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Top ten most commonly violated OSHA standards

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, also known as OSHA, dictates certain workplace guidelines and standards that must be met by employers. Of course, employers break these rules and fall short of these standards constantly, which is why there are so many workplace accidents in America.

Each year, OSHA rounds up the standards that employers most commonly violated during the past fiscal year and publishes them. The 2019 list was published in Safety and Health Magazine.

Below is OSHA’s top 10 list, which remained basically unchanged from the 2018 list. Numbers 1, 3, 6, and 10 on the list apply specifically to construction sites, while the other items relate to employers in general.

  1. Fall Protection, Standard 1926.501
  2. Hazard Communication, Standard 1910.1200
  3. Scaffolding, Standard 1926.451
  4. Lockout /Tagout, Standard 1910.147
  5. Respiratory Protection, Standard 1910.134
  6. Ladders, Standard 1926.1053
  7. Powered Industrial Trucks, Standard 1910.178
  8. Fall Protection – Training Requirements, Standard 1926.503
  9. Machine Guarding, Standard 1910.212
  10. Eye and Face Protection, Standard 1926.102

Time and again, employers violate the same OSHA standards, putting their employees at risk. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “There were 2.8 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses reported by private industry employers in 2018.” According to the report, construction was the third most-dangerous occupation, following agriculture, fishing, and hunting and mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction.

Contact a New York City construction accident attorney

If you have been injured on the worksite because of your employer’s carelessness or reckless actions, know that you have a right to compensation. The construction accident attorneys at Hach & Rose, LLP are prepared to represent you and win you the compensation you deserve. We handle scaffolding accidents, crane collapses, unsafe worksite conditions, and more. In the past, we won $13,000,000 for a client who fell from a ladder and suffered a TBI. Let us handle your case so you can focus on your physical and emotional healing. Call our office at [phone number] to discuss your legal options today.


Winter weather-related construction injuries

Construction workers perform some of the most physically demanding and dangerous jobs there are. Not only must they be on their feet all day, operate dangerous machinery, pour concrete, and lay bricks, but all their work is usually done outdoors. In the wintertime, especially in freezing regions like New York, the workers’ regular exposure to cold, wind, and rain could lead to serious health problems if they aren’t addressed in time. 

Common cold-weather injuries and illnesses

The Center for Construction Research and Training identified three of the most common health risks posed to construction workers during the colder months: 

  • Hypothermia
  • Frostbite
  • Trench foot  

Hypothermia occurs when your body loses heat faster than it can produce it. Your body temperature dips below 95 degrees Fahrenheit (when it is usually 98.6), and if you go without emergency medical attention, it will lead to respiratory and heart failure. The signs of hypothermia include shivering, weak pulse, slurred speech, loss of coordination, and very weak pulse. 

Frostbite can occur when your skin is exposed to extreme cold for too long, leading to the freezing of your skin and inner tissues. It usually occurs on your fingertips, nose, and ears, and the mild cases can be treated by gradual warming. Severe frostbite causes permanent skin damage and must be treated by a medical professional. 

Trench foot is usually associated with the horrific wartime conditions of WWI but can occur anytime your feet are overexposed to wet, unsanitary, cold conditions. Your feet may become red, tingly, itchy, and numb. Trench foot can be prevented by wearing dry, warm socks and insulated waterproof boots. 

Safety guidelines to protect outdoor workers

  • Weather-appropriate clothing must be required for construction crews working in temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  • Assign employees to work in pairs so they can look out for each other and spot warning signs
  • Provide breaks in a warm, sheltered area so workers can reheat their bodies and dry off their clothing and footwear
  • Try to schedule work for the warmest part of the day when possible

If you have been injured on the job in the winter, contact the New York construction accident lawyers at Hach & Rose, LLP  at [phone number] right away.


Understanding the workers’ compensation process in New York

If you have been injured on the job, you are likely entitled to claim workers’ compensation benefits from your employer’s workers’ comp policy. New York State requires employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance, with limited exceptions. This coverage must be carried and maintained and must cover all employees, even part-time workers, and family members who are employed by the company. 

