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Articles Tagged with athens

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Protect Alabama Workers From Occupational InjuryA flash of light. A clap of thunder. Lightning strikes a construction worker in Athens. While the worker lived, he is now disabled. He can no longer work or support his family. Can he recover Alabama workers’ compensation benefits for his disabling injury?

This is the issue faced by a recent client of mine. The worker survived only because two co-workers performed CPR until paramedics arrived. His physical injuries and rehabilitation were only part of the nightmare. When hospital personnel contacted the work comp insurance company, the adjuster immediately denied the claim on the basis it was an “act of God.” Think about the worker’s family. They stayed at his bedside for weeks not knowing whether he would live or how they would pay for his care. But, this injury SHOULD have been covered by work comp in this case.

Is lightning a work-related hazard? The short answer is that in the case of this outdoor construction worker struck while helping build the new Athens High School, it was. We were able to get work comp benefits for him. But, it took a fight to get him the workers’ compensation benefits he deserved. In most cases, the answer depends on the job.

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SAFETY-FIRST-300x300Worker safety should be a top priority for government contractors. It seems pretty simple to me. If a company profits from projects funded by taxpayers, we should expect safety! Yet, many government contractors put profits over safety. What is the result? Many needless personal injuries that could have been prevented. Many workers and families devastated by disabilities that should not have occurred.

In November, a jury convicted the former safety manager at the Shaw Group of providing false and misleading information about injuries. The Shaw Group is a large government contractor. The safety manager committed the fraud right here in northern Alabama. The fraud occurred at several Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) facilities, including Brown’s Ferry Nuclear Site near Athens, Alabama.

What did this contractor fraud involve? The company’s safety manager generated false injury rates used by the Shaw Group to collect safety bonuses worth over $2.5 Million from TVA. The company clearly put profit over both safety and truth.

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