Articles Posted in Work Injuries

workers' compensationCompanies will hire temporary workers in uncertain economic times. There are definite costs in bringing on a worker on a full-time basis. Companies will need to pay more in worker benefits, so it is more expensive to hiring a permanent worker. In fact, temporary workers may earn approximately 40% less than permanent workers.

Why a Host Company Hires a Temp Worker

Temporary workers can do construction and other heavy work at a job site. They could also do light-duty work in an office. Either way, they are at risk of a workplace injury, even if it means that have contracted COVID-19 on the job. They may even suffer fatal injuries on the job. There are many different ways that a temp worker can suffer a permanent disability or temporary partial disability.

Loading Dock AccidentsComplacency in a hazardous work environment can cause injuries and death when workers let down their guard or do not follow the rules. Working around the loading dock is one of the most dangerous workplaces in America.

Warehouse employees, dockworkers, and truck drivers are at significant risk of suffering debilitating injuries or wrongful death from shifting loads, pallet cargo tip-overs, falling, being crushed, exposure to loud noises and hazardous materials, and improper lifting practices.

OSHA (Occupational Safety and Hazard Administration) regulates all loading and unloading activity occurring at plants, stores, shipyards, warehouse and other locations. The federal agency warns workers to remain cautious when preparing the trailer and dock for loading and unloading and how to properly use forklifts and equipment to load or remove cargo in the docking area.

Fatal Falls from Transmission TowersFlorida investigators are reviewing a case involving the collapse of a communication tower in Miami Gardens that claimed the lives of three workers on September 27, 2017. The dead include 31-year-old Sidney, Ohio resident Marcus Goffena, 23-year-old Longwood, Florida resident Brachton Barber, and 35-year-old Tampa, Florida resident Benito Rodriguez. All three men were installing a new television antenna on top of the communication tower for WSVN Channel 7, a Miami Fox affiliate station.

Witnesses who saw the collapse and subsequent flying debris stated that it “sounded like an explosion” as the crane fell to the ground while carrying the workers. A neighbor in the community, Eric Garner, said that he called emergency medical services and stated to WFOR-TV that “You know, that’s all about I can do, and I just prayed for the guys, you know what I mean, the families.” Garner also stated that “It sounded like the winds from the hurricane. When I heard the boom, I saw the debris fly up in the air, and I immediately called 911.”

Local law enforcement pronounced all three men dead at the scene located at 501 N.W. 207th St., Miami Gardens, Florida. The crew was working for Tower King II at the time of the collision replacing equipment on the television tower that has been sending transmission signals since its original installation in 2009. One worker, Brachton Barber, was the son of the Power King II President Kevin Barber of Cedar Hill Texas.

Railroad Worker Cancer Linked to ExposureA jury in Madison county ruled against the Union Pacific Railroad, awarding a former worker $7.5 million in damages for injuries linked to long term exposure to creosote and other toxic materials during his 31-year career as a railroad worker. The plaintiff, Mr. Brown was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia and alleged that the diagnosis was due to the failure of his employer to provide protective equipment despite knowing of the dangers linked with the substances workers were exposed to on a regular basis. The creosote injury attorneys of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC view this ruling as a victory for the many victims of creosote exposure currently filing claims and yet to come forward.

Exposure to Toxic Chemicals Responsible for Multiple Medical Conditions

Mr. Brown worked for the Chicago & North Western Railway for 18 years before it was taken over by the Union Pacific. During his time at CNW, he alleges that he was exposed to toxic chemicals on such a routine basis that his clothing often became soaked with substances such as creosote, lead and degreasing solvents. Evidence exists that suggests the railroad industry was aware of the health risks associated with these substances for decades but failed to warn employees or provide equipment that would prevent contamination.

Safety Measures for the Most Dangerous JobsIt is always been clear that some occupations are more dangerous than others. However, the increasing number of injuries and death occurring on the job have highlighted the need for improving safety procedures in many careers.

