Monthly Archives: October 2012

Safety Tips for Workers Preparing For Hurricane Sandy

We urge everyone in the path of Hurricane Sandy to make safety their number one priority.

The NJ Office of Emergency Management and the National Hurricane Center are closely monitoring Hurricane Sandy (“frankenstorm”) as it has the potential to become an historic storm as it moves up the Eastern seaboard and will merge  and embed with a developing
classic Northeastern rain and wind storm. Over 50 Million people will be impacted. A State of Emergency has now been declared in NJ, NY and MD.
A wide spread power loss has been predicted. NJ  has issued an immediate warning concerning power generator safety and back-feeding of electric current through the use of generators. At a press conference Governor Christie warned the residents of NJ to be cautious  and observe safety measures. He said “If it looks stupid, the it is stupid,” and don’t do it. Additionally, a High Wind Warnings have been issuedfor Northeastern NJ, NY and CT.
While the State will be settling down to another historic first on Saturday, when undefeated Rutgers plays Kent State in Piscataway, NJ, the preparations will go forward to adequately prepare for the weather related storm, Sandy.
Mayor Bloomberg held a press conference late Friday afternoon explaining what precautions the government was taking and what safety measures needed to be followed to protect life and property. He said, “….whenever we’re faced with a tough situation, history shows New Yorkers always show courage, compassion, and presence of mind. We did that 14 months ago, during Hurricane Irene, and I’m completely confident we will do that again now.”
Home Depot stores in NJ have run out of batteris (C-D cells) and local food store are experiencing a run on bread, water and canner goods as the preparation pace continues.

Workers’ Compensation insurance provides benefits if an employee is injured because of because of a hurricane. Preparing for a hurricane is important, and that should include reporting work related injuries to your employer and/or insurance company.

While NIOSH has alerted all of us to the dangers of a hurricane, “….Storm and flood cleanup activities can be hazardous. Workers and volunteers involved with flood cleanup should be aware of the potential dangers involved, and the proper safety precautions. Work-related hazards that could be encountered include: electrical hazards, Carbon Monoxide, musculoskeletal hazards, heat stress, motor vehicles, hazardous materials, fire, confined spaces and falls.”

Should a worker suffer any injuries then they should seek medical care at once, and report the incident to their employer. Prepare ahead and take your employer’s contact information and workers’ compensation insurance information with you so you are prepared to provide to authorities and your employer the facts to process your claim without delay.

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Tips for Disabled Persons to Prepare for a Hurricane

President Barack Obama receives an update on the ongoing response to Hurricane Sandy. Photo by Pete Souza

Today’s post comes to us from Jon Gelman of New Jersey. We encourage everyone to be especially conscious of safety during Hurricane Sandy.

Disabled persons have special needs and special actions are required to help disabled individuals in advance of of a hurricane. 

For the millions of Americans who have physical, medical, or other disabilities, emergencies such as hurricanes, floods and tornadoes present a real challenge. The same challenge also applies to the elderly and other special needs populations.

“Individuals with special needs are in the best position to plan for their own safety when disaster strikes, because they know their own personal needs and limitations,” said Sandy Coachman, director of the Austin Transitional Recovery Office operated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). “However, their unique needs may require more detailed planning and involve neighbors, friends, family, co-workers and personal care attendants.”

While preparing their own plan, family members with relatives in nursing facilities also may want to contact the facility’s administrator to see what its emergency plans are and to make sure the facility has the family’s communication plan and contact numbers in case of an evacuation, according to Coachman.

For those who have special needs and live alone, FEMA suggests the following four steps to prepare for hurricane season, which runs from June 1 through November 30:

Get informed
Find out about special assistance that may be available in your community through your local emergency management coordinator or local chapter of the American Red Cross.

Make a plan
Decide what you will be able to do for yourself and what assistance you may need before, during and after a disaster. This will be based on the disaster type you might encounter and your capabilities. Consider your needs for daily living, getting around after a disaster or evacuating to a safer area.

Organize a network of assistance that includes care attendants, neighbors, friends, relatives and co-workers at home, school, workplace, volunteer site and any other places where you spend a lot of time. The members of your network should know your capabilities and needs and be able to provide help within minutes. It may be important to depend on more than one person at each location where you regularly spend time since people work different shifts, take vacations and are not always available.

Assemble a kit
A disaster supplies kit is a collection of basic items you would probably need to stay safe and comfortable during and after a disaster. They should be stored in a portable container as close to an exit door as possible. Special needs items should be considered as well, such as extra batteries for hearing aids and wheelchairs; food and water for companion animals; essential medicines, a list of current prescriptions and medications, and your medical history; and type and model numbers of medical devices you need.

