Common Injuries in the Restaurant Industry

In the restaurant industry, there are many different positions, but all are related in some way. No matter what your position is – head chef of a fancy restaurant, or a line cook at McDonald’s – if you work in the restaurant industry you face certain risks for on the job injuries. Let’s take a look at some of the most common injuries in the restaurant industry.

Common Injuries in Restaurants

Based on information from the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), the most common risks in the restaurant industry include:

  • Injuries caused by lifting heavy trays, containers, tables, or chairs.
  • Injuries caused by reaching or over-extending.
  • Burn or scalding injuries caused by a stove, oven, dishwasher, deep fryer, or other appliances.
  • Electrical burns caused by wiring, appliances, or damaged cords or wiring.
  • Exposure to hazardous chemicals or fumes.
  • Workplace violence, including robbery.
  • Injuries caused by auto accidents while delivering food.

These risks can lead to a variety of specific injuries, such as:

  • Repetitive use injuries (examples include sprains, strains, or bulging discs)
  • Burns
  • Broken or fractured bones
  • Cuts or lacerations
  • Overexertion injuries (commonly in the back, neck, or shoulders)
  • Toxic exposure illness or injuries

Any sort of injury could cause to you lose time at work. Serious injuries could result in your being permanently unable to return to work. So what can you do if you have been injured while working in the restaurant industry?

Getting Help with Restaurant Injuries

If you have been injured while working in a restaurant, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. You should get medical attention immediately, and then notify your employer that you are injured. If you are concerned about getting benefits, or have been denied benefits, you should contact a workers’ compensation attorney.


Legal Malpractice and Fraud: Is Your Lawyer Working For You or Against You?

As much as we would love to believe that doctors never harm patients, medical malpractice claims continue to be filed at an alarming rate. Similarly, when we enter into a relationship with a lawyer, we hope that he or she will have our best interests as their focus. Unfortunately, legal malpractice is also a very real concern for clients.

Many people who need legal guidance are afraid that their lawyer will scam them, or will choose to work with the insurance company in order to get a better pay-day. This is a form of fraud and legal malpractice that gives the legal profession a bad name. It also causes a great deal of stress for clients.

Most lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. That means that they do not get paid unless their client gets an award. If the client does get an award, then the process looks something like this:

  • The money is deposited into the lawyer’s trust account
  • The lawyer deducts his or her expenses, fees, etc.
  • Anyone who is owed money (healthcare providers, insurance, etc.) is paid or reimbursed as applicable
  • The remainder of the funds are sent to the client

Most lawyers will provide clients with a detailed account of all expenses and what the award funds were used for. Unfortunately, there are some lawyers who will attempt to cheat the client out of monies they are owed. This could happen via the lawyer deducting more funds than are really owed.

Additionally, if the lawyer has a relationship with insurance companies involved in the case, this could lead to a conflict of interest. The lawyer’s actions could benefit the insurance company, or could result in a kickback payment for the lawyer once the insurance company has been paid. Any such actions could constitute legal malpractice or fraud, and are unethical and damaging to the client.

Timeline for a Workers’ Compensation Claim To Be Completed

If you have been injured on the job, a workers’ compensation claim is important to ensuring that your medical expenses are covered, and that your family remains financially stable. Of course, this process takes time, which can add to your already stressful situation. To help, here is a breakdown of the timeline for most workers’ compensation claims.

Timeline a Workers’ Compensation Claim Takes to Complete

  • Immediately: Immediately after an injury, you should do the following:
    • Seek medical attention (keep all records)
    • Notify your employer
    • Complete a form C-3
  • Within 14 Days: Within 14 days of reporting your accident, the following should have occurred:
    • Your doctor completed a C-4 form (sent to employer and insurance companies)
    • Insurance company sends notification of rights
    • Insurance adjuster or other applicable party investigates the claim
    • Notice of acceptance or denial sent
  • Within 30 Days: Within 30 days of filing a workers’ compensation claim, you should have received an acceptance or denial notification. The following may also apply:
    • Insurance company requests an extension for investigation
    • Some states allow 30 days for decisions, rather than 14.
  • 30 to 60 Days: If your claim was denied or disputed, you have a certain period of time to take further action. This includes:
    • For denials, you have 30 days to file an appeal requesting a hearing
    • A hearing date must be set within 30 days of the request
    • The hearing officer generally has 15 days to make a decision.

Remember that there are some factors that can impact the timeline of your claim, such as state laws, your employer, your injury and its severity, and more. For more detailed and individualized information, contact a workers’ compensation attorney to discuss your case.

Common Injuries in the Aviation Industry

Working in the aviation industry often seems like a dream job. Pilots and flight attendants get to travel and enjoy lucrative incomes. But these are only two of the many roles that make up the aviation industry, and below the surface, even these glamorized positions are not without risk.

