Common questions related to construction injuries

If you work in the construction industry, you are well aware of the dangers that surround you on a daily basis. Even if you take the necessary steps in…

If you work in the construction industry, you are well aware of the dangers that surround you on a daily basis. Even if you take the necessary steps in remaining safe, this is not always as easy as it sounds.

You know one thing to be true: It is possible that you could be injured in a construction site accident at some point. For this reason, you want to learn as much as possible about this scenario. This will ensure that you are prepared if something bad does happen.

Here are some of the most common questions associated with construction injuries:

— What steps can you take right now to improve the safety of your workplace?

— If you are injured on the job, is it best to hide this from your employer or inform them without delay?

— Who is liable if a person is injured at a construction site?

— Are all construction site injuries covered by workers’ compensation?

— Who is responsible for ensuring that a construction site is as safe as possible?

— What types of construction accidents are most common?

You never want to be involved in a construction site accident. Even more so, you never want to be injured. Unfortunately, this is all part of the industry. It only takes one mistake for somebody to be injured on the job.

As a construction worker, make sure you understand the risks associated with your job as well as the steps you can take to improve your level of safety. If you do find yourself injured in a construction accident, your health is more important than anything else.

Source: FindLaw, “Construction Injuries FAQ,” accessed April 19, 2016

Tragic accident at recycling plant claims worker’s life

Just before 7:30 a.m., on March 1, a man working at a Holmesburg, Pennsylvania, Waste Management recycling facility was killed when a large bale of recyclable paper fell on…

Just before 7:30 a.m., on March 1, a man working at a Holmesburg, Pennsylvania, Waste Management recycling facility was killed when a large bale of recyclable paper fell on him. Each bale of paper weighs around a ton or 2,000 pounds.

The Waste Management recycling facility is the only one of its kind in the Philadelphia area, according to the regional spokesman for the company. He also said, “Today is a day of profound sadness for the family of the deceased and for the Waste Management family.

According to police, the victim was inspecting his forklift when another employee in a forklift struck the cardboard bales. In what was described as a “cascade effect,” one of the bales fell. Emergency medical services transported the man to Aria Health’s Torresdale campus, but he was pronounced dead about an hour after the accident.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the workplace accident, as is the Northeast Detective Division.

When a worker is killed while on the job, his or her family may be eligible for death benefits from workers’ compensation. The family will need to file a claim. If for some reason that claim is denied, an attorney who is experienced in workers’ compensation cases can help file an appeal.

Third-party lawsuits are generally not allowed unless a third party, such as a contractor, acted negligently and was responsible for the worker’s injury or death. In order to understand more about seeking compensation from a third party or seeking benefits from workers’ compensation, your attorney is a terrific source of information.

Source: Philly.com, “Man crushed to death at NE Philly recycling plant,” Julie Shaw, March 03, 2016

56-year-old man dies in fall from 12-foot ladder

A 56-year-old man has died from injuries he received when he fell from a 12-foot ladder at the Giant Food Store in Shrewsbury, Pennsylvania. While no saw the man…

A 56-year-old man has died from injuries he received when he fell from a 12-foot ladder at the Giant Food Store in Shrewsbury, Pennsylvania. While no saw the man fall, he was found lying on the floor. The accident occurred on Valentine’s Day and while the man’s condition had improved slightly during the days after the accident, he succumbed to his injuries on Feb. 21.

The man’s injuries were consistent with having fallen from the ladder, including significant blunt force trauma. He was taken to York Hospital. He was a relief manager for the grocery store chain and his death was ruled as accidental.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the man’s death, but didn’t provide additional details. The man’s autopsy showed that he died because of a blood clot in his lungs.

It’s been since March 2015 that York county has had a work-related death. That was a 63-year-old man who died from injuries suffered when a spool of wire crashed down on him. In 2014, there were 174 Pennsylvania fatalities from workplace accidents, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Twenty-five of those fatalities were due to people who slipped, tripped or fell.

