What are the Most Common Risks Firefighters Face?

Firefighters are often among the first to arrive at the scene of car accidents, medical emergencies, crime scenes, downed trees or power lines, or situations involving chemicals or combustibles. These environments pose significant risks to firefighter health and wellness.

What are the Most Common Risks Firefighters Face?

Many of the common risks that firefighters face can be broken down into six categories. These are:

Physical Risks

Firefighters face numerous physical risks in the course of their work. The most obvious is the risk of exposure to heat and flames. This can lead to illnesses like heat exhaustion, and can cause burns. While responding to any scene, firefighters may be exposed to weather conditions. Firefighters are also at risk for damage to their hearing, as loud or excessive noise is common.

Biological Risks

Firefighters respond to accidents and medical emergencies, which puts them at risk for exposure to infectious diseases and blood borne pathogens.

Chemical Risks

Firefighters encounter various combustion products while fighting fire. Smoke toxicity depends on what materials are being burned, and if any accelerant was used to start the fire. Fires expose firefighters to carbon monoxide, hydrogen cyanide, and nitrogen dioxide, all of which can be dangerous. Firefighters also respond to incidents involving suspicious or hazardous substances or chemicals, which exposes them to an array of chemical hazards.

Ergonomic Risks

Working as a firefighter requires a great deal of physical strength and flexibility. Firefighters are at risk for ergonomic injuries, such as repetitive movement injuries, overexertion, and strain injuries.

Psychological Risks

Firefighters respond to scenes that are often chaotic, traumatic, and dangerous. Many incidents involve injury or death of others. This can have a profound impact on the mental and emotional health of firefighters. This is an especially significant risk considering that firefighters work long shifts or work days, and may be physically exhausted.

What are the Most Common Risks Firefighters Face?

What are the Risks of Working in Cold Food Production Jobs?

Cold food production jobs are incredibly important for U.S. consumers. Without these jobs, our grocery stores wouldn’t be able to stock cold or frozen foods that make our lives easier. Unfortunately, working in cold food production jobs can be dangerous, making the convenience that consumers enjoy not without sacrifice.

Risks of Cold Food Production Jobs

Several studies have been done to assess the risks of working in cold food production jobs. These studies include workers located in the U.S., and in other nations where exports are common to U.S. markets. These studies have shown the following risks to be the most common:

  • Respiratory Distress – Asthma, wheezing, cough, runny nose
  • Musculoskeletal Problems – Muscular pain, back pain, or joint pain
  • Extremity Conditions – Finger or toe pain, redness, or sensitivity to cold
  • Skin Conditions – Hives, rash, or skin disorders
  • Peripheral Circulation Conditions – Headache, blurred vision, or confusion
  • Cardiovascular Disorders – Chest pain, heart arrhythmia, or loss of blood circulation
  • Diseases – Working in cold environments for extended periods of time can result in certain diseases.
  • Cold-Related Trauma – Frostbite, hypothermia, or Raynaud’s phenomenon.

Any of these conditions may occur when the workers body temperature drops below 95-degrees Fahrenheit. Prolonged exposure without proper safety equipment can cause serious and emergent health conditions, including:

  • Damaged blood vessels
  • Blood clots
  • Lack of oxygen to vital organs
  • Deep tissue injury or death

It is important that workers in cold food production take caution and follow proper safety guidelines. Any symptoms of injury or illness should be reported, and medical attention should be a priority.

Workers who were injured or became ill as a result of an unsafe work environment, or a lack of proper safety gear being provided, should contact a workers’ compensation attorney to learn more about their legal rights and getting compensation for their injuries and losses.

Auto Factories in California: Are They Safe for Workers?

In 2018, California’s Division of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (CalOSHA) investigated claims that the Tesla auto manufacturing factory in Fremont was hazardous for workers there. This has prompted many workers, advocates, and agencies to consider – at large – are auto factories in California safe for workers?

In 2017, there were 3,400 nonfatal injuries in the transportation manufacturing industry. The incidence rate is higher than among most manufacturing industries. That accounts for 6.7 injuries among every 100 workers. The average for all industries is 3.3 injuries per 100 workers.

