Philadelphia School District employees staged a protest last week in order to call attention to an incident in which a maintenance worker was severely injured when a boiler exploded while he was attempting to repair the pilot light. A representative from the local chapter of the Service Employees International Union expressed concern about the boilers in all Philadelphia schools and School District officials seemed to share this concern, as they agreed to re-inspect the nearly 700 boilers located in school buildings across the city.
School District officials emphasized that the fact that a re-inspection of the boilers was ordered did not mean that the boilers are not safe. They also highlighted the fact that the District has been dealing with a less than robust budget, which limits the ability to make improvements. No matter what the ultimate cause may be, no employee should have to work in an environment which could be unsafe.
Unfortunately, it is all too common for employees to encounter unnecessary risks (such as a boiler which was not properly inspected) on a job site. What happens when an injury such as this occurs? In Pennsylvania, the PA Workers' Compensation Act provides for medical expenses and, in the event you are unable to work, wage-loss compensation benefits until you are able to return. In addition, if a worker is killed on the job, the Act provides for death benefits for dependents.
The benefits available to an injured worker under the act include: payment of related reasonable surgical and medical services rendered by a physician (or other health care provider), medicine, necessary supplies, hospital treatment and services. Additionally, if you are unable to return to work or are partially disabled and can not earn your pre-injury compensation rate, payment for lost wages is available. Specific loss benefits may be available if you have permanently lost the use of particular body parts.
While the Workers' Compensation Act does provide for a variety of benefits for injured workers, these are accompanied by a series of strict requirements. Such requirements include tight reporting timeframes, limitation on the choice of medical provider and the location of medical provider as well as limitations on where and how an injury must occur in order to be covered under the Act.
If you have been injured in the workplace it is wise to seek the assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney as early as possible. An experienced attorney will be familiar with the reporting guidelines and advise you on how to make a timely claim. In addition, some works find that their claims have been rejected by their state board of workers' compensation. If you find yourself in such a position, you may be able to appeal this decision. If you or someone you love has been injured on the job, contact Gilman & Bedigian today for a free phone consultation to discuss the details of your case and the steps to take moving forward.