When someone dies because of a workplace accident, he or she is generally covered by workers’ compensation death benefits, which the family will receive. In a few cases, there may be a third-party to blame for a workplace death, which could result in a lawsuit. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can provide more information about what is needed in that type of case.

Source: York Daily Record, “Shrewsbury Giant employee dies after fall,” Gordon Rago, Feb. 24, 2016

How to improve ladder safety in the workplace

Every day, millions of people climb a ladder for one reason or another. Some people are staffed with the responsibility of doing this as part of their job. There…

Every day, millions of people climb a ladder for one reason or another. Some people are staffed with the responsibility of doing this as part of their job. There is nothing wrong with using a ladder, but it is important to remember the dangers associated with doing so. If you find yourself on a ladder for your job, make sure you do whatever it takes to protect yourself.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, you should do the following when using a ladder at work:

— Make sure it is placed on stable, level ground.

— Secure the ladder to prevent sliding.

— Never exceed the maximum weight limit of the ladder.

— Always have three points of contact with the ladder: two hands and one foot, or one hand and two feet.

Along with the above suggestions from OSHA, there are several other things you can do to improve ladder safety in the workplace:

— Follow all labels on the ladder, even if they appear to be overly cautious.

— Only use ladders for their intended purpose.

— Do not move a ladder when a person is using the equipment.

— Do not use a ladder if your feet or the rungs are slippery, such as in the rain.

When you take steps toward improving ladder safety in the workplace, you are doing a lot of good for you, your coworkers, and your company as a whole. The last thing you want is to make a decision that could lead to an accident that causes injury or death.

Source: The Business Journals, “Tips to improve ladder safety in the workplace,” accessed Jan. 19, 2016

What are the 6 categories of workplace hazards?

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has identified six categories of workplace hazards present in most industries at one time or another. These categories include: — Safety hazards: These…

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has identified six categories of workplace hazards present in most industries at one time or another. These categories include:

Safety hazards: These hazards can cause illness, injury and death and include, but are not limited to, spills on floors, working from heights, unguarded machinery and electrical hazards.

— Biological hazards: These are hazards that are found when working with infectious plants, animals or people. The types of things that workers might be exposed to include animal and bird droppings, blood and other bodily fluids, insect bites, mold or fungi and bacteria and viruses.

— Ergonomic hazards: These hazards occur when working conditions put a strain on the body. These are often the most difficult hazards to identify because the strain or harm isn’t always immediately noticeable. Examples include vibration, improperly adjusted chairs and workstations, lifting frequently, repetitive motions and poor posture.

— Physical hazards: These are found in the environment and can be harmful even if they aren’t touched. These types of hazards include constant loud noise, radiation, temperature extremes and high exposure ultraviolet rays.

— Chemical hazards: These are any form of chemical a worker might be exposed to such as a liquid, solid or gas. Some chemicals are not as harmful as others, but even the most common cleaning products can cause irritation of the skin. Examples include pesticides, cleaning products, flammable materials, pains and acids, gases such as carbon monoxide, helium and acetylene and fumes and vapors that come from solvents or welding.

— Work organization hazards: These are hazards that lead to increased stress at work, such as a lack of respect or control, workplace violence, sexual harassment or workload demands.

As you can see, each category contains significant risks and hazards to employees. If you are injured on the job and have a workers’ compensation claim denied, an attorney can help you file an appeal.

Source: Occupational Safety & Health Administration, “Circle Chart,” accessed Jan. 01, 2016

Revisions show even more fatal injuries happened in 2013

The Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries—or the CFOI—was released on a preliminary basis back in September of 2014, after data had been collected, and it found that there were…

The Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries—or the CFOI—was released on a preliminary basis back in September of 2014, after data had been collected, and it found that there were 4,405 fatal injuries during the year. However, revisions have now been made and the new total has been released, showing that there were even more injuries than previously thought. The final count stands at 4,585.

While this includes injuries in Pennsylvania, the overall count is for the entire United States.