What types of injuries qualify me for workers’ compensation?

Any injury you sustain while on the job gives you the right to workers’ compensation. This could be a slip and fall, a laceration, muscle strain, or getting hit by falling debris, such as on a construction site. However, workers’ compensation is not afforded if you were injured outside the scope of the workplace, such as when you are driving to and from work, or driving between work sites. Additionally, occupational diseases that develop because of working conditions, such as mesothelioma and hearing loss, entitle you to workers’ compensation. 

What if I have already been injured on the job?

If you have been injured at your place of work, you must file a report to your employer in writing within 30 days of the accident. If you file after the 30-day window, you may lose your right to compensation. Regarding occupational disease, you must report it within two years of discovering that the illness arose from your working environment. Your employer will provide you with a C-3 form that you must fill out and mail to the Workers’ Compensation Board. Your employer will fill out a C-2 form with information about your claim and send it to the Workers’ Compensation Board and the employer’s insurance carrier. 

Can I see my regular doctor for treatment?

You may be able to receive treatment from your doctor, but you need to check that they are authorized by the Workers’ Compensation Board to treat injured workers and that they are in your employer’s Preferred Provider Organization (PPO). Otherwise, the employer’s insurance carrier might not be able to cover the medical bill from that visit. You can visit this website to check if your doctor is authorized to treat injured workers by the Compensation Board. 

When you need an attorney

You may need to consult an attorney if you need assistance with filing your worker’s compensation claim or if you decide to appeal a decision that you disagree with that was made by your employer or their insurance carrier. For example, you can appeal the insurance’s decision to deny your claim. 

If you decide to make an appeal of any kind, call the experienced New York workers’ compensation attorneys at Hach & Rose, LLP. Our team can help you navigate the workers’ compensation process and get you the benefits you deserve. Call us at Hach & Rose, LLP to discuss your options today. 


How to Avoid Common Ergonomic and Repetitive Stress Injuries

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), adapting tasks, workstations, tools, and equipment to fit the employee can help reduce stress on the body and eliminate potentially harmful workplace musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). Every year, MSDs account for more than $15 billion in workers’ compensation costs. It is up to the employer to ensure they are creating a safe office space. 

MSD problems can result from the following: repetitive movements, sitting in awkward positions or straining your neck because a screen isn’t correctly placed, and static postures with little breaks to stretch the muscles.

OSHA provided an eTool to educate on healthy ways to reduce ergonomic injuries in the office space. Some solutions are the following: 

  • Make sure the chair, keyboard, and monitor are in a straight line with your body;
  • Use an adjustable keyboard tray to position your keyboard and mouse at a comfortable height, placing the mouse and keyboard as close as possible to your body to avoid reaching;
  • Maintain a relaxed, neutral posture and sit up straight to provide firm back support;
  • Allow your arms to hang loosely at the shoulders;
  • Keep your elbows at a 90-degree angle while typing;
  • Adjust the chair’s height so that your feet are firmly on the ground.

Many people don’t realize how debilitating a repetitive motion injury can be until they suffer one. Workers can find it difficult or impossible to return to the job until they’ve healed, and some might find that they can never perform those functions the same way again. If you’ve developed a condition due to repetitive motions on the job, you could be entitled to claim workers’ compensation benefits from your employers’ insurance policy. Securing this compensation is not always simple or straightforward however.

Contact a New York Workers’ Compensation Attorney

If you’ve suffered a RSI while at work in New York, contact an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer at Hach & Rose, LLP for help. Schedule your free consultation by calling us at (212) 779-0057 or by reaching out online today.


