Pneumatic Drill Injuries
A pneumatic drill is also known as a jackhammer. It uses compressed air powered by a diesel engine in order to drill. There are several common injuries associated with pneumatic drills. Air is suctioned through an inlet valve, compressed by a piston, and pushed into a tank where it is pressurized. The air then serves as an energy source for the tool. If you suffer pneumatic drill injuries arising out of the work that you do, you should retain an experienced Boston workers' compensation lawyer at Pulgini & Norton.Pneumatic Drill Injuries
A pneumatic drill is used to break up tough materials like tarmac or concrete. The tool is typically heavy and requires a posture that can result in injuries. Workers are supposed to receive training to reduce the odds of being injured, but training does not always happen.
Precautions and preventative measures can be taken with regard to many of the potential risks of using a pneumatic drill. The extreme noise can cause permanent hearing damage if a worker and others close to the drill are not wearing appropriate ear protection. Additionally, debris and dust can fly out of the concrete or tarmac, hitting people in the face or eyes, or damaging the lungs and aggravating asthma. It can also be helpful to wear boots that have steel toecaps to avoid inadvertently drilling into one's foot.
Prolonged pneumatic drill use on the job can also result in repetitive strain injuries and vibration white finger or hand arm vibration syndrome. It is possible to reduce the risk of these types of injuries by taking breaks, wearing gloves to absorb the vibrations, and changing tasks or sharing the burden of drilling with others. Workers should be aware of potential progressive symptoms of these types of problems, such as numbness, aches and pains, cracking in joints, tenderness, and tingling. It is possible to develop a permanent disability when these symptoms go untreated.
The Massachusetts workers' compensation system was designed to ensure that workers could receive replacement wages and medical treatment without regard to fault for on-the-job injuries or occupational illnesses. However, in practice, insurers do deny legitimate claims, leaving workers without a source of income and without the ability to obtain and pay for reasonable and necessary medical care. One common reason that insurers give for a denial is a pre-existing condition. For example, if you worked with a pneumatic drill at your old job and developed vibration white finger, but then you go on to another job and develop vibration white finger there, the insurer might try to avoid paying by claiming that you have a pre-existing condition.
However, as long as a work injury is a major cause of your condition, you should be able to recover benefits. To use the previous example, if working with a pneumatic drill at the second job aggravates the earlier white finger that you suffered from using the pneumatic drill at the first job, you may still be able to recover benefits. You will need to show that you needed medical treatment, days away, restricted work, or a job transfer to prove that the second job was a major cause of your white finger or another pneumatic drill injury. You cannot recover benefits if the insurer can show that your symptoms actually arose from a personal hobby or another event that occurred away from the job. However, in many cases, a workplace injury can combine with a pre-existing condition to create a worker's need for medical treatment or time off from work. The workplace injury does not need to be the predominant cause of the disability to recover benefits, as long as it is a major cause.Retain an Experienced Workers' Compensation Attorney in Boston
If you need to obtain workers' compensation benefits as a result of pneumatic drill injuries in your workplace, you should consult the experienced attorneys at Pulgini & Norton. You should discuss the facts of your claim with an attorney before assuming that an insurer's reasons for denying the claim are valid. At Pulgini & Norton, our Boston lawyers can advise workers on claims arising out of many different industries. We also handle claims in Newton, Brookline, and Somerville, as well as other Massachusetts cities. For a consultation with a workplace accident lawyer, contact us online or call us at 781-843-2200.