Service animals may become confused, panicked, frightened or disoriented immediately before, during and after a disaster. Keep them confined or securely leashed or harnessed. A leash (or harness) in your kit is an important item for managing a nervous or upset animal.

If you have been disabled due to a work-related accident or exposure, be sure keep contact information for: your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company, names and address of your treating physicians, and your attoney’s contact information with you.

Maintain your plan and kit
Discuss the plan with your care attendant and the people in your network. Review the plan every six months and periodically quiz your assistants about what to do. Ensure that they know how to operate any medical equipment you need. Rotate food and water supplies.

Keep appropriate licenses for your service animal updated and keep them with you in the event you choose to use an emergency public shelter.

Read more about Hurrican Safety for Workers and the Disabled

Oct 25, 2012
The NJ Office of Emergency Management and the National Hurricane Center are closely monitoring Hurricane Sandy (“frankenstorm”) as it has the potential to become an historic storm as it moves up the Eastern seaboard …
Aug 04, 2012
Workers’ Compensation insurance provides benefits if an employee is injured because of because of a hurricane. Preparing for a hurricane is important, and that should include reporting work related injuries to your employer …
Aug 30, 2011
Hurricane relief volunteers are entitled to workers compensation benefits for injuries and illnesses that occurred as a result of their participation in relief efforts. In order to claim those benefits injured volunteers need to make …
Aug 24, 2011
The recent earthquake in the northeast US highlights that workers become aware of what to do in case a hurricane strikes. Stay as safe as possible during an earthquake. Be aware that some earthquakes are actually …

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Senior Partner Edgar Romano Included in 2012 Top 100 Trial Lawyers in N.Y.

Senior Partner Edgar Romano

Edgar Romano, Senior Partner at Pasternack Tilker Ziegler Walsh Stanton & Romano LLP, has been included in the 2012 Top 100 Trial Lawyers in N.Y. by the National Trial Lawyers, an organization composed of the Top 100 Trial Lawyers from each state.

Membership in the National Trial Lawyers organization is obtained through special invitation only to those attorneys who exemplify superior qualifications, reputation, influence, stature, and profile as trial lawyers, both civil plaintiff and criminal defense.

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Four Things You Should Know About Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Today’s post comes from guest author Rod Rehm from Rehm, Bennett & Moore.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, also known as CTS, is an uncomfortable and often painful wrist disorder. It is a common injury that can be caused by workplace stress. Here are four things you should know about Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

  1. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is caused by repeated stress.
    Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a Repetitive Stress Injury (RST). It occurs when the same action is repeated many times. When wrists are strained over and over again by actions like typing, the tendons in the wrist can become enlarged. Then the tendons can compress a nerve that runs through a passage in the wrist called the “carpal tunnel.”
  2. Even if your wrists don’t hurt badly, you could still have CTS.
    There are a whole range of symptoms associated with CTS, not just pain. Symptoms of CTS can include numbness or tingling pain in the hand, wrist, and forearm, impaired or lost nerve function, reduced muscle control, and reduced grip strength.
  3. You can receive workers’ compensation for CTS.
    According to Nebraska and Iowa law, workers can receive workers’ compensation from the onset of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. This compensation includes 100% of all medical expenses that are reasonable and necessary to treat CTS, including both inpatient and outpatient care and prescriptions.
  4. You may be entitled to compensation for permanent damage due to CTS.
    If you experience Continue reading

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How Can Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) Be Treated? (Part 2)

Treatments can vary as symptoms change over time.

Today’s post comes from guest author Todd Bennett from Rehm, Bennett & Moore.

Today’s post is continued from last week, when we discussed the symptoms of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). Today we will discuss treatment options.

The job of your doctor is to identify and treat your symptoms before they become incurable. Common forms of treatment for CRPS are 

  • physical therapy
  • injections
  • sympathetic mediated injections
  • sympathetic blocks
  • nerve conduction studies
  • CT scans
  • vasomotor studies
  • Doppler studies
  • bone-density tests
  • medications for pain & anti-inflammation

No single form of treatment has been found 100% effective.  Continue reading

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What Is Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)? (Part 1)

Diagnosis of CRPS is made through process of elimination.

Today’s post comes from guest author Todd Bennett from Rehm, Bennett & Moore.

Representing clients with chronic pain is both one of the hardest and most rewarding parts of my job.

The International Association for the Study of Pain sets forth four diagnostic criteria for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS):

  1. an initiating event,
  2. continuous pain,
  3. edema, temperature, or color differences affecting a limb, and
  4. excluding all other causes. 

These criteria are vague but, because diagnosis of CRPS is elusive, they are the established criteria for a physician identifying and treating chronic pain that cannot be attributed to any other cause.

When your doctor believes the pain you are experiencing is out of proportion to your examination findings and the severity of your injury, it creates a problem. However, this is quite common when suffering from complex regional pain syndrome. While those who suffer from CRPS are often frurstrated because the exact cause of the pain cannot be proven, the medical literature confirms that this disease, and the resulting pain, is real! 