Safety Tips to Prevent Workplace Injury this Winter

As the temperatures drop this holiday season, there is always a risk for a potential injury. Slip and falls are a common workplace injury, especially in the winter, when ice and snow coat the parking lots and pathways to your workplace. According to EHS Today, here are some ways to prevent a slip and fall injury:

  • Keep all pathways clear of ice and snow, including the parking lot;
  • Remove snow and ice immediately from busy sidewalks;
  • Maintain precautions while you walk, including holding your hands out as you navigate through a wet or slippery area;
  • Avoid carrying heavy equipment or loads that could impact your balance;
  • Label any potential hazard areas with signs, cones, or barricades;
  • Wear proper footwear with heavy treads;
  • Navigate on grassy areas where you are less likely to slip;
  • Wear bright colors or reflective gear when walking to notify drivers of your presence.

Update Safety Plans and Procedures

If employers are engaged and active in creating an open space for employees to speak their concerns, you are better equipped to form a proper safety plan. Employees are less likely to suffer injury if they are reminded of company safety procedures and encouraged to practice these procedures in the workplace. According to EHS Today, here are some ways for employers to maintain a safe environment to prevent workplace injury:

  • Identify potential hazards in the workplace and research past incidents. Find ways to improve, so injuries don’t repeat every holiday season;
  • Evaluate potential risks and how they may affect your employees;
  • Find ways to resolve potential hazards such as moving dangerous environment factors or purchasing up-to-date equipment;
  • Maintain records of your work environment, such as keeping a schedule of all product maintenance and cleaning procedures to ensure you can correct the safety mistakes made.

Contact a New York Workplace Injury Lawyer

If you were injured at work, seek medical attention immediately and contact an experienced workplace injury attorney at Hach & Rose, LLP. Schedule a confidential consultation with us by calling (212) 779-0057 or reaching out to us online.


Waste Disposal Workers: Why Are Injury and Illness Rates So High?

Waste disposal workers have one of the most dangerous, physically-demanding jobs in the United States. Not only are they required to operate industrial-grade equipment routinely, but they are also exposed to numerous toxins, pollutants, and chemical contaminants daily. This repeated exposure can lead to several long-term, life-threatening illnesses.

According to a report from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the injury and illness rate for waste disposal workers is almost two times higher than any other occupation in America. From 2017 to 2018, occupational injuries and illnesses for waste management workers increased from 116.9 thousand to 118.6 thousand.

In a 2017 study published in Occupational Medicine, researchers found that “rates of fatal, non-fatal injuries and self-reported work-related illness were found to be higher in the waste and recycling sector than in [the work] industry as a whole.”

Some of the most common illnesses for waste disposal workers include:

  • Extrinsic allergic alveolitis – A respiratory condition caused by the regular inhalation of organic dust, typically within a work setting.
  • Aspergillosis – A type of fungal infection caused by repeated exposure to the fungus Aspergillus, located in waste disposal settings
  • Occupational asthma – Asthma caused by the repeated inhalation of irritants such as toxic vapors, specks of dust, or gases
  • Abnormalities of lung function – There are a wide range of lung conditions that can cause abnormal functionality, such as diseases, viruses, irritations, and infections
  • Lead poisoning and exposure to other heavy metals – Exposure to heavy metals, such as lead and mercury, have been linked to DNA damage and congenital disabilities

Unfortunately, protective respiratory gear for waste disposal workers isn’t enforced throughout the United States. When the protective equipment is worn, it is typically very minimal. Industry professionals agree that the waste disposal sector still has much room for improvement when it comes to protecting workers from occupational hazards.

Contact a New York Toxic Exposure Workplace Attorney

Employers have a responsibility to protect their workers from known occupational hazards. If you or someone you love has become injured or ill due to exposure to hazardous substances in the workplace, the workplace injury attorneys of Hach & Rose, LLP will be ready to help you get justice and fair compensation for the harm you’ve suffered. Call us at (212) 779-0057 or reach out online to schedule a free consultation with our team today.


