What are the most common causes of construction safety accidents?

If you work in the construction industry, you realize one thing to be true: Accidents are a part of your job. While this may be true to a certain…

If you work in the construction industry, you realize one thing to be true: Accidents are a part of your job. While this may be true to a certain extent, it doesn’t mean you have to give in to the fact that you will some day be injured in an accident.

All construction workers should understand the most common causes of accidents. This goes a long way in helping them avoid trouble.

There are four primary categories of construction safety accidents, including the following:

— Falls. With so many people climbing and working at height, the chance of a fall is always a possibility.

— Electrical incidents. There are many types of electrical accidents, including but not limited to the improper use of equipment and contact with power lines.

— Struck by an object. When a construction worker is struck by an object, such as a piece of equipment, there is a good chance of injury.

— Trenching and evacuation.

Every company should do whatever they can to improve the safety of each construction site. The same holds true for the workers. When everybody is on the same page, there is less chance of an accident.

Construction workers enjoy their job, but this does not mean they are okay with the idea that they could be injured at some point. If you want to avoid trouble, make sure you are familiar with all the safety risks associated with your worksite and position. This is no guarantee that you will avoid trouble, but it can definitely work in your favor.

Source: Lorman Education Services, “The Top 4 Causes of Construction Safety Accidents,” accessed Dec. 28, 2015

Drunk driving is more common during the holiday season

There is no denying the fact that drunk driving is a major problem in the United States. This is a crime that is committed day after day in every…

There is no denying the fact that drunk driving is a major problem in the United States. This is a crime that is committed day after day in every state throughout the country.

Incidents of drunk driving increase during the holiday season. According to a recent report, on average there are 1,900 driving under the influence arrests during the month of December. Due to this increase, police are always on the lookout.

Regardless of where you live or the roadways you are traveling this holiday season, you have probably come across a few highway signs noting that you should not drink and drive. Despite these messages, some people don’t learn their lesson. They decide to drink alcohol, get behind the wheel and take their chances.

With so many people drinking and driving during the holidays, the chance of an accident also increases. Unfortunately, many drinking and driving accidents result in serious injury and even death.

This year, just the same as every one before it, there will be people who push their luck and hit the road after they have had too much to drink. The worst part of this is that some of these people will cause an accident that injures or kills an innocent person.

Drunk driving always ramps up during the holiday season. As a driver, you should be sober all the time. You should also pay attention to those around you. If you feel that somebody is driving under the influence, keep your distance and then contact police. This could help you and others avoid an accident.

Source: CBS Baltimore, “Incidents Of Drunk Driving Increase During Holiday Season,” accessed Dec. 22, 2015

How workers can keep themselves safe from forklift accidents

Ask any employee who earns their living in the warehousing, manufacturing or retail sector about the essential tools of their trade, and there’s a very good chance that they will…

Ask any employee who earns their living in the warehousing, manufacturing or retail sector about the essential tools of their trade, and there’s a very good chance that they will list things like pallet jacks, back belts, utility knives and, of course, forklifts.

Indeed, it would be virtually impossible for any operation of appreciable size within one of these sectors to fill orders and manage inventory without these ubiquitous forked and four-wheeled machines. Despite this utility, however, it’s important to understand that forklifts present a very real risk of work injuries.

If you don’t believe it, consider that statistics show that the nation sees an average of 35,000 serious injuries and 62,000 non-serious injuries involving forklifts every year.

While this is disconcerting, the good news is that experts have identified a few easy steps that employees can take to help ensure that they remain safe around forklifts.

  • Observe safe driving practices: Take care to drive slowly, reducing speed even further when negotiating turns. Furthermore, ensure that loads are transported only if stable and never exceed the recommended weight limit. Finally, ensure that headphones and other potentially distracting electronics are not used while operating the forklift, and utilize backup cameras.
  • Maintain safe distances and ideal operating conditions: Ensure that forklifts are only driven in areas where there is little foot traffic, low volume levels, good lighting and no obstructions. In addition, workers on foot must remember to give the forklift operator a wide berth and never make physical contact with a moving load.
  • Maintenance and training: Demand that employers conduct the necessary maintenance to ensure the forklift stays in safe operating condition and provide training at least twice a year to ensure all employees remain current on best practices.

