Articles Posted in Work Accident

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Your Boston personal injury lawyer understands that assumption of risk is a commonly asserted defense to negligence actions.

elderly-cane.jpgGregory v. Cott, an appeal argued before the California Court of Appeals, involved a healthcare worker who was injured by an Alzheimer’s patient in her care.

The husband of an 85-year-old woman who suffered from the advanced stages of Alzheimer’s disease hired an home healthcare agency to provide care for his wife. The plaintiff was assigned to treat the patient in her home. The plaintiff had worked with patients suffering from the disease in the past and had been trained in caring for people with Alzheimer’s disease.

According to the record, the plaintiff was aware that late stage patients are prone to violent physical outbreaks. She knew that patients were prone to biting, kicking, and scratching those around them. Her responsibilities including bathing the patient, transporting her, and she was also to help perform light housekeeping. The plaintiff was washing dishes on this day and was cleaning a large kitchen knife. Her patient hit her from behind and reached into the sink.
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personal injury lawyers in Massachusetts note there were fewer serious workplace injuries in 2012 as compared with 2011. This seems like great news, as this means that there were less people who got badly hurt on the job and who had to cope with the costs and pain of receiving treatment and struggling to recover. However, the workplace injury stats for 2012 also indicate that workers on average were staying out of work longer because of injuries last year. not-so-healthy-1412909-m.jpg

The data, therefore, indicates that while there have been fewer reported serious workplace injuries overall in the last year, the ones that did happen were worse than in the year prior.
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A recent hayride at Applecrest Farm in Hampton Falls, N.H., left a 51-year-old woman injured after she jumped in front of a carriage that was being towed by a runaway horse, according to Seacoast Online. The woman was taken to the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston and was listed in critical condition. She and her husband own the horses that are used for the hayrides at the farm.
Attractions have an obligation to the public to provide safe entertainment and safe equipment. With the fall season kicking off, many residents and visitors will be participating in hayrides, haunted houses and other seasonal events. Attraction owners and operators are urged to keep safety as a top priority to prevent injury in Massachusetts. Remember to clear fire exits, remove hazards that could lead to injury and to always have a safe backup plan.

Our Boston personal injury attorneys understand that hayrides are a popular attraction during this time of year. Unfortunately, without the proper safety precautions, these relaxing rides can turn into a nightmare. According to officers, two carriages were heading in opposite directions when a part of one of the carriages malfunctioned, startling both horses. The operator of the runaway carriage was unable to regain control of the horse.

Witnesses report that the horses got spooked when an axle on the wheel came off just about one minute into the ride, and chaos ensued. The runaway horse and carriage were heading directly at the other carriage, which then frightened a third horse. Luckily, none of the carriages tipped over, but the driver of one of the carriages was launched from the buggy and dragged underneath.

The horse finally stopped when the carriage got caught between a rock and a tree. The driver was taken to Exeter Hospital.

Riders of the stopped carriage rushed to help the other set of runaway horses. This is when the 51-year-old woman was trampled on by a runaway horse and then by the carriage. Luckily, no passengers fell off that carriage. The woman doesn’t blame the horses for the accident, instead citing the farm-owners’ faulty wagon.

Lt. Gary Wood from the State Police Department reported that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Rockingham County attorney’s office are investigating the accident. OHSHA has been called in to investigate because the accident happened at a business.

This is similar to a recent accident that happened at an air show in Reno, Nev. Visitors showed up to enjoy a spectacular event, but when a P-51 “Galloping Ghost” Mustang apparently malfunctioned, it took a nosedive into the box seats of the VIP section. This is yet another example of faulty equipment causing visitor injury.

Companies have a responsibility to keep all visitors and employees safe by following a prescribed set of federal guidelines.
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The National Safety Council uses the entire month of June to focus on a number of preventable injuries. This week, the Council focuses on slips, trips and falls.

