of the back, neck, shoulders, and arms.
Cases we have handled that involved injured grocery store workers throughout the state of Maryland
Manager of Grocery Store injured
Injured workers was the manager of a large grocery store chain located in Montgomery County. He was doing his rounds around the store when he tripped over a pallet with cases of water causing him to twist his low back. The workers comp insurer challenged the case however Mr. Rodabaugh was able to convince them to accept the case as compensable and he was covered under workers comp. The injured Maryland worker underwent a course of physical therapy and then returned to his position.
Stocking Clerk injured
Stock clerk was working night hours stocking shelves fool of product. As she was maneuvering a pallet jack she hit a shelf causing another pallet to tip over on her hip which caused her to fall. The stock clerk sustained injuries to her knee and low back. The first hearing was conducted which resulted in authorization of medical treatment- physical therapy and cortisone injections. A second hearing was later conducted and over $10,000 was awarded.
Loading dock attendant injured
A loading dock attendant was working in a well known grocery store in Frederick Maryland. He tripped and fell over 4 feet off of a loading dock injuring his ankle and shoulder. After multiple ankle surgeries, physical therapy and pain management he was discharged from care. Because of expected lifelong pain Attorney Rodabaugh later settled the case for over $300,000.
Meat Cutter/ Butcher Injured
A meat cutter injured his neck when lifting a leg of meat at a well know grocery store in Baltimore. He underwent surgery and pain management and eventually returned back to work full duty. An award of over $70,000 was obtained at the Maryland Workers Compensation Commission!
Bakery Workers Injured
An employee of 12 years was working in the Bakery department of a grocery store when he had to kneel down to pick up a utensil. He felt a pop in his knee and was later diagnosed with ligament damage. Lost wages, surgery, and medication were all awarded by the Maryland Workers Compensation Commission and he was covered under workers comp.
Bakers assistant was attempting to move a commercial sized bakery bowl when he tripped and injured his arm and low back. Mr. Rodabaugh was successful arguing the case at the Maryland Workers Compensation Commission and later recovered over $6000 for the injured worker.
Bakery worker injured his shoulder while attempting to lift a five gallon bucket of icing. Two hearing took place in this case, both of which Mr. Rodabaugh was successful in obtaining Maryland workers comp benefits for the injured worker. First surgery was argued for and was awarded. Second, compensation was argued for and over 25,000 was awarded to the injured worker.
Cashiers in any retail facility are vulnerable to develop carpal tunnel syndrome because of the repetitive use of their hands and wrists. Grocery store cashiers are especially vulnerable because the volume of products that are often purchased. A random clothing cashier may be required to ring up only a few items for every shopper while a grocery store cashier could be expected to ring up a thousand items a day. It is the repetitive nature that often leads to carpal tunnel syndrome.
Hospital Employees covered under Workers Compensation in the state of Maryland
Almost all Hospital Employees are covered under Maryland Workers Compensation
Hospital staff- Doctors, nurses, CNA’s, custodial or janitorial, cleaners, kitchen workers, office staff, maintenance staff are all covered under workers comp. If these employees are unfortunate enough to sustain an injury on the job they should consider filing the required paperwork under Maryland law. Among these occupations injuries are more common in some than others. Injuries occur more often in those particular jobs that require heavy lifting, laborious tasks, increased interaction with combative patients, or extended time on their feet.
How Common are injuries among hospital employees?
The short answer is Very! When compared to the private industry as a whole, hospitals rate of injury are almost double. According to a 2011 publication by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for every 100 employees, 6.8 are injured. These numbers are derived from the Bureau of Labor Statistics which means they are based on national statistics. As the OSHA study indicates, the most common injuries are over-exertions. Slips, trips and falls account for nearly 25% of hospital injuries. In Maryland, however the numbers do seem to fall in line with the national average. Topped by only police officers, the hospital industry had the second highest rate of injury at 4.7%. 2015 Maryland Claims statistics
Hospital Nurses and CNA’s are covered under Maryland’s workers compensation law
There are a great deal of CNA’s or nurses who are injured on the job. CNA’s arguably have one of the toughest and most physical jobs in the hospital. Often required to lift obese patients, transport heavy patients in wheel chairs and medical beds, and consistently lift throughout the day. For more reading on CNA’s go here. Similar to CNA’s nurse are also tasked with moving and transporting patients on a regular basis. In addition to these tasks, nurses also seem to spend considerable face to face time with patients. Combative patients may lead to sprains, strains, needle sticks, or exposure to bio-hazards. In addition the hazards to which nurses are regularly exposed, long shits often lead to fatigue and stress which contribute to rate of injury.
