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What are 4 common causes of ladder accidents?

If you, like many others across the state, earn your income working at Florida construction sites, you probably spend at least some part of your day working on ladders. Whether made from wood, steel, fiberglass or what have you, ladders pose clear, obvious risks, with falls from ladders a common source of injury among construction workers. Recognizing what causes the majority of today’s ladder accidents and injuries can help you and your colleagues use them safely and mitigate your injury risk while at work.

According to Industrial Safety & Hygiene News, one of the main causes of today’s ladder accidents is workers using the wrong ladders to perform certain jobs. Sometimes, this means workers are using shorter ladders than they should to reach heights, and this can lead to falls and associated fall-related injuries.

Common reasons Social Security Disability claims are denied

If you live in Florida, have a serious, debilitating disability and are considering applying for Social Security Disability Insurance, you may have heard by now that many applicants have their claims denied the first time they apply. While it is true that the majority of SSDI claim applicants receive denials in response to their initial claims, many applicants are able to find success through filing appeals. Additionally, if you have yet to file your initial claim, recognizing the common reasons many others receive denials in response to their claims may improve your chances of an approval. At Kaylor, Kaylor & Leto, P.A., we understand how troubling it can be when the U.S. Social Security Administration denies your SSDI claim, and we have helped many clients navigate the process of filing an appeal.

Per FindLaw, the U.S. Social Security Administration denies many SSDI claims for similar reasons. For example, one common reason you may receive a denial in response to your claim is if your disability is not long-term in nature. The SSDI program seeks to help those with long-term disabilities, so if your disability may not last more than a year, you may receive a denial. You may, however, have other, shorter-term options potentially available to you.

What workers over 40 need to know about age discrimination

Federal law protects people from discrimination based on age. However, many employees and even employers in Florida may not know how to identify age discrimination, or what to do about it.

According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, treating an employee unfairly based on his or her age is only illegal if the worker is at least 40 years old. Unfair actions include not hiring someone even though he or she is most qualified for the position solely based on the applicant's age. Denying an employee an earned promotion, raise, training or benefits or firing a worker based on his or her age is also illegal. 

What risks do you face working on or near scaffolding?

Nowadays, it seems construction sites are on nearly every corner in Florida, and if you make your living working at one, you probably recognize that your job is an inherently dangerous one. While working from heights, relying on heavy, powerful equipment and working outside all pose risks to construction workers, so, too, does their use of scaffolding, or elevated, short-term work platforms that provide access to otherwise hard-to-reach areas.

Working on scaffolds is so dangerous, in fact, that the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration reports that enhancing safety procedures relating to the equipment would help prevent more than 60 deaths and roughly 4,500 injuries each year. Just what types of injury hazards do you face when you work on or around scaffolds?

What to know before applying for SSDI benefits

If you are a resident of Florida and you also have a serious, debilitating disability, you may be wanting to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance through the U.S. Social Security Administration. A type of long-term assistance program intended for Americans with the most severe of disabilities as defined by the SSA, SSDI benefits may help you if you struggle to pay for basic necessities, such as food and housing. The SSDI benefit application process is not always easy, however, and many applicants have their initial claims denied. At Kaylor, Kaylor & Leto, P.A., we have a comprehensive understanding of the SSDI benefit application process, and we have helped many disabled clients file SSDI benefit claims and appeals.

Per Everyday Health, before you apply for SSDI benefits, have a frank conversation with your doctor. If he or she attests that your condition is unlikely to improve and is able to provide comprehensive documentation supporting the claim, this can strengthen your case. It is important to recognize, however, that just because your doctor attests that you have a severe disability, this does not automatically mean the SSA will agree and approve your claim.

Do you work in a hostile work environment?

It seems as though every workplace has at least one or two troublemakers who make things unpleasant for others. But if things have gotten to the point that you dread going to your Florida job each day, it is possible that you work in a hostile work environment.

FindLaw explains that while “hostile work environment” has no single all-encompassing definition, it almost always involves sexual harassment of one sort or another. Consequently, should you take your employer to court over your working conditions, the judge will look at a variety of factors to determine if your situation actually rises to the level of a hostile work environment. The four most relevant factors are the following:

  1. What type of harassment did you suffer?
  2. How long did it continue?
  3. How severe was it?
  4. Did it negatively affect your work performance and productivity?

Workplace discrimination and the ADA

Discrimination in the workplace in Florida can come in many forms, direct and indirect. The Americans with Disabilities Act is a civil rights law prohibiting bias based on actual or perceived disabilities. There are 18 personal characteristics protected by this law. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, discrimination is the unequal treatment or harassment that causes harm to an applicant or employee because of a disability.

Indirect discrimination takes place when a person with one of the protected personal characteristics has unreasonable conditions imposed upon them, which puts them at a disadvantage. These situations arise when workplace behavior or policy does not treat everyone fairly. ADA is relevant in businesses with at least 15 people for a minimum of 20 weeks. Failure to hire a job applicant who is otherwise qualified, but not employed due to their disability is also considered discrimination.

When can I sue my employer for an injury?

After a recent workplace injury, your employer tells you that you must seek workers’ compensation. As you know, workers’ compensation can cover the medical expenses and lost wages of employees injured on the job in Florida and elsewhere.

However, with the nature of your injury, you wonder if you would be able to sue your employer instead of seeking workers’ compensation. It would help to understand how workers’ compensation works and in which circumstances employees might be able to take legal action.

What can employers do to prevent workers' compensation fraud?

If you are a Florida business owner, you know the value of workers' compensation insurance. Even if the government did not require you to carry an appropriate level of coverage for your business, you would choose to do so because you know that sometimes accidents are unavoidable. 

One thing that frustrates you, however, is when employees claim an injury happened on the job, but you are not sure they are being completely honest with you. What can you do to prevent workers' compensation fraud from taking place on your watch? 

Defining elements of social security disability

The term "disabled" is heavy. It has the potential to bring with it a feeling of helplessness and frustration, especially if the person now wearing the label was at one time a dedicated, hard-working employee. Whether a Florida worker becomes disabled by an accident at work or through a crippling medical diagnosis, he or she may feel overwhelmed trying to wade through the process of applying for assistance.

The Social Security Administration offers guidance to help those who find themselves in this or similar situations. First, the Administration shares how it defines disability. Because of the wide variation of incidents and individuality of cases, the defining elements the SSA considers must be strict.

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