Office Hazard: Fires

Posted by on Jun 27, 2017 in Injuries at Work, Personal Injury | 0 comments

At work, you already have a lot in your mind, so the last thing you want are accidents. First, accidents disrupt the productivity in the workplace. Second, they may cause injury and its associated financial burdens. It’s a lose-lose situation for both employer and employee.

It can be said too that employers have the responsibility of ensuring the safety of the workplace. For example, according to the website of the Abel Law Firm, those who have been hurt in fire accidents caused by negligent parties, such as employers, may have legal options.

Fire is a particularly dangerous risk in the workplace, because the workplace has various elements that can cause fires, such as the following:

  • Appliances, especially those that involve fire and heat, such as coffeemakers and microwaves
  • Combustible materials, such as piles of papers and folders, especially when near fire and heat sources
  • Equipment, such as desktops, laptops, and printers, especially when overused or overheating
  • Wiring systems, such as extension cords and outlets, especially when overloaded

Property damage at least has relatively easier solutions, mostly of the monetary kind. But what about injuries? They are not always solved by money alone. There are instances where the injuries are severe enough to seriously affect the victims’ lives, either temporarily or permanently. Below are just some of the problems victims may encounter:

  • Burn injuries, not just affecting the skin, but also the inner tissues, nerves, and bones. The worst burn injuries may even require amputation.
  • Brain and lung problems caused by asphyxiation, smoke inhalation, and the like. The worst brain and lung problems involve compromised cognitive abilities and partial loss of motor and sensory functions.
  • Negative psychological effects, such as post-traumatic stress disorder. Victims may reexperience the traumatic event of the office fire, particularly in the form of flashbacks and nightmares.

It is a good thing that, according to the website of the Houston personal injury attorneys at Williams Kherkher, those who have been injured because of negligent parties may have legal options. So, it is not just about fires, but accidents caused by negligence as a whole.

However, it can also be said that both the employer and the employee should make the effort in maintaining workplace safety. It is just that the employer should take the bigger responsibility.

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Preventing Workplace Injuries

Posted by on Aug 17, 2014 in Injuries at Work | 1 comment

The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act), a federal law that was passed in 1970, obliges all employers in both public and private firms to make sure that their workplace is free of any form of recognized hazards for the ensured safety and health of all their employees. A year after it was established, it paved the way for the passing of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which is tasked to strictly enforce the values created under OSH Act.

A number of the goals that OSHA is specifically charged with are:

  • Implement the Act’s standards
  • Ensure safety and health in all working environments
  • Encourage and assist all states in assuring occupational safety and health
  • Provide for the evaluation, analysis, development, and approval of programs on workplace safety and health
  • Create training programs that will help increase the number and competency of occupational safety and health workers
  • Monitor job-related injuries and illnesses

Despite the laws, many employees still get injured or ill in the workplace due to poor maintenance or carelessness of people in the office (sometimes even of the victims themselves). According to the US Department of Labor, the most common causes of workplace injuries are overexertion, slipping/tripping, falling from heights, bodily reaction, falling objects, bumping against or being struck by an object, job-related road accident, getting entangled in a machine, repetitive motion and, violent acts.

On its website, the LaMarca Law Group, explain how injuries can greatly affect one’s present and future life, as well as professional growth in the company where one has chosen to enjoy work. Injuries can debilitate not only a person’s physical capabilities, but his/her chances for great professional opportunities too.

To substantially reduce the high number of workplace injuries, many companies, beginning in 1990, have turned to functional employment testing firms to help them recruit the right persons for specific job positions that needed filling. A functional or pre-employment testing firm gauges job applicants’ skills and strengths in relation to the jobs they are applying for and determines if they are really the right persons to be employed. By making sure that applicants possess the required maturity and emotional, mental and physical fitness required by the job, employers will also know the applicants’ apparent maximum functional capacity, which will help guarantee their protection against possible job-related injuries.

By accurately matching candidates’ strengths, skills, and physical and mental capabilities to the right job, pre-employment testing firms have also helped in creating a much healthier and safer working environment, as well as significantly reduce office injuries and cost in compensation claims, which is one of the biggest concerns of many companies.

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Personal injury: Compensation for Construction-related Accidents

Posted by on Aug 1, 2014 in Injuries at Work | 0 comments

“Safety first” ought to be a basic rule in working environments, most especially in construction sites, where so many hazardous sharp and heavy tools, equipment and flammable substances are used. There are standards, of course, on how to use, store and maintain all of these – a necessity that needs to be strictly imposed and observed by all employers, managers and workers. Sometimes, though, despite the care, construction workers still end up sustaining injuries or illnesses because of the unsafe fumes and dust, exposed electrical wires, heavy machinery and the high places where they need to do their work. Sometimes, these rules are ignored altogether. The negligence involved making crippling injury far more likely. Both federal and state governments enforce rules that would keep all types of working environments safe and healthy for all workers. The passing into law of the Occupational Safety and Health Act in 1970 is one mandate that was intended to ensure and promote workplace safety and health. And to be able to closely monitor the observance these rules, the OSH Act gave existence to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in 1971. Particularly in construction sites, OSHA requires the following:

  • Proper lighting in the construction area
  • Worker protection from falls and/or falling objects
  • Wearing of personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Strong and safe ladders, stairways and properly assembled scaffoldings
  • Fire extinguishers (with 2A rating) every 3000 square feet
  • Body-flushing and eye-washing areas every 25 feet from battery-changing areas
  • Accident-prevention signs that are properly displayed and clearly visible (these also ought to be removed when there are no more hazards in the area)
  • Installation of ground fault-circuit interrupters (GFCIs)

If an accident occurs, however, it is advisable that the victim contact a personal injury lawyer immediately, to help him/her determine the most ideal course of action that need to be taken to enable him/her to receive the maximum amount of compensation allowed by law. According to the website of the Jeff Sampson law firm, this financial assistance that will help cover costly medical expenses, lost wages and others, may be received through the Workers’ Compensation Insurance plan; however, if the injury is serious or leads to death, then the victim’s lawyer can assist him/her in pursuing further claims through a civil lawsuit. This could come in the form of a wrongful death action. There are many ways an attorney may hold a company accountable for injured workers. There are also times when a worker rather develops an illness, but which only becomes manifest months or years after having retired from work.

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