How is Increasingly Hot Weather Affecting Workers?

It is well known that working outdoors during the summer months can be dangerous. But many people fail to realize that the dangers of hot weather are not restricted to the outdoors. Workers in various environments can be affected by hot weather.

Research has shown that work environments higher than normal skin temperature increases the risk of heat-related stress and illness. That means that any temperature – inside or out – that is more than 90 degrees, could affect your body’s ability to cool down. That’s because your skin cannot lose heat, which causes blood temperature to rise. Your body cannot release the heat, but rather stores it, which raises core body temperature.

When your core body temperature is high, you may experience fatigue, dehydration, irritability, nausea/vomiting, and heat exhaustion.

What Work Environments are Vulnerable to Heat?

Indoor and outdoor work environments can affect workers when temperatures rise. Increasingly hot weather could impact you if you work in the following occupations:

Indoors:

·         Foundry

·         Glass, brick, or ceramic manufacturing

·         Electrical utilities

·         Chemical plants

·         Distribution warehouses

·         Commercial kitchens

Outdoors:

·         Farming

·         Landscaping

·         Oil and gas operations

·         Emergency response operations

·         Hazardous waste management

If you work in any of these occupations, be aware of the signs of heat exhaustion. Get medical attention right away if you experience rash, cramps, dizziness, no desire to drink, or feel faint. Without proper treatment, heat-related illness can lead to serious complications, or can even be fatal.

California Fire Prevention Safety

There are more than 350,000 California residents who live in “very high hazard” fire zones. While the zones laid out by officials may be specifically referring to wildfires, it is important to remember that all fires start somewhere. For California families and workplaces, fires can result from even the smallest sources, such as:

·         A thrown out cigarette

·         Burning outdoor brush

·         Unattended bonfires or fireplaces

·         Kitchen fires

It doesn’t take much for fire to start, and in these high hazard zones, it is more important than ever for Californian’s to practice good fire prevention.

Fire Prevention Tips

Inside a building, a fire can spread in as little as two minutes. Practice good fire safety techniques by doing the following:

·         Install smoke alarms on all floors of your home

·         Test smoke alarms monthly and change batteries

·         Keep a fire extinguisher near any sources of open flame

·         Create a fire escape plan with your family or co-workers

·         Never leave fire unattended, including stoves, candles, or fireplaces

·         Do not smoke cigarettes inside of buildings or cars

·         Avoid overloading electrical outlets

·         Make sure your lamps use the correct wattage bulbs

·         If you smell smoke or gas in your home, exit and call 911

·         If you have concerns about outlets or electrical cables, call an electrician

By following these tips, you can reduce the risk of a fire and potentially save lives. Good fire prevention techniques are important in every environment. Talk to your family about fire safety, especially during summer months when bonfires, beach parties, and fireworks are more common.

How to Avoid Injuries When Cutting/Trimming Trees

Cutting or trimming trees is a dangerous occupation. Even small trees can be extremely heavy, and trimming or removal can be complicated by power lines, weather conditions, or other hazards. Large trees pose extreme risk, especially if there are other trees, homes, or power lines nearby.

Most people who work in tree cutting or trimming are trained specifically for the job. That does not mean, however, that accidents and injuries cannot happen. Some of the risks involved with tree cutting or trimming include:

·         Exposure to power lines

·         Falling tree branches

·         Falling power tools

·         Inadequate or faulty safety gear

·         Slips, trips, or falls

·         Projectiles causing eye injury

Any of these risks can cause injury, or be potentially deadly. It is important to always practice safe tree cutting, trimming, and removal practices.

How to Avoid Injuries when Cutting/Trimming Trees

To avoid injuries when cutting or trimming trees, the first thing any worker should do is conduct a pre-assessment of the tree and possible risks. Once that is done and work is ready to commence, workers should do the following:

·         Wear a hard hat

·         Wear protective eye and ear gear

·         Train all workers on proper use of tools

·         Always follow instructions for use of tools or gear

·         Comply with guidelines on power lines (10-feet)

·         Always properly tie-in

·         Work with a partner on the ground

No matter how big or small the job may seem, it is important that workers and those nearby are protected.

Can Hearing Loss be Considered a Workplace Injury?

Work-related hearing loss is not something you read about very often. Mostly, when workplace injuries are in the headlines it is because of catastrophic accidents, injuries, or failures. Rarely do we consider the health of our most fundamental senses.

While hearing loss may not be a common topic, it is a very common problem. In fact, in 2016, hearing loss was considered the most common workplace injury in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that 22 million workers are exposed to “hazardous levels of occupational noise” each year.

What Work Environments Cause Hearing Loss?

Hearing loss is most common in workplaces that include machinery, equipment, or loud noises in enclosed spaces. Some of these work environments include:

·         Manufacturing

·         Mining

·         Construction

·         Landscaping

·         Farming

·         Musicians

·         Airport workers

Anyone who works around loud noise should be careful to take safety precautions to protect their hearing.