Those who do suffer forklift-related injuries while on the job should understand that they do have rights and they do have options, including workers’ compensation benefits. To learn more, consider speaking with an experienced legal professional.

Malignant mesothelioma risk factors

There are specific risk factors for many diseases. Even though you may have one or more risk factors, that doesn’t mean that you will automatically get the disease. Not…

There are specific risk factors for many diseases. Even though you may have one or more risk factors, that doesn’t mean that you will automatically get the disease. Not having any risk factors doesn’t mean you won’t get the disease, either. There are some risk factors that can increase your chances of getting mesothelioma.

Asbestos exposure is a primary risk factor for pleural mesothelioma. When asbestos fibers get into the lungs, they enter the chest wall and the lining of the lungs. The cells in the lining are injured, which can eventually result in mesothelioma. Those fibers can also damage the lungs’ cells and result in lung cancer or asbestosis.

It’s believed that millions of people in this country have already been exposed to this dangerous substance. Asbestos was once used as insulation in public and commercial buildings, including some schools, and in older homes. While exposure to asbestos usually only occurs when those building materials are removed or begin to decompose, there are some occupations that also had serious exposure to asbestos in the past. These included ship builders, railroad workers, factory workers, some minors, plumbers and construction workers, just to name a few.

It can take 20 to 50 years to develop mesothelioma after the first time someone is exposed to asbestos. Even if there is no more exposure to asbestos, the risk for developing mesothelioma appears to be ongoing.

If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you should consider whether it could have been caused by asbestos exposure. At MHK Attorneys, we know how frightening it can be to have a diagnosis of mesothelioma. However, we are here to help you and your family during this difficult time. To learn more, take the time to review our webpage on risk factors and mesothelioma.

Why are workers’ compensation benefits denied?

If it comes time to make a workers’ compensation claim, you hope that the process will be fast and efficient from start to finish. After all, you don’t want…

If it comes time to make a workers’ compensation claim, you hope that the process will be fast and efficient from start to finish. After all, you don’t want to wait around to receive the money you deserve.

Unfortunately, there are times when a workers’ compensation claim is denied. In short, this means you are not receiving the money you need to make ends meet while you are out of work.

There are a variety of reasons for a denied workers’ compensation claim, including the following:

— If the employer can prove that the injury occurred away from work.

— If the injured party does not notify the employer of the injury in a timely manner.

— If the injured party does not receive immediate medical treatment.

— Lack of documentation in regards to showing that the injury is work related.

— Pre-existing condition.

— If the injury occurred while the person was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

— If the injury occurred while the person was rough housing.

With all these points in mind, it is important to remember one thing: You are in charge of ensuring that you receive workers’ compensation benefits. Your employer may not want to pay, so you need to do whatever it takes to stop this from happening.

It is your responsibility to report your injury, receive medical advice, and file a workers’ compensation claim on time.

When you take all the right steps, you can do your part in ensuring that your claim is paid without any delay. This will make it much easier to recover.

Source: Workers Comp Resource Center, “10 Reasons Why Workers Comp Benefits are Denied,” accessed Dec. 15, 2015

Winter weather can cause trouble on the roadways

As one of our Pennsylvania readers, you know that winter weather will be here soon enough. While this can be enjoyable in some cases, it is also dangerous in…

As one of our Pennsylvania readers, you know that winter weather will be here soon enough. While this can be enjoyable in some cases, it is also dangerous in a number of ways.

It doesn’t matter what type of vehicle you are driving, doing so in inclement weather means changing your approach.

Here are several tips for staying safe when driving in winter conditions:

— Make sure your car is prepared for winter weather. From properly inflated tires to plenty of windshield wiper fluid, being prepared is a must.

— Clear snow and ice from your vehicle before hitting the road. This keeps you and other drivers safe.

