Archive for September, 2020

How to reduce the likelihood of serious workplace accidents

Massachusetts workers' compensation attorney

While most serious workplace accidents are not caused intentionally, they are often preventable. Most workplace accidents occur when workers or supervisors make careless mistakes or cut corners when it comes to safety.

Some of the most devastating workplace accidents linked to careless mistakes include:

  • Falls from same level or from heights
  • Accidents involving large machinery
  • Transportation incidents
  • Electrocutions
  • Workers being struck by falling objects
  • Caught in/between equipment or objects

Some of the most common injuries workers sustain in these accidents include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Crushed limbs or amputations
  • Severe injuries to the neck, back and spine
  • Internal bleeding and damage to organs
  • Severe burns, lacerations and bruises
  • Paralysis
  • Death

Common mistakes that lead to workplace accidents

  • Not properly securing ladders or scaffolds: Serious falls are common when ladders or scaffolds aren’t stable or properly secured. Falls linked to poorly set up ladders and scaffolds are common in the construction industry. In fact, falls accounted for more than 33 percent of deaths in that industry during 2018.
  • Leaving clutter and debris in walking areas: Failure to keep walking areas clear of clutter and debris can lead to slip, trip and fall accidents. This often occurs when items, loose wires and spilled liquids are left in walking areas.
  • Leaving equipment and machines on when not in use: It’s important that all electronic equipment and machinery is shut off and locked out when not in use. When a machine suddenly turns on unexpectedly, someone can be seriously injured. Incidents like this often lead to amputations. In some cases, this can even lead to electrocutions.
  • Careless mistakes linked to workplace stress and fatigue: When workers are stressed or fatigued on the job, they may be more likely to skip important safety measures in order to be more productive. All it takes is one small misstep to cause a serious accident.
  • Exposure to hazardous chemicals: When hazardous chemicals aren’t secured or sealed, they can lead to toxic exposure, fires and even explosions. Workers may become ill due to exposure or suffer serious burns.
  • Transportation incidents: Transportation incidents are common among roadside construction workers and warehouse workers. They may involve cars, trucks, trailers or forklifts.

What should I do if I was injured on the job?

If you sustained an injury on the job, it’s important that you first report the incident to your supervisor so an incident report can be filled out. You should then see a doctor as soon as possible for a proper diagnosis and to begin medical treatment before your condition gets worse.

You should then speak to an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer to file a claim for financial benefits. You may be eligible for compensation to cover your medical expenses, lost wages and possible disability benefits. To learn more, contact the Law Offices of Deborah G. Kohl and schedule your free case evaluation.

What to do after a workplace accident amputation?

Massachusetts workers' compensation attorney

It’s difficult to imagine any other workplace accident more serious than an amputation. Losing an arm, leg, foot, finger or any other body part can be emotionally devastating and have a significant financial impact.

Unfortunately, amputation accidents on the job happen all too often. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), these accidents are widespread and involve a variety of activities and equipment.

What types of workplace equipment are dangerous?

Machines associated with amputation accidents include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Food slicers
  • Meat grinders
  • Printing presses
  • Drill presses
  • Milling machines
  • Power presses
  • Slitters

Accidents typically happen when workers don’t have enough safeguards against injury. Workers can get harmed while operating a machine or while setting up or breaking down and cleaning equipment. Amputation accidents occur in in a variety of industries, but are common at construction sites or at factories. Some amputation accidents occur in kitchens at restaurants or even on the road when workers are in car or truck accidents.

How can employers keep workers safe from amputations?

Businesses have a responsibility to keep workers safe from amputation accidents and other injuries. To prevent accidents, employers should ensure an employee is properly trained before using a machine. Machines should be safeguarded. For example, a physical barrier, such as a guard, should be used with a hazardous machine. The guard should be strong and secure. A device that can interrupt the normal operation of a machine can be used to prevent contact with a hazard.

What are your rights as a worker?

If you work with a machine, your employer must ensure the conditions do not put you at risk of injury. You have a right to obtain information and receive training about workplace hazards. You also have a right to review records of work-related injuries and illnesses.

If you notice a serious hazard or your employer is not following the rules, you have a right to file a complaint with OSHA requesting an inspection without retaliation.

How a workers’ compensation attorney can help

Accidents around machinery happen quickly, but the impact can last a lifetime. You may need a prosthetic limb. You may need to use a wheelchair or a cane or crutches to get around. You may be unable to work, or may be limited in what you can do to earn a living. An amputation also can impact your enjoyment of hobbies.

After an on-the-job accident, you have a right to file workers’ compensation claim in Providence, RI, or Fall River and Foxborough, MA. Workers compensation is a no-fault system, so you have a right to benefits regardless of who was at fault. Your employer is required to carry insurance.

An experienced attorney can help make sure you get the compensation and benefits you need for your accident. In some cases, a third party (someone other than your employer) might be responsible. If that is the case, you may have grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit in addition to the workers’ comp claim.

Contact the Law Offices of Deborah G. Kohl for a free consultation. Our firm can fight for you while you focus on your recovery.