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Kansas City Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Battle looming over proposed rule concerning OSHA reporting

There are rules in place regarding how employers are required to file paperwork concerning workplace accidents. A few years ago, under the last administration, a new rule was instituted that revised how much information employers were required to report to OSHA concerning injuries on-the-job. Currently, anytime a Missouri resident is injured or suffers an illness related to his or her employment, the details surrounding the incident must be reported if the company employs more than 250 workers. 

Now, another proposal would roll back some of those requirements in the interest of preserving both worker and employer privacy. Under the current regulations, an employer is required to supply detailed information regarding how an accident occurred and injuries suffered. Those who worked on establishing this rule claim that it is needed in order to provide workers with more protections in the workplace. One spokesperson stated that identifying personal information can be redacted before these reports are available for publication.

Fiber company issued citations after months-long investigation

In most situations, whenever an employee suffers a serious injury, officials with OSHA will be contacted as per government regulations. If an investigation points to errors on the part of an employer which lead to the incident, then the company will likely face citations and possible fines. Missouri workers who have been injured on the job do have recourse for seeking a remedy for their monetary losses.

Recently, a fiber company was issued several citations and fines over an incident that caused an employee to lose three fingers. According to the report, a worker was attempting to clear a material jam in a die machine that cuts fiber. In the process of doing so, the worker stepped on a pedal which activated the machinery that subsequently amputated three digits.

OSHA being asked to develop heat-stress prevention regulations

Workers in the agricultural field are often exposed to extreme environmental conditions. As a result, there have been more than 780 heat-related deaths over the past 24 years. In an effort to prevent more unnecessary deaths, dozens of worker advocacy groups are petitioning OSHA to develop a nationwide heat-stress prevention regulation that could benefit all farm workers, including those here in Missouri.

An estimated 130 workers' groups and nearly 100 individuals are united in their efforts to pressure the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to set nationwide standards that could protect workers against the dangers posed by extreme heat conditions. Thus far, only a few states and the armed forces have set standards that provide for access to rest, shade and water for workers who are employed as agricultural workers. Along with mandated access to these basic necessities, the groups are requesting that OSHA implement mandatory heat acclimatization plans and appropriate worker training in an effort to combat the harm that long-term heat can cause to farm workers.

Poultry workers in Missouri face higher risk of on-the-job injury

According to the General Accountability Office and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, certain industries record a higher percentage of job-related injuries and illnesses. Statistics obtained over the past several years indicate that workers in the poultry processing industry face a higher risk of suffering an on-the-job injury, including those who are employed in Missouri plants. While the poultry industry has taken steps to reduce these risks, there are many factors that continue to play a role in the dangers posed to workers.

According to incident reports, three workers suffered amputation injuries during a two-year period at poultry processing plants both here in Missouri and a neighboring state. In 2016, those who are employed in this industry suffered more work accidents than those who work in the oil, coal and logging industries. There are several reasons cited for why this field is more dangerous, including the type of machinery, speed and lack of appropriate safety training.

Construction site accident leaves 1 worker injured; another dead

Those who work in the construction field are aware of the many dangers and are careful to take all available precautions to avoid serious injuries. Unfortunately, not every accident can be foreseen or prevented, and any worker could suffer from the consequences of a construction site accident. There have been many Missouri residents who have had their lives negatively impacted by serious injuries while on the job.

Recently, four employees were caught up in a serious incident while on site working to construct a large capacity water tower. According to officials, an emergency call requesting assistance at the scene was received shortly before 7:30 a.m. Crews were informed that the rescue would require equipment to handle a high-angle operation, as four employees were trapped inside the tank an estimated 150 feet up. 

Lung disease among illnesses that can affect certain farm workers

When one hears of vineyards, it is likely that certain states come to mind. However, Missouri is also home to several dozen vineyards, and, as a result, the injuries and illnesses that can affect these types of agricultural workers is an important consideration. While physical injuries are often the ones given the greatest consideration, illness is another hazard vineyard employees face, including the risk of a lung disease.

The federal office of Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently updated its regulations that require employers to file reports of illnesses or injuries via its new electronic system. These reports are required any time a worker suffers any work-related illness or injury -- even those that do not require emergency treatment. Those who work in the wine-making industry face a variety of health hazards, including those that are caused by repetitive motions.

Meat processing plant cited over health and safety violations

Working in an industrial plant requires in-depth training and regular oversight. When a company fails to provide thorough training or is negligent in ensuring that potential hazards are addressed, then it can face both citations and fines for exposing workers to possible health and safety violations. Unfortunately, some Missouri companies have failed to ensure worker safety, resulting in disastrous consequences. 

Last December, a fatal accident occurred at a meat processing plant that supplies many consumer outlets with a variety of lunch and deli meats. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration conducted an investigation into that incident, which revealed that safety violations. Unfortunately, there were two other incidents that were reported over the next few months that resulted in workers suffering significant injuries.

Man injured in work accident after suffering chemical burns

Working around industrial chemicals poses a serious risk of burns and inhalation injuries. Workers who are responsible for transferring or handling these types of materials require thorough training as well as protective gear. In spite of these precautions, there remains a risk of serious injuries in a work accident when unforeseen events occur. There are many Missouri workers who have suffered incapacitating injuries on the job.

There was a recent report of a serious incident that occurred when an employee was transferring sodium hydroxide from a tanker car to a tractor-trailer. Though the details of how the accident occurred are unclear, the reports indicated that the man was burned when a leak occurred. The worker was wearing protective clothing at the time, but he still incurred chemical burns to his facial area as well as his hands. A co-worker initiated decontamination procedures that were ongoing when emergency crews arrived on scene.

Employee dies in work accident after falling into shaft

There are many hazards that can befall workers while carrying out their regular assignments. Though the majority of employers are diligent about ensuring that the risks of a work accident are minimized, not every accident can be prevented. Even the most diligent Missouri employees can suffer a serious accident that results in injury or death.

Recently, emergency responders were called to the site of a building under construction to provide services to a trapped worker. According to the early reports, the 31-year-old man was working on the site when he somehow fell down an elevator shaft. Once the first rescue personnel were on scene, they summoned extra assistance from another company to help free the victim.

Man killed; 1 injured by glass panel in work accident

When one hears of an accident at a construction site, it may prompt images of a fall or machinery malfunction. Unfortunately, there are many hazards on the site of a construction job -- many of which could be prevented. When a Missouri resident is injured in a work accident, the consequences may include physical injury along with significant financial difficulties.

A construction site was recently shut down after a security guard and a worker were involved in an accident. According to the report, a glass panel that was to be installed was sitting on a loading dock. For reasons that are yet unclear, the panel, described as being approximately 8-by-14 feet, tipped over and landed on a 67-year-old security guard. A 27-year-old construction worker on the site was also injured.

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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