Can I Get Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Hearing Loss?

Employers are required to maintain a safe working environment, including providing proper training and safety gear when necessary. If you work around loud equipment but are not provided proper protective gear, then you are being placed at risk for hearing loss.

If you are suffering from hearing loss that you believe is work-related, you should speak with an audiologist about your concerns. Let the doctor know about your work environment and when the problems started. Workers’ compensation claims related to hearing loss can be complicated, so it is important to get a diagnosis and document any injury that caused your hearing loss.

Sources: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2016/09/01/kaiser-shhh-americas-most-common-workplace-injury-hearing-loss/89734914/

What are the Risks of Carbon Monoxide in Construction Jobs?

Carbon monoxide (CO) is often called a “silent killer”. CO is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas that cannot be detected. CO is a threat if you are exposed to high concentrations, but can also be a threat if exposure occurs regularly for an extended period of time.

Construction workers are at a particularly high risk of exposure to CO. Exposure to CO occurs on construction sites through:

  • Exhaust from gas-powered tools or equipment
  • Exhaust from generators
  • Fuel-burning heaters
  • Vehicle exhaust

When construction sites are not properly ventilated, CO can quickly build up to toxic levels. Workers who do not have proper safety gear are at risk of CO poisoning. The results can be dire.

The Risks of Carbon Monoxide Exposure

When ingested, CO attacks red blood cells. This interferes with the body’s ability to process and distribute oxygen throughout the body. Symptoms of CO poisoning include:

  • Dizziness
  • Nausea/Vomiting
  • Blurred Vision
  • Confusion
  • Headache
  • Unconsciousness

Without proper treatment, CO poisoning can cause damage to the brain or heart, and can be fatal. It is important that all construction sites are properly ventilated, and workers are outfitted with appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE). Sites with limited ventilation should be monitored and tested to ensure that CO levels are not outside of acceptable limits.

If you are a construction worker and have been injured due to CO poisoning, contact the Henderson Work Injury Law Corporation to discuss your situation. You may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits or a personal injury claim.

Types of Eye Injuries We Can Help With

When your vision is compromised, your entire life can be turned upside down. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), around 2,000 workers in the United States suffer eye injuries each year. Around one-third of those require emergency medical care, and around 100 result in missed time at work.

At the Henderson Work Injury Law Corporation, we understand that an eye injury can have a devastating impact on your work, and your life in general. We help clients who have suffered eye injuries as a result of improper safety gear, improper training, or other workplace hazards. Contact us if you have suffered an eye injury, such as:

  • Scraping – Scrapes are one of the most common eye injuries. When something comes into contact with your eye, and you blink or rub your eye, a scrape injury may occur.
  • Striking – Particles ejected from machinery or blown into the air can strike your eye causing trauma or bruising.
  • Penetration – Sharp objects in contact with your eye can cause penetration injuries. These can result in permanent vision loss.
  • Burns – Chemical or thermal burns can cause damage to the eye and surrounding tissue. These are common injuries among welders.
  • Eye Diseases – Eye diseases result from contact with bodily fluids, blood, or contamination. Sometimes a simple cough or sneeze can cause infection, or contamination via rubbing your eye with germs on your hand.

If you have suffered any of these eye injuries, contact the Henderson Work Injury Law Corporation to find out if you qualify for a workers’ compensation claim.

Types of Leg and Foot Injuries We Can Help With

We rely on our feet and legs to support our weight and help us get where we need to go. An injury to the leg or foot can have a big impact on your ability to work, enjoy activities, or even simply move around your home.

Leg and foot injuries are among the most common workplace injuries reported in the United States. These injuries are most common in construction, transportation, retail, and food service jobs. Lifting, bending, repetitive motions, and working around slippery surfaces are all hazards that can result in a leg or foot injury.

At Henderson Work Injury Law Corp., we represent clients who have suffered a leg or foot injury while at work. We help clients with a variety of injury cases, including:

  • Broken Foot
  • Broken Toes
  • Heel Injuries
  • Knee Injuries
  • Stress Fractures
  • Muscle Strains/Sprains
  • Ligament or Tendon Injuries

If you have any of these injuries as a result of your occupation, then you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ compensation benefits can help you cover the cost of:

  • Medical Care
  • Physical Therapy
  • Medications
  • Surgery
  • Lost Wages

To find out what benefits you qualify for, contact Henderson Work Injury Law Corp. to speak with our workers’ compensation attorneys. We can help you ensure that your rights and best interests are protected as you recover from a leg or foot injury.

Types of Arm and Hand Injuries We Can Help With

No matter what industry you work in, chances are you use your arms and hands on a daily basis to perform basic functions. An injury to your arm or hand can have a significant impact on your daily life, including your ability to work. That’s why it is so important to contact Henderson Work Injury Law Corp. to ensure that you get the workers’ compensation benefits you deserve.

