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Hackensack Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Why your employer may be to blame for your industrial accident

Your New Jersey employer is responsible for your health and safety on the job. Still, all too many workers suffer from industrial accidents, especially those related to forklifts, because their employers are too negligent to provide appropriate training or safety measures. In fact, forklift accidents are among the most common injurious mishaps in today's industrial workplace, which is why your employer should take steps to protect you and your coworkers.

Victims often suffer serious injury because they do not understand the principles of forklift physics and mechanics. You may have been injured because a forklift driver tipped the vehicle over. No matter whether you were behind the wheel -- or you simply happened to be nearby -- many of these tip-over accidents could be prevented through appropriate work procedures and training. Drivers should be trained about how to keep their loads stable so they do not harm themselves or another warehouse worker.

What do I need to know about construction crane accidents?

Are you up-to-date on your crane safety procedures? Although overhead cranes are common fixtures on today's construction sites, many workers are still unaware about the special safety protocols that are most effective at preventing injury. All too many construction worker claims deal with injuries related to tower or overhead cranes. That has lead the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to promulgate new rules governing the use of these potentially hazardous tools within the past five years. Your employer can help you avoid a construction site accident by working together with safety experts to improve procedures at your work site.

Who is at risk for crane-related injuries?

Exposure, chemicals lead to high rates of worker skin disease

Chemicals. Most of us have a cabinet full of them below our sink at home, and we rarely think about their effects. But, for the more than 13 million workers who are exposed to dangerous substances and chemicals at their jobs throughout the U.S., potential exposure is a very real issue that needs to be discussed. Too many New Jersey workers face unsafe conditions and the potential risk of health problems such as cancer from exposure to pesticide and herbicide or other chemical exposure. Occupational skin diseases are some of the most common conditions that can result from chemical exposure.

Most workplace safety initiatives focus on preventing respiratory issues: lung diseases from mesothelioma exposure to asbestos, or exposure to silica dust. New evidence shows, however, that these initiatives may not be enough to assist those who suffer from occupational skin disease. In fact, safety professionals and industrial hygienists are not always sure how to measure whether there are too many skin-irritating chemicals in a specific workplace.

DOT worker struck, seriously injured by negligent driver

A New Jersey Department of Transportation employee suffered critical injuries in late July after a vehicle struck him as he was attempting to remove litter from the road. The man, age 28, apparently suffered critical injuries because of a negligent driver who was attempting to pass a semi-truck on the right. The at-fault driver has been issued multiple summonses for charges including improper passing, reckless driving and failure to wear a seat belt, according to official reports.

Authorities say that the 27-year-old driver was initially in the center lane, but he moved to the right-hand lane to pass the tractor-trailer rig. When the driver changed lanes, he noticed several DOT vehicles parked in his way, and he attempted to swerve to avoid hitting them. However, his vehicle struck a concrete barrier and was pushed back into the right lane. The car bounced between vehicles and the concrete barrier several times before smashing into the victim. The DOT worker was reportedly pinned beneath the vehicle until emergency responders arrived to help. Incredibly, the victim received aid from a passing tow truck driver, who used a hydraulic lift to push the vehicle off of the man's head, which had been pinned to the ground by the at-fault driver's car.

What can I expect after my spinal cord injury in New Jersey?

Many victims of spinal cord injuries face a single question as they begin their recovery: "What now?" After such a life-changing event, emotional and physical effects may rise to the surface without warning. Victims who require long-term medical care because of paralysis and related conditions must adjust to an entirely new way of living, which can cause stress for both the injured person and his or her family members. Life after a spinal cord injury may be different, but there is hope for victims and their loved ones.

Is depression simply a part of living with paralysis?

Construction accidents dominated by nail gun complaints

Every day, thousands of construction workers head off to their jobs, building our residential and commercial structures on relatively dangerous job sites. Although roof and wall collapse injuries are certainly common, a hidden danger may lurk on those sites: nail guns. Construction accidents caused by nail guns are recognized as one of the most common in the industry, with a whopping 40 percent of workers saying that they experienced a nail gun injury within the past four years.

These injuries often go without treatment because workers believe they are too minor to address. However, a construction worker can suffer serious injury because of even a modest nail gun incident, causing him or her to lose the ability to work -- and therefore, the ability to make money. Construction workers do not deserve to have their livelihood stolen because of irresponsible nail gun policies or training by their supervisors.

Techn could eliminate need for table saw workers' comp benefits

Did you know that thousands of Americans -- many of them from New Jersey -- suffer serious injuries from table saws every year? Although workers' comp benefits may provide some relief for those victims, a better step would be to simply prevent the incidents from happening altogether. The construction and fabrication industry has the opportunity to provide better safety equipment -- but it appears that they simply are choosing not to implement the changes.

New technology uses sensors and other devices to stop saw blades and other moving parts quickly enough to prevent amputations and other serious injuries. These tech solutions could prevent many construction and machinery accidents, but it appears that the power tool industry is simply not buying into the modifications. Although the technology is not perfect -- some people still suffer injuries that warrant stitches -- the inventors claim to have saved more than 2,000 fingers and hands thanks to their innovative approach.

Stopping industrial accidents at New Jersey's stone shops

Does your workplace have adequate safety precautions in place to protect employees from falling materials? Even something as minor as a file box can cause serious injury -- but what about those industrial accidents involving larger items? As more and more stone fabrication workshops open throughout New Jersey and the neighboring areas, a growing number of our local employers need to start paying better attention to their safety protocols.

We all know how dangerous warehouse accidents can be; combine forklifts with heavy equipment and poorly trained personnel, and you get a recipe for disaster. A deadly confluence of factors can cause fatal injuries such as the recent crushing death of a New York manufacturing worker. The man, 52, was crushed by two 800-pound blocks of stone that is generally used to make counter-tops. Authorities are still investigating the incident, but the victim's workplace is almost guaranteed a citation from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

What types of lung diseases affect industrial workers?

Many New Jersey residents suffer from respiratory conditions that they contract on the job site. Although you may primarily think of lung diseases as they relate to asbestos and other similar materials, a variety of other conditions can develop for those who work around hazardous materials. These issues can affect workers from coal miners to furniture fabricators and beyond. Victims who have developed a lung disease because of mining or another type of job may be entitled to financial compensation.

How are miners at risk? Coal miners are among the most vulnerable workers when it comes to lung diseases. These employees can suffer from pneumoconiosis (CWP), a condition that causes breathing difficulties because of exposure to dust in the mines. CWP and similar conditions, such as mesothelioma exposure to asbestos, can take up to a decade to develop, which makes them particularly difficult to detect. In addition to exposure to coal dust, miners have historically been confronted with another condition known as silicosis. This condition develops when miners are exposed to quartz dust that is stirred up while boring or blasting. Silicosis can also be attributed to sand particles, or silica dust, disturbed during construction activities, which is why many construction sites wet down sandy areas for worker protection.

Aviation maintenance workers more prone to occupational disease

Every day, tens of thousands of airplanes safely take off and land around the world due to the hard work and dedication of airline maintenance workers. While the work can be fulfilling, there is a downside for those who thrive in the airplane maintenance profession. They are often at a higher risk of developing an occupational disease.

While there are many different conditions that maintenance workers can develop, some of the more common ones may include carpal tunnel syndrome from the repetitive stress of working with heavy tools, kidney disease from chemical exposure and even hearing loss from aircraft noise. In fact, the Federal Aviation Administration reports that aircraft maintenance workers who experience noise-induced hearing loss while they are on the job typically have a hearing loss of more than 20 decibels in common speech frequencies. Sadly, this condition is not reversible and once the hearing is gone, it is lost forever.