In a American Nurses Association. 2011 Health and Safety Survey Report it is noted that 8 out of 10 nurses report working frequently with musculo-skeletal pain.
Doctors are covered under Maryland workers’ compensation?
The question of whether doctors are covered under workers comp is a bit more complicated but for the most part they would enjoy these benefits. The complications arise when there is a contractual relationship which would declare the physician an independent contractor. Physicians with “privileges” may likely have an independent contractor status which would prevent them from collecting benefits under workers comp policies provided by the hospital. They likely would be able to enjoy workers comp benefits under other another policy.
ER physicians, and doctors that are regularly employed and working for the hospital would be covered under the hospitals work comp policy. A study of the rate of injury and willingness to file a workers comp claim by physicians would presumably yield low numbers, but would be interesting to analyze.
Hospital Janitors, Custodians, maintenance, and cleaners are all covered under Maryland Workmans’ Comp
Hospital janitors/custodians are almost always covered under workers comp. Common injuries include falls and especially slips on water puddles or waxed floors. When required to clean a large area of the hospital in a limited amount of time injuries are expected. For this reason hospital cleaners are often injured because of the time restraints of their job. Maintenance men sustain injuries similar to all hospital staff but because of the laborious nature of their occupation, the mechanism of injury is often quite different. Common injuries sustained by maintenance workers are similar to those of the hard labor trades.
Hospital Kitchen Workers/ Food services employees are covered under Maryland workmans’ comp law
Hospital kitchen workers sustain injuries that any restaurant or fast food worker may sustain such as burns, cuts, falls, strains and sprains. For further reading see Restaurant Workers. Other food service workers must not be forgotten as they often endure a very physical day of duties. For those food service workers delivering trays of food to hospital rooms often travel the length of the hospital multiple times a day. They are required to push racks of food that contain substantial weight while under pressure to deliver food timely and efficiently. Once lunch, breakfast, or dinner is delivered the same food service worker must then travel the same path to collect dirty dishes and trays. By the time one meal is served and cleaned up preparations for the next meal are beginning. The long laborious day of the food service worker can contribute to back injuries, foot and ankle sprains, knee problems, and more.
Hospital administrative and office staff are covered under Maryland workers comp
When picturing hospital staff most immediately think of the nurses and doctors. The office staff is likely overlooked or not expected to be injured. Administrative staff is covered under workers comp and likely experience occasional injuries on the job as well. Office personnel must navigate the hospital which often requires extensive walking and descending of stairs. Again, the second highest form of injury within hospitals are slips, trips, and falls. Fluid presence on hospital floors is not uncommon. For the administrative office staff they would be covered under Maryland workers comp if unfortunate enough to sustain an injury from a spilled substance. Administrative personnel would also enjoy coverage of other injuries ordinarily sustained in an office atmosphere.
Loggers and Lumberjacks have one of the most hazardous jobs that result in the highest rate of injury. Not only do loggers and lumberjack endure one of the riskiest occupations out there, but they sustain the highest rates of injury according to many sources. The risks to which they are exposed, the shear physical requirements of the job, and the demands of the occupation leave little room to argue that these guys can be characterized as tough, rough and motivated.
Because of the inherent risks of these jobs employees should ensure there is a workers compensation policy and they are covered under workers comp
Workers Compensation Benefits available to the injured lumberjack, logger, tree climber, or tree trimmer
Maryland workers compensation benefits are available for most on the job injuries sustained by lumberjacks, loggers, or tree workers. The benefits do not vary from most other occupations and include lost wage compensation referred to as temporary total disability (TTD), paid for medical treatment by the workers compensation insurer, job training and vocational rehabilitation if necessary, reimbursement of medically related expenses, mileage reimbursement, and a permanency award or settlement.
