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Newburgh New York Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Employee dies in workplace accident at New York propane company

The reconstruction unit and the motor carrier unit of the New York State Police, along with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently responded after receiving an emergency call. The caller reported a workplace accident that took place at a propane company in Calverton. Paramedics also rushed to the scene.

An incident report that was prepared by the local police indicates that the accident occurred shortly after 1 p.m. on a recent Tuesday. Reportedly, a 43-year-old employee who was the operator of a tank truck that belongs to the propane company accidentally knocked down a co-worker. Paramedics rendered aid to the 35-year-old employee who was struck.

Workplace accident at cosmetics factory kills 1 injures many

New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo recently initiated an investigation in which multiple agencies will take part to determine various aspects of a devastating explosion that took place at a cosmetics manufacturing plant in the town of New Windsor. Reportedly, the workplace accident occurred shortly after 10 a.m. on Nov. 20. Hazmat teams and firefighters rushed to the scene, and a second explosion rocked the facility while rescue workers were inside the burning building.

Authorities say one employee was killed while between 25 and 30 others were injured. During the second explosion, seven firefighters suffered injuries, two of whom had to be rushed to a burn unit. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, this company has been the subject of three investigations in 2012, 2013 and 2016. All those inquiries involved violations related to mismanagement of hazardous energy and flammable liquids, among other safety violations.

Safety violations at supermarkets can cause workplace accidents

Employers in New York and other states must prioritize employee safety at all times. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently reported its concern over the ongoing noncompliance with safety regulations that inspectors found at three Fair Trades Supermarkets in New York. An OSHA area director said the employees at these stores were exposed to several unaddressed safety hazards that could result in workplace accidents.

During safety inspections at these locations, compliance officers found that workers were at risk of suffering eye injuries because they were not provided with safety information about the hazardous chemicals with which they work. Furthermore, there were no eyewash stations for incidents in which they were exposed to corrosive substances. Exit routes were not accessible, and employees were also exposed to several blades that were not protected by safety guards.

Workplace illness: Cold stress threatens outdoor workers

At the start of every winter, New York workers who have to work outdoors will likely feel anxious about the impact their work environments will have on their health. Cold stress is a workplace illness that can be fatal if not treated promptly. This condition is caused by the environmental cold that affects workers who are exposed to air temperatures that are also cold. Cold stress risks are even higher when wind speeds increase because it increases the chill factor by making the air temperature feel colder against the skin.

Workers who are frequently at risk of suffering cold stress include snow cleanup crews, recreational workers, construction crews, firefighters and police officers. Other occupations in which workers are typically exposed to extreme cold include transportation, baggage handlers, transit workers, oil and gas industry support workers and landscapers. However, many other workers spend long hours exposed to environmentally cold conditions.

Construction accidents involving scaffolds could be life-changing

Scaffolding can be life-threatening structures, and related safety regulations are strict. Many injuries in construction accidents result from collapsing scaffolds or falls from scaffolds due to safety violations. Victims of scaffolding accidents in New York may suffer long-term consequences.

Along with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, state safety authorities work to improve safety and protect workers who are exposed to the hazards of scaffolds. Scaffolding must be carefully planned and designed to fit the requirements of the project for which it is required. Regulations show that the maximum intended load must be calculated, and the scaffold must be able to support four times that weight along with its own weight.

Workplace illness: New silica rules good news for workers

Employees in different industries in New York may be happy to learn that employers who tried to stop the new silica rule were unsuccessful. Industry leaders who dispute the need for regulations that are stricter asked a federal appeals court to prevent implementation, but a panel of judges found that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration offered adequate evidence to motivate the enforcement of the new rules. The safety agency claims the new precautions will prevent those who are exposed to silica from contracting a potentially deadly workplace illness called silicosis.

The new silica rules require employers to limit exposure to dust to much lower levels than previously. After postponing the effective date of implementation by 90 days, OSHA gave a further grace period of 30 days, during which time regional administrators and construction companies received counseling. Additional assistance is provided through guidance related to inspections and citations that will apply.

Witness: No precautions taken before fatal workplace accident

New York construction workers frequently put their lives on the line when they have to work in dangerous circumstances. They often work without the necessary personal protective equipment. Both the New York City Department of Buildings and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration have opened investigations into a deadly workplace accident that claimed the life of a 60-year-old man.

According to a police report, the incident occurred shortly before noon at a two-story home in Queens on a recent Thursday. A retired construction worker who happens to live across the street from where the man was working says he watched the worker yanking on anchors that were installed on the roof, to which they were going to secure solar panels. He was testing them for strength when something happened to propel him off the roof.

Toluene exposure can cause workplace illness

New York employees in various occupations may be exposed to hazardous chemicals without even knowing about it. Employers are responsible for the health and safety of employees. Workers must be informed of dangers they will face while working, including hazards that can cause workplace illness. However, safety training related to exposure to chemicals is often neglected, sometimes with tragic consequences.

One such hazard is toluene, which is an ingredient in many paints, adhesives and metal cleaners. It often goes unnoticed because it is clear and colorless. At room temperature, it vaporizes upon exposure to air. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration notes that it can be recognized by its strong sweet smell once it has evaporated.

Construction accidents: Yet another life lost in New York

The hazards on New York construction sites have given rise to many safety discussions in recent months. Despite all the talk about improved regulations, lives continue to be lost in construction accidents. One of the most recent fatalities occurred at a site in Brewster.

A report by the New York State Police indicates that an emergency call came in at approximately 7:30 a.m on a recent Wednesday. The caller was an employee who said a co-worker had fallen off a mobile scaffolding structure. Police and emergency services responded within moments to provide medical assistance.

New workers' comp benefits guidelines see strong opposition

Medical professionals and safety and health advocates expressed their opposition to the New York State Workers' Compensation Board's proposed altered guidelines at a recent press conference. Some say that the changes are merely measures for companies to cut costs, with injured employees paying for it in denied benefits. While safety authorities sought improved compensation for injured workers, the new proposal will see workplace injury victims considerably worse off.

According to the new guidelines, only company-assigned physicians may provide care, regardless of their ability to communicate in a language understood by the injured worker. This doctor will have full power to recommend or suspend care and benefits at will. Many life-altering injuries will no longer be compensable, and the levels of coverage for several severe impairments will be slashed significantly.

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