Morgan & Justice Co., LPA
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Columbus Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Permanent impairment can follow improper lifting techniques

Ohio workers whose jobs have caused them to develop back problems may be interested to know that the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that one in five illnesses and injuries reported by more than 1 million members of the U.S. workforce involve back pain. This type of injury is often the cause of permanent impairment. Authorities say the common cold is the only cause of lost work days that exceeds the number of days missed due to back problems.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has no regulations related to ergonomics management to prevent back injuries. However, the agency encourages employers to assess work areas for implementation of ergonomic changes that may reduce potential strains, sprains and other musculoskeletal injuries. Ergonomic programs involve designing jobs, equipment and workstations to fit the employees and their physical capabilities.

Safety violation: Ohio trench collapse claims life of 25-year-old

Following the tragic death of an employee of an excavating company in Ohio, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration launched an investigation. A spokesperson for the agency said the inspectors would focus on the company's compliance with prescribed safety regulations. A safety violation might have caused the collapse of this trench.

Reportedly, the excavation collapsed shortly before noon on Dec. 28 while a 25-year-old worker was working at an estimated depth of 20 to 30 feet. Several rescue squads responded to attempt the rescue of the man who was buried under the massive weight of the soil. However, they used their hands to dig him out, for fear of further collapse which could also overcome the rescue workers. Although they did their best to stabilize the excavation, they could not dare use heavy equipment.

Safety violation might have caused death of public works employee

Many workers in industrial facilities in Ohio have to face the hazards posed by the working parts of machines. Some employers neglect to protect workers against this type of danger. It is a safety violation that can claim lives or cause permanent disabilities.

The Louisville Public Works Department reported a tragedy that occurred two days after Christmas and underscored the risks that city workers have to face on a daily basis. Their jobs to keep roads clear of snow and ice are hazardous, as evidenced by the death of a 52-year-old employee. He was a member of a work crew that typically deals with road issues such as potholes and snow clearing.

Amputation injury puts factory on list of severe violators

Industrial workers in Ohio rely on their employers to protect them from harm. Factories are hazardous areas with multiple machines and equipment with moving parts that can cause an amputation injury in the blink of an eye. For that reason, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires company owners to ensure all machines are fitted with lockout/tagout devices and safety guards.

OSHA recently completed investigations into two workplace accidents at a facility in Ohio that manufactures vinyl floor coverings. Both incidents occurred in June and each one involved body parts coming into contact with the dangerous working parts of machines that were unguarded. The lack of protective devices on the machines at this facility caused accidents that changed the lives of two workers forever.

Objection to death benefits for firefighter's cancer withdrawn

Firefighters face a host of life-threatening hazards while they work to save the lives of others. One of these lifesavers in Ohio traveled around the country to create awareness about the cancer risks of firefighting. He also taught other firefighters how to avoid carcinogen exposure. He was instrumental in the passing of a law in Ohio that might ensure surviving family members of firefighters who succumb to cancer receive death benefits from the workers' compensation insurance system.

The 36-year-old Ohio firefighter suffers melanoma, which has already progressed to stage four. The law that creates a presumption of causation became effective in April, and he filed a workers' compensation claim in August. The city of Columbus initially rejected the benefits claim from the firefighter who wants to ensure proper care for his wife and their five children when he is no longer there to care of them.

Safety violation causes roof worker to suffer serious injuries

Some construction workers in Ohio and elsewhere are unfortunate enough to have employers who have little or no regard for employee safety. Construction is an industry with numerous safety hazards, and even the slightest safety violation can cause life-changing injuries. A business in a neighboring state is a perfect example of a company that fails to provide a safe workplace environment.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently reported the outcome of an investigation into a workplace accident in which a worker fell a distance of 19 feet from a roof on which he was working without fall protection. Penalties of over $85,000 were proposed for violations that included the failure to insist that workers wear fall protection. However, it was apparently found that the fall protection that was provided was uninspected and defective, and would have provided no protection even if the worker had worn it.

Safety violation led to fatal workplace accident in auto factory

Employees in the automotive manufacturing industry in Columbus, Ohio and elsewhere are typically exposed to multiple occupational safety hazards. If their employers disregard safety regulations, the workers' lives could be on the line. The slightest safety violation could result in a fatal workplace accident.

The importance of compliance with safety regulations was underscored by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration when the agency recently cited an auto manufacturer in a neighboring state after an investigation into the death of a worker. Reportedly, the incident occurred in October when a 44-year-old employee suffered fatal injuries when she came into contact with the moving parts of a machine. IOSHA cited the company with $224,000 for five violations of safety regulations.

Safety violation: Many Ohio workers exposed to safety hazards

Some employees in Ohio have to endure unsafe work environments every day. Despite the fact that every safety violation can lead to a penalty, some employers fail to comply with regulations that require them to protect the health and safety of workers. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration reported that it recently fined four Ohio companies after completion of several investigations.

The Campbell Soup Co. was cited after an employee was sprayed with boiling water when working on a pipe without first draining it. The company also failed to provide the necessary training that would have prevented the incident. Another business that received two citations is a refinery at which inadequate training also led to an injury suffered when a clamp was disconnected on a hose that was under pressure.

A safety violation in tech industry can cause serious injuries

Many people in Ohio, including business owners, have a misconception that workers in the tech industry are not at risk of suffering workplace injuries. However, tech workers face many hazards, and a safety violation can cause long-term health problems. Few people realize that repetitive strain injuries from typing on a keyboard and manipulating a mouse for hours on end are the most frequently filed workers' compensation claims.

Working on a computer all day can cause tension in the hand and wrist muscles and entrap the nerves. This is known as carpal tunnel syndrome -- a painful condition that needs surgery to repair the damage. Other hazards in tech environments include slip and trip risks caused by electric extension cords snaking across the floor of a high-tech office along with randomly placed and out-of-place objects.

Slip-and-fall safety violation can lead to serious injuries

Slip-and-fall accidents can happen in any workplace in Ohio, including industrial facilities. Employees and supervisors will likely all be aware of the circumstances that can cause falls, and they will also know that the failure to address such a hazard is a safety violation. These can include spills on the floor, electric extension cords, out-of-place objects, folded floor mats and more.

While falls to a lower level make up a significant percentage of serious workplace injuries every year, the danger of falls on the same level might not receive enough attention. The type of fall will often determine the severity of the injuries that could result. A trip-and-fall is caused when a worker encounters an unexpected foreign object in his or her path such as an electric power cord. An uneven walking surface can cause a stump-and-fall accident, and when there is a hole or unexpected dip in the floor or walkway, a worker can suffer a step-and-fall accident.

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Morgan & Justice Co., LPA

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Morgan & Justice Co., LPA
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