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Workers Compensation Archives

Healthcare Workers: Nurses, Nurse Aides, Home Healthcare, Hospice Care; The Most Hazardous Jobs in the U.S.

The healthcare industry is not only the fastest-growing sector of the U.S. economy, employing 18 million workers, but also one of the most dangerous.

Black Lung: The Coal Miner Scourge. Incurable, Fatal, Haunts Miners All Over Again

There is a shocking increase in the reported cases of pneumoconiosis, commonly known as Black Lung! And, more worrisome is that the new cases of the disease are even more deadly. The lungs of young miners are showing signs of progressive massive fibrosis (P.M.F.), also known as complicated pneumoconiosis.

I Can't Return To My Job...What Now?

It is an unfortunate fact that many injured workers are unable to return to the job they were performing at the time they were injured. The thought of never being able to return to the work you have done for most of your life can be frightening and depressing. However, there is a federally funded program that is designed to help individuals find work within their work-related restrictions.

Pennsylvania Bureau of Workers' Compensation Publishes Annual Report

The Pennsylvania Bureau of Labor and Industry has released The Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation and Workplace Safety 2013 Annual Report, a document that intended to demonstrate "the workers' compensation program's commitment to workplace safety, superior customer service, innovation and excellence in carrying out the provisions of The Workers' Compensation Act."

QR Results: Injured Worker Entitled to Reinstatement of Workers' Compensation Benefits After Unjust Firing

QuatriniRafferty represented a male in his late 20's who injured his right shoulder at work. The injury occurred as he was attempting to dislodge an air bag from the steering wheel of a large truck. Although the Employer, a trucking company, acknowledged his injury, they fired our client while he was working a modified / light duty job. QuatriniRafferty filed a Reinstatment Petition and presented our argument to the Workers' Compensation Judge in Aliquippa, PA that the trucking company fired our client without cause and, therefore, should reinstate his weekly workers' compensation checks. After several hearings of testimony, including the corroborating story of our client's former boss, the Workers' Compensation Judge determined that our client was wrongfully terminated and entitled to retroactive benefits dating back to the time of the firing, and, ongoing weekly checks.

Vincent J. Quatrini, Jr. speaks at UPMC Forum for Occupational Medicine

QR attorney Vince Quatrini was the lead presenter for injured workers at the UPMC presentation, "Achieving Excellence in Workers' Compensation: Strategies from Medical and Legal Professionals," alongside Workers' Compensation Judge David B. Torrey, Valerie S. Faeth, defense attorney for Cohen & Grigsby, and a host of UPMC physicians. Mr. Quatrini provided the injured worker perspective on the practical and procedural complexities of handling a workers' compensation case, including the pitfalls of pre-existing conditions, work aggravation of pre-existing conditions, chronic opioid therapy, occupational back pain and the pitfalls of rotator cuff surgery.

HISTOPLASMOSIS IN THE WORKPLACE: THE BAT DROPPINGS AND BIRD MANURE DISEASE

Are you exposed to bat droppings and bird manure in your workplace? If so, you may be a at risk for a diagnosis of Histoplasmosis.Recently, I handled a case involving this disease.Histoplasmosis is an infectious disease caused by inhaling the spores of a fungus called H. capsulatum. Histoplasmosis is not contagious; it cannot be transmitted from an infected person or animal to someone else.Histoplasmosis has various symptoms, but primarily affects your lungs. The vast majority of infected people have no visable side effects. Those who do experience mild symptoms often don't seek medical attention and may not even realize that their illness was histoplasmosis.Histoplasmosis can appear as a mild, flu-like respiratory illness. The symptoms may include a combination of malaise (generally feeling lousy), fever, chest pain, dry cough, headache, loss of appetite, shortness of breath, joing and muscle pains, chills, and hoarseness. Don't be lulled into believing that histoplasmosis is a harmless disease. Histoplasmosis can cause chronic lung disease and worsen over time. Special antifungal medications are needed to stop the disease, and surgery is sometimes required to remove a portion of the affected lung.A person who has had histoplasmosis can get it again. Anyone working in a job or near activities where material which has been contaminated with the Histoplasmosis spore can develop histoplasmosis, if enough spores are inhaled. After exposure, the degree of sickness varies greatly, due to the number of spores you may have inhaled, your ageyour susceptibility to the disease. Longer durations and intensity of exposure significantly increase your risk of developing histoplasmosis. Below is a partial list of occupations and hobbies with risks for exposure to H. capsulatum spores, published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):· Bridge inspector or painter
· Chimney cleaner
· Construction worker
· Demolition worker
· Farmer
· Gardener
· Heating/Air-conditioning installer/service worker
· Pest Control worker
· Microbiology worker
· Restorer of historic or abandoned buildings
· Roofer
· Cave explorer The CDC has also identified geographic areas in which there is a higher incidence of the disease. Washington County and Greene County, in Pennsylvania, are on the CDC map, along with parts of West Virginia and Ohio. If you engage in these activities and develop flu-like symptoms days or weeks after disturbing material that might be contaminated with H. capsulatum, and the illness worsens rather than subsides, you should seek medical care immediately.If the disease was contracted "in the course and scope" of your job, you are entitled to lost wages and medical expenses you experience, under the Pennsylvania Workers Compensation Act. If you think that you acquired Histoplasmosis in the workplace, please call me for a legal consultation about your rights. There is no legal fee unless we obtain a money recovery or reimbursement of medical expenses incurred for you.

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