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Boston Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Is hearing loss considered an on-the-job injury?

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, nearly 30 million workers across numerous industries are exposed to high levels of noise at work. These workers are at risk for an on-the-job injury that can ultimately affect every aspect of their lives -- hearing loss. Massachusetts employers are required by OSHA to take certain steps to keep workers' exposure to noise pollution at a minimum.

The equipment used in many workplaces produces a certain amount of noise. Keeping that noise as low as possible for employees can be as simple as putting up a barrier between workers and the machinery. In other cases, certain equipment can be modified or purchased with noise reduction apparatuses. Properly maintaining equipment is also essential to keep the noise it produces from rising to harmful levels.

OSHA's investigation of work accident at dairy found violations

In some industries, vehicles and pedestrians share the same space. Like on the roadways, if drivers fail to pay attention or their view is somehow obstructed, there can be a collision involving any variety of combinations of people and motorized equipment. A work accident leading to serious injury or death will prompt an investigation by the Massachusetts office of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to determine whether the employer was in compliance with all applicable safety rules and regulations.

Such an investigation was recently concluded at a dairy farm in another state. A man working at the farm died after being struck by a front-end loader. Reports indicate that the driver was unable to see around the hay being hauled.

Massachusetts man killed in construction accident

Few people in Massachusetts would argue with the fact that working in construction comes with numerous dangers. Large pieces of equipment and materials can cause serious injuries or even death. Even when both employees and employers do what they can to ensure the safety of everyone on the site, a construction accident can still occur.

It is not yet known whether all applicable safety precautions were taken in a recent accident that killed a Massachusetts man. The man was part of a crew working on natural gas lines. As he worked in a portion of the road that was dug up, a large piece of equipment was being lowered into it. The fusing machine somehow swung freely and hit the man's head.

Seeking compensation in a construction accident

As a Massachusetts construction worker, you may already know that numerous hazards exist at the sites where you work. The dangers come from the equipment used, other workers and even the working conditions -- such as working at great heights. If you are injured in a construction accident, you entitled to seek relief from the workers' compensation system and possibly from a third-party claim.

Many accidents at construction sites rarely involve one party. The sites are often worked and/or visited by numerous people from different companies on any given day. Contractors, engineers and architects frequent these sites as they perform their duties. If an accident happens, it could easily involve someone not employed by the same company. In addition, if a defective piece of machinery led to your injuries, the manufacturer could be held liable.

Massachusetts work accident can lead to permanent issues

Massachusetts workers in many industries can suffer a variety of injuries while on-the-job. Many of those injuries can leave lasting aches and pains that can affect whether a person can perform his or her duties at work or other everyday activities. When a work accident affects your life to such an extent, workers' compensation benefits and other damages could help with the financial issues that often arise.

One injury that can cause this kind of disruption to a worker's life is a rotator cuff injury. Accidents at work can cause your shoulder to be dislocated, tears to the rotator cuff (a capsule at the shoulder that contains tendons and provides support for the arm) or nerve damage to the shoulder. This is not an exhaustive list of the injuries that can occur to your shoulder, but these are some of the common ones.

OSHA says company indifferent to work accident potential

In the midst of concerns regarding workers in certain industries contracting Ebola from blood, vomit and other bodily fluids, a Massachusetts based company -- UniFirst -- appealed citations issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration regarding its lack of safety measures to protect workers from blood borne pathogens and lead. An OSHA official said that the company in question is indifferent to the work accident potential at the facility. Recently, an administrative law judge agreed and ruled that the citations will not be thrown out.

According to the investigation conducted by OSHA at a UniFirst location in a nearby state, workers routinely handled dirty clothing items worn by medical personnel who were in contact with patients' blood. In some cases, dirty syringes were mixed in with the clothing. Other laundry items were contaminated with lead, which was subsequently found on surfaces throughout the facility. Workers were consistently exposed to these hazards.

Many construction accident injuries are caused by falls

You most likely do not have to tell any Massachusetts construction worker that falling is one of the biggest hazards they face. Many construction accident injuries are caused by workers falling from buildings, scaffolding or ladders. The injuries suffered can be serious and even fatal.

Surviving a fall at a construction site often requires a significant amount of physical therapy and other medical intervention. Even so, you may be left with a permanent disability that precludes you from ever working in construction again. This often means that vocational rehabilitation is needed to give you a new set of skills in another industry.

OSHA opens dialogue to prevent chemical work accident

Workers in many industries across the nation and here in Massachusetts spend their days exposed to dangerous chemicals.  The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has regulations for the safety of many of these chemicals, but recently realized that those safety standards were lacking.  Now, OSHA has opened a dialogue designed to update those regulations in order to prevent a work accident involving chemicals.

The current regulations regarding the acceptable concentration of chemicals in the air -- permissible exposure limits (PELs) -- were adopted in 1971 and include less than 500 chemicals.  That leaves out thousands of potentially harmful chemicals used in today's industries. OSHA is concerned, however, that establishing new PELs would be both costly and time consuming -- mainly due to the complex nature of the analyses that courts require.

OSHA says fatal work accident could have been prevented

Massachusetts residents who conduct excavations most likely know that there are certain rules and regulations that must be followed to protect workers from cave-ins.  The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is conducting an investigation in a nearby state into the deaths of two men who died in a cave-in at a work site.  No one could discuss the details of the investigation since it is ongoing.  However, a spokesperson did say that this work accident was preventable.

The two men were part of a crew digging a 10-foot trench outside a home to lay drainage pipe.  As they worked, the ditch collapsed, and the two men were buried under nearly 10 feet of dirt.  Workers attempted to free the men until authorities arrived. 

Work accident on crane leads to repercussions for company

Cranes can be invaluable to Massachusetts construction workers. However, they can also be a source of serious or fatal injuries if not used properly. Recently, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited a company here in Massachusetts named Mass Bay Electrical Corp. for violations that are believed to be responsible for a fatal work accident.

Two of the company's employees were working atop a crane near the boom's end.  The crane fell over and killed the two men. The investigation conducted by OSHA concluded that the accident could easily have been prevented if the company had taken the time to adhere to safety standards.

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