Harrisburg Workers' Compensation Law Blog

How depression puts employees at higher risk of workplace illness

Many discussions of workplace injuries center around ways in which employees are physically harmed. It's commonplace to hear about a worker coming down with some type of respiratory ailment down the road, hurting their back, perhaps breaking some bones or even getting cut. However, little does one hear about another serious workplace injury employees suffer from: depression.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) refers to depression as one of the main contributing factors to both injury and disease for both sexes. In 2010 alone, illnesses caused by depression totaled $210.5 billion.

With winter on the way, outdoor workers need to be careful

As one of our Pennsylvania readers, you know that the fall months will eventually bring cold temperatures. And of course, once the winter season rolls around, there is no sign of warmer weather until spring.

If you work outdoors, it's imperative that you know how to keep yourself safe when the temperatures dip.

Do you know how to avoid hand injuries at work?

If you are the type of person who works with your hands at work, such as in the construction field, you know that protection is something that should always be at the top of your mind.

While some workers and employers are serious about hand protection, others overlook just how important this is. Here are some of the many safety tips to follow:

  • Wear gloves when appropriate, such as when lifting heavy objects or working with hot items
  • Don't wear gloves if a machine could grab the material and pull your hand into a dangerous position
  • Always use guards on power tools
  • Examine an item before picking it up, looking for nails or sharp edges that could cause injury
  • Keep your hands free of oil and grease, as slippery hands can make it difficult to get a frim grip
  • Don't wear any jewelry on your hands or wrists on the job site

What are the leading causes of workplace injuries?

Regardless of your profession, you should never overlook the fact that you could suffer an on the job injury.

There are many causes of workplace injuries, with these among the most common:

  • Overexertion. This includes but is not limited to injuries related to pulling, pushing, lifting and carrying objects.
  • Fall on the same level. This is a fall that takes place on a working surface or walking surface, such as the result of debris.
  • Fall to a lower level. This is a fall to a level below the working or walking surface. An example would be a fall from a roof to the ground below.
  • Struck by equipment or an object. In the construction industry, for example, objects can fall from buildings, thus having the potential to strike a worker below.
  • Vehicle incident. There are many types of roadway accidents, such as those involving a tractor or forklift. Some roadway incidents occur on actual roadways, while others do not.

You should always follow these power tool safety tips

When you use a power tool, such as on a job site, you know that it can help you complete the job in a more accurate and efficient manner.

While it's important to use power tools when necessary, here's something to remember: These can pose a safety risk if you don't know what you are doing.

As fall approaches, heat safety remains important

Although summer is quickly winding down, it's important to remember that temperatures may remain high well into September. If you work outdoors, it is particularly important to keep close tabs on the weather at all times. This can be the difference between remaining safe and taking a risk with your health.

While many people prefer the heat over cold weather, it is important to remember that those sunny skies and warm temperatures can be dangerous. If you aren't careful of what you are doing, you could suffer a serious injury or illness.

Why do forklift accidents happen?

Depending on your profession and industry, you may find yourself operating a forklift on a regular basis. Even if you don't actually operate the vehicle, there is as good chance that you could be in close proximity to forklifts every now and again.

It's a good idea to know why forklift accidents happen, as this can help you avoid trouble on the job. Here are some of the most common causes:

  • Lack of training. Operating a forklift is easier said than done. Anyone who will be driving this type of vehicle must receive the proper training.
  • Speeding. Just the same as a motor vehicle, there is never a good time to speed on a forklift. The faster you drive the greater chance there is of causing an accident.
  • Operating with an elevated load. You should never operate a forklift with an elevated load, as it makes it difficult to see and increases the chance of the product falling to the ground below.
  • Insufficient warnings. Everyone needs to know when a forklift is in use. Without the proper markings, it can be difficult for other workers to know that a forklift may be coming through the area.
  • Horseplay. This can include things such as giving a person a ride.
  • Poor workplace design. When forklifts are in use, it's important that the workplace has the proper design. This means many things, such as removing clutter from aisles, informing drivers of ramps, and keeping traffic volume to a minimum.

Stand up for your rights when you are injured at work

Being injured at work ranks at the top of the list of things that most people dread. When you are hurt at work, you might be worried about losing your job. Fortunately, your employer can't fire you for making a workers' compensation claim. If the employer does fire you after you made a report about an injury at work, you might have a case for retaliation.

Another thing that you should remember is that your employer's workers' compensation coverage is something that they pay for to help keep you protected. If you are injured while you are working, this coverage could help you to get medical care. It can also provide you with partial wage replacement if you have to miss work due to the injury.

Employee sues Consolidated Rail Corporation for foot amputation

An employee of Pennsylvania's Consolidated Rail Corporation filed lawsuit against his employer in federal court on Monday, July 24. In his filing, he alleges that his employer neglected to provide a work environment that was reasonably safe for him to work in.

He also argues that they prohibited him for seeking necessary medical treatment. The plaintiff asserts that doing so would have been essential to prevent the partial amputation of his foot.

Are you overlooking these important ladder safety tips?

Using a ladder is a way of life for many professionals. For example, if you work in the construction industry, you may find yourself climbing ladders throughout the day.

While there is nothing wrong with using a ladder, you need to keep safety foremost in your mind at all times. It only takes one mistake to cause a serious accident.

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