How Dangerous is the Aviation Industry?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the percentage of injuries and illness in the aviation industry has spiked higher than the construction, mining, and agriculture industries. In 2016, there were a reported 6.7 nonfatal injuries per 100 workers in the aviation industry. That accounted for over twice the rate of workers among all private industries, which was 2.9 cases per 100 workers.

The BLS lists occupational injuries and illnesses that required time away from work as the following (per 10,000 full time workers):

  • Cargo and freight – 746.9
  • Flight attendants – 515.3
  • Mechanics and service technicians – 186.3
  • Clerks, reservation agents, and ticket sales – 145.2
  • Pilots, copilots, and engineers – 39.3

Common Injuries in the Aviation Industry

Some of the most common injuries occurring in the aviation industry include:

  • Spinal cord injuries – Caused by lifting baggage and reaching overhead.
  • Neck or shoulder injuries – Caused by jarring, turbulence, or rough landing.
  • Slip and fall injuries – May occur in airports or onboard planes.
  • Repetitive motion injuries – Impacts wrists, hands and back. Caused by pushing carts, repetitive movements, lifting, bending, etc.
  • Assault – Unfortunately, assault has become an increasing workplace hazard for flight attendants.
  • “Sick airplane syndrome” – Illness caused by extended exposure to the sometimes poor air quality inside planes.
  • Fatigue – Airline workers often work long hours and have varying schedules. This can result in fatigue and poor sleep schedules.

If you work in the aviation industry and have suffered these or other injuries, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Find out by calling the Law Offices of George S. Henderson today.

Top 10 Most Common OSHA Violations

Every year the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) releases a report detailing the most common safety violations in American workplaces. This report helps OSHA identify problem areas and violations that are commonly repeated. It also serves as a reminder for businesses of the importance of compliance with regulations.

No matter what industry you work in, employers are required to ensure a safe working environment. That includes proper training, maintaining safe property, providing protective gear when necessary, and complying with all regulations.

Top 10 Most Common OSHA Violations

For 2017, OSHA listed the following as the top 10 most common violations:

  1. Fall protection (general requirements)
  2. Hazard communication
  3. Scaffolding
  4. Respiratory protection
  5. Lockout/tagout
  6. Ladders
  7. Powered industrial trucks
  8. Machine guarding
  9. Fall protection (specific to training)
  10. Electrical (specific to wiring methods)

Some of these top 10 were also included in the 2016 report, such as ladders, fall protection, and powered industrial trucks. One new violation making the top 10 list is the fall protection specific to training (number 9). The addition of training violations means that businesses need to be diligent in properly training employees. Training should include full training for the position and for any relevant protective equipment.

OSHA Violations and Your Legal Rights

Under federal law, all workers are entitled to a safe work environment. Employers must provide a work environment that is free of health and safety hazards. If you are concerned about the safety of your work environment, it is within your rights to contact OSHA and file a complaint. You also are entitled to legal representation if you are concerned about your health, or you have sustained an injury. To learn more about your legal rights, contact The Law Offices of George S. Henderson to speak with our workers’ compensation attorney.


MYTH VS. FACT: What Can Your Employer Do After You’ve Filed a Claim?

If you’ve been injured on the job, you probably want to file a workers’ compensation claim so you aren’t stuck with out of pocket medical expenses. We’ve all heard horror stories about employers who fail to file claims, or refuse to pay claims that are filed. This may have you wondering what your employer can do after you’ve filed a claim.

Let’s take a look at some of the myths and facts related to your employer and workers’ compensation claims.

What Can Your Employer Do After You’ve Filed a Claim?

Myth: Only large corporations are required to have workers’ compensation insurance.

Fact: Every state (with the exception of Texas) requires most employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance. This should provide employees with assurance that an on-the-job injury will be covered without having to file a lawsuit to recover medical expenses.

Myth: Most workers’ compensation claims are fake, or fraudulent.

Fact: According to research from the University of Michigan, only two percent of workers’ compensation claims are fraudulent. Employers can dispute the validity of the claim, but ultimately, medical records will speak for themselves.

Myth: Once a claim is filed, your employer is “off the hook”.

Fact: Once you file a claim, your employer’s role is significant. Your employer should keep in touch with you about your progress, and monitor when you will be able to return to work.

Myth: My employer can fire me for filing a workers’ compensation claim.

Fact: It is illegal for your employer to retaliate against you in any way after you file a workers’ compensation claim. Employers cannot legally terminate an employee without reasonable cause, which filing a workers’ compensation claim is not.

Myth: You cannot file a claim unless your employer was at fault for your injuries.

Fact: Your employer may tell you this to deter you from filing a claim, but it simply isn’t true. Workers’ compensation is a “no-fault” system, meaning that you can receive compensation for your injuries regardless of who was “at fault”.