The 3 stages of complex regional pain syndrome, ie. chronic pain, are variable but the descriptions below show how the disease can progress: Continue reading

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Congratulations to our SuperLawyers!

Victor Pasternack, Barbara Doblin Tilker and Jordan Ziegler (top row). Catherine Stanton, Edgar Romano and Robert Saminsky (bottom row).

We are proud to congratulate Victor Pasternack, Barbara Doblin Tilker, Jordan Ziegler, Catherine Stanton, Edgar Romano and Robert Saminsky for being named to the New York Super Lawyers list as one of the top attorneys in New York for 2012. Each attorney was also named in 2011. It is an honor to have so many or our attorneys on this prestegious list, as no more than 5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by Super Lawyers.

Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The annual selections are made using a rigorous multi-phased process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, an independent research evaluation of candidates, and peer reviews by practice area.

The first Super Lawyers list was published in 1991.

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The 11 Most Life-Threatening Jobs on the Planet

Today’s post comes from guest author Paul J. McAndrew, Jr. from Iowa, who shared this illuminating post with his readers. We often focus on the dangers of jobs close to home (numbers 6, 8, 9 & 10), but others jobs around the world also pose great risk their workers. We hope that regulations are put in place in every country to ensure worker safety.

Today’s post comes to us from our colleagues at

The danger workers face on the job is not always compensated by higher pay. Life-threatening jobs can be mind-numbingly simple, easily performed by unskilled workers or children, or as physically and mentally demanding as one can imagine. Cable television shows like Deadliest Catch and Ice Road Truckers give some sense of the dangers faced by workers in the sea fishing and truck driving industries respectively, while films like Workingman’s Death (2005) document examples of dangerous, and almost pointlessly unproductive manual labor. Below are 11 life-threatening jobs ranging from the banal to the bizarre.

Photo by Nate Robert, licensed through Creative Commons.

  1. Street Sweeper (Rwanda)The most humble of jobs can be the most dangerous. On the streets of Kigali province, in the country of Rwanda, women dressed in blue work from dawn to dusk sweeping the roads and highways. Drivers, going several miles per hour, zoom past, their cars missing the street-sweeping women by just inches. The women wear no reflective clothing, and there are no cautionary signs or pylons alerting drivers of the presence of these women on the road. In a country with 30% unemployment, street sweeping, which pays approximately $3 a day, is a sought-after job.
  2. King Crab Fisherman (Alaska, United States)
    More dramatic than street sweeping, crab fishing in the Bering Sea is one of the world’s most dangerous professions. The fishing takes place night and day in rough waters that constantly and violently rock the boats, sending high waves crashing over the decks. Fishermen can slip on the soaked deck, get hit by flying objects, or fall overboard into freezing water. In the 1990s, the Alaskan fishing industry experienced 400 deaths per 100,000 employees. That number has increased since.

  3. Sulfur Miner (East Java, Indonesia)Java’s sulfur miners gather chunks of yellow sulfur located next to a steaming, acidic volcano crater lake. The men hold their breaths and run into the clouds of hydrogen sulfide and sulfur dioxide, gases that burn the eyes and throat, and grab as much sulfur as they can carry before returning to relative safety away from the lake. The miners gag, choke, and spit before repeating the process again and again. The sulfur they gather is used to bleach sugar, make matches, and vulcanize rubber. The miners are paid $10 to $15 a day, with some extra income coming from posing for photographs taken by curious tourists well away from the poisonous gas. Gloves and gas masks are unaffordable luxury items.
  4. Police Office (Kabul, Afghanistan)
    As recently as December 2011, police officers and police stations in war-torn Kabul, Afghanistan, have been targeted by the Taliban soldiers and suicide bombers. CBS News reports that every day, five out of 10 Kabul police officers die on the job. Lack of training and high-tech tools, as well as government-level corruption and an economy based on the heroin trade, prevent Kabul’s police force from performing their job with any degree of safety or effectiveness.

  5. E-Waste Recycler (Guiyu, China)
    Old discarded electronics, including laptops, home entertainment systems, and smart phones, are exported to Guiyu’s electronic waste sites to be gathered and broken down, by hand, for scrap metal by thousands of low-paid workers and their children. The electronics release toxic metals and chemicals into the workers and the environment, poisoning families and their environment. The amount of e-waste on the planet is increasing at an alarming rate, mostly in developing countries, with illegal exporting and dumping contributing to the glut of toxic electronics.

  6. Truck Driver (United States)
    Driving a truck is one of the most dangerous jobs in the United States. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration reports that truck drivers are “more likely to die in a work-related accident than the average worker,” Continue reading

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