Fall accidents in Massachusetts are one of the leading causes of these unintentional injuries. These accidents accounted for nearly 9 million visits to emergency rooms nationwide. Adults 55 and older are most likely to become a victim of one of these falls, while residents 65 and older are four times more likely to die from of a fall than people in any other age group.

Our Boston personal injury attorneys understand the severe consequences of these fall accidents at home or elsewhere. For this reason, safety precautions should be taken to avoid these incidents. Falls can result in serious injuries that can hinder an adult’s ability to lead an active and independent lifestyle. Property owners and businesses are required, by law, to make sure that their grounds are safe for everyone. Failure to eliminate potential hazards can result in legal repercussions.

In 2000 alone, falls for older adults cost the U.S. health care system more than $19 billion, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As the population continues to age, both the number of serious falls and the costs of treatment for these fall injuries will more than likely increase. These direct costs are what insurance companies and patients dish out for treating injuries caused by falls. The costs often include nursing home care, hospital fees, rehabilitation, the use of medical equipment, community-based services, changes made to the home, prescription drugs and insurance processing. Of the more than $19 billion, nearly $2 million went toward fatal falls, while $19 billion went to nonfatal falls. Fall-related injuries are one of the most expensive treated injuries among community-dwelling older adults.

In 2001, more than 18,000 adults died of injuries from unintentional falls.

About 30 percent of people who fall end up suffering from lacerations, hip fractures or head traumas. Falls are the number one cause of traumatic brain injury. In 2000 alone, traumatic brain injury accounted for nearly 50 percent of all fatal falls among older adults.

How to help prevent falls:

-Make sure to exercise regularly. Be sure that when you exercise, you’re focusing on increasing balance and leg strength.

-Have your eyes checked at least once a year. Make sure that your prescription is up to date.

-Ask your doctor or pharmacist about your medications. Does taking any of them together produce dizziness of drowsiness?

-Make your house a little bit safer by increasing the lighting, adding railings or grab bars and reducing tripping hazards.
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The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupation Safety and Health Administration will be conducting a national outreach initiative in an attempt to help to educate workers and employers about the hazards of outdoor work. Proper precautionary steps need to be taken by those working outdoors in an effort to reduce the risks of heat-related illnesses and other work injuries in Boston and elsewhere.

1170137_street_works.jpg“If you’re working outdoors, you’re at risk for heat-related illnesses that can cause serious medical problems and even death,” said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. “But heat illness can be prevented. This Labor Department campaign will reach across the country with a very simple message – water, rest and shade.”

Our Boston workers’ compensation lawyers understand that working conditions can vary tremendously for outdoor workers. It is recommended that such workers educate themselves about proper measures to protect their health in all working conditions, especially during the hotter months.

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Roughly 150 workers have been killed, and nearly 1,000 injured, in combustible dust explosions since 1980, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). In attempt to better understand combustible dust explosions and to find ways to prevent such incidents OSHA invited outside experts to participate in a Combustible Dust Expert Forum later this month. OSHA is looking to gather experts’ views and perspectives on possible regulatory options for addressing the safety issues of combustible dust hazards.

The Combustible Dust Expert Forum will include discussions targeting regulatory options that can help to minimize the costs to small- and medium-sized businesses of reducing or preventing combustible dust hazards. Representatives from various industries, academia, research groups, insurance-underwriter organizations, labor, and government will comprise expert representation at the Forum.
Our Boston workers’ compensation attorneys understand the importance of identifying the cause of these problems in effort to determine safe solutions to help protect workers. All safety measures should be taken by employers and employees to help keep the workplace safe for all.

The National Emphasis Program in 2007 was one of OSHA’s earlier efforts to address various combustible dust hazards. They conducted various targeted inspections that took a look at various workplaces that created or handled combustible dust. Results from these inspections illustrated that facilities had an alarmingly high number of general duty clause violations. These findings indicated a strong need for to create a combustible dust standard. This resulted in the publication of an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in 2009. With even more efforts, OSHA conducted six stakeholders meetings and a Web chat to discuss combustible dust in attempt to expand the opportunity for public and stakeholder participation.

