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Pittsburgh Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Employers are required to report workplace injuries

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) released final rules that now requires employers to report injuries and illnesses that they record electronically. Why did OSHA promulgate this new rule? The goal is to harness the benefits of “Big Data.” “Big Data” is all the rage in modern business analytics and OSHA is trying to utilize this information to improve worker safety.

The hope is that this simple change will improve worker safety for everyone across the country. The data will inform OSHA of common human behaviors and help the agency design new rules and training programs to improve safety.

Study finds American workers are not prepared for emergencies

No one likes to think about situations in which they or a loved one could be injured. But the best way to avoid injuries is to anticipate them. Sticking your head in the sand and refusing to prepare is one of the best ways to incur a serious injury. This is why companies that work with dangerous materials run regular safety drills to ensure that their workers know how to respond to an emergency.

Unfortunately, according to a study from the National Safety Council, regular safety drills are the exception, not the rule. Emergency preparation is in the news because Hurricane Matthew is knocking on Florida’s door however these lessons can be applied to any emergency workplace situation.

Traumatic brain injuries and falls

Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are severe head injuries that result in significant damage to the brain. TBIs can often cause nausea, dizziness, confusion, reduced mental faculties, and migraines. These symptoms can last for months or years after an accident. In fact, it isn't unheard of for some victims to experience these symptoms for the remainder of their life. This post will go over TBIs and how you can sustain them from something as innocuous as a fall.

 

Alcoa Aluminum: a study in safety

Alcoa Aluminum is one of the safest companies in America. It is also one of the most dangerous companies, its employee regularly deal with machines that can tear workers apart, crush them, or severely burn them with molten aluminum. In 1987, Alcoa appointed a new CEO who trumpeted a new plan, worker safety. Paul O'Neill transformed heavy manufacturing by turning Alcoa, a relic from the industrial revolution, into a profitable and safe corporation. This post will go over the changes at Alcoa and how it improved safety.

When O'Neill took over, Alcoa suffered 1.86 lost work days due to injury for every 100 workers. By the time he left in 2000, that number had dropped to 0.2. His lessons continued to resonate, and in 2012, the rate dropped further to 0.125.

An overview of construction site safety resources

Construction sites are dangerous places to work. As such, the federal government offers a variety of agencies to oversee safety and provide training. This post will go over a few of the safety programs and agencies that can assist you in creating a safer workplace.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is the primary agency responsible for worker safety. OSHA investigates dangerous workplaces, levies fines against violators, and provides safety training and coordination. OSHA accomplishes this goal through a variety of programs. The most popular ones for construction sites are the Focus Four Hazards which address the four most major causes of accidents:

Can hospital staff sue hospitals for contracting an illness?

It seems an interesting question, wouldn’t getting sick seem like an inevitable part of the job? To some extent, yes, people do assume the risk of getting sick when they work in a hospital. But, like all things, it depends on the situation. Here, a nurse successful settled for money damages after she sued her hospital because she contracted Ebola. This post will go over the claim and how it relates to you.

Ebola was all over the news a few years ago however courts are only recently getting to the point where they can resolve the cases involving it. The nurse in question was the first person infected with Ebola in the United States.

OSHA investigates rampant abuse at chicken farm

Worker abuse and injuries occur in more places than industrial plants and construction sites. Last week, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration fined Farm Fresh Foods $30,000 for violating worker safety violation standards. This post will go over the extent of the safety violations and how workers were harmed by their employers.

Third shift janitors (night shift) were regularly subjected to dangerous conditions are the chicken processing plant that resulted in injuries and illnesses. Workers were regularly required to clean the facility without protective gear or sufficient breaks to avoid the dangerous fumes, such as bleach.

Cutting costs reduced operational safety at U.S. Steel

U.S. Steel is a legacy company that most people would not associate with safety. And, unfortunately, most people would be right. According to a study by Axiom Capital Management, U.S. Steel's relentless cost-cutting program has undercut efficiency and safety. This post will go over those cost-cutting measures and how they impact safety.

 

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