How to get maximum workers’ comp benefits if you suffer an injury while working at GE Power
General Electric is an American multinational company that has been in business since 1892, but recently it’s been making significant changes. In 2021, the company announced its plan to split into 3 autonomous companies: GE Aerospace, GE HealthCare and GE Vernova.
After 2024, GE will combine its current businesses of GE Renewable Energy, GE Power, and GE Digital into one business to be named GE Vernova. Significant employment will continue in South Carolina.
What is GE Power?
GE Power started decades ago as a division of General Electric Company. In 1957, GE Power introduced the first commercial nuclear reactor. During World War II, GE supplied turbo superchargers for fighter and bomber engines.
In 2002, GE acquired the wind power assets from Enron’s bankruptcy estate. GE was successful in improving Enron’s engineering and doubling its annual sales.
Today, GE Power is a leading designer and manufacturer of gas and steam turbines that produce electricity by converting energy from fossil fuels and nuclear power.
GE Power in South Carolina
It’s not anticipated that the forthcoming reorganization will reduce GE Power’s presence in South Carolina. Currently, GE employs more than 3,400 people in a number of facilities:
- GE has 4 manufacturing sites, 5 related facilities, and contracts with 370 suppliers in South Carolina.
- GE Gas Power’s global engineering has its headquarters in Greenville.
- GE Healthcare employs more than 600 workers in South Carolina at the world’s largest MRI magnet factory. As part of the reorganization, that plant will be spun off into an autonomous company along with GE’s other healthcare businesses.
What does GE Power do in South Carolina?
GE Power operates a giant gas turbine manufacturing plant in Greenville that contains several manufacturing halls that cover nearly 21 football fields. That facility is the largest such factory in the world.
Gas turbines are combustion engines used in power plants to convert natural gas energy into electric power. Gas turbines are tested by a process called validation. In 2008, GE established at its Greenville plant the world’s largest and most powerful off-grid validation facility.
What industries does GE Power serve?
GE Power supplies products (principally turbines) related to the production of electric power. Among the many industries using GE Power’s technology and equipment are:
- The cement industry
- Data centers requiring consistent and uninterrupted power
- Hospitals and airports
- The mining industry
- Pulp and paper mills
- Aluminum and steel industries
Workers’ Comp for South Carolina Employees With Pre-Existing Conditions
Do you think you’re ineligible for workers’ comp benefits because of a pre-existing condition? Not necessarily. Pre-existing conditions can make workers’ comp claims more complicated, but you could still be entitled to compensation.
Common jobs for GE Power employees
Employees who work for GE Power have a wide range of jobs and responsibilities. Unfortunately, their highly technical and labor-intensive work duties can leave many GE Power employees prone to on-the-job injuries. Some of the employees with the most exposure to workplace injuries include:
- Warehouse and dock workers
- Chemical operators
- Electrical technicians
- Production operators
- Service technicians
Common workplace injuries to GE Power employees
Work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are among the most frequently reported causes of lost or restricted work time and are especially prevalent among employees in industrial plants like GE Power.
MSDs are caused by repetitive movements and can affect a worker’s muscles, ligaments, tendons, nerves and blood vessels.
Annually, MSDs account for about 30 percent of all workers’ compensation claims, and they’ve become quite costly—U.S. companies spent $50 billion on direct MSD costs in 2019 alone.
In addition to MSDs, GE Power employees experience various injuries, including:
- Burns and respiratory problems from exposure to toxic substances
- Electrical shocks
- Slip- or trip-and-fall accidents
- Crush injuries
- Loss of limb or digit
- Broken bones and other injuries from machinery and power tools
South Carolina Workers’ Comp Statute of Limitations
Do you know how long you have to file a claim after a work injury? Even small delays could keep you from getting any compensation, so you need to understand your rights.
What workers’ comp benefits are GE Power employees entitled to in South Carolina?
In South Carolina, employers with 4 or more employees are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance to compensate their workers for injuries or illnesses suffered on the job. It’s a no-fault system that does not require an employee to prove their employer was at fault for their injury.
GE Power workers’ compensation benefits include payment or reimbursement for:
- Medical expenses, including doctor visits, hospital stays, surgeries, medications, rehabilitation, artificial members and any necessary medical supplies
- Lost wages, which typically amount to two-thirds of your average weekly wages for a period of time that varies depending on your disability
- Death benefits for surviving family members
The South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission administers the program. If you’re injured on the job, your first course of action is to report the accident to your employer (e.g., GE Power). If your claim is denied, you can appeal it to the Commission.
What should you do if you’re injured while working at GE Power?
If you get hurt on the job at GE Power, you’re required to file a workers’ compensation claim. You must faithfully follow any instructions or guidelines communicated to you by the company or your supervisor. Failure to do so might compromise your claim.
Additionally, it’s imperative that you take the following steps to ensure you remain eligible for workers’ compensation after an injury:
- Seek medical attention. Immediately after an accident, you must see a doctor. Unless it’s an emergency, you will need to select from a list of doctors approved by your employer. If you don’t follow the company’s instructions, including the selection of a doctor, your medical bills might not be paid.
- File an accident report. Next, you must file a written report of the accident to your employer within 90 days of the accident. This report will be a critical part of the record and can be dispositive evidence for or against your case.
- File a workers’ comp claim. Your claim can be filed at any time within 2 years of the accident. A lawyer can advise you as to the best time. You should note that some workplace injuries don’t show up until days or weeks after an accident. However, an undue delay could work against you because your case could get stale, and your witnesses’ memories could fade over time.
- Speak with an attorney. In any event, when dealing with a large corporation like GE Power, you should consult a workers’ comp attorney for help with your claim. The lawyer you choose should have extensive experience dealing with big businesses and their workers’ comp insurance companies.
Contact an experienced South Carolina workers’ comp attorney
Getting hurt at work is always stressful, and it can be even more so when you’re trying to get compensation from a huge corporation like GE Power—but you don’t have to go it alone. GE Power has attorneys looking out for their best interests and so should you.
At Chappell, Chappell and Newman, our attorneys know how to deal with big businesses and their insurance companies. We can investigate your case, obtain expert witnesses and negotiate with the insurer to make sure you get a fair settlement.
If you’re injured on the job at GE Power in South Carolina, contact the experienced workers’ compensation attorneys at Chappell, Chappell and Newman. Our law firm has more than 30 years of experience negotiating with employers and insurance companies to get injured South Carolina workers the maximum benefits to which they’re entitled.
Contact us today for a free consultation of your case.