Connecticut Warehouse Workers Face Increased Dangers
In the last few years, U.S. commerce has undergone a major restructuring, with many stores ramping up their online presence during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. However, with increased demand for online shopping comes the demand for more warehouse and shipping personnel – and while some companies are taking all due precautions for their workers’ safety, it is sadly common for warehouse workers to be injured or killed far more often than used to be the case.
Data from the National Safety Council lists the top three causes for days away from work in 2020 as (1) exposure to “harmful substances or environments;” (2) overexertion or bodily reaction; and (3) slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall accidents. Warehouse workers are listed among the most at risk for both categories #2 and #3, and this risk is only increased by other issues that may be specific to that position. For example, if a worker is scheduled on a long shift with very little backup, they may face increased fatigue and loss of focus.
In addition, warehouse workers may also suffer from repetitive motion or stress injuries, from repeating the same motion over and over again. Conditions like slipped discs, spinal problems, or carpal tunnel syndrome may occur alongside more singular injuries like burns or broken bones. Depending on the specifics of the situation where you were injured, you may be facing a long recovery period, and workers’ compensation benefits can help to cushion the blow of the medical bills and expenses that can pile up.
It is important to understand that in Connecticut, it is possible to cite more than one job-related injury in filing a workers’ compensation claim. However, if you do, it is crucial that you be able to concretely establish that your injury occurred at work (or that it was made substantially worse at work) before you may collect benefits related to that injury. It is not easy to prove this, not least of all because it may take time to build a case of that nature, and state law only allows up to 1 year from the date of the accident (or 3 years from the onset of symptoms of an occupational disease).
If your claim is approved, you may be eligible for benefits worth up to 66 ⅔ percent of your average weekly wage (AWW). AWW is calculated using a complex formula, which in Connecticut is published each year in benefit tables. One thing to keep in mind as a warehouse worker, however, is that workers’ compensation benefits are only available to full employees – unfortunately, some employers will intentionally misclassify their workers as independent contractors in order to ‘save’ on benefits. It is crucial to make certain you are properly classified before proceeding.
Contact A Stratford, CT Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Warehouse workers are integral to today’s economy, but too often they are not granted the protections and benefits to which they are entitled. If you have been injured at work and are unsure about how to claim benefits, calling a Stratford workers’ compensation attorney from the Morizio Law Firm may be able to help you determine what to do. We are ready and willing to try and assist you. Contact us today for a free consultation.