Published on:

According to a recent news article from CBS News, a worker was killed on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. died in what investigators are calling a freak accident.  The worker was a pipefitter employed in the Maintenance Division of the Capitol Grounds.  He had been working in this capacity for many years.

TreeAuthorities say the fatal workplace accident occurred a few minutes after 9 a.m. when a massive branch fell off an American oak tree.  Victim was working on some irrigation pipes near the tree when the branch snapped off and landed on him.  As there is no shortage of police on the Capitol grounds, it did not take long for first responders to arrive. Continue reading

Published on:

According to a recent news article from KFDM News, the father of an employee of a packaging plant has filed a wrongful death action after his son died while on the job.  This worker and two of his colleagues were killed during an explosion at the packaging plant that occurred in February.

weldingThis workplace accident that resulted in the death of three workers and several other workers being injured is still under investigation.  As is the case with any fatal workplace accident, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), with the help of local personnel and law enforcement agencies, is conducting the investigation. Continue reading

Published on:

A recent article from Huffington Post features a commentary from a labor union president arguing that safety violations resulting in the death of workers should be punishable by prison time instead of mere fines, as if often the case. Every 12 days, a member of his union or one of their coworkers is killed in a workplace accident. This, he says, has been the status quo for a long time.

truckThe deaths he is talking about are not only preventable, but quite horrific.  He discusses how workers are crushed by heavy equipment, drowned in vats of toxic chemicals or even burned to death.  After these deaths occur, they will happen again and again to other workers, and this is what he is trying to stop. Continue reading

Published on:

Workplace injuries can occur at any type of employment.  While there are clearly some jobs that are more dangerous than others, such as the ones like working on a commercial fishing boat, or driving a truck on icy mountain roads, accidents also happen in routine settings.  For example, repetitive stress injuries (RSI) such as carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) are often associated with factory jobs that involve performing the same movements over and over again for hours on end with only a few short breaks.

water tankHowever, these factory jobs are not the kind of occupations that often result in basis for reality shows on the Discovery Channel or the History Channel. One type of facility that does end up on TV a lot is a prison or jail, and the camera crews follow inmates and corrections officers around through the day.  Obviously, for anyone working at a detention center or prison, the job can be very dangerous and can result in a serious or fatal workplace injury. Continue reading

Published on:

According to a recent news article from the Kansas City Star, one worker was killed and four others were injured when an explosion occurred at an ammunition factory.  The explosion happened around 1 p.m. in a building at the plant where primer is manufactured. In a center fire ammunition casing, there is a metal cap that contains primer powder.  When the hammer or firing pin strikes the priming cap, the small explosion that is created is designed to ignite the main powder charge inside the shell casing.

bulletsAfter the explosion occurred, first responders were immediately called to the factory to make sure there was no fire and to offer assistance to the five workers who were caught in the explosion.  This particular factory is managed by the U.S. Army Joint Munitions Command and is staffed largely by civilian contractors under the supervision of U.S. Army personnel, including enlisted service members and officers. Continue reading

Published on:

Over the past year of so, we have been hearing a lot on the news about the alarming rates of people addicted to opioid painkillers and heroin across the nation. Many cases begin with a person who suffers a work-related injury and then goes on narcotic medications to deal with the pain when over-the-counter medications like Motrin no longer work.

wrist painExperts believe that there are statistically significant numbers of people who are addicted to opioid painkillers who are also receiving workers’ compensation benefits.  This is not to say that everyone, or even most people are who receive workers’ compensation benefits are addicted to painkillers, but, if programs can be established to help those who are, then it could have a positive effect on everyone involved, as well as society as a whole. Continue reading

Published on:

We have all been burned at some point in our lives.  Whether we are talking about being burned on the stove, suffering a moderate to severe sunburn or actually being badly burned by fire or electricity, we know just how painful burn injuries can be.  For the most part, our experiences are limited to fairly mild burns to a small area of our body.  Unfortunately, some workers are not that lucky. There are few things more painful or serious than serious burn injuries.

weldingDoctors grade burns according to the severity.  We are usually dealing with the issue of the depth of the burn, as measured in degrees, and the size of the burn on a patient’s body, as measured in a percentage.  Most people have heard of first, second and third-degree burns.  A first-degree burn is something like a mild sunburn that may blister or peel, and a third degree burn involves the destruction all dermal (skin) layers as well as some muscle beneath.  However, there is what are known to doctors as fourth-degree burns that involve full thickness destruction. This means that the burn goes through all layers of skin and then destroys bone and other tissues. If a fourth-degree burn is to a large area of the injured worker, the result is often fatal.  Even if the burn does not kill the injured worker, the body will be very susceptible to staph and other secondary infections, because the skin is the body’s best defense to bacteria and many viruses.
Continue reading

Published on:

Working on ladders, especially tall ladders that lead to a roof, is extremely dangerous work.  While many people who do this type of work take safety for granted and do not worry too much about falling, it happens all the time.  Not only do workers fall off ladders and roofs all the time, these fall accidents often result in serious injury or death.

scaffoldAs for serious injury, there are not only cases with broken arms and legs, but also many cases where a worker will suffer a spinal cord injury that results in permanent paralysis.  There are also many cases where a worker who falls of a ladder or roof will suffer a serious head injury that results in permanent brain damage.  Any of these accidents can seriously affect a worker’s quality of life in a negative manner and can also have devastating and life-changing consequences for family members.  There are also many cases where falling from a high ladder or roof results in death. Continue reading

Published on:

There is no question that working on the side of a highway or even doing roadwork in downtown Boston can be extremely hazardous.  This is the reason there are so many safety campaigns that urge drivers to slow down in work zones and be careful to assure that nobody is injured or killed.  It is also the reason speeding fines are often doubled in work zones and additional penalties are added.   Most of us have probably noticed the signs warning drivers to slow down because “my mommy works here” or something similar.

construction hatIt is dangerous whether you are working as a heavy equipment operator or some other job, such as being a flagger.  In fact, standing in the middle of the street or road flagging traffic and telling drivers to stop or drive slow is probably one of the most dangerous jobs you can have.  This is true in Boston and just about anywhere else in the country.   Continue reading

Published on:

In a recent case from the South Carolina Court of Appeals, claimant was working at an employer’s big box hardware store when he was injured on the job. His injury occurred in September 2010 when he slipped and fell.  This resulted in a serious injury to his back.

stethascopeFollowing initial treatment for his back injury, claimant went to a neurologist who specialized in spinal cord injuries, and he was diagnosed with herniated disc that was compressing his spinal column, and this caused the serious pain from which he was suffering. Continue reading