Combustible materials, and sometimes even materials that are normally considered noncombustible, can burn rapidly when they’re in a finely divided form. If these types of dusts are suspended in air in the right concentration, the result can be an explosion. The force from these explosions can lead to worker deaths, injuries, and even the destruction of entire buildings.

Combustible dusts can include:

-Various fine particles.



-Chunks or flakes that can potentially cause implosion of fire when suspended in air.

These various forms of combustible dusts can be made of metal, plastic, wood, sugar, flour, coal, rubber or paper. OSHA’s Safety and Health Topics page on combustible dust offers more details information about this dangerous hazard.

The Combustible Dust Expert Forum will be May 13, 2010 at the Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. at 9 p.m.
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A new and updated rule, created to protect the safety and health of shipyard workers, has recently been put into effect by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The rule has recently been published in the Federal Register and takes the place of an existing rule. It is now more compatible with the recent advances in shipyard industry practices and technology. It provides new protections from hazards that previously the rule did not address. It now includes details pertaining to the control of hazardous energy. The new rule is expected to prevent nearly 400 serious work inures in Boston and elsewhere in the United States.

“This final rule is the result of collaboration between OSHA and the maritime industry,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Dr. David Michaels. “Shipyard work is dangerous, and we believe we have crafted a rule that protects workers while balancing employer concerns regarding implementation.”
Our Boston personal workers’ compensation attorneys know the dangers inherent in working in shipyards. It is the responsibility of the employer to make sure that working conditions meet all safety requirements and regulations in effort to help keep all employees safe on the job.

The final rule will address fourteen workplace safety and health categories. This will update and clarify provisions in current shipyard employment standards that had virtually gone untouched or changed since 1972, when OSHA adopted the initial rule. The new rules include the creating and enforce minimum lighting on certain work sites, assisting employees at the end of their work shifts and at the end of job tasks when working alone. The rule will also add new uniform criteria to be sure that shipyards have an adequate number of properly trained first-aid providers.

OSHA will also be adding new provisions to help control hazardous energy and to increase vehicle safety. Before the establishment of this final rule, the maritime industry had no specific standards that addressed the control of hazardous energy.

According to data from the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, transportation accidents make up nearly 20 percent of all shipyard deaths. The new rule’s provisions aim to significantly reduce these incidents as they will now require everyone use of seat belts while operating a motor vehicle in a shipyard.

A full copy of OSHA’s new rule can be found on their web page designated to the updates. Employees and employers are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the new regulations and abide by them on shipyards.
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A photography contest, conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), urges residents to capture a creative snapshot of workplace safety and health, according to a U.S. Department of Labor press release. The contest, titled “Picture It!”, aims to strike up awareness of the importance of a safe working environment to help prevent a work accident in Boston and elsewhere in the United States.
Our Boston workers’ compensation lawyers would like too remind employees, and employers, that a safe working environment should be kept and maintained at all times. It is the responsibility of the employer to ensure that employees are safe and protected from danger and injury while on the job. Our lawyers continue to work tirelessly to recognize and fight for the rights of employees who may have been injured on the job.

OSHA is currently celebrating its 40th anniversary, which they will continue to celebrate throughout the entire year. Picture It! is kicking off the celebration and is open to those 18 and older. The contest will be accepting submissions through August 12.

Residents are encouraged to invite their friends and family to participate in the fun and creative event. You can download the contest flyer from the OSHA website to help share the details.

Photographers are asked to share their visions of workplace safety and health, and they may do so in any way they choose. Photos must be taken in the United States. Prizes will be awarded to the first, second and third place winners. Photographers are asked to use their artistic skills to successfully portray occupational safety and health in such a way that would help to raise interest in the general public.