What risks and hazards are Loggers and Lumber jacks exposed to that lead to injuries on the job?
As with any hard labor job, lumber work involves tools and injuries result therefrom. The usual construction or maintenance tools are included, but tree climbers and lumberjacks also use high risk, specialized tools such as chainsaws, handsaws, climbing spikes, cork boots, harness’, lanyards, ropes, and heavy machinery. With any one of these tools or pieces of equipment the risks of injury are seemingly apparent and injury resulting therefrom would lead employees to be covered under workers comp.
Most notably, the injuries that arise from these tools often are substantial in nature and not injuries that can be brushed off or ignored. Improper or miscalculated use of a high powered chainsaw can lead to dismemberment and amputation. There are no minor cuts or sprains from a chainsaw! If a support harness or lanyard fails tree climbers may fall to a substantial impact. Any fall over a few feet is arguably going to lead to a significant sprain or strain and necessary time off from work. Heavy machinery is relatively safe for those who are operating the equipment. However, when these operators are faced with maneuvering the equipment around rough, uneven, and condensed landscaping the risks for the operator increase exponentially. This also means that those lumberjacks working around the heavy machinery are exposed to increased risk of injury.
Ropes and securing instruments are often used to guide the trees as they fall to the ground. In the event these ropes fail, or are inaccurately placed, the path of the tree may change dramatically. Those loggers in and around the path of descent may be hit, crushed, or killed.
The physical requirements of the lumberjack logger, or tree climber occupation lead to injuries on the job
These occupations require constant climbing over debris, up trees, and around difficult terrain. It is almost mandatory to be physically fit before starting the job. along with climbing around rough terrain, often these guys are required to carry heavy saws, pick up heavy logs and debris, and use maximum strength to get the job done.
Anytime a job requires this kind of constant physical activity then the risk of injury increases. Spinal strains and sprains often result from having to lift and carry heavy logs. Handling some of the power tools while standing on less than ideal surfaces often lead to sprains and strains to the shoulders and arms. The requirements to constantly navigate uneven terrain, and climb through debris will most likely result in some sort of ankle, knee, or leg sprain.
The Demands of the lumberjack, logger, or tree climber require increased needs for coverage under workers comp
Tee workers are often required to meet deadlines that are generated by contractual obligations. They may be required to provide a specific amount of lumber for any particular order. They may also be required to clear a particular area of all lumber so that builders may then begin their work. Because of regular deadlines lumberjacks, loggers, and tree climbers are often to required to work long and exhausting hours.
As fatigue sets in lumber workers, or all workers really, will often fail to exhibit the necessary caution and awareness that is ideal to prevent injury. With fatigue comes increased risk of injury. In the lumberjack, logger, and tree climbing occupations increased fatigue can mean devastating injury.
Pertinent Cases in which Mr. Rodabaugh helped get these workers covered under workers comp:
Tree trimming expert was carrying 80 to 100lb logs and loading them into the rear of a pickup truck. The worker attempted to lift a log well over 100lbs and herniated a disc in his neck. After weeks of therapy, multiple injections, and eventually a discectomy and laminectomy he was discharged from care. Mr. Rodabaugh recovered well over six figures for this employee.
Employee was using a chop saw to cut a piece of metal when he lost control of the saw. The saw then thrust backwards and hit the employee in the face and mouth.
Worker climbing a six foot ladder fell and landed awkwardly on both of his feet. The worker sustained compression fracture to his lower spinal cord. Mr. Rodabaugh assisted the injured worker in recovering over six figures.
Maryland Certified Nursing Assistants hurt on the job are covered under workers comp if not an independent contractor
Benefits to which CNA’s are entitled to when covered under workers comp laws in Maryland
Like any other injured worker in Maryland CNA’s are entitled to lost wage payments while being held out of work by a physician. If the treating physician indicates that the nursing assistant is able to perform light duty then he or she is obligated to return to work in the capacity indicated. The workman’s comp adjusters commonly indicate to the injured worker that the injured worker must treat with one of the physicians on the adjusters list. This is not true. At this point it may be wise to consult a Maryland workers comp attorney. Under Maryland comp laws the employee may treat with any physician that accepts workers comp insurance. Absent a contractual agreement or laws indicating otherwise, an employer may require the injured worker to be seen at a facility of the employers choosing. Again, the employee does not have to go to the employers doctor however this MAY interfere with the employee/employer relationship.
