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Kansas City Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Statistics show reduced risk of work-related illness

For a vast majority of Missouri residents, a job helps provide them with the lifestyle they desire. As a result, one's occupation likely consumes considerable time and energy. Unfortunately, that same time commitment and energy investment can lead to a work-related illness or injury, especially if the work entails a high risk environment.

While it may be thought that only certain jobs carry a risk of injury or pose a threat of causing a serious or chronic illness, it may be possible to suffer either while performing almost any job function. However, according to a recent report issued by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the percentage of workers who suffered an illness or injury related to their work has decreased over the past 13 years. The latest report concerned the percentage of employees injured in non-fatal accidents in 2016.

Company facing multiple violations; fines after OSHA inspection

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is a federal agency tasked with ensuring that employees are not exposed to hazardous conditions on the job. Unfortunately, OSHA cannot prevent every work-related injury or illness. If an accident does occur, Missouri workers are entitled to file a claim for benefits with the workers' compensation program.

Recently, OSHA conducted an in-depth inspection at a pottery manufacturing business. During the course of that inspection, agents purportedly discovered approximately 31 violations that could lead to employees suffering a serious or fatal accident or illness. Those violations were assessed at an estimated $830,000. According to the agency's records, there are two lists with a total of 39 violations.

Workplace design may play a role in workplace injury

Many think that the greatest risk of injury on the job occurs in the higher risk occupations. According to the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, most reports of workplace injury are related to office designs. This type of injury can affect any worker in Missouri who is required to perform any physical activity on the job.

An estimated one-fifth of all missed days from work are related to injuries that are caused by poor ergonomic designs. It is also reported that these types of injuries require more recovery time. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration and insurance companies report that work injuries caused by over-exertion cost an estimated $13.8 billion yearly.

OSHA fines company over repeat improper scaffolding, violations

Construction workers face many hazards due to the nature of the job and the tools required to complete their projects. Therefore, inspectors with OSHA often spend significant time and resources conducting safety inspections of these sites -- especially whenever there is an incident that results in a worker suffering serious injuries. Missouri companies are required to ensure that their employees are not at risk due to improperly prepared work sites.

After the Occupational Safety and Health Administration conducted a safety inspection of a construction site in another state, the company that owns the business was fined approximately $191,200 for several repeat violations including two that were described as serious. According to the federal inspectors, the masonry and bricklayers were exposed to safety hazards from improperly erected scaffolding. In many instances, the scaffolding was not braced or secured and was missing appropriate flooring.

Man killed in construction site accident

There are many careers that provide satisfaction for a job well done while also benefiting the greater community. Many who work in construction may achieve that level of satisfaction when a large project comes to fruition. Unfortunately, as many Missouri workers are aware, the job is not without its hazards as there is the ever-present danger of a construction site accident that can change the lives of victims and their families forever.

One such accident has resulted in the death of a 56-year-old man. A renovation project was being carried out at a university in another state. Reports citing a co-worker who was nearby at the time indicate that the man suffered a massive crush injury to his head. Apparently, workers were attempting to install a large concrete slab onto the surface of the structure. At some point, the workers realized that the part was not matching up to preset holes; as it was being repositioned, it somehow slipped free of the restraints and fell.

Mental Health Day addresses depression in the workplace

Earlier in the month of October, the World Health Organization celebrated World Mental Health Day by focusing on the problems that can be attributed to certain workplace environments. The selected topics were depression and anxiety and how they can negatively impact the emotional well-being of workers as well as ways to resolve or alleviate these problems. Many workers in Missouri and across the country battle these issues on the job on a daily basis.

A steady job is typically a positive mood builder. Nevertheless, some common workplace practices can lead to feelings of anxiety and depression for employees. Inflexible work hours, little to no decision-making opportunities and a lack of policies that support the health and safety of employees can all contribute to negative feelings in the workplace. Other problems result from little or poor communication between management and staff and a lack of clearly defined goals and expectations also .

Bipartisan efforts to secure funding for OSHA program

Many workplaces in Missouri and throughout the country pose a danger to the health and safety of workers. The vast majority of companies are subjected to regular inspections conducted by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA. One little-known program offered by the federal agency is in danger of being discontinued due to a lack of funding.

Two senators from different states are now working to secure congressional funding for the Voluntary Protection Program. It was set up as a way to offer workers a safer environment while also reducing some of the costs and burdens that federal regulations require. The program allows employers that are able to meet certain strict requirements to avoid the onerous inspections that workplaces are subjected to on a regular basis.

Little-known danger poses threat to workplace safety for many

In Feb. 2016, a manufacturing plant employee worked on a lathe as part of his normal duties. Unbeknown to him, the events that followed would change his life forever. He encountered a danger that lurks in many manufacturing plants throughout the nation -- including here in Missouri -- and poses a serious threat to workplace safety for countless employees.

The man was grinding a rubber-based material when he realized that the material was sparking small embers that were then sucked into the plant's ventilation system. The worker decided to check the dust collection room where the particles were deposited in order to ensure that there was no danger of a larger fire. When he went into the room, which was located outside of the main building, he noticed a small flame that he then attempted to extinguish.

Man dies in crane accident on site of new medical offices

Most likely, the vast majority of Missouri residents get up to go to work never anticipating that their job could pose a serious danger to themselves. However, while many who are employed in the construction business may indeed contemplate the dangers they face, probably relatively few expect to experience a life-threatening injury. Unfortunately, a construction site accident -- including a crane accident -- can lead to serious or even fatal injuries.

In an ironic twist, a serious accident recently occurred on the site of the construction of new medical offices. While details have not been disclosed by investigators, the 20-year-old male victim was killed on the roof of the new building. According to reports, the man was killed when a crane that was moving a large vat of cement purportedly somehow failed to contain the load, and it fell on the victim, crushing him.

Construction accident kills 1, injures another

One of the most satisfying rewards for many Missouri workers may be seeing a project coming to fruition. That may be especially true for those whose labor results in a new structure. Unfortunately, these same workers face many hazards that can result in a serious construction accident.

Recently, such an accident befell two workers in another state. According to the reports, the men were engaged in helping to lay down new concrete for a facility intended to be used for volleyball games. For reasons that are still unclear, the concrete pump that the men were using somehow caused the men to suffer critical injuries. When emergency responders arrived on scene, one man, a 26-year-old, was pronounced deceased from his injuries at the work site.

Kelly Law Office, P.C. • 134 N. Water St. • Liberty, MO 64068
Map and Directions • Phone: 816-760-2174 • Fax: 816-760-2001

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