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Man denied workers’ comp because of Facebook pics

An appellate court judge in Arkansas recently upheld a district court’s decision to deny an extension of workers’ compensation because photos posted on social networking websites Facebook and MySpace were evidence that the worker was no longer hindered by his injury.

The claimant began receiving workers’ compensation because a refrigerator fell on top of him while he was working for an appliance and furniture retail store. The accident caused him to suffer a hernia, which–3 years later– he claimed continued to cause him “excruciating pain.”

In the man’s trial for an extension on workers’ compensation, his employer’s defense attorneys presented pictures of him partying that they found online, arguing that the pictures made it clear that he had recovered from the work-related injury. The judge ruled in favor of the defendant and denied the extension.

The decision was appealed, but ultimately upheld by Arkansas Court of Appeals judge David Glover.  “We find no abuse of discretion in the allowance of the photographs, [the claimant] contended that he was in excruciating pain, but these pictures show him drinking and partying,” stated Glover.

If you or someone you know has been injured in an on-the-job accident, contact the San Diego workplace injury lawyers of Ritter & Associates at 619-296-0123 to learn more about how an attorney can help you receive the compensation you deserve.


Fall protection rules extended to residential builders

This month, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced that they are extending fall protection rules once concerned only with commercial construction to residential construction projects as well.

Just before this announcement, the federal agency released their annual list of the top 10 safety violations they encountered in 2010.  Number 1 on the list of violations was fall protection violations.

Last year, OSHA issued 7,139 citations to employers for not providing the proper fall protection for employees.  260 workers died from elevated falls in 2010.  According to OSHA, about 29 percent of the fatalities were in residential projects.

Now, residential construction contractors are expected to follow the same regulations that are enforced in commercial construction projects.  These regulations include implementing safety net systems, personal fall arrest systems, and guardrail systems.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a workplace accident or construction accident, contact the San Diego workplace injury attorneys of Ritter & Associates at 619-296-0123 to speak with one of our experienced personal injury lawyers today.


BLS releases statistics on workplace injuries and fatalities

Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics was recently released in their National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries in 2010.  According to the study, nationwide, workplace fatalities only decreased slightly from 2009 to 2010.

Last year, there were 4,547 deaths from workplace injuries and illnesses in the U.S. — only 4 fewer deaths than in 2009.  The study also revealed that statistics on workplace injuries remained about the same in 2010 as in 2009.

In California, the most common cause of work-related injuries and fatalities was transportation accidents.  Other common causes include assaults, violence, falls, equipment, explosions, and fires.

Last year, there were 302 work-related fatalities in the state of California.


11 injured in scaffolding collapse construction accident

Last week, 11 people were injured in a construction accident at the San Ysidro Port of Entry.

According to reports, the accident occurred on Wednesday when a 50-foot by 50-foot area of scaffolding collapsed.  The scaffolding was being used in an expansion project along the border.

15 vehicles became trapped underneath the fallen scaffolding and northbound traffic from Mexico was stopped.  Emergency crews had to extricate 7 people from their vehicles.

4 of the 11 people who were injured in the accident were construction workers.  Only 1 of the 11, a construction worker, was listed as being in serious condition after the accident.

Officials with the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration are investigating the construction accident.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a workplace accident, contact the San Diego workplace accident attorneys of Ritter & Associates by calling 619-296-0123 today.


43 taken to hospitals after chemical leak at Woodland cannery

Last week, a chemical leak occurred at the Pacific Coast Producers cannery in Woodland.  43 employees were taken to Sacramento-area hospitals after being affected by the chemical.

Investigators found that chlorine dioxide, a gas used for processing tomatoes at the plant, was released into the workplace because an injection system became overloaded.  As a result, the chemical was released as “off-gassing.”

Between 800 and 1,000 employees were evacuated from the plant.  2 of the workers suffered inhalation distress and were listed as being in serious condition upon arriving at the hospital.

Contact the San Diego workplace injury attorneys of Ritter & Associates at 619-296-0123 today, if you or someone you love has been injured or become ill as the result of unsafe or unhealthy working conditions.


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