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Kansas City Workers' Compensation Law Blog

There are simple steps that can help boost workplace safety

The changing seasons can play a major role in the well-being of workers in a variety of occupations. In spite of the advent of winter weather conditions, there are proactive steps employers can take to promote workplace safety. Though Missouri is not known for excessively severe winters, taking extra precautions can help ensure a safe day on the job.

One of the first measures a company can take is to review its current emergency procedures. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires that every business that employs more than 10 workers must have a written plan to handle emergencies. These may need to be reviewed during winter months, as the changing weather conditions may pose different hazards. Ensuring these plans are up-to-date and properly disseminated to all employees can allow workers to handle the unexpected in the safest manner. While the emergency plans are updated as needed, it may be beneficial to conduct a thorough job hazard analysis.

Industrial accident kills man at meat plant

Almost every job can pose a threat to employees if due diligence is not exercised by both worker and employer. Unfortunately, some occupations are inherently more dangerous, and there are many workers who are exposed to hazards such as a serious industrial accident, not all of which can be prevented. When these types of work-related accidents befall Missouri residents, those affected may have recourse to vital benefits and professionals who can assist them in obtaining them.

Recently, emergency crews were called out to the scene of a tragic accident at a meat-processing plant. According to the preliminary reports, a 62-year-old worker was running a waste auger machine at the facility. For reasons that are unclear, the man walked up the chute that fed waste products into the machinery. Somehow, he got caught up into the grinder mechanism.

Industrial accident claims life of mechanic

While almost every job can include duties or conditions that may lead to work-related accidents or illnesses, there are certain fields that come with a higher risk to personnel safety. One of these employment fields encompasses factories and heavy duty equipment facilities, which often include the danger of a serious industrial accident. There are many such industries in Missouri, and there are likely countless workers who have suffered injuries in the normal course of carrying out their duties.

Unfortunately for one victim, such an accident resulted in his death. According to the reports, the fatal incident occurred in the early evening hours earlier in December. Emergency responders, including police and emergency medical technicians, were called to a location where a mechanic had suffered critical injuries. The victim was a 40-year-old man who was purportedly attempting to service the hydraulics of a commercial waste disposal vehicle. How the man suffered his injuries was not disclosed at the time of the report.

Social Security disability may be needed at some point in life

According to current statistics, a 20-year-old employee faces a 25 percent chance of being disabled by a work-related injury. While Missouri workers may believe that the process for applying for Social Security Disability is a relatively simple procedure, the federal program requires extensive and thorough information. The agency does have publications available that can help applicants determine what information will be requested.

There are different types of disability programs, and each requires varying levels of information. The federal program has its own definition of what constitutes disability, namely a serious injury or illness that is expected to last at least a year or is expected to be terminal. While many applicants will stress the severity of their injury or illness, the agency needs detailed information concerning both the injury and the type of work that the applicant performed before the injury or illness occurred.

Officials investigating death of man killed in work accident

Construction work is both rewarding and dangerous for those who enter this field. In spite of safety precautions that employees may take, a deadly work accident can claim lives and leave others seriously injured. There are many Missouri residents who have either suffered injuries on the job or are aware of someone who has been injured.

Last year, Garmin, the company that manufactures navigation tools and other technology gadgets, began an expansion project for its warehouse and manufacturing facility in a mid-western state. During the construction phase at these types of facilities, many contractors and sub-contractors are employed to complete various aspects of the work. Unfortunately, a recent incident at the facility claimed the life of a 28-year-old man.

Workers file lawsuit alleging workplace safety violations

The majority of companies take the health and safety of their workers as one of their top priorities. Unfortunately, situations arise, and the well-being of employees can be endangered when workplace safety is not assured. Many Missouri residents have suffered an illness or injury caused by unsafe working conditions.

Recently, construction workers in another state filed a lawsuit against a company that, according to the claim, caused them to suffer serious and possibly permanent physical harm. They allege that while they were working on constructing a building for an oilfield company, fumes were vented from a nearby structure. Those emissions purportedly contained an anti-corrosion agent that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has deemed hazardous to one's health. The agent is believed to pose a danger to the central nervous system.

Manufacturing plant facing citations and fines for violations

Those who work in the manufacturing field may face a number of hazards in the course of their daily duties. The majority of employers take precautions to ensure the safety of all employers and seek to train those workers in the proper procedures to operate all machinery. In spite of these efforts, a serious incident may result in a company facing citations and fines. Unfortunately, as many Missouri workers have experienced, no citation or fine can repair the harm an employee may have suffered.

Recently, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration conducted a thorough investigation and inspection of a manufacturing plant that had reported several serious injuries to employees. The inspection found that the company was reportedly failing to ensure that protective guards were in place on certain parts of potentially dangerous machinery. Additionally, inspectors determined that workers were not properly trained in how to safely perform tasks on equipment that had jammed or otherwise needed to be cleaned or cleared of debris.

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.

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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