What to do if you’re injured at work

Sustaining an injury at work is always a possibility, especially for laborers who carry out physically demanding tasks on a daily basis. According to the United States National Safety Council (NSC), “every seven seconds, a worker is injured on the job.” This means that each year, an average of approximately 4.6 million workers sustain work-related injuries — amounting to a whopping total of 104 million lost production days in the United States. Some of the most common types of work injuries include:

  • Injuries from overexertion, such as strains or sprains due to repetitive motion or handling heavy objects
  • Injuries from falling objects or other types of contact with heavy-duty industrial equipment
  • Injuries from being caught in or compressed by machinery
  • Injuries from being crushed or trapped within a collapsing structure
  • Injuries from slips, trips, and falls

Unfortunately, many people sustain injuries because of workplace hazards and unsafe conditions. In too many cases, workers end up being taken advantage of by employers and insurance companies alike. If you have been injured at work, here are some steps you can take to ensure your well-being.

  • Seek medical attention for your injuries as soon as possible.
  • The medical provider might have you sign an A-9 form before treating you. This form states that you might be responsible for paying medical bills if the claim is rejected by the Workers’ Compensation Board, or if you do not pursue a workers’ compensation claim.
  • Inform your boss as soon as possible. If you are pursuing a workers’ compensation claim, you only have thirty days to formally notify your employer of your injury in writing. After this time period, you may lose your rights to worker’s compensation benefits.
  • If you are pursuing a workers’ compensation claim, fill out a C-3 form, then send it to your nearest Workers’ Compensation Board office. You have two years to file a claim, starting from the date of the injury. If you do not file a claim within this time, you may lose your right to benefits.
  • If you are filing a personal injury claim, it may be extremely beneficial for you to seek legal advice. Only a professionally trained attorney can help you with the details of a complex personal injury case.

Contact a New York Work Injury Lawyer

If you or someone you love has been injured on the job, you are undoubtedly going through a frightening time. Injuries, medical bills, and recovery costs can be overwhelming for anyone to deal with. At Hach & Rose, LLP, we want you to know that you do not have to go through this alone. Our skilled team of attorneys will help you understand your rights and seek fair compensation, either through a claim for workers’ compensation benefits or through a personal injury claim. Call us at (212) 779-0057 to discuss your rights. 


“Sharps” Injuries: What Are the Risks?

“Sharps” is a term that is often used in the medical field to refer to needlesticks, scalpels, and other medical instruments that are used to penetrate the skin. When these medical instruments are improperly disposed of, they can become a serious biohazard — even a small nick, cut, or puncture wound could have devastating consequences.

This is because used medical instruments can potentially carry several different types of bloodborne pathogens, such as the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), Hepatitis B Virus (HBV), Hepatitis C Virus (HCV), and more. According to a report from the United States Department of Labor, researchers estimate that “5.6 million workers in the healthcare industry and related occupations are at risk of occupational exposure to bloodborne pathogens.”

Anyone who works in or with a medical facility is at risk of sustaining a sharps injury, including medical professionals, custodians, waste management workers, and more. There are several procedures in place for correctly disposing of used medical instruments, and if those procedures are not followed, this could constitute negligent behavior on behalf of several parties. Proper procedures for disposing of and containing sharps include:

  • Discarding used sharps into their appropriate containers as soon as possible
  • Disposal containers must be sealable, puncture-proof, and leak-proof on all sides
  • Disposal containers must be upright, accessible, and regularly emptied
  • Used sharps must be properly labeled according to OSHA biohazard regulations

Contact a New York Workplace Injury Attorney

Medical facilities and professionals have a legal obligation to properly label and dispose of any materials that may be a potential biohazard. If you or someone you know was hurt due to the improper disposal of a medical instrument, contact Hach & Rose, LLP to discuss your rights and legal options. We will sit down with you to discuss your case when you call (212) 779-0057 or fill out a contact form on our site to schedule a free and confidential consultation.


The Five Most Dangerous Jobs in America

It’s no secret that certain occupations carry higher risk-factors than others. So, what are the most dangerous occupations in America, and why are they so dangerous? According to an updated report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are two ways to answer this question:

  • By the overall number of on-the-job fatalities
  • By the fatal work injury rate

Using these factors, researchers have compiled a list of the five most dangerous jobs in America.

