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Hackensack Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Workers' injuries are prevalent during snow removal operations

Snow is a known safety hazard, and after the record snowfalls in the Northeast, safety authorities urged employers to take special care in protecting employees in New Jersey and surrounding states. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration asked everybody involved in cleanup and removal of snow to remain focused on safety and to take the necessary precautions to prevent workers' injuries. There are many known hazards linked to snow removal activities.

Falls may be the most frequently reported cause of injuries during these operations. Workers could slip and fall when moving about on ice and snow, and snow removal from elevated areas such as roofs or decks are hazardous. Workers can fall over the edge, through skylights or roof vents, or from ladders and mechanical lifts. Severe injuries can also be caused by collapsing roofs or other structures that cannot bear the weight of the snow.

Demolition worker suffers life-threatening leg injury

Construction workers in New Jersey typically face a host of hazards during any workday, and each task has its own risks. Employers must ensure that workers are aware of any potential dangers and how to prevent injuries. Furthermore, their safety training must include the steps to take in the event of an emergency. When a construction worker recently suffered a life-threatening leg injury, it was a responding police officer who carried out first aid that might have saved the worker's life.

The incident happened on a construction site at which a crew was demolishing a house. Under the circumstances which are yet to be determined, a trackhoe ran over a workers' leg. Police officers were the first to arrive at the scene after receiving an emergency call. Reportedly, an officer assessed the situation and applied a tourniquet to the man's injured leg.

Unsafe working environment: Worker dies in confined space

Employers in all industries in New Jersey must comply with the regulations prescribed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to protect workers. One section of safety rules covers confined spaces, which are dangerous areas with limited space to enter and exit and could pose asphyxiation hazards due to potentially toxic fume presence or a lack of oxygen. Nobody may enter this type of unsafe working environment without a special permit, and when they do, special safety precautions must be in place.

OSHA and police detectives are investigating the death of a worker who was found in unconscious in a bulk transportation truck tank on an afternoon in late November. The fire department, police and a hazmat team responded to help with the rescue when the emergency call came in at approximately 2 p.m. The worker was extricated and rushed to a hospital, but authorities later reported that he had died.

New Jersey man electrocuted in industrial accident

Business owners are responsible for the health and safety of their employees, regardless of the industry in which they operate. Some dangers, such as electrical hazards exist in all industries, and employers must provide the necessary safety training to prevent employees from receiving electrical shocks. One such an industrial accident recently claimed the life of a New Jersey man.

Reportedly, the 55-year-old man worked for a beverage distributor. The incident report by the police indicates that he was on a scissor lift that elevated him to a level that would allow him to replace an emergency light. It appears he attempted to do this without switching off the power to the light. He received a fatal bolt of electricity.

Workers' injuries in warehouses can be avoided

Warehouse workers in New Jersey all face similar hazards along with those unique to the facilities in which they work. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, about 20 percent of warehouse workers nationwide suffered workers' injuries in 2015, and a significant portion of those led to days off work. Safety advocates suggest employers create safety cultures in which employees are equipped with appropriate clothing and protective equipment and open communications to report and address safety concerns.

Further suggestions include the need to train employees to use proper lifting techniques because back injuries are common in this industry. Housekeeping also needs particular attention because slips, trips and falls are prevalent where spills are not immediately cleaned, walking surfaces are uneven or when random objects are allowed to remain in walkways. Newly mopped and waxed areas do much for cleanliness but could cause slip-and-fall accidents, so placement of warning notices in these areas is essential.

OSHA Investigation launched after fatal fall from roof

An employee lost his life in a recent workplace accident in New Jersey. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has launched an investigation into the incident. Compliance officers will study the circumstances that led to the fatality and determine the company's level of compliance with safety regulations.

The incident report that was prepared by the police in Franklin Township indicates that a 911 call reported a workplace accident just after 7 a.m. Emergency workers rushed to the scene and found that a 39-year-old worker had fallen from the roof of a building. Police found the man unresponsive and unconscious on the ground where he landed after the fall of about 30 feet.

Work accident claims life of sanitation worker

Employees of sanitation companies have to cope with unique hazards in their industry. As in any other occupation in New Jersey, employers must ensure that workers are aware of the dangers of their jobs, and they must provide frequent safety training to prevent complacency. This might have played a role in a work accident involving a garbage truck that recently claimed the life of an employee.

According to a police spokesperson, the incident occurred shortly before 1:30 p.m. on a recent Thursday at the headquarters of a New Jersey sanitation company. Reportedly, the 56-year-old employee had his back turned to a garbage truck that was backing up toward him. The operator of the truck -- also an employee of the same company -- failed to notice the worker and knocked him down, causing fatal injuries.

Objections to new rule that can prevent some medical expenses

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration's new rule to limit exposure to respirable crystalline silica became effective in New Jersey and across the country on Sept. 23, but there is significant resistance to it. Some groups have resorted to the courts to call on the presidential administration to stop application of the rules that are claimed to cause financial ruin for some companies, despite the fact that prevention of silicosis will save millions of dollars in medical expenses. However, OSHA says the agency will assist businesses that show a willingness to comply.

OSHA maintains that the new regulations will positively affect approximately two million employees and prevent 900 cases of silicosis per year. The agency further estimates the rule will save the lives of 600 workers each year. Those opposed to the law claim a 95 percent drop in reported illnesses related to silica over the past four decades.

Recyler fined with $25,000 for negligent operating of machinery

Business owners in New Jersey are responsible for the health and safety of their employees. One of their responsibilities is to ensure only qualified personnel operate equipment such as forklifts. Negligent operating of machinery can cause catastrophic injuries or death in the blink of an eye.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently fined a recycling facility over $25,000. The penalty followed the conclusion of an investigation into a fatal workplace accident that claimed the life of a 52-year-old worker last December. OSHA investigators determined that the man was crushed by a forklift.

5 injured on the job in confined space -- only 3 survive

Confined space and hazardous gases pose deadly risks to workers in New Jersey and other states. Both these hazards are covered by the safety regulations prescribed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. However, noncompliance is more common than what people might think, and this might have been the case in an accident that caused five people to be injured on the job -- two of which did not survive.

Reportedly, the incident occurred at a power plant in a neighboring state where five employees were performing maintenance duties inside a confined area. When they removed a pipe's elbow joint, dangerous hydrogen sulfide escaped, overwhelming the workers. Three of them managed to escape out of the pit, but two workers, ages 34 and 42, did not survive.