Employers in New Jersey carry workers' compensation insurance to provide benefits to workers hurt or killed on the job. The benefits generally pay for medical treatments after a workplace injury or illness occurs. Injured workers who miss work due to an accident or illness will likely qualify for benefits that pay roughly two-thirds of their salaries until they can return to work. When workplace accidents result in deaths, the insurance could cover burial expenses and provide a death settlement to a family. To collect these benefits, an injured worker must initiate an insurance claim within the deadlines established by the policy.
When people are injured in a New Jersey workplace, they may face medical bills and be forced to spend time away from the job. The workers' compensation system entitles people hurt at work to receive benefits that can defray these mounting expenses. For example, workers' comp generally covers medical care, including bills, prescriptions and travel to the hospital. In some cases, workers may need to use specific doctors to treat their injuries for a certain period. In order to protect their rights, injured workers can also report workplace accidents right away and receive prompt treatment.
Employers in New Jersey should be familiar with OSHA standards when it comes to having employees work in a confined space. OSHA requires that all hazards be properly evaluated, and it lays down certain safety standards that must be followed while the worker is in that space. The following illustrates what can happen when employers fail to uphold these standards.
Many workers in New Jersey, especially office workers, manual laborers and those in the manufacturing industry, are putting themselves and others at risk for on-the-job injuries by not reporting all incidents. Incident reports are legal documents that can indirectly tell employers where they need to improve their organization's safety. They provide valuable real-life data to go by, especially when they are backed by eyewitness testimony.
Researchers at the University of Washington have shown in a new study that workers' health depends on overall employment conditions rather than on one or two factors. Workers in New Jersey should know that these conditions cover pay, the nature of the work, shift length, schedule flexibility and job security.
Some New Jersey workers may be particularly at risk for serious injuries on the job. For example, workers in mining, oil and gas are especially prone to hearing loss. In some injuries, one-quarter of workers experienced symptoms of diminished hearing, while 30% of workers in others faced some kind of damage to their hearing, according to one report published by researchers. They noted that as many as 61% of all miners and oil and gas extraction workers have experienced some type of hazardous noise on the job. In addition, these industries also involve chemical exposure that can put workers at further risk of hearing damage.
Employers in New Jersey and across the United States need to be aware of a September ruling that may affect the health of their employees. The ruling made by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit determined that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards for respiratory protection require that all employers must evaluate all respiratory hazards and respond accordingly.
Radiation exposure can be a serious concern for many New Jersey workers, including people working in the health care industry. Doctors and radiology technicians are exposed to radiation on a daily basis, and even people in lucrative, highly paid and specialized positions need to be alert to the potential effects of radiation exposure. Everyone experiences some radiation through daily life and devices like mobile phones and microwaves. Occupational exposure is different, however; it usually involves short-wave radiation carrying higher energy levels and capable of disrupting cells. Exposure to this type of radiation on the job can increase workers' risk of developing cancer over time.
New Jersey businesses can improve worker safety and productivity simply and cost-effectively by the use of floor markings. Floor markings can provide workers with important information about the locations of tools, work spaces and safety equipment. They can aslo improve the facility's emergency procedures and strengthen safety levels for the facility overall. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has published recommended color codes for floor markings and other notices.
Long hours at work and inadequate sleep quietly take a toll on workers in New Jersey and nationwide. Sleep researchers have determined that adults need seven to nine hours of sleep daily, but roughly 30% of civilian workers fail to get six hours of sleep as of the mid-2000s according to the National Health Interview Survey. Sleep deprivation reduces muscle coordination and raises the risk of falling, stumbling or dropping objects. Cognitive difficulties also arise that erode workers' ability to function.