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Saturday, July 28, 2007

Deadline Extended for World Trade Center Responders and Volunteers to Register for Workers' Compensation Benefits

Deadline Extended for World Trade Center Responders and Volunteers to Register for Workers' Compensation Benefits
Workers' Compensation Board Chair Donna Ferrara applauded the New York State Legislature and Governor Eliot Spitzer for giving World Trade Center responders until August 2008 to file the paperwork needed to claim workers' compensation benefits if they become ill in the future.

"Those who responded to the 9/11 disaster as workers or volunteers have another year to let us know they were on site," Ferrara said. "We want to make sure they preserve their eligibility should they become ill in the future. I congratulate the Legislature and Governor Spitzer for their swift action in passing and signing into law this very important legislation."

The law (S.4067/A.4940), which went into effect July 3, 2007, allows people who worked or volunteered at the World Trade Center to register with the Workers' Compensation Board and reserve the right to claim benefits if they become ill at a later date. It amends workers' compensation law §162 by giving those who participated in the rescue, recovery and clean-up until Aug. 14, 2008, to file a WTC-12 form.

While it is unclear how many people participated in the rescue, recovery and clean-up of the World Trade Center, more than 19,000 people have filed a WTC-12 form, registering as responders and volunteers.

For more information, or to download a copy of the form, visit

Friday, July 27, 2007

Workers' Compensation News - July 10, 2007, Vol. 5 Issue 107

Workers' Compensation News - July 10, 2007, Vol. 5 Issue 107

FLORIDA EXPANDS INTENTIONAL TORT EXCEPTION Employee's injury was substantial certainty from employer's failure to respond to requests for new ladder did not require proof that employer concealed danger. "Even though case law on the intentional tort exception to workers' compensation immunity is devoid of any defined test that will establish substantial certainty as a matter of law, it is evident that concealment of the dangerous condition is only one of several factors in a nonexclusive list. " Bakerman v The Bombay Company, ___So. 2d____, 2007 WL 1774420 (Fla.), decided June 21, 1007

OSHA ORDERED TO RELEASE TOXIC EXPOSURE DATABASE — More than 25 Years of Workplace Sampling Yields Public Health Research Bonanza Washington, DC — The U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) has wrongfully withheld data documenting years of toxic exposures to workers and its own inspectors, according to a federal court ruling posted today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). As a result, the world’s largest compendium of measurements of occupational exposures to toxic substances - more than 2 million analyses conducted during some 75,000 OSHA workplace inspections since 1979 - should now be available to researchers and policymakers. Each year, an estimated 40,000 U.S. workers die prematurely because of exposures to toxic substances on the job. Press Release: Decision:

ASBESTOS: Travelers Settles AC&S Claims The Travelers Cos. Inc. said today it has settled litigation with ACandS Inc., a former distributor and installer of asbestos products, for $449 million.,0,1651056.story

ASBESTOS: NO SAFE LEVEL OF EXPOSURE Cong. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) held a hearing on June 25 on the federal government’s response to the hazardous air contaminants that polluted lower Manhattan after the 9/11 attacks. The featured witness was former EPA administrator Christine Todd Whitman, who was in the hot seat for her claims that the air in NYC was safe to breathe. Much less attention was paid to former OSHA assistant secretary John Henshaw, who sat next to Whitman, but was left largely unscathed by the questioning. At least one Henshaw exchange deserves attention. The former OSHA chief insisted there are “safe levels of exposure to asbestos.” FYI: The WHO’s policy statement on the elimination of asbestos-related disease is here and the Institute of Medicine’s report on Asbestos: Selected Cancers (2007) is here.


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