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Newburgh New York Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Honoring National Farm Safety and Health Week

One doesn’t normally associate the workings of New York City with the farmers of America. One generally has to drive quite far from the city before even encountering a farm. However, the work that America’s farmers do substantially impact the ability of New Yorkers to live like they do. Nearly every mouthful of “real” food that New Yorkers consume contains at least one ingredient that was grown or otherwise cultivated on a farm of some sort. As a result, protecting the nation’s farmers from harm is very much in the interests of New Yorkers.

Unfortunately, the agricultural industry tends to be quite dangerous. Farming and otherwise processing agricultural products is dangerous work for even the most informed and well-trained workers. However, it is also particularly dangerous for the children, teens and migrant workers that comprise a surprising amount of the labor required to keep America’s farms and agricultural operations running.

When a piece of work-related equipment malfunctions

We frequently write about the numerous hazards that workers in New York and New Jersey tend to face on a regular basis. From slippery floors to staggering heights, we stress that both employers and workers need to remain vigilant about safety hazards in order to prevent potentially injurious or fatal accidents.

However, not every accident can be prevented by this kind of vigilance. Even the most safety-conscious employers and employees can experience accidents through no fault of their own. For example, when a piece of work-related equipment malfunctions and causes a worker harm, safety-conscious employers can be left baffled that something so tragic occurred on their watch.

Legal options for individuals injured on the job

In the wake of injuries caused on the job, workers and their loved ones can understandably feel a bit dazed. The chaos associated with receiving medical treatment and beginning to recover can leave individuals emotionally drained. In addition, the mountain of paperwork which often accompanies this kind of injury can be overwhelming.

During this hectic time, it is often beneficial to consult an attorney about your situation. Signing paperwork from your employer or your insurance without first consulting an attorney can leave you with fewer options for financial recovery than you might have otherwise had access to. Depending on your situation, you may be able to take advantage of one or more legal opportunities in the wake of your work-related injury.

The unique hazards that healthcare professionals face at work

The healthcare profession is unique in many respects. Most often, individuals seek out professionals for advice, goods and other services when it suits them to do so. They approach professionals and businesses by choice and when it is convenient. By contrast, individuals often do not seek out medical professionals until their situation has become urgent and dire. Many medical personnel deal with gruesome and dangerous situations on a daily basis due to this unique reality.

In addition, medical personnel must often interact with dangerous equipment, fluids and substances on a regular basis. An object as harmless as a needle can become a mode of transferring deadly viruses in the hands of nurses and physicians. Patients and their loved ones can also be dangerous, in and of themselves. Their bodily fluids, germs and potential for violence regularly endanger professionals in the medical field.

OSHA aiming to protect workers from refrigeration toxin exposure

The Global Cold Chain Alliance represents roughly 1,650 employers affiliated with the temperature-controlled (or cold chain) products industry. These employers, and the 300,000 or so workers they employ, make significant efforts aimed at ensuring that various perishable products that Americans rely on maintain their quality and are safe when consumers pick them off store shelves or otherwise come into contact with them.

This industry is vitally important. Without the employers and workers that focus on this area of consumer safety, Americans would basically risk food poisoning on a regular basis and would lack access to refrigerated medications and other critical products. Yet, for all the efforts that these workers make to ensure the safety of consumers and patients, they often risk toxic exposure due to the nature of their positions.

Tell OSHA what you think about proposed work safety rule

When the Occupational Safety and Health Administration crafts a proposed rule concerning work safety, it must generally submit the rule to the public for comment before it can finalize the rule. This feedback mechanism allows workers, safety advocates and employers to voice their support, opposition, suggestions and concerns to OSHA directly for its review. Although far fewer Americans take advantage of commenting on proposed rules than they might if they better understood the process, those with access to this information should certainly comment on any proposed rules that they feel strongly about.

For example, OSHA recently extended the comment period in regards to an important proposed rule that would greatly impact the tracking of work-related injuries and illnesses in the U.S. Until October 14 of this year, the public may submit comments and general feedback on this proposed rule to OSHA on its website.

The larger implications of the Ralph Lauren signature scandal

When a well-known company takes a stand on a controversial issue, this action tends to either positively or negatively influence consumers’ perception of that company’s brand. As a result, businesses must often weigh the costs and benefits of taking a stand versus following standard practice. If a company takes a stand, it must generally be worth the ethical and financial risks of doing so.

Sometimes this kind of action directly benefits the company’s employees. For example, when Starbucks became the first major American chain to grant medical benefits to its part-time employees, workers reaped the benefits of this company’s commitments. On the other hand, a company’s stand could also negatively impact workers. Most recently, a scandal involving clothing giant Ralph Lauren stood its ground in ways that signal danger for the safety of factory workers associated with the business and other employees tied to the company as well.

Office safety measures are evolving in interesting ways

We frequently write about the hazards that many New York workers face on a daily basis. Construction workers, dock workers, delivery personnel and even hospital workers must consistently work to avoid being physically harmed on the job. We also note with some regularity that even office workers may be harmed on the job if certain precautions are not taken.

It seems that many employers are embracing the idea that workplace accidents can be prevented in even the most seemingly safe office spaces. These employers are increasingly utilizing a variety of fairly odd measures in order to promote safety in the workplace.

Major American airline cited by OSHA for numerous violations

We frequently write about hazardous occupations and unsafe working conditions. Most of the time, we write about industries with a high rate of worker injury, like construction. However, we do emphasize from time to time that any American workplace can be unsafe and can inspire workplace accidents if employers do not prioritize the wellbeing of workers.

A good illustration of this reality occurred recently at an airport frequented by many New Yorkers. Newark airport in New Jersey plays host to a number of high-profile airlines. Travelers from all over the world frequent this airport, as do airline workers from all over the globe. Unfortunately, this seemingly ultra-safe workspace (rarely do American workplaces employ the kinds of safety-minded checks and balances that airports do) is apparently quite dangerous for workers employed by United Airlines.

OSHA seeks to educate workers on preventing demolition accidents

Sometimes it is necessary to destroy an existing structure before a new one can be created. Especially in cities like New York that have been built up over a number of centuries, demolition work is necessary for development because there is simply no longer any fresh land in the city upon which to build something new.

Demolition crews and demolition work is therefore essential to the city’s growth and evolution. However, this critical work is often extremely dangerous. Because of its important function and because of the hazards associated with this work, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently engaged in efforts aimed at making sure that demolition workers are kept as safe as possible despite the dangerous they face while on the job.

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