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January 2019 Archives

Cold weather can be dangerous for employees

When winter weather comes to Pennsylvania, outdoor workers may face hazards that accompany sleet, snow, ice and freezing winds. While many people may be aware of the dangers of heat stress like dehydration or exhaustion, cold stress can also pose significant risks to the human body. Extremely low temperatures can reduce the body's ability to warm itself, leading to a dropping core temperature and the dangerous potential of frostbite, numbness or hypothermia. While these can pose a threat in cold temperatures overall, the risk can be increased by damp air, contact with cold water or escalated wind speed.

Employees have the right to a safe work area

The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 provides workers in Pennsylvania and throughout America with the right to a safe workplace. Under this legislation, workers are protected from retaliation in the event that they make a complaint to OSHA. In fact, the legislation allows workers to accompany OSHA representatives on any inspection that the organization makes. An individual is allowed to receive training and clear instructions on how to avoid hazards at a given job site.

Medical records an examiner deems to be relevant

Pennsylvania residents do not need include medical records when sending in an application for Social Security Disability benefits. However, they can be a useful tool in helping to get it approved. An examiner will look for as much objective evidence as possible that shows a condition makes it impossible to perform even simple tasks. It may be a good idea to seek treatment because a doctor may be able to take notes and include them in an applicant's file.

Receiving disability benefits after getting an award notice

Individuals filing for Social Security disability benefits in Pennsylvania typically go through a long and involved process. Therefore, when an award notice is received, it's understandably a welcome relief for most applicants. As for when benefits will actually start, payouts are often received sooner when individuals get an award notice at the initial disability application or reconsideration appeal level. It normally takes a bit longer to receive benefits when an award notice is granted at the hearing level.

Printing industry poses significant health hazards to workers

The digital age has not removed the need to print large quantities of packages and publications in Pennsylvania. Printing involves many large machines and chemicals, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration considers it a high-hazard industry. The agency's report for fiscal year 2018 that ended on Sept. 30, highlighted the top workplace safety violations for printing companies. Fines imposed on employers for any of these violations could easily cost $3,000 to $10,000.

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