Despite this increase, the numbers are going down. These reports were first put out back in 1992. Since that time, there has only been one other year with a lower total amount of fatal injuries than 2013.

Additionally, there were 3.4 fatal injuries in 2012 for every 100,000 workers on the job. In 2013, that number fell to 3.3. It’s not a huge move, but it does show a continual downward trend.

The study takes into account only full-time equivalent workers.

It’s interesting to note, however, that these trends don’t apply to all groups. For instance, 817 Hispanic or Latino workers were fatally injured in 2013, while only 748 were fatally injured in 2012. This means that the rate for these workers actually went up by a full 9 percent, even as the overall numbers fell. When looking at percentages based on every 100,000 workers, the rate for Hispanic or Latino workers also went up from 3.7 in 2012 to 3.9 in 2013.

No matter what group you fall into, it’s very important to know about your rights to compensation if you have lost a loved one in a fatal workplace accident.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Revisions to the 2013 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) counts,” accessed Oct. 09, 2015

Slips, trips and falls among the Pennsylvania workforce

Of all the workplace accidents that can occur in Pennsylvania’s industries, slips, trips and falls sound the most inconsequential. It is true that many of these accidents merely result…

Of all the workplace accidents that can occur in Pennsylvania’s industries, slips, trips and falls sound the most inconsequential. It is true that many of these accidents merely result in scrapes and bruises; however, many others can cause consequences that are far more serious. In truth, slips, trips and falls actually represent the majority of reported workplace accidents, many of them resulting in death.

While some accidents are simply accidents, others in the slip, trip and fall category could have been prevented by employer action. When business owners or supervisors take the initiative to assess and evaluate the workplace for conditions that might lead to an accident, it benefits the employer and the employees alike. Some of the ways these kinds of accidents can be reduced or eliminated include:

— Keep worksites clean and free of hazards

— Monitor weather conditions outdoors and take steps to remove ice, water or snow

— Make wet floor signs available to use indoors in case of a spill

— Make the cleanup process a part of an employee’s regular work duties

— Keep aisles, walkways, stairways and other work areas free of obstacles

— Perform inspections periodically to minimize hazards

— Maintain good lighting in all work areas

With the simple techniques listed above, employers can reduce workplace accidents and give their workforce the confidence to be more productive. For Pennsylvania employees who have already been injured due to workplace hazards, workers’ compensation is there to help make ends meet during your recovery. It is important for all Pennsylvania workers to understand that filing a workers’ comp is your right under the state’s labor laws.

To learn more about workers’ compensation, please visit our web page dedicated to workplace accidents and legal solutions.

New rule proposed for mobile mining machines

The Mine Safety and Health Administration has proposed a new rule with the hope that it will prevent 70 mining injuries and 15 fatalities over the next decade. In…

The Mine Safety and Health Administration has proposed a new rule with the hope that it will prevent 70 mining injuries and 15 fatalities over the next decade. In addition, MSHA believes that the implementation of the rule would bring unquantified savings to the operators of mines because there would be fewer mining accidents that would delay production.

The rule would require scoops and coal hauling machines to have proximity detection systems in underground metal and non-metal coal mines. The proximity detection systems:

— Automatically stop a coal hauling machine or scoop to stop before it would come into contact with a miner.

— Provide visual and audible warnings when a miner comes to close to the machines.

— Have a signal that would indicate whether the system is functioning as it should.

— Keep the machine from moving, unless it is being repaired, if the system is working as it should.

— Prevent electrical system interaction.

— Must be installed and maintained by someone who is trained to do so.

The MSHA wants to hear what the public has to say about the proposal. It will hold public hearings on the matter.

Between 2010 and 2014, there have been 41 striking, crushing and pinning accidents that involved scoops or coal hauling machines. Nine miners died during that time frame.

When someone is injured or killed in a mining accident, the victim or the family of the victim has a right to collect compensation. Unfortunately, fighting the workers’ comp system can be an uphill battle. However, an attorney can make the fight easier and work to get the compensation you deserve.