The right to medical treatment could potentially last the lifetime of the CNA if the extent of the injury demands so. If the injury is a minor sprain then medical benefits will come to an end. If the accident leads to a life altering condition the CNA will enjoy lifetime medical treatment paid by the workers comp insurer.
An injured CNA is also entitled to a settlement or permanency money if they suffer with any permanent problems as a result of the accident. For this step to take place it is important to retain a Maryland workers compensation attorney to assist in ensuring the CNA is covered under workers comp
Common Injuries among medical staff that lead to workers comp claims
In my opinion the most common workplace injury seen among certified nursing assistants are back injuries. Often back injuries are sustained while tending to a patient. Cleaning bed ridden patients, applying bandages, adjusting covers, and manipulating body parts all require a great amount of force to be exerted by the nurse. Considering that many CNA’s are females with less upper body strength it is of no surprise than when having to repeatedly move patients weighing 100 lbs or more they are injured. Among CNA’s are people of all ages, some young and some more seasoned. Age does come into play when considering the vulnerability to injury and this is reflected among statistical data collected by the workers compensation commission. In fact, Maryland females ages 50-59 sustained the highest number of injuries in 2015.
In addition to spinal injuries I see a fair amount of CNA’s suffering from shoulder injuries. Again, these injuries are often associated with having to move patients that are bed ridden and usually lead to being covered under workers comp.
Common Incidents among medical staff
Moving and attempting to lift patients seems to be the most common mode of injury among CNA’s and medical staff however there are also some other re-occurring incidents that I see among clientele. Slipping, tripping, and falling is a fairly common mode of accident among medical staff. Often the cause being wet hospital floors or wiring from the machines in the patients room. Throughout their 8 or 12 hour shifts the medical staff must constantly enter rooms with wires and cords all over the place. Some rooms, depending on the severity of the patients condition, seem to look like cobwebs of wires. It is no surprise that staff is injured when they are walking through these rooms on a regular basis.
Hospice or home care medical staff are often injured in a similar manner. They often enter homes they are not familiar with, exposing them to hazards that are usually not considered. Consider the loose step entering the elder’s home, the threshold entering the patients bedroom, or the imbalanced furniture piece that may break or fall at anytime.
Precautions employers should be taking to prevent workers comp claims
Some seem more obvious then others but employers can take steps to alleviate risks to which medical staffers are commonly exposed. For the petite or older CNA, assistance with moving the bed ridden patient must be provided. A 150lb CNA should not be expected to roll over a 200 lb patient without help. Lose or long wiring and cords should be secured off of the floor of patients. Alleviate the tripping hazards. Hospital floors are susceptible to getting wet and when they do they can be extremely slippery. Requiring staff to wear particular shoes can alleviate the risk of slips.
Construction Workers injured at work are often covered under workers comp laws in Maryland
One of the more hazardous occupations is that of a construction worker. This could include pipe fitters, plumbers, electricians, hvac mechanics, carpenters, roofers, painters, you name it. Prior to practicing law I was employed as a commercial refrigeration pipe fitter for the better part of a decade. Like most in the construction industry I was constantly getting hurt, albeit minor injuries mostly. Anyone entering the job site would sense the inherent dangers all around. I say sense because you can hear the screaming circular saws, and hammer drills, smell the burning torch flames and busted concrete, see the 20 ft extension ladders and extended scissor lifts, and hear the angry foreman rushing his workers.
Why do so many accidents occur within the construction industry
Day in and day out construction workers are exposed to the elements and regularly injured. Their days consist of fully physical work for at least 8 hours a day. Carrying heavy tools and materials, lifting constantly, and placing themselves in awkward positions so they can secure that last bolt. The brutal occupation almost demands the eventual injury for each worker and unfortunately the occasional devastating work injury.
The reasons for injury’s are many but there are a number of explanation that I can offer from personal experience in commercial construction as well as representing clients in their workers compensation cases.