Identifying the Most Dangerous Jobs

Dangerous and hazardous occupations are defined by two major factors: fatality frequency and fatality rates. In the first, fatality frequency is recognized as the number of job-related deaths in a given occupation involving a specific group of workers. Alternatively, fatality rates take into account the different numbers of fatalities occurring in various career fields.

Safety Training in the WorkplaceWhile many workplace accidents are the result of unsafe work environment and the failure of employers to provide adequate safety equipment or warnings, the correlation between employee training and the risk of accidents is often overlooked.

If an employee brings unintended harm to one of his or her coworkers, it is easy to label that worker as negligent, reckless and irresponsible, but it is also quite possible that the employee never received safety training or lacks the credentials needed to perform his or her job function in a safe manner. If education can reduce the number of injuries occurring on the job, employers need to ensure that they provide ongoing training on safety related concerns.

How Lack of Training Increases the Risk of Workplace Accidents

Safety Problems for Employees at Furniture ManufacturersAshley Furniture is being fined $1.76 million for multiple violations of safety regulations— some of which were committed willfully and with full knowledge of the potentially negative consequences. The infractions have resulted in over 1,000 injuries at the company’s plant in Arcadia, Wisconsin over the last three and a half years. Ashley Furniture has responded by calling the fines inappropriate and overzealous but the number of injuries to plant workers over such a short period and the blatant disregard taken toward safety highlights a culture in the company in which the health and wellbeing of workers has taken a back seat to large profits and a small bottom line.

OSHA Investigation Launched Following Numerous Injuries to Workers

The sheer volume of workplace injuries being reported over the last several years incited the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to launch an investigation into the cause of the injuries and to explore whether proper measures were being taken to protect employees from harm. Numerous violations were discovered which included a dozen willful and repeated violations and 14 which were deemed to be a severe hazard to employees. As a result, the company is now required to undergo placement in the Severe Violator Enforcement Program, which will require the plant to be subject to regular inspections and change its policies to meet OSHA standards.

Safety Campaign to Protect Motorists and WorkersPrioritizing the Safety of Workers During Construction Season

As summer approaches, numerous construction projects are already underway throughout Chicago and greater Illinois. Troopers have tried to make sure that drivers are ready to exert cautious driving habits with “National Work Zone Awareness Week.” Troopers carried out educational activities from April 7, 2014 to April 11, 2014 to help drivers become aware of workers who will be assisting various construction projects along Interstate 74 and other roads of Illinois.Some of the troubling work zone accident statistics in Illinois have provoked a greater discussion on how drivers can exert more cautious driving behaviors. These Illinois statistics revealed:

  • 29 people were killed in work zone accidents

50 casualties take place in confined spacesConfined spaces are hazardous, as air ventilation is very poor in these places – a factor that can be deadly. Confined spaces include places like underground tunnels, ventilation ducts, storage tanks and sewers. Workers working in these places face many hazards that include oxygen shortage, presence of inert gases and inflammable material, and most importantly exposure to toxic gases.

Workers in sewers are especially exposed to the risks of inhaling toxic gases that are emitted from the drains because of various chemical and biological processes, resulting from the decomposition of wastage. Usually sewers have a high concentration of hydrogen sulfide that is liberated when organic materials are decomposed by bacteria. In high concentrations, exposure to hydrogen sulfide can cause suffocation, paralysis of the olfactory system (that is responsible for our sense of smell), failure of the respiratory system, loss of consciousness and in some cases even death.

Although hydrogen sulfide has a rotten egg smell, people can lose awareness of it because of its ability to affect the olfactory system. Apart from that, other toxic gases like oxides of nitrogen, ozone and carbon monoxide may also be present in sewers. Toxic gases like phosgene and carbon monoxide are odorless and colorless, so most people are not aware of their presence in the atmosphere until it is too late. In addition to hydrogen sulfide, toxic gases that can cause death include carbon monoxide, arsine, oxides of nitrogen, hydrogen cyanide, chlorine.