Submissions will be judged by accomplished photography professionals. They will be judged on the quality of the photograph, their compatibility with OSHA publications, clarity of the conveyed message, creativity and originality. Photos must include workers, employers or workplace imagery.

Photographs submitted by the judged winners and finalists will be posted on the OSHA photo contest web site. First-place will receive a framed letter of congratulations from Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. The three winning photos will be displayed in OSHA’s national office in Washington. The organization hopes that the participation and display of these winning photos will serve as a daily reminder for leading policymakers and prominent professionals of the purpose and drive behind OSHA’s mission.

OSHA contractors and special government employees are encouraged to participate as well. On-site consultation employees and federal OSHA, “state plan” state OSHA employees are not eligible. They will be asked to participate in a separate and internal contest that will be running during the same time as the public contest.

A complete list of contest rules and regulations and instructions on how to submit your photo can be found on OSHA’s website.
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“Fatalities from falls are the number one cause of death in construction,” said Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) Assistant Secretary Dr. David Michaels. “These deaths are preventable, and we must prevent them.”

Ironically, the National Roofing Contractor Association challenged OSHA’S directive on the use of fall protection in residential construction. The December 2010 directive withdrew a previous one allowing residential construction employers to ignore some of the fall protection requirements, according to a United States Department of Labor press release. The challenger was rejected by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.
Our Boston workers compensation lawyers would like to stress the safety concerns on our construction sites in the area. It is important for employers to abide by and enforce all safety precautions provided by OSHA as they are mandated to help keep our workers safe and help prevent fall accidents.

“Fall protection saves lives,” said Michaels. “There are effective means available to protect residential construction workers from falls. We applaud the court’s decision upholding this updated, commonsense directive.”

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 800 lives were lost as a result from workplace falls in 2008. Falls from roofing accidents were down 26 percent and falls from ladders decreased by 14 percent. The Bureau estimates that residential roofing falls count for approximately 40 worker deaths a year. In attempt to further protect our workers, roofing and construction companies are now required to comply with new directives by June 16.

With the new directive, companies must abide by the following to help keep their employees safe and help them avoid the potentially fatal fall accidents:

-Employees working 6-feet or above, must use guardrails, personal fall arrest systems or safety nets.

-Employers may use other fall protection measures, such as the use of warning lines and safety monitoring systems for performance of roofing work on low-sloped roofs.

-If an employer can prove that the use of conventional fall protection methods increase the probability of a fall, then a written, site-specific fall protection plan must be presented documenting detailed reasons why the system would be more dangerous.
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As spring is upon us, many construction projects have begun and are in full swing. In light of the season, April has been marked as National Safe Digging Month, an event coordinated by the Common Ground Alliance.

The month-long event was created to raise awareness and increase the emphasis on safe digging across the nation. Diggers, for both construction and residential purposes, are urged to call 811 before digging into the ground to check for possible gas or electrical lines. By making this one simple call to locate potential dangers under the ground, work accidents in Massachusetts and elsewhere in the United States can be prevented.
Our Boston workers compensation attorneys urge you to join the awareness efforts. Calling 811 before you dig will not only help you to prevent potential injury, but it can also help you to prevent property damage and inconvenient power outages.

So how does 811 work? All you have to do it dial 8-1-1 a few days before you’ve planned to start digging. Once you’ve informed the operator about where you’ll be digging and what type of work you’ll be doing, they’ll send a locator out to the site to mark the approximate location of pipes, cables and underground wires so you’ll know what’s below and will be able to dig safely.

The United States Department of Transportation claims these accidents are 100 percent preventable with the proper use of this service. They remind everyone, contractors, neighbors, landscapers — EVERYONE — to take the initiative to plan your dig with mapping provided by 811.

The “811 Before You Dig” program offers you these campaign tools to help you spread the word about National Safe Digging Month. Many of these campaign materials can be customized with your own business logo.

For even more detailed information or a complete list of the Massachusetts digging laws visit the Dig Safe System, Inc. website.
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