Providence, RI (PRWEB) June 21, 2013
Rhode Island workers’ compensation lawyer Mark W. Gemma said today that the National Safety Council’s focus on ergonomics for Week 4 of National Safety Month should be shared by the state’s employers.
The National Safety Council (NSC) observes National Safety Month each June to educate and influence behaviors regarding leading causes of preventable injuries and deaths.
“Ergonomic risks in the workplace typically refer to repetitive stress and strain and musculoskeletal injuries – particularly back injuries,” said Gemma of Gemma Law Associates, Inc., which helps injured Rhode Island workers obtain workers’ compensation benefits after suffering occupational injuries or illnesses.
“I think the National Safety Council’s focus this week on ergonomics can be a good starting point for getting employers to train their employees about proper lifting techniques and other steps that can cut down on stress and strain injuries, which commonly lead to workers’ compensation claims being filed,” Gemma said.
Gemma pointed to National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) statistics showing that back injuries account for nearly 20 percent of all workplace injuries and illnesses and cost the nation an estimated $20 billion to $50 billion per year.
“As our firm has seen in our work representing injured workers, simply giving back belts to employees won’t prevent them from suffering injuries that come from lifting,” Gemma said. “Instead, it takes developing a comprehensive program that educates and trains workers on how to lift the proper way.”
Gemma said employees who suffer sudden or repetitive motion injuries, particularly common back injuries, should understand their rights to receive workers’ compensation benefits for medical expenses and lost wages.
“Rhode Island workers’ compensation insurance covers almost all workers in the state,” the veteran attorney said. “Any worker who is hurt while on the job is likely to qualify for benefits and should get them in a timely manner.
“However, filing claims can be complex, especially when companies and workers’ compensation insurers refuse to pay benefits that a worker deserves,” Gemma said. “It helps to work with an attorney who can explain the process and guide one’s claim through the system.”
About Gemma Law Associates, Inc.
Gemma Law Associates, Inc., is a Providence law firm that has represented the people of Rhode Island for more than 48 years while earning a reputation for success in several practice areas, including drunk driving accidents, car accidents, personal injury, workers’ compensation, Social Security disability, divorce, criminal defense and bankruptcy law. The law firm’s staff works as a team to ensure success in cases and is backed by a state-of-the-art collection of resources, including an advanced computerized case management system and extensive legal library.
The firm represents clients throughout the state of Rhode Island, including Providence, Pawtucket, Warwick, Washington County and Newport County. To learn more about Gemma Law Associates, Inc., call (401) 467-2300 or use the firm’s online contact form.