As stated, the job is inherently dangerous requiring the use of power tools. For many workers, such ascarpenters/ stud hangers, the use of the tools are very repetitive. What this means for many is they become to comfortable and let their guard down resulting in injury. Also, using a chop saw to cut studs a hundred times a day will expose the worker to the risk 100 times a day. As a beginning pipe fitter I was very concerned that the oxy/acetalene rig would burn my hands or arms. I was slow and careful. As my experience increased my caution decreased. Productivity increased, quality increased, burn rate increased.
Much construction work is done in elevation. This requires the use of ladders, scissor lifts, and pettit booms. On a regular occasion some construction worker on the site trips and falls to the ground. For the most part these falls are harmless. When the work requires the employee to climb an extension ladder, or use a scissor lift falls become more serious. Not only does the risk of injury on the job increase, but often necessary increase in caution is not taken.
Productivity is chosen over safety all the time
Imagine being 25 feet in the air on a scissor lift. You are just two inches from reaching the bolt that needs to be tightened but just can’t get to it. The choices: 1. lower the scissor lift 25 feet down just to move it forward a couple inches and then have to lift it 25 feet again, 2. keep the scissor lift all the way elevated and drive it forward, 3. climb the railing of the scissor lift and hang one leg over the edge so to have the extra inch or two to stretch. In the construction industry all too often workers make scenario 3. like decisions. With this decisions comes the increase in work place injuries all for increased productivity.
Any construction site has workers of various ages from 18 to 65 plus. For many workers this is the only field they know and have been in construction their whole lives. For those that are older, the risk of injury is increased. They do not have the bone strength, muscle mass, or ligament strength they had when first starting in the occupation. The older employees have to push themselves harder to keep up with the younger employees, and for the most part do. But sometimes these workers push to hard and end up paying for it. Whether it be a shoulder sprain or a herniated disc what they once could do they now struggle with.
Some of the more common accidents I personally have been involved in:
While I was working construction- brain damage after falling 14 feet off a walk in cooler, 3rd degree burns on the hand after mis-handling a torch, herniated disc after lifting a cement oxygen bottle, carpal tunnel from using pipe cutters, fractured fingers after a storage container was dropped on it, injured mid back from carrying pipe bundles, lung damage after breathing in toxic fumes.
Working as a Maryland Workers Compensation Attorney- fractured vertebrae after falling from a ladder, torn rotator cuff from ratchet strapping a load on a truck, brain damage after falling through two story residential build, torn acl from kneeling down on a tool, fractured foot after drywall stack fell over, herniated spinal disc after picking up cast iron pipe, multiple spinal fractures after a 40 foot fall from a roof, torn shoulder ligament when carrying a door frame, facial mutilation from concrete saw, broken leg when hit by a forklift. Amputated toes from frost bite.
Material handlers, assembly line, warehouse workers-Maryland Injuries and workers comp coverage
Injuries among assembly/production line workers, warehouse workers, delivery drivers are common in Maryland.These injuries likely vary in severity and mechanism depending on the particular occupation and the particular products that are being handled. There are precautions that workers should take to avoid injuries on the job and the potential of being covered under workers comp. Some of the precautions may seem simply not practical until the industry standards and protocols change.
Injuries sustained by Material handlers, assembly line workers and warehouse workers which leads to workers comp coverage
As previously mentioned the types of injuries vary depending on the circumstances of the employment. As a Maryland workers compensation attorney I often come across assembly line injuries that occur when the employee is injured in a fast pace setting around machinery and moving parts. These conditions make employees particularly susceptible to being hurt at work. One notable case that I handled was the injured worker who had his hand and arm nearly amputated when it was caught in a conveyor belt leading to a chopping mechanism. Because it was a workers comp injury he was able to get immediate medical attention which helped with recover. It was the prime example of an employee under pressure to get the job done as soon as possible. Another employee I represented was working on an assembly line conveyor when she had to quickly move to another location on the line and slipped on some spilled product that was on the ground.
