Under the Florida workers’ compensation laws, an injured worker may be entitled to aide and attendant care. That means, under a physician’s prescription, an injured worker may be entitled to skilled or unskilled assistance with activities of daily living. These typically include, assistance with bathing, dressing, hygiene, etc. For example, an injured worker recovering from shoulder surgery, could have a difficult time putting on a shirt or tying shoes. A nursing or other similar service can be prescribed to assist the injured worker during recovery.
These benefits have been reduced significantly over the years, due to changes in the laws, according to Boca Raton workers’ compensation attorney Randy Zeldin, Esq. Most recently, one Court denied lawn care services to an injured. worker.
The workers’ compensation and Social Security Disability law office of Randy Zeldin, is pleased to announce that Sangitha Palaniappa has joined the staff. “Sangi” as she is nicknamed, is pursuing studies in political science with the intent to earn a law degree. She brings her expertise to all facets of Randy Zeldin’s law practice, which services all of Palm Beach and Broward Counties.
Ms. Palaniappa, is fluent in the Tamil and Spanish languages. She is an expert in Baharatnatyam dance.
Florida has one of the worst records of workers’ compensation injuries in the U.S. Thousands of workers in Broward and Palm Beach, including Ft. Lauderdale, Boca Raton and West Palm Beach will be injured in 2009! For this reason, it is important that your employer institute a workplace safety plan. The American Heart Association recommends that there be a plan, in which all employees practice.
Attorney Randy Zeldin of Boca Raton, can provide you with more detailed information about workers’ compensation laws and remedies.
Across the U.S., more than 2,000 eye injuries occur everyday and 10% of these result in vision loss, sometimes permanently! Common workers’ compensation eye injuries take place at South Florida construction sites, among welders, machinists and users of power tools.
Under Federal and Florida law, employers must provide suitable eye and face protection, such as safety glasses or goggles. There are “mandatory eye protection zones” in places such as welding, hazardous chemicals and machine shops. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 60% of all eye injuries happened without safety gear.
Randy Zeldin, Esq. has represented workers in Boca Raton, Ft. Lauderdale and West Palm Beach who have sustained eye injuries. These injuries have ranged from construction workers to professional golfers.
Workplace safety in Florida is near the bottom of all 50 States. Construction injuries in South Florida rank among the highest in the country. Florida Chief Financial Officer, Alex Sink, recognizes the problem and has begun classes to assist employers with safety improvements. The classes will provide information on the Florida workers’ compensation law, when exemptions apply, what resources are available to help employers and contractors and training on workplace safety.
The State of Florida has certainly improved its record on enforcing compliance with workers’ compensation laws. Last year, 2,518 businesses were shut down by the State of Florida, because of failure to obtain workers’ compensation coverage.
According to attorney Randy Zeldin, Esq. of Boca Raton, South Floridian workers will be subjected to dangerous workplaces into the future. The penalties and enforcement mechanisms must be made “very severe” according to attorney Zeldin, before things will change in a meaningful way. Further, OSHA has been gutted of a budget and its absence continues to contribute to workplace injuries.
There is ongoing talk that the Florida Legislature will meet in Special Session in January 2009, to consider changes to the existing workers’ compensation laws. The Workers’ Compensation Section of the Florida Bar, has met with Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink to urge that her office conduct a thorough examination of how the workers’ compensation law has worked and what modifications should be considered.
In the 2008 Legislative Session, a sweeping bill was introduced by Sen. Alex Villalobos,
(Senate Bill No. 2548), which had some promising reforms. Unfortunately, the bill died in committee and was never considered by the Florida Legislature. One of the most important changes in the Villalobos bill, was regarding choice of physician. Currently, choice and control over the physician, except in managed care cases, is largely with the insurance carrier. The Villalobos bill would have guaranteed that an injured worker would have at least one doctor of his or her choice, as long as the physician was properly licensed and regulated. Randy Zeldin, Esq., with offices in Boca Raton and Pompano Beach, is optimistic that Gov. Christ will be supportive of workers’ compensation reform.
The law office of Randy Zeldin recently represented an electrical worker who suffered severe injuries as the result of an electrocution. This worker came to Florida from the Midwest, to help with rebuilding the electrical grid caused by devastating hurricanes in 2005. Unfortunately, the workers was reinstalling an electrical wire and suffered burns and orthopedic injuries.
I decided to do some research and came across some surprising facts. According to the National Institute for Safety and Health (“NIOSH”), contact with electricity is the fourth leading cause of death at construction sites. Further research revealed that electrocution death are highest among electrical power installers and earth drillers, as reported by the Center for Construction Research and Training (“CCRT”). CCRT also reports that the highest numbers of deaths among construction workers are found with electricians, construction laborers, supervisors/managers and electrical power repair persons.