Source: Mine Safety and Health Administration, “Proposed Rule on Proximity Detection Systems for Mobile Machines in Underground Mines,” accessed Sep. 11, 2015

2013 Pennsylvania occupational injuries

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 178 people lost their lives due to occupational injuries in 2013. Seventy-six of those fatalities were due to transportation incidents. Another 31…

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 178 people lost their lives due to occupational injuries in 2013. Seventy-six of those fatalities were due to transportation incidents. Another 31 fatalities were due to contact with equipment and objects.

The number of fatalities due to transportation incidents is actually expected to rise for 2013 when other documentation is received. Even so, the two causes listed above account for 57 percent of Pennsylvania workplace accidents. Fall, slips or trips accounted for another 25 deaths.

Transportation incidents represent a real danger to workers in our state. Accidents in motor vehicles caused 45 deaths, which was one-fourth of all fatalities on-the-job. However, the percentage of transportation incidents in Pennsylvania was slightly lower than the national percentage.

The warehousing and transportation industry sector had 35 fatalities, which was four higher than the previous year. While it might be commonly thought that the construction industry was responsible for the highest fatality count, it was actually semi-truck and heavy truck drivers.

Finally, 92 percent of the fatalities were men, which was just shy of the national percentage of 93. Of the 14 women who were killed, five were due to violence and injuries from animals or persons.

Workers’ compensation pays death benefits to workers who are killed while working on the job. This includes those who are killed in traffic accidents while driving on the clock. If such a claim is denied, an attorney experienced in workers’ compensation appeals can help. Losing a loved one in an occupational accident is difficult; however, it should not be difficult to receive his or her death benefits.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Workplace Fatalities in Pennsylvania – 2013,” accessed June 18, 2015

Study: Lack of sleep could be a major cause of workplace accidents

National Public Radio recently gave three examples of where sleep deprivation is thought to be the cause of a serious accident: the Chernobyl nuclear meltdown, the Exxon Valdez tanker spill,…

National Public Radio recently gave three examples of where sleep deprivation is thought to be the cause of a serious accident: the Chernobyl nuclear meltdown, the Exxon Valdez tanker spill, and Civil War general Stonewall Jackson’s ill-starred 1862 campaigns.

Not all accidents bring such devastating results, of course, but we all want to reduce workplace injuries. Besides carefully following OSHA guidelines, though, what can we do?

The answer may be as simple as ensuring we all get enough sleep.

How much could sleep deprivation affect our decision-making abilities?

The effects of sleep deprivation are surprisingly acute, if a recent study is any gauge. In the study, which was published in the journal “Sleep,” the sleep-deprived volunteers did shockingly badly on a decision-making test. How badly? They got the answer wrong every time — even given 40 attempts.

The study, performed at Washington State University, involved a well-rested group of volunteers and a group that agreed not to sleep for two days and nights. They were asked to perform simple tests. In one, the subjects were asked to click a mouse when particular numbers appeared on the screen, but not to click when others appeared. Later, the researchers switched which numbers should elicit clicks from the test subjects.

No one was surprised when the well-rested group performed better on the initial test, but the sleep-deprived group didn’t do that poorly. The problem arose when the rule was switched. At that point, no one in the sleep-deprived group was able to click correctly at all, even after 40 tries.

“It wasn’t just that sleep-deprived people were slower to recover,” said a psychologist who led the study. “Their ability to take in new information and adjust was completely devastated.”

He explains that people don’t perceive lack of sleep to be as serious as it is because it doesn’t affect every aspect of brain function. For example, the well-rested group only did slightly better on tests that measured short-term memory.

Lack of sleep will come and bite you when you need to make quick decisions based on new information, he said. The best way to avoid an accident is to avoid making high-stakes decisions if you’re short on sleep — or at least take extra time to consider all factors. Just as important, be aware that your ability to second-guess yourself is depleted, so stop and think things over.