Types of Arm and Hand Injuries We Can Help With

If you have suffered an injury to your arm or hand while in the course of your job, then you likely qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. Our attorneys can help you file a claim related to injuries including:

  • Fractures to the arm, elbow, wrist, or hand
  • Traumatic amputation of fingers, hand, or arm
  • Crush injuries to any part of your arm or hand
  • Repetitive motion injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome

Getting the Compensation You Deserve

Injuries to the arm and hand may be traumatic, such as a crush injury or amputation, or they may be more orthopedic, such as injuries to the tendons or ligaments. How these injuries are treated will vary, but what doesn’t vary is the fact that you deserve coverage for your expenses and losses.

Workplace injuries to the arm and hand often require medical treatment including:

  • Medications
  • Setting, splinting, or casting
  • Surgery
  • Physical therapy

These expenses can take a financial toll on you and your family. With a successful workers’ compensation claim, however, the cost of your medical care will be covered, and you may be compensated for lost wages as a result of your injury.

The best way to find out what benefits you qualify for is to contact a workers’ compensation attorney. Schedule a free consultation with Henderson Work Injury Law Corp. today.

Common Injuries in the Retail Industry

Over the past several years, researchers have examined the rates of injury and illness in the retail industry. There is a common misconception that retail is a safe working environment, when research consistently shows a disproportionately high number of injuries among retail workers. Consider the following statistics. In 2006, researchers reported:

  • 21 million retail industry employees
  • 820,500 injuries
  • 581 fatalities
  • Retail makes up 15.5% of private sector work, yet accounts for 20.1% of workplace injuries and illnesses.

With so many people working in retail, and injuries clearly being a concern, let’s take a look at some of the most common injuries among retail employees.

Common Injuries in Retail

Research from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) identifies the following as the top ten hazards for retail employees:

  1. Overexertion – Injury resulting from continuous or excessive physical movements, often repetitive. Causes injury to tendons, ligaments, and joints.
  2. Handling/Lifting Materials – Pushing, pulling, lifting, and lowering heavy freight can cause strains, sprains, and back injuries.
  3. Slip, Trip, and Fall – Improper maintenance, boxes left in walkways, improper placement of warning signage all lead to retail slip and fall accidents. Injuries include twists, sprains, fractures, back injury, or head injury.
  4. Stress – Around 25 percent of retail employees report feeling stress is a huge factor in their daily lives. Stress can lead to poor mental or physical health, and can increase the risk of injury.
  5. Struck by Object – Being struck by falling or shifting cargo or items on shelves. Injuries include bruises, lacerations, broken bones, and head injuries.
  6. Box Cutters and Sharps – Cuts and lacerations caused by box cutters and sharp objects are one of the leading preventable injuries in retail.
  7. Forklift Accidents – Forklifts can cause crush injuries, fractures, strains, or cuts when not used properly.
  8. Noise – Work environments with loud machinery or tools can cause hearing loss.
  9. Violence – Workplace violence results in a significant number of retail injuries. These include assault, sexual assault, or even homicide.
  10. Bullying – Bullying or harassment among retail employees is a cause of physical and emotional injury.

Common Long-Term Injuries Among Truck Drivers

Driving a commercial truck has some obvious risks, such as road hazards, truck accidents, and working around freight. But what about risks associated with the job itself? The long-term risks of driving a truck may not be as obvious as those associated with construction work or other manual jobs. But the risks are just as real.

In fact, common long-term injuries among truck drivers are most often orthopedic, which can impact the whole body. Here are the most common injuries reported by truck drivers, and their most common causes.

Most Common Long-Term Injuries and Causes

In 2010, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) found that the two most common types of injuries among truck drivers were arm and back injuries. NIOSH research found that:

  • Back Injuries accounted for 21.1% of injuries.
  • Arm injuries accounted for 26.3% of injuries.
  • 53% of injuries required time away from work.

And for the most common injuries:

  • 60% strains and sprains
  • 11% fractures

The most common causes included:

  • Falls – 38.9%
  • Contact with equipment or objects – 33.7%

Many injuries to the back, neck, and arms have a long-term impact on the individual. Sprains and strains can cause permanent tearing or stretching of ligaments and tendons, which weaken the affected extremity. Fractures or breaks can take a significant time to heal, and can cause long-term or permanent loss of use.

Injuries to the neck and back often require long-term physical therapy, and some require surgery. In these cases, truck drivers may be unable to work for extended periods of time, or may be permanently disabled. 

What Truck Drivers Can Do

Truck drivers who suffered an injury with long-term consequences should contact a workers’ compensation attorney to discuss their options. Workers’ compensation or disability benefits can provide valuable financial stability while recovering from an injury.