— Drive with your headlights on when the snow is coming down.

— Keep a safe distance between your vehicle and others on the road.

— Be aware of other drivers, such as truckers, who may have a difficult time controlling their vehicle in bad weather.

— Be cautious on overpasses and bridges as these become icy before other roadways.

— Monitor weather conditions before leaving home.

Winter weather can cause trouble on any roadway. This is particularly true in heavy snow and/or ice when many vehicles are in close proximity to one another.

Many commercial vehicle accidents occur during the winter months. This is due to truckers taking risks, such as speeding when there is snow on the highway.

If you are involved in an accident, attempt to move your vehicle out of harm’s way. Along with this, make sure you receive medical attention without delay. From there, you can begin to investigate the accident to determine what happened and how to proceed with repairs and dealing with other damages.

Source: Travelers, “Winter Driving Safety Tips,” accessed Dec. 09, 2015

Fatal crash won’t result in charges for business leader

It’s been a little over a year since a 53-year-old man was struck and killed in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The family said the man used a cane to get around…

It’s been a little over a year since a 53-year-old man was struck and killed in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The family said the man used a cane to get around and was likely headed to a nearby restaurant or convenience store the night he was killed.

The man was hit as he crossed West Union Boulevard where it intersects with Main Street. According to authorities, witnesses said the man slammed against a black BMW’s hood, fell to the ground and was run over before the car stopped. The victim was died at the accident scene.

The driver of the BMW is a well-known business owner in the area, also serving on several board of directors for several Lehigh Valley institutions. The Northhampton County District Attorney’s Office declined to prosecute the driver even though there was evidence that he had been drinking.

According to police reports, the driver wasn’t speeding and the victim attempted to cross the road against a green light. The driver’s blood alcohol content registered at .072, which is just below the .08 limit for a charge for DUI in Pennsylvania. He also submitted to a blood test, which put his BAC at .06. The man had admitted to having a beer while he waiting to pick up a pizza.

The victim’s family has retained an attorney who said that a civil lawsuit will be filed this month against the driver. He believes that the case will be strong in civil court because there is a lower burden of proof required than for criminal charges. The victim’s family is upset that the driver of the BMW was not charged. The driver’s attorney said that the accident was just that — and accident.

The district attorney denied allegations by the attorney for the victim’s family that the driver was treated any differently than anyone else would have been.

When someone is killed by another person’s negligence, the family has a right to seek compensation. An attorney with experience in wrongful death cases can provide more information about how to proceed with such a case.

Source: Lehigh Valley Live, “No charges for business leader drinking before fatal crash, cops say,” Nick Falsone, Nov. 24, 2015

Do you understand how to read a material safety data sheet?

As an employee, there may come a time when you need to read and understand a material safety data sheet (MSDS). This document provides information regarding the nature of…

As an employee, there may come a time when you need to read and understand a material safety data sheet (MSDS). This document provides information regarding the nature of a chemical, including but not limited to chemical properties, fire, safety, and health hazards.

While a material safety data sheet is designed for workers who could be exposed to a hazardous material, don’t be surprised if you come across this during some point in your employment.

All material safety data sheets must include the same information:

— Chemical identity.

— Manufacturer’s information.

— Hazardous ingredients.

— Physical and chemical characteristics.

— Fire and explosion hazard data.

— Reactivity data.

— Health hazard data.

— Precautions of safe handling and use.

— Control measures.

While it is good to know that material safety data sheets exist, some employees don’t know where to find them. For this reason, they could be exposed to a chemical that they know nothing about.

You can look in these places for a material safety data sheet:

— Employers must give employees access to all material safety data sheets.

— The employer is required to request material safety data sheets from the distributor.

— Your union.

As an employee, it is good to understand the materials you are working with. This is particularly true if they could be hazard to your health or cause injury.

The best thing you can do is review any and all material safety data sheets. This will ensure that you fully understand the chemicals you come in close contact with on a regular basis.

Source: UCLA Labor Occupational Safety & Health Program, “How do I read a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS)?,” accessed Dec. 01, 2015