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Hackensack Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Safety stand-down for construction workers to be held in May

Construction employers in New Jersey and across the U.S. are being encouraged to hold fall safety stand-downs in May. During these events, they will cease operations in order to talk about fall hazards in the workplace and how to reduce or prevent them. OSHA and the Center for Construction Research and Training have declared that from May 7 to 11, they will be holding their fifth annual National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction, so this would be a good time for many employers to join in.

Roughly a third of construction deaths are caused by falls, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. This is why the stand-down, which brings together employers and their employees, could prove beneficial. There is no prescribed way of holding a stand-down -- employers could create a training session with videos, demonstrations or toolbox talks. They could also conduct an equipment inspection or something else that addresses fall hazards.

Trenches and excavations can be dangerous for workers

Construction site accidents can be a major source of workplace injuries for workers in New Jersey. One particular source of an increasing number of serious injuries and even fatalities is work in trenches and excavations. These underground cuts and caverns can involve removing tons of earth in order to create passageways for the laying of building foundations, creating piping or electrical lines and other important construction tasks. However, due to the sheer weight of earth removed and the subsequent risk of cave-ins, collapses, falls and other accidents, trenches and excavations can be dangerous places for workers.

In 2016, fatalities doubled as a result of on-the-job injuries in trenches and excavations. In the previous five years, two workers were killed every month as a result of trench and excavation accidents, most frequently collapses. As a result of the dangerous environment for construction workers, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has identified improvement in trench and excavation safety as a priority goal for 2018. As part of its work on the subject, OSHA is acting to build awareness about preventative technologies, safety rules and actions that employers can take to cut down on the threat of severe injuries and fatalities.

Safety risks abound on construction sites

The construction industry is an incredibly important industry, but just because it is vital, vibrant and financially successful does not mean it is without it's faults. The most prominent of these faults is the safety of workers in the construction industry. It may be an inherent part of the construction process, but nonetheless, the people who work on construction sites are almost always in a dangerous situation -- even when nothing goes wrong.

Construction sites are filled with heavy and powerful machinery. They are filled with dangerous substances and building materials. The work that needs to be done at the site could be at precarious heights, or in awkward locations. And the physical labor and effort that it takes to complete these construction projects puts more stress on a worker's body than most other jobs -- let alone expose them to risks other jobs don't.

Tips on avoiding workplace back injury

Back pain, who needs it? Who wants it? No one does, but back pain is a common problem and has become one of the main causes of lost work days. It doesn't discriminate against certain workers, either. Nurses and paramedics may experience it when awkwardly lifting patients. Industrial workers hurt their backs when lifting heavy loads or by slipping and falling. And office workers often suffer lower back pain after spending long hours sitting in front of a computer most of the day.

Some may think that back pain is caused by a single action such as suddenly stepping or lifting something the wrong way. Actually, back pain typically comes as a result of years of activities such as awkward posture, twisting, repetitive tasks, straining, standing too much and even sitting down too much.

Construction worker suffers on-the-job injury in 20-foot fall

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration launched an investigation into a construction accident that happened in New Jersey. A New Jersey Department of Labor spokesperson says the incident occurred on the site of a shopping mall in Hackensack. Reportedly, a construction worker suffered an on-the-job injury in a 20-foot fall.

An incident report indicates that the victim was a 37-year-old Newark man who was part of a construction crew that was working in the mall. Not many details are available to explain the circumstances that led to the fall. Apparently, the man fell through a hole in the floor.

OSHA says employer negligence to blame for fatality

In a recent release, an Occupational Safety and Health Administration director says construction workers can only be protected from severe or fatal workplace injuries when employers establish and follow effective safety protocols. They must then maintain them by providing adequate training. The agency referred to a fatal construction accident last August, blaming employer negligence for the incident. The accident occurred at a construction site of a New Jersey-based company in a neighboring state.

Reportedly, one worker was killed, and another one suffered fractures when a retaining concrete wall collapsed on them. OSHA investigators determined that a wall that was not approved by an engineer was erected to retain soil. Furthermore, they say the employer failed to provide workers with the necessary training to ensure they remained a safe distance from the retaining wall.

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.

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