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

Ladder safety can prevent accidents in the workplace

Ladders are a common tool among many Pennsylvania workers. While use of ladders seems rather straightforward, failure to utilize the proper procedures can result in a significant workplace accident. Falls from ladders can cause devastating injuries, and in some cases may even lead to death.

The American Ladder Institute recommends that all workers who regularly use ladders follow some basic safety tips to reduce their risk of injury. For instance, there are a number of actions workers can take to prevent falls from occurring, such as maintaining three points of contact with the ladder during both the ascent and descent (two hands and one foot or one hand and two feet). Accordingly, hands should remain free of work materials when using a ladder. Instead, workers should utilize a tool belt or towlines to carry tools and other necessary items.

How can I avoid being struck-by or caught-in work equipment?

Pennsylvania workers in the energy industry (such as gas and oil drilling) face a myriad of risks on a daily basis. Hazards known as struck-by or caught-in/between are exceedingly common, and can result in debilitating injury or death under severe circumstances. Accordingly, it’s important for you to be aware of methods for preventing injury when using machinery or other equipment that poses a risk.

The Industrial Safety & Hygiene News defines a caught-in/between injury as being caught by or pinned between piece of equipment and another object. This occurrence can result in significant damage to you, such as fractures, strangulation, amputated limbs, or internal bruising or bleeding. To avoid a caught-in/between injury, machine guards must always remain intact to protect your extremities from being pulled into machinery. You should also avoid wearing loose clothing when working around revolving mechanisms, as loose items can easily become caught in moving machinery.

How can I reduce the risk of mining injury?

If you are currently employed as a miner in Pennsylvania, you most likely face a number of hazards on a daily basis. These hazards can lead to catastrophic injury or even death without the proper safety measures in place. Accordingly, it’s important to know what steps you and your employer can take to mitigate the chance of debilitating injury.

Industrial supply company Grainger offers some methods for keeping you and other mine workers safe. In the event of an emergency, lines of communication are vital to getting assistance in a timely manner. That’s why it’s essential that your mining operation has a fully functioning communications system to ensure emergency services can be notified as soon as an incident occurs.

Cement safety can reduce injuries at work

Many workers in Pennsylvania regularly come into contact with cement, which can actually be caustic to skin after exposure. At Friday & Cox LLC, our attorneys have seen the damage common workplace substances like cement can cause to employees when proper safety procedures have not been undertaken. That’s why both employers as well as workers must make it a point to create a safe environment when cement work is a standard occurrence.

The Occupational Safety & Health Administration lists important safety considerations that must be adhered to for all those working with cement. Cement can become trapped under jewelry, so items like rings or watches should not be worn when working. If exposure does occur, workers should clean the area immediately using the right type soap and water that is tepid in temperature. Certain cleansers or lotions, such as those containing skin softeners, can cause further irritation by increasing the absorption of cement.

What must be incorporated in a roofing safety plan?

When it comes to roofing, you as a worker must take proper precautions in order to minimize your risk of serious injury. However, employers in Pennsylvania are required to ensure that each and every worker is safe during the course of duty. This can be accomplished by creating a solid safety plan that addresses the needs of those workers employed in the roofing field.

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration provides tips on how to create a safety plan suited to roofing contractors. Training plays a huge component in the safety and well-being of you and your fellow employees. Accordingly, employers must incorporate appropriate training scheduling into roofing safety plans. In addition to new hire trainings conducted when you first join a workplace, employers must also take the time to refresh existing employees on important procedures. There are also required OSHA courses that certain workers must undergo to ensure they are up to speed on the latest regulations.

How can I prevent injury when working with animals?

If you are employed in a veterinary clinic, animal shelter or in the animal control capacity in Pennsylvania, you will most likely have questions on how to prevent a serious workplace accident from occurring. Fortunately, there are a few steps both you and your employer can take to reduce the risk of a damaging animal attack.

Safe animal handling is of paramount importance according to the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association. Transportation is often a common occurrence when working with animals, and this calls for some level of restraint. Fearful animals will typically try to escape, which is why having a leash is vital to the process, particularly when transporting dogs. When using a leash, it’s important to never pull or jerk the animal in the desired direction. If a dog is showing dangerous behavior, using a muzzle in conjunction with a leash is also recommended.

How long do you have to file for workers' compensation?

If you are injured on the job in the State of Pennsylvania, you have a right to file for workers' compensation, but a failure to apply within specified time limits could cost you your benefits. You have 120 days from the time of the injury to notify your employer for the initial claim. If for some reason your request is denied by your employer's insurance carrier, you must file a claim petition within three years of the mishap.

What risks do I face in the manufacturing industry?

As an employee in the manufacturing industry, you know that safety is of paramount importance when on the job. This is especially true for those Erie workers that face a number of unsafe conditions, some of which can result in significant injury or even death in extreme cases.

According to Plant Engineering, all manufacturing facilities must include the proper first aid supplies in the event that an accident occurs onsite. Comprehensive training of how to use these supplies during an emergency should also take place. Along with general items (such as bandages and antibiotic cream), site-specific first aid applications must also be available.

Infectious disease in the workplace can pose risks

Health care workers perform many vital functions for the people of Pennsylvania. They also face a myriad of risks in the workplace, including acquiring a serious infectious illness that can have lasting ramifications. Accordingly, it’s crucial that all workers have access to information as well as protective mechanisms in order to reduce the likelihood of becoming infected during the course of work.

The American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees details the necessary precautions that must be taken in workplaces where exposure to infectious diseases can occur. Workers should keep up to date on things like flu shots, and should remain in communication with doctors regarding past immunization records.  In the event that a vaccine is available for a particular illness, it’s recommended that the employer covers any costs necessary for proper protection. Vaccinations for things like Hepatitis B are especially important for those regularly exposed blood or other potentially contaminated bodily fluids.

Protection against chemical exposure is a must

Being employed in an industrial workplace can entail exposure to a number of hazardous conditions. Workers in Pennsylvania may even come into contact with dangerous chemicals, which can result in significant injury and illness. Being aware of the proper procedures as well as possible risks can reduce a worker’s chance of suffering a serious illness while completing tasks within an industrial environment.

According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, exposure to hazardous substances is a common occurrence in many different workplaces. While employers must take proper steps to limit the extent of dangerous exposure that can occur, workers can also take certain precautions. It’s possible to carry substances to your home via the clothing you wear at work. Accordingly, it’s recommended that workers shower before arriving at home and all potentially contaminated clothing be left behind.

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