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Friday & Cox LLC Workers' Compensation, Personal Injury and SSD/SSI Blog

Many PA workers face risk of asbestos exposure

Being exposed to asbestos can have a dire impact on the health of PA workers. Despite regulations curtailing the use of asbestos, many workers in numerous industries still run the risk of being exposed and as a result may face very severe health ramifications down the line.

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry lists a number of professions where asbestos exposure can occur. These includes mechanics, roofers, installers of drywall, welders and many other laborers. However, the construction industry retains the highest risk when it comes to asbestos exposure. In general, exposure most often occurs during the course of repair or renovation of structures erected before use of asbestos was prohibited in building materials.

Industrial workers face high risk of falls

If you are an industrial or construction worker in Pennsylvania, you know firsthand the risk falls can pose within your workplace. This is especially true if you regularly work from rooftops or scaffolding, which are known as a common cause of injury among many workers. Here at Friday & Cox LLC, we know the risks that exist, which can lead to a fall and serious injury.

According to The Center for Construction Research and Training, many workers throughout the construction industry face a significant chance of injuries related to falls. You are especially at risk if you work with the installation of power lines, you are a roofer, or you install metal beams in buildings like skyscrapers.

Fire prevention in the workplace is crucial

Fires in the workplace can have a range of devastating consequences, from significant property damage to potentially fatal injuries. Accordingly, both employers and workers in Pennsylvania must be aware of the proper steps to take to keep deadly workplace fires from occurring.

Safety Center provides some essential tips on maintaining a safe working environment free of fire hazards. Perhaps the most important aspect of fire safety is having the right equipment on hand should a fire occur. This includes smoke alarms, sprinkler systems and a suitable number of fire extinguishers. All items should be regularly tested according to manufacturer instruction to ensure they remain functional. Fire extinguishers in particular should be properly maintained to avoid expiration, and all employees should be trained on appropriate use.

How can I avoid common forklift hazards?

As a Pennsylvania worker in the construction industry, you may find yourself operating a forklift regularly. While this equipment can be very useful, it can also pose quite a few risks, particularly when a piece of equipment fails or is used in an improper manner. Accordingly, being aware of common hazards and methods for avoiding them can help you prevent significant injuries from occurring.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration lists numerous hazards associated with forklift operation, some of which can result in debilitating injury or even death. For instance, you must have a clear range of vision as you operate a forklift. Obstructed visibility can have a number of very serious effects, from costly property damage to fatal crushing injuries occurring to you or other workers.

MRSA infections can cause injury to PA workers

Occupational illnesses like methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus can be a very serious concern for many Pennsylvania workers, particularly those employed in the field of health care, law enforcement and a number of other professions. Here at Friday & Cox LLC, we know all too well the damage that can be caused by MRSA within the workplace, the treatment of which can entail extensive medical care and even hospitalization.

As explained by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, staph bacteria are a common cause of usually minor skin infections. Conversely, MRSA is far more dangerous due to its resistance to some antibiotics. Infected areas will typically take on the appearance of a boil, may be painful to the touch and swollen with pus or fluid. Infections can also stem deep into tissues and even the bloodstream, which may result in more severe effects.

Flames aren't the only workplace danger facing firefighters

When it comes to workplace dangers, few workers can say they encounter as many dangers as firefighters do. From flames to dense smoke, falling debris and collapsing floors, firefighters oftentimes find themselves in harm's way and at high risk of potentially suffering an injury as well.

But if you're a regular reader of our blog or are at least familiar with how occupational injuries manifest, then you know that not all workplace injuries happen immediately following an accident. Sometimes they take time to develop, as is the case with occupational diseases, which is something firefighters need to be aware of.

What treatments are available if I experience a brain injury?

As a worker in Pennsylvania, you may face a daily risk of brain injury, which can have a wide-ranging impact on your life and well-being. In the event you suffer significant brain trauma in the workplace, you will likely be concerned about accessing essential medical treatment to help ease your recovery as much as possible.

The effects of a brain injury can include both short and long-term care, according to the Mayo Clinic. In the event you experience significant trauma to the brain, emergency care may be required. The level of care you will undergo can be determined by the severity of your injury. You may require emergency surgical care, which can address any fractures occurring as a result of the trauma, or bleeds on the brain. Some head trauma can be treated by medications, such as drugs that help reduce pressure within the brain or medications aimed at reducing your risk of experiencing a seizure.

Accident prevention is crucial in the mining industry

While the mining industry can provide many workers in Pennsylvania a decent living, there exists a number of serious risks that can cause injury or even death. That’s why accident prevention remains an important topic among workers currently employed in mines, as well as those tasked with maintaining a safe environment free of preventable accidents.

The Mine Safety and Health Administration lists many of the potential threats facing miners, as well as useful tips for reducing the likely hood of an accident occurring. When it comes to material handlers, being cautious around fast moving conveyor belts is of the utmost importance. So-called pinch points can inflict quite a bit of damage on workers if care is not taken. Accordingly, miners should never attempt to clear a belt caked with debris while it is in motion. Also, it’s important to heed all warnings when a belt is stopped for maintenance, even if it means a delay in work.

How can I identify post-traumatic stress disorder?

If you are a first responder working in Pennsylvania, post-traumatic stress disorder can be a very real concern when providing emergency medical care. Particularly traumatic events, such as scenes of violence or severe auto accidents, can take a significant toll on both your emotional and physical well-being. To this end, being able to recognize the common signs and symptoms of PTSD is the first step to receiving the assistance you need.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the effects of PTSD can take on numerous forms. Even your behavior may be impacted after a traumatic event, which can be expressed in a few different ways. An increase in drug or alcohol intake may take place in an attempt to help you cope with the ongoing effects of your experience. You may also exhibit a range of complex emotions in response to a traumatic event. For instance, when suffering from PTSD you may become overly irritable or angry, or experience an acute feeling of panic or anxiety. In any case, undergoing a psychiatric evaluation is crucial to address symptoms and get to the bottom of the underlying issue.

Spinal injuries are a very serious concern within the workplace

For Pennsylvania workers, suffering a significant spinal cord injury can have a lasting impact on health and well-being. Not only will one’s ability to earn a satisfactory living be in jeopardy, meeting basic needs may also be inhibited, particularly when a spinal injury entails certain life-altering symptoms. The Mayo Clinic provides insight into the severity of spinal cord injuries, along with which symptoms should be taken most seriously.

Injuries to the spinal cord can have a range of effects depending on just where an injury actually takes place, which can be gauged by the remaining functionality underneath the area receiving damage. For instance, some victims may experience a complete loss of functionality in the areas falling below an injury, while others may only suffer from partial loss. While paralysis is not always a factor, in serious cases a total loss of movement to all limbs (known as quadriplegia) can occur. In addition to loss of sensation and an inability to control limb function, victims can also experience nerve damage, which in turn can cause a great deal of pain and discomfort.

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