  1. Refuse and recyclable material collectors

Because refuse and recyclable material collectors spend so much time operating commercial vehicles, they are at a higher risk for traffic accidents. Additionally, these workers are exposed to various types of pollutants and contaminants on an almost daily basis, which can cause serious illness — and even death. With 30 fatal injuries and 1,340 non-fatal severe injuries in 2017, this is the fifth most dangerous occupation in America.

  1. Roofers

While falls, slips, and trips are a hazard in any occupation, they are a particularly dangerous risk-factor for roofers. Because these laborers often work on ladders, scaffolds, or roofs, falling can result in devastating injuries. Moreover, roofers are at risk for heat-stroke and other heat-related illnesses during the hottest months of the year. In 2017, the roofing industry saw 91 fatal injuries, 2,810 nonfatal injuries.

  1. Aircraft pilots and flight engineers

Aircraft pilots and flight engineers are often under an immense amount of stress and pressure on the job. As a result, these workers can quickly become mentally and physically exhausted, meaning they are at a higher risk for transportation accidents. According to the BLS, the total number of fatal injuries for pilots in 2017 amounted to 59 incidents, while the overall number of non-fatal injuries was 630.

  1. Logging Workers

 Because of the nature of the work, logging is an inherently dangerous occupation. Loggers are expected to operate industrial machinery such as chainsaws, harvesters, and commercial vehicles daily. Additionally, workers perform labor that is extremely strenuous and physically demanding. Because loggers often work in remote locations, medical facilities are difficult to reach in the event of a severe accident. In 2017, the logging industry saw 55 fatal injuries and 350 non-fatal severe injuries.

  1. Fishers and related fishing workers

Overall, fishers and related fishing workers experienced the highest rates of on-the-job fatalities in 2017. Laborers have to face many hazards daily, such as slippery decks, extreme weather, and heavy-duty industrial gear. Also, fishers are often working in boats out at sea, where injured individuals cannot seek immediate medical attention. Unfortunately, a significant majority of worker deaths are from drowning accidents. According to the BLS, the fishing industry saw 41 fatal injuries and 120 non-fatal injuries in 2017.

Contact a New York City Work Injury Lawyer

If you or someone you know has been seriously or fatally injured at work, you may be entitled to financial compensation for treatment, lost wages, medical bills, and more. At Hach & Rose, LLP, our experienced New York workplace injury attorneys will fight for justice on your behalf and work around the clock to obtain the compensation you deserve.

 


Exposure to Toxic Substances Cause Roughly 2.8 Million Worker Deaths Per Year

According to a report from the New York State Department of Health, a toxic substance can be defined as any substance that causes “harm [when it] enters or contacts the body.” Exposure to toxic substances can result in a number of long-term, life-threatening illnesses — and even fatality. In a 2018 study from the United Nations (UN), researchers estimated that one worker dies from toxic substance exposure every 30 seconds. On a global scale, this amounts to almost 2.8 million worker deaths per year.

Despite the presence of clear laws outlining the obligation that employers have to maintain a reasonably safe work environment, many laborers are still routinely exposed to toxic substances that could have long-term negative effects on their health. According to the UN report, one of the most common illnesses that exposed workers develop is cancer, which amounts to approximately 70% of all diseases in the workplace.

Some of the most common toxic substances that laborers are exposed to are:

  • Toxic industrial chemicals
  • Pesticides
  • Paint
  • Petroleum products
  • Radiation
  • Solvents
  • Glues
  • Acids
  • Caustic substances
  • Heavy metals like mercury, lead, cadmium, and aluminum

While exposure to some of these listed substances can almost immediately result in negative health effects, it may take years before those effects are discovered. In many tragic cases, workers do not even realize they are sick before it is too late. However, even in these cases, workers — as well as their families and loved ones — deserve their right to pursue legal action.

Contact a New York Toxic Substance Exposure Lawyer

If you or a loved one has developed a long-term, life-threatening illness as a result of being exposed to toxic substances in the workplace, turn to an experienced work injury lawyer to discuss your rights. Our experienced and compassionate attorneys will guide you through the necessary steps to determine liability and get you the compensation you deserve. To discuss the potential merits of legal action in your case, contact our offices by calling (212) 779-0057 today.


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