Five Things You Need to Know: 1/18, Wednesday Edition

Missouri Attorney Covers Common Retail on-the-job Injuries
    • St. Louis Workers' Compensation Attorney James Hoffmann recently took to his blog to discuss the risks of on-the-job injuries for retail workers. Among other injuries, musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are the most common, which affects the muscles, tendons, nerves, blood vessels and ligaments, according to Hoffmann. MSDs can include but are not limited to carpal tunnel, trigger finger, muscle strains and back injuries. Hoffmann references the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which states 33 percent of all work-related injuries are MSD-related. OSHA cites force, repetition, awkward/static postures and contact stress as common risk factors in retail. "...Cashiers flick their wrists back and forth almost 600 times an hour. Also, in an eight-hour shift, a cashier handles around 6,000 pounds of groceries and again repeats the same motion continuously," according to a BLS reference in the post. Stress was also mentioned as a common injury in retail. 
Idaho Co-op Fails to Comply with Compensation Coverage 
    • The Canyon County Co-op in Idaho has announced its closure as of December in a liquidation sale advertisement, according a business brief in the Idaho Statesman. The closure cause can be attributed to low sales, but the co-op was also being sued by the Idaho Industrial Commission for not providing workers' compensation since June 1, 2016. According to the Nov. 4 lawsuit referenced in the article, the nonprofit “further failed to comply with demands from [the commission] to secure appropriate workers’ compensation coverage." The fines totaling at $3,200 (plus attorney's fees) could be increased by $25 for each day without coverage after Oct. 6. 
California Mine History Details Coverage for an Injury on the Job
    • The Lightner Mine out of Angels Camp has rich history rooted in California. It had multiple owners that date back to the 1850s through 1915, when it was closed up, according to Charity Maness of the Calaveras Enterprise. Named the "Motherlode Gold Mine" in its early years, the mine saw larger-scale action during the late 1800s after it was bought by Lightner Gold Mining Co. "During its lifetime, the Lightner Mine produced 500,000 tons of ore, which yielded more than $3 million worth of gold," Maness writes. But with jobs comes injuries, which did occur, as the article references Calaveras Gold authors Limbaugh and Fuller. Slavonian Drago Metrovich was "badly mangled" by an improperly crimped cap blast. “If blood poison does not occur, the man has an excellent chance of recovery," according to a reporter at the mine. Workers' compensation did exist at the time, but it was in the form of miners collecting money for women who were widowed and their hungry children. 
Caterpillar Calls for Downsizing in Arkansas
    • Caterpillar Inc., the tractor and large machinery company, recently announced some bad news for its Aurora, Illinois employees in December. Up to 800 manufacturing jobs could be lost, according to Ruth de Jauregui of DuPage Policy Journal. In a statement released Dec. 14, the company said sales predictions for 2017 are anticipated to be lower than 2016. "Relocating the 800 jobs to Decatur and Little Rock, Arkansas, would reduce Caterpillar's overall costs while consolidating production. Although Caterpillar is reducing its operations in Illinois, it plans to add 600 jobs in Tucson, Arizona, over the next five years," according to the article. "...The reduction of jobs at Caterpillar reflects the ongoing loss of manufacturing jobs in Illinois. Employers continue to take jobs to states with a more business-friendly climate..." 
Florida Lawyer Offers Advice on Workers' Compensation and Social Media
    • Lawyer W. Marc Hardesty of (Hardesty Tyde Green & Ashton P.A.) recently took to his firm's blog to post about social media and workers' compensation, specifically in Jacksonville, Florida. Although social media is a great way to connect with friends, family and coworkers, oversharing facts about private life can cause issues when becoming involved in a legal case. Don't share workers' compensation claim details over social media, as it could be used against you if your claim ever comes under fire for investigation, etc. Hardesty offers three points of advice: "Don’t discuss the worker’s compensation claim or the injury you suffered online. Don’t assume that the information and photos you post are private. Before you post anything, make sure you consider if it could harm your case. If you have any doubts, just don’t post it." 

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