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New Jersey Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Drug use most prevalent in the construction industry, study finds

Construction work is an inherently dangerous job. The work is physically demanding, and even under the best of circumstances, there is always a risk of an accident. But when mind-altering substances are involved, the danger on the worksite increases dramatically.

A recent study published in the Drug and Alcohol Dependence journal found that workers in the construction industry had the highest likelihood of abusing substances than workers in any other industry. Use of non-prescription opioids, cocaine and marijuana was especially common, according to the study.

Governor Murphy is cracking down on worker misclassification

Worker misclassification has been a growing problem in New Jersey in recent years – especially since the influx of gig economy jobs. More and more members of the workforce are labeled as contractors, even when such workers meet the legal definition of employees.

When an employer wrongly labels their workers as contractors, it saves the employer considerable costs. It also steals income and benefits from both workers and the state. Workers lose their employee entitlements, including:

How to tell whether your worker classification is wrong

Are you an employee or a contractor? In many workplaces, the distinction may not seem very obvious. You may do the same work as your colleague, yet your worker classification may be different.

It may seem insignificant that your employer calls you a contractor and your coworker an employee. However, it’s important to know that your worker classification is not a haphazard label your employer gets to assign. There are laws that define each worker category. Understanding the difference – and whether your employer has misclassified you – can make a huge difference in the benefits you can receive.

Does your construction work injury entitle you to compensation?

Construction work is no easy job. Workers sacrifice their time and risk their health to provide services. Becoming seriously hurt while on the job is a common issue for construction workers. Because of this, it is important for employees to know whether they are entitled to workers’ compensation.

Currently, there are high numbers of injuries and deaths at construction sites. In these cases, it is important to note what qualifies you for workers’ compensation and what does not.

Are you protected from a fatal fall at the construction site?

You work long, hard hours in a dangerous environment. You should be able to expect a level of safety on the job, but that isn’t always the case. While employers are on the hook for preventing falls, being an educated worker can help ensure you don’t pay the price for someone else’s negligence.

Falls have long been the number one cause of death in the construction industry. Negligence or reckless action like this could qualify you for a personal injury lawsuit.

Safety tips to prevent robot-related workplace accidents

The use of robots is becoming more and more common in many industries. While robots add ease and efficiency to many labor-intensive tasks, they also create additional safety hazards in the workplace.

Two robotic tools that have come under scrutiny recently are the laser-guided forklift and the demolition robot. There has been a growing incidence of worker crushing accidents involving these machines.

New efforts to help protect outdoor workers in extreme heat

It has been an intensely hot summer—with temperatures rising above 100 degrees in parts of the country. For workers whose job involves being outdoors, the heat is posing serious safety concerns. For some, this weather has even proved fatal.

So, what is being done to protect workers in such dangerous conditions, and what is an employer’s responsibility in this effort?

Warehouse workers at high risk of injury on the job

In December 2018, dozens of workers in an Amazon warehouse facility in Robbinsville, New Jersey were injured or sickened when an automated machine punctured a can of bear repellant. This week, workers at an Amazon facility in Shakopee, Minnesota went on strike to protest their working conditions.

Although Amazon seems to be making most of the headlines, warehouse workers across the country encounter challenges that put them at risk of a workplace injury.

Work-related heat illness a concern for outdoor workers

As summer temperatures continue across the country, many workers are likely thankful to work in an air-conditioned building. However, for those who work outside, heat-related illness at work is a genuine concern. Heat illnesses come in a wide range of severity and can affect anyone regardless of their age or physical fitness.

Have any of the 10 most common injuries occurred where you work?

A work accident can happen anywhere. However, some types of injuries occur much more frequently than others. Many of these common injuries can be prevented through safety measures, training, and attention to workers’ well-being.

The top 10 causes of serious workplace injury, according to the 2019 Liberty Mutual Index, include:

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