Application for Workers’ Compensation Benefit

Employers in the US, whether from the private or government sector, are obliged provide their employees with a safe and healthy work environment to significantly reduce, if not totally eliminate, occurrences of accidents in the workplace. This duty is base on the mandate of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, a federal law that was enacted by the US Congress in 1970. The Act requires the assurance for a safe and healthy working environment for all employees, the conduction of training in the area of occupational health and safety, and the provision of vital information, research and education on the same area.

In 1971, the Occupational Safety and Health Act or OSH Act gave birth, in turn, to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which is tasked to fully and strictly implement all the safety standards mandated by the Act, such as a workplace free from mechanical dangers, excessive level of noise, heat or cold stress, exposure to toxic chemicals, poisonous gases, radiation, unsanitary conditions, and other hazards.

The Hazard Communication Standard or HCS, is another mandate that OSHA enforces. This federal mandate, which was passed into law in 1980 and took effect in 1986, gives those exposed to hazardous chemicals in the work area the right to be informed about the type of danger they are exposed to and how they can protect themselves from such danger.

The HCS, also known as the Right-to-Know law or the Worker Right-to-Know Legislation, also requires manufacturers and importers to attach Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) and warning labels on all their hazardous products. And, besides indicating on the label that a product is poisonous or hazardous, there should also be information on the product’s safe storage suggestions, potential health effects, precautions for use, emergency first aid instructions, and contact numbers for further information.

On its website, Scudder & Hedrick, PLLC, explains that each type of work environment presents a unique set of safety risks; thus, employers should take full responsibility in implementing the necessary measures that will prevent accidents from occurring. Anticipation of potential problems through risk assessment, safety training, provision of the necessary protective equipment, installation of safety barriers and so forth, are just few of the precautions that ought to be observed inside work premises.  While OSHA maintains that accidents can be avoided, this will only be possible if owners of firms and their managers observe government safety standards, and the employees follow company safety rules.

Most Common Causes of Workplace Injuries

In 1970, the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) was established with the goals of:

  • Ensuring safe and healthy working conditions for all male and female employees
  • Authorizing the implementation of the standards formed under the Act
  • Assist and encourage the States in assuring safe and healthy working conditions
  • Provide “for research, information, education, and training in the field of occupational safety and health.” (https://www.osha.gov/law-regs.html)

The OSH Act is a federal law aimed at overseeing occupational health and safety in both the federal and private sectors in the US. In the year following its establishment it paved the way for the founding of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for the purpose of strictly implementing the standards formed under OSH Act.

Except for those who are self-employed, and those working in the transportation and mining business, all public and private employees are covered by OSHA. This means that all employers, under whose care all covered workers are employed, are obliged to abide by the standards enforced by OSHA.

Despite the safety standard laws, however, accidents continue to occur in workplaces, causing injuries to employees. In worst cases, some employees are killed while in the performance of their job. Data from the US Department of Labor identifies the following as the top causes of injuries in the workplace:

  • Overexertion, which includes carrying, pushing, holding, pulling or lifting (usually) heavy objects.
  • Slipping/Tripping is the second most common cause of workplace injury. This happens due to wet floors or tripping hazards.
  • Falling from heights refers to falling from stairs, ladders, roofs or any elevated area.
  • Bodily reaction refers to slips or trips but without falling down.
  • Falling objects, which may have been dropped by a co-worker or it may be any object falling from a shelf or any higher location.
  • Struck against an object refers to running into or bumping against a door, wall, cabinet, chair or glass window.
  • Road accident is a source of injury which, before, concerned only those whose work basically required driving or travelling. Today, however, anyone may be tasked to run an office errand or transact business outside the office, rendering him/her prone to vehicular accidents.
  • Machine entanglement is an accident that usually happens in factories.
  • Repetitive motion usually manifests the harm after some time. The injuries usually associated with this can include back pains, eyesight problems and carpal tunnel syndrome due to continuous use of computers or regular typing jobs.
  • Violent acts, which are due to arguments and office politics.

There are, of course, other accident-causing injuries, such as electrocution, sprains, cut or laceration and heatburn. Whatever the cause of injury, however, and whoever’s fault it may be, so long as it is job-related, then the injured employee is entitled to the benefits provided by the Workers’ Compensation Insurance benefit or Workers’ Comp.

Since the passing into law of Workers’ Comp in 1908, each US state gradually adopted the mandate and imposed the same on private firms to make sure that employees or workers, who get injured on the job or develop job-related illnesses, are immediately provided with monetary assistance without having to go through a litigation process.

There are times, though, when even applying for such benefit can require much from the injured worker due to all the documents the need to be prepared and forms that need to be filled out correctly. One very important thing that injured workers ought to consider is hire the services of a good Raleigh workers’ compensation lawyer to make sure that all necessary documents are submitted and within the statutory limit too.

The Many Greater Advantages of Outsourcing in the Philippines

The Information Technology-Business Process Outsourcing (IT-BPO) industry holds that the Philippines is among the top five most cost-competitive destinations for IT-BPO services. And while edging India’s New Delhi at number three spot in the 2013 top 100 global outsourcing destinations, a US-based company simultaneously makes a bold prediction that by 2030  the industry will have pushed the Philippines to becoming a trillion-dollar economy.

The trend, indeed, seems to be towards such direction as top companies in Australia are now beginning to outsource in the country, following the footsteps of many giant American firms. Some of the services outsourced in the Philippines are call centers, back office/chat support, customer relationship management, creative processes, HR solutions, software development, application maintenance, healthcare information management, medical transcription, research, legal services, content writing and blogging.

Outsourcing, which is the contracting out of certain business processes by a host firm to a third-party firm, has become a vital business strategy for many companies. This is due primarily to the big profit host companies can make through it. What’s more, all outsourced projects are manned by English speaking and highly-skilled professionals and cost of labor and operating expenses are definitely much lower than in the host firm’s country. Incentives are also offered by the third-party’s country to host firms. Among these are vital off-site facilities, income-tax holiday, choice of paying a special 5% gross income tax, in place of all local and national taxes, granting of a permanent resident status to foreign investors and to the immediate members of their family, and so forth.

Philippines outsourcing is presently acknowledged globally as a top service provider, where voice or call center services are the concerned. And concerning complex, non-voice services, the country occupies the second spot. In 2010, more than 500,000 skilled and professionals workers were hired to fill in all offered full-time positions. This is a substantial growth in workers and it only continues to grow. In 2013 the number doubled, without counting yet those doing freelance jobs for so many other smaller foreign firms . . . and the number still keeps on growing.