Along with assembly line workers, machine shop workers are often injured on the job due to the risks associated with the machines on which they work. For these workers, the work often becomes so repetitive that it becomes second nature to do their job. As the worker becomes comfortable he or she often throws caution to the wind ultimately leading to being covered under workers comp for an injury. One example is when an injured worker left his hand in the steel press and ended up losing multiple fingers when the press slammed down on his hand. There was a safety cover on the press to avoid such an accident however the cover was removed to increase productivity. The case was settled for over $100,000 despite the defense arguing willful misconduct. Another example is the glass burning worker who sustained third degree burns when he grabbed a glass bulb burning at 2,500 degrees.
As online purchasing increases the demands on order fulfillment employees increase. As the holidays approach these employees are often obligated to work at a faster pace and handling more products on any given day. For those who work in fulfillment centers with varying products, it may be required they lift and carry heavier products more frequently. I represented an appliance distribution employee that sustained a back injury when he was required to lift five times his normal product count around the holiday season. Another example is the employee who was working for a retail distribution center and sustained knee and low back injuries when he was rushing from one end of the warehouse to the other and slipped on some water.
How can assembly line workers, warehouse employees, and material handlers avoid injury and a workers compensation claim
There are ways to avoid injuries while working in the material handling industry however it would take a joint effort on both the employer and employees part. Efforts of which often fall short.
In the faster paced environment the solution is to slow the demand down by hiring additional employees. This would require the employers expenses to increase so it is often not an option. It is notable that many retailers do hire seasonal employees to help meet demand around holiday season. Perhaps a more practical and likely solution is to spread the demand equally among employees rather than the expectations remain high among those employees better motivated or more invested.
It is undisputed among accident insurer’s that regular safety meetings take place to address potential safety concerns and provide employees advice on how to avoid injuries, and those covered under workers comp. Unfortunately it seems as though “regular meetings” vary depending on the employer. Workers need to be informed of the imminent but disguised hazards around them on a regular basis.
There are certain tasks that should require two employees but it is not mandated by the employer. An employee may feel obligated to perform the task on his own and ultimately, and of no surprise, injury is sustained. Take for example the appliance distribution center employee. He injured his low back when attempted to lift a refrigerator by himself. Had it been a mandatory two person job he would not have sustained the massive disc herniation that he did.
Restaurant Workers Injured at Work in Maryland are covered under workers comp almost always!
Given the fast pace environment and often hectic atmosphere it is no surprise when I hear that a restaurant worker was injured at work. An observation of any Baltimore Cheesecake Factory, Outback Steakhouse, Applebees, or or TGIFridays on a Friday or Saturday night will prove Restaurant workers do indeed face certain risks of injury while working. While injuries vary in degree and frequency, bus boys, dish washers, cooks, line chef’s and servers all face some risk of injury.
Cooks/Chefs injured while working in Baltimore Restaurants
Cooks and Chefs are exposed to multiple dangers while working in the kitchen. The demands of the hungry patron coupled with the encouragement of the servers puts Chefs and Cooks under an enormous amount of pressure to get the food prepared quickly. The heat and flames from the oven, grill, stove, and fryers often lead to burns. On more severe instances the burns can lead to disfigurement and scarring or even nerve damage. Maryland workers comp laws provide the right to compensation for the injured chef and cook.
Other common injuries sustained by Cooks/Chefs are lacerations, cuts, and amputations and sprains. Presumably they sustain minor cuts on a regular basis, however there certainly is the chance of cutting off a finger, or severing nerves. Constant lifting of frozen products which are often packaged in bulk can lead to hernia, back, shoulder, neck, and arm injuries. Repeated use of cooking utensils such as a knife can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome or cubital tunnel syndrome.
Servers injured while working on the job in Baltimore Restaurants
Servers and waitress’ are also vulnerable to injury on the job while working for Restaurants in the Baltimore and DC metropolitan area. Quality restaurants and chain restaurants tend to be fast paced as a result of the high volume of patrons and their demands. To keep customers satisfied servers and waitresses will often rush around the restaurant carrying trays of food, beverages, hot meals, and breakable glass.
Attorney Andrew M. Rodabaugh has experience representing injured waiters and waitresses and knows first hand of the risks inherent in their job. One such case involved a waiter who fell carrying a tray of food. He ended up severing his finger from a piece of broken glass. The loss of a finger can be devastating for an employee however this particular injured worker was reluctant to pity himself. He was lucky because his head was only a few inches from going through a glass door. He was covered under workers comp and after some surgeries and time off of work returned to full duty employment. He received workers comp payments while out of work.
