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Archive for October, 2018

What Are The 10 Most Frequently Violated OSHA Standards?

As an employee, you’ve likely heard of OSHA, but not been entirely sure what it is or what it means to you. OSHA is the acronym for the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, which was written with the specific purpose of keeping workers safe. It’s also the acronym for the agency that enforces OSHA standards. The act spells out specific requirements and standards that employers need to follow in terms of the working conditions they provide to their employees, and the goal is to avoid injury, illness and death.  OSHA does more than set out rules – it also enforces them in a number of ways, including providing information, training and assistance to employees as well as to those who hire them.

Unfortunately, despite the existence of OSHA standards, workplace accidents, injuries and deaths continue to happen all too frequently, with more than 5,000 workers killed on the job in 2016 alone. Though not every fatality is a result of violating OSHA standards, many of them are. In the year 2017, the 10 most frequently violated OSHA standards were:

  • Failures in providing fall protection on construction sites
  • Failures in providing needed or adequate scaffolding on construction sites
  • Failing to provide appropriate respiratory protection
  • Failing to control hazardous energy
  • Failing to provide proper protection when working with ladders on construction sites
  • Failing to provide safe environments around the operation of industrial trucks
  • Failing to secure employee safety involving machinery
  • Failing to protect against falls and providing appropriate training around fall protection
  • Failing to provide safety precautions around electric, wiring methods, components and equipment

If it seems like construction sites appear on this list frequently, that’s because it does – in fact, more than 20 percent of worker fatalities took place on construction sites. A close analysis of the top causes of construction site accidents reveals that if employers were to eliminate the four most common causes of construction site deaths — falls, being struck by an object, electrocution and getting caught in between — more than 600 lives could be saved each year.

When an employer fails to follow OSHA standards, they are subjected to fines and penalties imposed by the government, and when those failures lead to a worker being injured or killed, they are able to file a workers’ compensation claim and may also be able to pursue other legal action. For more information, contact Vanasse Law to set up an appointment to discuss your case.

What Careers Are Most Vulnerable To On-The-Job Heart Attacks?

heart attackWe’ve all heard about job-related stress, but have you ever heard of anybody actually having a heart attack attributed to their work? Though most people think that only injuries like strains, sprains, fractures and concussions count as job-related injuries, it is actually quite possible for a job to lead to a heart attack, and for a worker who has suffered a job-related heart attack to file for and collect workers’ compensation. Though a work-related heart attack can happen in just about any career, there are some jobs that make workers much more vulnerable to on-the-job heart attacks.

These include:

  • Any kind of desk job – It may seem as if a desk job is the safest possible type of career, but studies have shown that people who sit at a desk all day are at higher risk for heart disease than those who work at active jobs. Research has shown that when we sit too long it can lead to dysfunction in insulin sensitivity and in enzymes ability to dissolve fat.
  • First responders – Whether you’re a firefighter, an emergency medical technician/paramedic, or a police officer, you’re at risk for heart attack. In fact, 22 percent of on-the-job deaths in police and 45 percent in firefighters are due to a heart attack.
  • Bus drivers – Driving a bus is a toxic combination of stress and being sedentary. One study showed that 51 percent of bus drivers suffer from high blood pressure, as well as high cholesterol, body weight and heart disease.
  • Shift workers – No matter whether you’re working a shift because you’re a physician or nurse, or because you work in a factory, studies have shown that people who work irregular hours throughout the nighttime have a much higher risk for a heart attack then do people who work normal daytime hours. This is blamed on a disrupted circadian rhythm, which in turn leads to insulin dysregulation, obesity, insomnia and other medical issues linked to heart attack.
  • Bartenders and cocktail waitresses – Though many states have introduced no-smoking policies, bars are often exempt from the rules, leaving staff in these establishments vulnerable to the harmful effects of cigarette smoke. Exposure can lead to a heart attack.

If you have suffered a heart attack on the job, there’s a good chance that you may be entitled to file a workers’ compensation claim. For more information about your rights and the process, contact Vanasse to schedule a meeting with our workers’ compensation practice in Lancaster today.