But does that mean that factories are unsafe? The auto manufacturing industry has some inherent dangers that account for some of the higher average. The dangers of working in an auto factory include:

  • Poorly maintained machinery or equipment
  • Exposure to chemicals
  • Fire hazards
  • Insufficient first-aid equipment
  • Unrestricted access to areas of the factory that are unsafe

These hazards can result in injuries, such as:

  • Overexertion
  • Sprains or strains
  • Herniated discs
  • Toxic exposure
  • Contact with object injuries
  • Fires or explosions

These injuries cause millions of injuries each year. Many of these injuries have long-term impacts, or can even result in permanent disability.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are among the agencies working to improve safety for auto factory workers. Environmental responsibilities are said to be a public health and welfare issue, and that seems to include workers in the industry.

Injured While Working in an Auto Factory?

If you have been injured while working in an auto factory, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Find out what sort of coverage you are entitled to by contact Henderson Work Injury Law Corp. today.



Tips for Spring Cleaning Safety in Your Home

Spring has officially sprung here in Southern California, and that means it’s time for spring cleaning. For most people, spring cleaning is not an event that sparks concern over one’s safety. However, as you clear out clutter, start landscaping, or reach for that extension ladder, consider these tips for spring cleaning safety.

Tips for Spring Cleaning Safety in Your Home

Here are some helpful tips to help your family stay safe as you spring clean:

  • Clear Clutter – As you clear out clutter from your home, clear out the clutter than cleaning may cause. Pick up stray objects, piles, or trash bags out of walkways.
  • Follow Instructions – If you are using a mask, cleaning product, paint, or chemicals, make sure you follow instructions carefully.
  • Ventilate – While cleaning with chemicals or painting the interior of your home, open windows to ensure proper ventilation.
  • Store Hazardous Items – As you complete your to-do list, make sure to put away any cleaning products or hazardous items out of reach of little hands and pets.
  • Climb Carefully – If you need to reach an object or surface, use an appropriate stool or ladder. Never use a chair, table, or stacked objects to reach. Get someone to hold the ladder for you if you are reaching a really high area.
  • Be Careful Lifting – Lifting objects or moving furniture can cause aches and pains, strains, or even dislocations. Be careful when lifting, and follow proper guidelines including:
    • Take your time
    • Position yourself close to the object
    • Create a solid base with your feet
    • Bend at your knees
    • Lift with your leg muscles when standing up
    • Ask for help before an injury occurs
  • Empty Buckets – Make sure all buckets are empty when you are done cleaning. A bucket of water is deep enough for a small child to drown. Buckets with cleaning solutions can also be harmful if ingested by a child or animal.

Tips on How to Take Care of Your Mental Health

On a daily basis, we are exposed to marketing and advertisements for the latest and greatest trends in health and fitness. Diets, exercise, supplements, surgeries – all ways to take care of our bodies. But what about our mental health? Consider the following statistics.

Studies have shown that:

  • 80 percent of American’s feel stressed.
  • 25 percent of Americans feel their job is the primary source of stress.
  • 26 percent of Americans feel “burned out”.
  • 25 percent of Americans have felt like “screaming or shouting” due to job-related stress.
  • 14 percent of Americans report have felt the urge to hit or strike a coworker in the last year.

Americans are, apparently, chronically stressed. So what can we do to relax, de-stress, and improve our mental health?

Tips for Taking Care of Your Mental Health

Take care of your mental health – your thoughts, feelings, and emotions – by doing the following:

  • Talk About Your Feelings – Talking about what is stressing or troubling you can help you find solutions and let go.
  • Stay Active – Regular exercise boosts self-esteem, releases endorphins, and helps you sleep better. Exercise helps your brain and vital organs function properly, which extends into your mental health.
  • Healthy Diet – When you feed your body, you are also feeding your mind. Your brain requires healthy nutrients in order to function properly, as do your vital organs.
  • Drink Responsibly – While having a glass of wine may help you relax, drinking too much can have a negative impact on your mental health, and your physical health. Alcohol can be depressive, and can have a long-term impact on brain health.
  • Take a Break – When you feel stressed or burned out, take a break. Sometimes a change of scenery – even a short one – can help you reset and improve your mood.

By taking care of your mental health, you are improving your overall quality of life.