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Harrisburg Workers' Compensation Law Blog

An East Allen conductor is crushed in between train cars

A train crash and derailment at a cement plant in Northhampton County earlier this month resulted in one of the employees there being transported to an area hospital with serious injuries. The incident happened at the Keystone Cement Company in East Allen Township right around noon.

According to a spokesperson with the East Allen Township Fire Department, a conductor had seen a train fast approaching in his direction. Since it didn't appear that he had enough time to get out of its way, he attempted to climb out of the engine car to get out of harm's way. Soon thereafter, a shuttle wagon, or the vehicle used to move trains around, crashed into him. That collision forced both cars off the tracks.

These saw safety tips are a must to follow

Many professions call for the regular use of saws. For example, if you're a construction worker or carpenter, there's a good chance you rely on a circular saw and table saw for making fast and precise cuts.

While there are many benefits of using a saw in any form, it's also one of the most dangerous tools on a worksite. Here are five saw safety tips you should follow:

  • Always wear safety equipment: Even if you're only making one quick cut, you should wear equipment such as safety goggles and earplugs.
  • Don't wear loose fitting clothing: For example, a loose fitting sleeve could get caught in a table saw blade, thus putting your arm and hand in danger. The same holds true for accessories, such as jewelry, so examine yourself closely before taking action.
  • Keep a clean workspace: Power tool accidents often happen as a result of a disorganized workspace. An example would be leaving spare pieces of wood around the area in which you stand when making cuts. It takes some extra time to clean your workspace, but it's better than risking injury.
  • Use safety features: Many power tools have safety features that can help prevent an accident when used appropriately. For instance, a table saw has a blade guard and anti-kickback pawls to protect you. There are times when it's tempting to remove a safety feature, such as to make a unique cut, but doing so increases the risk of an accident.
  • Maintain a stable position: You should always be on balance with a stable stance when using a saw. The slightest of slips can increase the risk of injury, so don't take any risks with your positioning.

Power drills: A common, but dangerous tool

Power drills are used by millions of professionals every day, spanning a variety of industries. If using this tool is a big part of your job, don't take your safety for granted. Instead, make sure you know the exact steps you must take to avoid an accident and related injury.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, over 2,500 people receive hospital treatment every year for a power drill related injury. If you want to avoid an accident in the future, these tips will help:

  • Beware of electric shock: For example, exposed wires can result in shock, which is likely to send you to the hospital for treatment. Examine your drill for defects or damage before each use.
  • Wear safety gear: Depending on the job, this typically includes gloves, goggles and earplugs.
  • Watch what you wear: Loose sleeves, for instance, can get caught in the drill bit. This can result in losing your balance or coming in contact with the tool when it's in use.
  • Know what you're drilling: There's a difference between drilling into wood and metal. With metal, more pressure is necessary, as this helps protect against overheating and binding.

Do firefighters get the health benefits they deserve?

Firefighters are among those who help people most. They put out fires, help with rescue missions and educate communities on safety.

When they do their jobs, however, they're putting themselves at serious risk. Even if they're not in an acute accident, they may later develop chronic diseases that could make their lives uncomfortable or difficult to live.

How much are nurses at risk for suffering neck or back injuries?

A study published in the journal Disabling World in 2015 captured how at least 9,000 patient nurses or medical caregivers in the United States suffer disabling injuries on the job every day.

The researchers working on the study determined that 38 percent of the injuries that nurses suffer each year are back injuries. They found that this results in at least 12 percent of nurses leaving their profession each year. This may partially explain why there has been a shortage of nurses in recent years.

Are you familiar with these bulldozer safety tips?

There are many situations in which a bulldozer can be used to improve efficiency and speed up the process of completing a job. For example, these are often used on construction sites for grading and moving around large piles of debris.

If you're a bulldozer operator or work in close proximity to these vehicles, it's important to keep these five safety tips in mind at all times:

  • Only licensed individuals should operate a bulldozer: If you're not licensed and qualified to operate a bulldozer, you shouldn't attempt to do so. It takes advanced knowledge to safely use one of these vehicles.
  • Always wear a seat belt: In addition to safety equipment, such as a helmet, you should always wear a seat belt when operating a bulldozer. This holds true even if you're only moving it from one location to another.
  • Inspect your bulldozer for damage and defects: Before using a bulldozer, conduct a thorough inspection with an eye toward damage and defects that could impact your safety.
  • Follow the guidance of all flaggers, signs and barricades: When a bulldozer is in use, flaggers, signs and barricades are often set up to keep other vehicles and pedestrians at a safe distance.
  • Take great caution around trenches: Trenches or any other type of excavation can result in an accident, such as a rollover. Even if you don't drive into a trench, getting too close can cause the earth to move.

Commercial truck accidents require collecting special evidence

When a commercial truck accident occurs, the damages and injuries that the victims suffer can seem enormous. Many victims may feel overwhelmed at the prospect of building a claim and fighting for fair compensation from a large company, and this is a reasonable concern. Complex claims that involve several parties can take many months or even years before they reach a conclusion.

Unfortunately, without a strong claim, victims have few tools they can use to protect themselves. If you experienced a truck accident recently, you must make your injury claim a priority while gathering evidence is still possible. If you wait too long to begin, many kinds of evidence are no longer available.

A PennDOT worker is injured after being hit along I-81

A PennDOT worker was seriously injured when the vehicle that he was in was struck by another motorist around 9:30 a.m. on Jan. 14 in Harrisburg.

According to a spokesperson with the Pennsylvania State Police, the worker had just finished helping a stranded motorist along the left shoulder that connects Route 22 to Interstate 81 North when his vehicle was struck.

Amazon requires workers to wear tech vests to minimize injuries

Over the past five years, several workers were seriously injured or killed in workplace incidents in Amazon warehouses throughout the United States. Now, the e-commerce giant has responded by requiring its workers to wear a "Robotic Tech Vest" to help colleagues and robots better track where they're working in the facility in an effort to curb injuries.

In 2013, an incident occurred in an Amazon warehouse in New Jersey in which two workers were struck and crushed by forklifts. In another incident in 2014 in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, one Amazon warehouse employee struck another with a pallet loader, crushing him behind it. Another incident just last month resulted in several workers being exposed to "bear repellant," an irritant, after an automated machine struck it.

What are the first steps to take after a dog bite?

A dog bite has the potential to result in serious scarring, disfigurement and emotional difficulties. Furthermore, depending on the severity and location, surgery may be the preferred method of treatment.

While you do your best to avoid a dog attack, there are times when you can't escape trouble. For example, you assume that a dog is friendly, but come to find that nothing could be further from the truth.

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Marzzacco Niven & Associates

Marzzacco Niven & Associates
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Harrisburg, PA 17102

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