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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.

How can chemical exposure in the workplace affect me?

If you are an industrial worker in Erie, you are no doubt concerned about the possibility of chemical exposures in the workplace and the effects these chemicals can have on your health. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention illustrates the different effects chemicals can have on your health.

Occupational skin disease is a common cause of workplace illness which can include a number of ailments ranging from irritation to contact dermatitis. This condition is characterized by swelling, skin that is dry or flaking, redness, pain and itching. You could even develop skin wheals or blisters after exposure to a substance. If you have certain allergies to chemicals, such as pesticides, metals, acrylic resins, or fertilizer, then you could suffer what is referred to as an allergic contact dermatitis. If there is no allergy involved, then it will be identified as irritant contact dermatitis.

How likely am I to be injured in a fall at a retail workplace?

If you are employed in a retail or wholesale environment, you might assume that your workplace is relatively safe compared to more hazardous situations. However, injuries resulting from slips-and-falls are quite common in these working environments, which means that as a Pennsylvania worker, you may be more at risk then you think.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers insight into the increased rates of injuries related to falls in retail/wholesale workplaces. There are numerous medical ramifications associated with such injuries, some of which can have very serious consequences. For instance, falls can result in fractures and sprains, head/brain injuries and may even lead to death in extreme cases. When it comes to lost days of work in retail and wholesale spaces, injuries involving slips-and-falls are counted as the second most common cause. In general working environments, these incidents are the third most likely reason for time missed from work.

How to prevent common on-the-job injuries

Injury prevention is a vital concern for workers in Pennsylvania and all over the nation. The Bureau of Labor Statistics offers insight into the proper steps to take to prevent injuries in the workplace from occurring based on data previously collected by the agency.

In an attempt to get to the underlying cause of workplace injuries, the BLS recommends an examination of past incidents. For instance, the circumstances surrounding an injury can shed some light on suitable prevention methods. In work environments where hazardous chemicals are utilized, are these chemicals stored and handled properly? The same standards should be applied to tools and other equipment. Improper usage of work tools often leads to serious injuries, and can even be fatal in some instances.

Can independent contractors receive workers’ compensation?

If you are an independent contractor in Pennsylvania, you may wonder whether or not you’ll be eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits if hurt on the job. Unfortunately, determining whether a worker is considered an independent contractor can be a bit difficult to ascertain.

In general, establishing employment usually takes place on a case-by-case basis. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor, a previous case involving a freight company resulted in the determination that each employer must make a fair and reasonable decision regarding whether or not a worker can be categorized as an employee or an independent contractor. This entails looking at certain aspects of the specific employer/employee relationship.

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