Archive for October, 2022

Oct 2022

Can New Hard Hat Tech Reduce Construction Worker Head Injuries?

Construction workers wearing hard hats install a roof.

Despite advancements in employee safety equipment and standards, construction workers are at a heightened risk for workplace accidents that cause head injuries and brain damage.

However, developers of a new type of hard hat say they have the technology to reduce Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs) like concussions, skull fractures, and similar damage due to construction workplace accidents.

Hard hat technology developers and manufacturers, WaveCel, say their new equipment protects against direct and oblique hits to the head.

Injured workers have a right to compensation

At The Law Offices of Deborah G. Kohl, we support the development of new and improved worker safety technology. We know that every year, about 7% of all head and brain injuries sustained at U.S. workplaces happen in the construction industry. There were over 5,150 construction worker brain injuries reported in 2020, the Bureau of Labor Statistics says.

As an established workers’ compensation and work injury law firm in southeastern Massachusetts and Rhodes Island, we see how catastrophic head injuries devastate victims and families. We stand up for injured workers and the families of fatal work accident victims.

If you were injured or a loved one died at work in southeastern Massachusetts or Rhode Island, you may be entitled to compensation. We can help you figure out your potential legal options, and it won’t cost you anything. Contact The Law Offices of Deborah G. Kohl for a free case evaluation right now.

Hard hat history and technology

Hard hats have reduced worker injuries and saved lives since the early 1900s. The first hard hats were based on metal “doughboy” soldiers’ helmets. The wartime design was adapted by Ed Bullard to protect miners in the 1920s and quickly caught on in other industries. According to the Smithsonian, the Hoover Dam construction project in 1931 may have been the first time U.S. workers were required to wear hard hats.

Modern hard hats often have webbing, foam, or some impact-absorbing padding under their yellow or white plastic shells. The work helmet typically protects construction workers from objects that fall directly upon them but not from objects that strike at an angle. A sudden indirect blow to the skull can send a worker’s head spinning and cause severe or life-threatening injuries.

The company says that the WaveCel hard hat has a honeycomb structure made of thin, permeable materials that are effective at stopping spin and absorbing glancing hits.

What causes construction head injuries

Even when wearing protective headgear like hard hats, welding visors, safety goggles, and other equipment, construction workers are frequently injured. Some of the most common causes of construction site head injuries involve:

  • Slip and falls.
  • Scaffolding.
  • Forklifts.
  • Falling objects.
  • Electrocution.
  • Heavy machinery like cranes, drills, and PITs.

Accidents like these could result in a concussion, contusions, intracranial hematoma (internal bleeding), nerve damage, or another type of disabling injury.

Get maximum work injury compensation

Head injuries are among the most expensive work injuries to treat. That means injured construction workers need to collect the full value of their workers’ compensation benefits and pursue all additional compensation options, if any. Injured workers are often entitled to compensation for injury-related medical expenses and lost wages, among other things.

If you were injured or a loved one was killed in a construction work accident in southeastern Massachusetts or Rhode Island, you probably have a lot of questions. Get answers you can trust. Contact us for a free case evaluation to learn more about how the law applies to your situation, a compensation estimate, and a review of your legal options.

Don’t delay. A strict statute of limitations applies to work injury and workers’ compensation claims. We have offices in Fall River and Foxborough, Massachusetts, as well as Providence, Rhode Island. A member of our team is available to hear from you any time, day or night. Contact us for your no-cost, no-obligation case evaluation right now.

Oct 2022

Fall Prevention is 2022’s Most Common Work Safety Violation

Construction worksite in MA or RI

Our workers’ compensation attorneys stand up for injured employees.

According to OSHA, the longstanding problems plaguing worker safety remain strong.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently revealed its annual top 10 list of workplace safety violations. Although there was some movement within the ranks, in 2022, the most frequent infractions were the same as those cited in 2021.

The number one work safety violation in 2022 was “fall protection.” Many worksites, OSHA says, lack proper safeguards to prevent serious injury or fatal falls. Fall-related violations are also in the top 10 – ladders, scaffolding, and fall prevention training.

Injured workers have rights.

The top 10 list demonstrates how some employers will disregard employee safety standards yearly. At The Law Offices of Deborah G. Kohl, we see how this negligence devastates workers and families. People injured or made ill at work are often in a lot of pain and worried about the future. Unable to work, many injured workers accumulate debt.

It doesn’t have to be this way. For decades, our law firm has fought to protect the rights of injured workers in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. We help employees get the workers’ compensation benefits and injury compensation they deserve. We take on the burden of the workers’ comp process and negotiate aggressively for maximum compensation so that our clients can focus on healing.

If you were injured at work or made ill due to employment, get answers to your legal questions. Contact us for a free case evaluation.

OSHA’s top 10 violations

Employees everywhere need to understand the risks to their health and safety. The following is OSHA’s list of the top safety standards employers were most likely to ignore in the fiscal year 2022.

  • Fall protection.
    Common workplace fall accidents include slipping and falling on slippery surfaces or tripping over wires.
  • Hazard communication.
    Studies estimate that poor communication and misunderstood directions lead to work accidents resulting in injury or death.
  • Respiratory protection.
    Employers must provide employees with appropriate respiratory protection. If an employee chooses to provide their own equipment, the employer must ensure that it meets mandatory prevention, maintenance, and sanitation standards.
  • Ladders, construction.
    At work, ladders must be maintained in good working condition. When circumstances call for it, employers must provide enhanced protection like guardrails, safety nets, or personal fall arrest systems (PFAS) to workers using ladders.
  • Scaffolding.
    Fall protection equipment is often necessary while working on scaffolding surfaces but is not always provided.
  • Control of hazardous energy (lockout/tagout).
    When energy is not under control, bad accidents occur. A typical scenario is an injury caused during large equipment maintenance. For example, if the machine is not properly shut down, it could spring to life while the employee cleans it. Examples include burst steam valves or jammed conveyor belts.
  • Powered industrial trucks (PITs).
    One of the most utilized PITs is forklifts. Unfortunately, there are many ways a forklift can cause injuries. For example, a forklift may tip if the driver turns too quickly, carries an overweight or unbalanced load, drives with an elevated load, or is driving while texting.
  • Fall protection training.
    Employers must train workers to identify fall hazards, avoid risks, and properly use safety gear to prevent falls at work.
  • Eye and face protection.
    Personal protective equipment (PPE) that reduces the risk of eye and face injuries includes hard hats, safety glasses, chemical splash goggles, face shields, welding shields, and laser safety glasses.
  • Machinery and machine guard.
    The results of a machinery accident are severe and frequently require amputation. Machines that typically require some form of guarding include saws, presses, manufacturing equipment, cranes, trucks, conveyor belts, and cutters.

Get the compensation you deserve after a work accident.

Our workers’ compensation and work injury attorneys at The Law Offices of Deborah G. Kohl consider it an honor to protect the rights of injured workers. We know how to conduct thorough accident investigations and build solid cases for maximum work injury case compensation. Our law firm serves all of Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts from our offices in Fall River, Foxborough, and Providence.

If you were injured in a workplace accident are have been made ill due to job conditions, contact us for a free case consultation to learn more about your rights, get an estimated case value, and help weigh your legal options.

Do not delay. There are many strict deadlines and actions that must be taken soon after the incident for the best chance at a successful workers’ compensation claim or work injury lawsuit. A member of our team is available to hear from you any time, day or night. Contact us to schedule your free case evaluation right now.