Waitress’ and Waiters often slip on spilled food or drinks, burn themselves on hot dishes, and collide with each other when turning corners. While most of these incidents could be prevented unfortunately injuries continue to occur while working in the Restaurant industry.
Bus Boys and Dish Washers injured while working in Baltimore Restaurants
It seems less often than servers and food preparation workers, but bus boys and dish washers do occasionally get hurt on the job as well. They are susceptible to the same risks with the occupation such as slip and falls on spilled good or beverage, burns, and lacerations. Again, handling glass wear or cutlery in a fast paced environment can lead to injury.
What can Maryland Restaurant workers and employers do to prevent injuries covered under workers comp ?
- To prevent collisions when turning corners have a mandatory warning call anyone approaching the corner must call out. Blind spot mirrors can also do the trick.
- Have adequate first aid supplies available at all times.
- Have numerous wet floor signs stationed throughout the restaurant.
- Designate a staff member responsible for cleaning up spills.
- Provide adequate protective gear for those exposes to certain hazards such as industrial strength oven mittens, gloves for dishwashers and bus boys.
- Mandatory two person jobs such as carrying food trays that weight over x pounds.
- To the extent possible slow the working pace.
Roofers are likely covered under workers comp
Maryland roofers sustain injuries on the job and are more often than not covered under workers comp benefits. Being a roofer is a hazardous occupation that can lead to many forms of injuries including those associated with falls. Not withstanding the common injuries resulting from falls, roofers are also susceptible to other mechanisms of injury that can be serious. The use of power tools, exposure to building materials, and exposure to the weather all lead to injuries among roofers.
Maryland Workers Compensation benefits Available for Roofers who are hurt on the job
The benefits include lost wages while unable to work, paid for medical treatment, compensation for remaining issues after treatment concludes, job training if unable to return to same occupation as a result of the injury, and other expenses paid if they relate to the case.
Roofers Injured from Falls
Falls account for a great portion of the injuries sustained by roofers and in fact, nationwide 75 fatalities occurred in 2015. While it is not clear by the statistics if all of these deaths were a result of a fall, a fair assumption can be made that they were. National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries in 2015. Falls from ladders, skylights, off the side of a building or residence all occur on a regular basis. The requirement to be elevated is in an of itself the hazardous condition. Unfortunately there is no way to alleviate this risk, so workers and employers must try to limit the possibility of injury.
Preventing or mitigating the chances a Roofer is injured by a fall and avoiding an injury covered under workers comp
- Have those employees that are expected to be working on an elevated roof been properly trained to use safety equipment? Have they been properly trained to recognize safety hazards?
- Are harnesses and safety ropes available for use by the workers? If so are the harness’s mandatory or optional?
- Are ladders and extension ladders required to be secured to the top of the structure before any other employee uses the ladder?
- Are skylights and openings required to be marked conspicuously and/or covered to prevent any falls through the holes?
- Is there an emergency response plan set up in the event a roofer does sustain a fall?
- Roofers are also exposed to many of the occupational risks to which other construction and labor employees are exposed
Similar to Construction workers, Roofers sustained injuries related to the use of tools, equipment, and even age related injuries. Those workers who have dedicated their lives to an industry often endure a physical toll over the years and as the body ages the vulnerabilities to injury seem to increase.
While some construction workers are exposed to the weather elements regularly, the roofer is required to be directly in the elements day in and day out. On windy days, icy days, and rainy days they may be on a roof 40 feet or higher. When a ceiling or roof begins to leak from the snow that is melting, the roofers are called in to repair that leak. When rain is poring into the local grocery store it is the roofer that comes out and repairs the leak.
Roofing Injury cases Mr. Rodabaugh has handled include but are not limited to:
Falls from the roof resulting in spinal fractures and herniation,
Cervical herniation when attempting to lift himself through roof hatch,
A fall from a 14 foot Refrigeration cooler resulting in brain surgery
Roofing tile sliding off of a roof and injuring a workers shoulder.
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