“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.
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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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
- Petroleum products
- 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.
Bensonhurst, NY (July 5, 2019) – On Friday morning, July 5th, police stated that a construction worker suffered injuries on the job after falling through the roof of a school located in the Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn. The accident happened around 9:00 a.m. at a school on 16th Avenue.
Chinatown, NY (July 1, 2019) – According to police, a man was sadly killed by a falling safe on Sunday, June 30th inside of a building located in Chinatown. Authorities confirmed that the incident took place on Mott Street at an unspecified time for reasons that are under investigation.
Midtown, Manhattan, NY (June 27, 2019) – On Thursday morning, June 27th, three workers were reported to have suffered injuries, one seriously, after debris fell inside of a theatre located in Midtown Manhattan. The incident took place at the Golden Theatre, at 252 West 45th Street, located in the Theatre District near 8th Avenue, around 11:30 a.m.
Staten Island, NY (June 25, 2019) – An injurious incident was reported to have occurred at 7:57 a.m. at the Department of Environmental Protection water-treatment facility located in Oakwood, Staten Island, on Tuesday morning, June 25th. Authorities stated that a worker suffered injuries after being exposed to a chemical at the facility.
Chelsea, Manhattan, NY (June 25, 2019) – Authorities have released the identity of the young woman who was tragically struck and killed while riding a bike in Chelsea on Monday morning, June 24th. Police have stated that Robyn Hightman, 20, was killed after she was hit by a delivery truck on 6th Avenue, in the vicinity of West 23rd and West 24th Streets.
Port Jervis, NY (June 24, 2019) – Authorities have stated that a 22-year-old firefighter was tragically killed after being struck by an ambulance early on Sunday morning, June 23rd. According to police, the fatal incident occurred at 5:49 a.m. along Barcelow Street in Port Jervis.
Albany, NY (June 13, 2019) – On Wednesday afternoon, June 12th, a truck accident resulted in the injuries of one person. The accident was reported to have taken place around 2:30 p.m. along the Dunn Memorial Bridge for reasons that are actively being investigated.
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